Browning FN Belgian Auto-5 Twenty A-5 A5 20 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1960 C&R

SOLD FOR: $1,425

WOA#: WY240319IK013

Make: Fabrique Nationale for Browning Arms

Model: Auto 5 or A5 Light Weight

Serial Number: 0Z42113

Year of Manufacture: 1960 (0Z Date Code) https://www.nramuseum.org/media/940941/serialization-date%20of%20manufacture.pdf)

Gauge: 20 gauge, 2 3/4” Shells

Action Type:  Long-Recoil, Semi-Auto, Tubular Magazine Fed Shotgun

Markings:  The left side of the barrel is marked “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS Mo. & MONTREAL P.Q. / MADE IN BELGIUM” and with a series of Belgian proofs and “**- SPECIAL STEEL-20 GAUGE-SHELLS 2 3/4″”.  The left side of the receiver is marked “Twenty / ® / BROWNING” with a bust portrait of John M. Browning, the underside has the serial number. The receiver, tangs and trigger guard have tasteful Grade I engraving.

Barrel Length: 27 1/2″

Choke: Full, Fixed

Sights / Optics: There is a silver-colored bead in a base fixed to the front of the barrel. There are two lines of matting along the top of the barrel and the sighting plane in the top of the receiver is serrated for glare reduction.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are a two-piece checkered walnut set with a round-bottom pistol grip, straight comb, black hard rubber FN Browning Automatic buttplate and finger grooves running the length of the forend. The stocks have minor handling wear with some scattered light nicks and scratches. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14 1/8” from the front of the gold-plated trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has minor wear with good definition in the lettering. There are some more heavy scuffs and scratches on the forend.  The stocks rate in Good overall condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition:  The bore is bright with no erosion.  There are two very small dents on the bottom of the bore just past the midlength toward the muzzle end.  There is some minor fouling.  In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 7.5/10.

Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 93% of its metal finish. There are scratches and scuffs throughout.  The finish has thinned on the bottom of the receiver, the leading edges, and at the muzzle.  There is erosion and corrosion around the muzzle.  There are some tiny spots of erosion on the receiver and barrel exterior.  The receiver has some scattered minor nicks and scratches with infrequent spots of minor surface oxidation, most notable on the right at the bottom-front. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Very Good condition for C&R.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is a magazine cutoff on the left front of the receiver, a safety at the rear of the trigger guard and a bolt release on the right side of the receiver. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: The Browning Automatic 5, most often Auto-5 or simply A-5, is a recoil-operated semi-automatic shotgun designed by John Browning. The Browning Auto-5 was the first mass-produced semi-automatic shotgun. Designed by John Browning in 1898 and patented in 1900, it was produced continually for almost 100 years by several makers with production ending in 1998. It features a distinctive high rear end, earning it the nickname “Humpback”. It is also an important piece of Browning/Winchester history.

John Browning had previously sold his designs to Winchester for lump-sum payments, turning over all of the patents related to a particular model. Winchester had gotten in the habit of having their engineers and attorneys assist Browning in filing for his patents, in order to ensure that when they received those same patents they would be airtight. Browning’s experiences with Colt and FN had convinced him that he would be better off licensing his designs rather than selling them outright, but when he presented this to Winchester, they refused his terms. This ended the relationship between Winchester and Browning.

Browning would eventually license the design to FN in Europe and later to Remington for their Model 11 and to Savage Arms for their Models 720 and 755. These designs went on to be a great commercial success, the first truly successful autoloading shotgun. This Auto-5 was built by FN in 1960 with Grade I engraving on the receiver and tangs. It is chambered for 20 GA. 2 ¾” shells and has a 27 1/2″ barrel choked FULL. The result is a lively, fast-handling autoloading shotgun which should be great for quick shots on fast-moving birds. The gun appears to have been well cared for, in Very Good condition with some honest aging and handling wear.  This should still make for a great hunting gun for the lucky winner but would also make a great addition for collectors. Please see our photos and good luck! – L.S.

Browning FN Belgian Auto-5 Twenty A-5 A5 20 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1960 C&R
Browning FN Belgian Auto-5 Twenty A-5 A5 20 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1960 C&R