First Year Browning Auto-5 Magnum Twenty 20 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1967 C&R

SOLD FOR: $1,775

WOA#: WY240318RU111

Make: FN in Belgium for Browning

Model: Auto-5 Magnum Twenty

Serial Number: 7X742

Year of Manufacture: 1967 (https://www.nramuseum.org/media/940941/serialization-date%20of%20manufacture.pdf)

Gauge: 20 gauge with 3” Chamber

Action Type: Long-Recoil, Semi-Automatic, 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 Belgian proofs. The right side of the barrel is marked “* SPECIAL STEEL – 20 GAUGE. SHELLS 3””. The bottom of the receiver is marked with the serial number at the front “7X / 742”. The left of the receiver is marked “Magnum Twenty / BROWNING” and with a bust portrait of John Browning. The receiver has tasteful Grade I engraving.

Barrel Length: 27 1/2″, Vent-Rib

Choke: Modified, Fixed

Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a steel bead at the front of the ventilated rib. The top of the rib is finely checkered and the top of the receiver is serrated to reduce glare.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with finger-grooved forend, flat-bottom pistol grip, straight comb, and Pachmayr White Line Ventilated Recoil Pad.  The stocks have some light handling marks including a couple scratches on the buttstock.   The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14 1/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttpad. The pad has no notable wear or damage. Overall, the stocks are in Excellent condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright. There is some faint erosion near the muzzle end.  In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 8.5/10 for C&R.

Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 94% of its metal finish. There is light operation wear on the action and only light handling marks and some thinning along the leading edges. The screw heads are lightly tool marked with strong serviceable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Excellent condition.

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 1967, which is the first year that the Magnum twenty was introduced, with Grade I engraving on the receiver and tangs. It is a Magnum Twenty, chambered for 20 GA. 3” shells and has a 27 1/2″ vent-rib barrel choked MOD. 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.

First Year Browning Auto-5 Magnum Twenty 20 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1967 C&R
First Year Browning Auto-5 Magnum Twenty 20 GA Semi-Auto Shotgun, 1967 C&R