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Need to Know What I Should Look For

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by fadetoblack73, Jan 30, 2015.

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  1. fadetoblack73

    fadetoblack73 Member

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    Tomorrow, I am going to a local gun show. I am going to look for a Browning A5. My father once owned one and, regrettably, had to sell it when I was just a baby to pay some bills. Even though I don't know for sure, I would being willing to bet that my "baby" bills were the ones he needed extra money for. Every time we see a Browning, he reminisces about the one he once owned.

    So, I plan on trying to purchase one to fill that "empty" spot in our family gun cabinet. I want to get one as close to his previous A5 as possible. I know that it was manufactured in Belgium before 1970; probably late 60's. I know that it was NOT a Light-12. It had a vent-ribbed barrel. I am pretty sure it had the gold trigger option; however this is one thing that I don't think would matter.

    Can anyone please tell me what I should look for in the way of potential problems from a near 50 year old shotgun. Keep in mind that it would be at a gun show... so it is not like I can perform a complete dis-assembly and inspection. I was hoping to find out any obvious warning signs to look out for. I know about the cracked stocked problem at the rear tang. I know about the forend cracking closest to the receiver. Other than those 2 things, I don't have a clue as what to look for.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Post 1956 or so, the shell lifter was split into two parts, enabling the gun to be loaded without having to press the bolt release and enabling the automatic loading of the first round in the tube into the chamber ("speed loading"). I like this feature very much and recommend looking for it in a gun.

    Belgian guns will have fixed chokes and thin barrels; I like them for their better handling but beware of full choked guns or guns that have been modified with Polychoke type gizmos. I recommend taking a choke gauge with you (stainless steel muzzle measurer thingee) to validate the barrel's constriction before buying.

    Look for screw heads that are buggered up; most home 'smithing work was done with the wrong screwdrivers, which mar the screw head slots. It's a sign that the gun was taken apart by someone that might not have had any bidness doing so.

    Everything else that is commonly mentioned in discussing the A5- springs and friction rings - are easily replaced or 'fixed' after purchase.
     
  3. fadetoblack73

    fadetoblack73 Member

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    Thank you very much for the advice. Someone else had mentioned the friction rings but I had forgotten about it in my original post. I was actually concerned about how to check for them. It is good to know that they can be easily replaced if needed. Also... very good advice about looking at the screws and checking the choke; I certainly had not thought about that. I know for certain that my dad's original gun had the speed-loading feature. That is one of the things he always talks about. However, I was unaware that NOT all of the Brownings had that feature. Thanks again.
     
  4. fadetoblack73

    fadetoblack73 Member

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    Also... could you tell me what the Polychoke type gizmo looks like? Would it be obvious?
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It would be very obvious from 100 feet across the gun show!

    [​IMG]


    Browning choke markings are a series of * stamps on the left side of the barrel.
    They are not actually marked Mod, Full, etc.

    * = full choke
    *_ = improved modified
    ** = modified
    **_ = improved cylinder
    **$ = skeet
    *** = cylinder

    rc
     
  6. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    First impression is the one that tells you your on to something or not.
     
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