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Old October 24, 2010, 01:12 AM   #1
DG45
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Were A-5 parts made to Rem. Mod. 11 specs in WWII?

The Browning A-5 shotgun and the Remington Model 11 shotgun were both based on the same John Moses Browning autoloading shotgun patent, but the guns were not identical. In addition to having a magazine stop and a twin clawed ejector that the Model 11 didn't have, I've been told that most parts made for A-5's that were manufactured before WWII were not interchangable in a Remington Model 11. Also, Remington had gotten rid of the suicide safety in front of the Model 11's trigger in 1928, while I've read that FN's A-5s still had this type of dangerous safety as late as 1939.

The FN company was located in Belgium. WWII interrupted FN's European production. So, during the war and for some time afterward, Remington manufactured A-5's for FN in the US. Remingtons website for Model 11's says thats what 65,000 of the 800,000 or so Model 11s they produced were. But were those 65,000 guns really the same as pre-war A-5's, or, were they Model 11 clones that were finished to look like A-5's? If they were Model 11 clones made to look like A-5's, were there problems after the war of gunsmiths or do-it-yourself folks using Remington parts in pre-war FN-made A-5's, or vice-versa? I see comments ever so often on this website about A-5's being finiky or otherwise troublesome and I wonder if this is the cause. I rarely see that kind of comment about Remington Model 11's.
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Old October 24, 2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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The guns you're referring to are known as "American Brownings" - a Remington-produced model of the Auto-5, except they were a Remington Model 11 with Browning logo, magazine cut-off, and different engraving.
The 12ga had a "B" SN prefix, 16ga an "A" prefix, and the 20ga a "C" prefix - the letter prefixes being the easiest way to ID them.

So, to answer your question:" Were A-5 Parts Made to Rem Mod 11 Specs in WWII?", the answer would be:

No, but Remington Mod 11's were marked to resemble Browning A-5's during the timeframe that FN was down.

.
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Old October 24, 2010, 08:18 PM   #3
DG45
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Maybe there is a profound difference between the question I asked and the one you answered, but I don't get it.

Maybe what I should have asked was would owners who purchased one of these Remington-made guns have believed they owned a "real" A-5 instead of a disguised Model 11? I ask this because on another thread on this forum, someone mentioned that he owned a 1949 A-5. According to what I've read on this thread, Fabrique National ceased production of A-5's in Europe in 1940, and did not resume production of them in Belgium until sometime after 1950, and maybe it was as late as 1952 or 1953. Presumably, Remington produced in the US all the "A-5's" that were manufactured during this period. From your answer above, I gather that the gun Remington manufactured for FN circa 1940 1953 was in reality just the barreled action of an unmarked Remington Model 11, except for the addition of a mag cutoff, which was then stocked with wood furnishings and finished and marked as an FN A-5.

Since there is at least one owner on this forum who owns a gun manufactured in 1949 who is under the impression that he owns a bona fide FN A-5; not a disguised Remington Model 11, I wonder if this was (and still is) a common misconception that led owners and/or gunsmiths to later use parts made to FN A-5 specs in guns that should have been be fitted with parts made to Remington Model 11 specs.

I ask because I have been surprised by several posts from folks claiming to be present or past A-5 shotgun owners have responded to questions about A-5 reliability with posts saying that they find or have found them to be "finiky" or slow to cycle, or failed to eject properly and other negative comments. Usually these problems are blamed on the friction rings (recoil brake) and maybe this is true, but I can't see how all these things could be caused by incorrect settings of the friction rings. These negative comments always floor me because I've always thought of A-5's as very rugged and reliable, though I've never owned one. I know Remington Model 11's are rugged and reliable because I do own one. I't's interesting that such negative comments are rarely made about real Remington Model 11's, and I just wondered if the problems that were being reported in A-5's may have resulted from after-war repair work that that resulted in FN parts being used in the Remington-made guns, or vice-versa.
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Old October 25, 2010, 04:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
According to what I've read on this thread, Fabrique National ceased production of A-5's in Europe in 1940, and did not resume production of them in Belgium until sometime after 1950, and maybe it was as late as 1952 or 1953.
This much I know:

Invasion of Belgium by the German army on May 10, 1940 and the surrender by King Leopold on May 28, 1940. The German army seized the production facilities and converted them to military arms production. FN civilian arms production was interrupted.

The USA immediately embargoed all trade with the occupied territories, but diplomatic work continued until the declaration of war on the USA by Germany and Italy on December 11, 1941.

Several years later, on May 5, 1945, German troops in the Netherlands (includes Belgium) officially surrender to Prince Bernard of Holland, Germany officially surrenders on May 7, 1945.

All of these goings-on interrupted wartime firearms production from FN. I am not sure when production of civilian arms resumed, but from what I have read it was in 1949, and importation of sporting firearms under the Browning label resumed in late 1952. Wartime shotguns sold as Browning A5s were essentially identical to Remington Model 11s except for engraving, checkering, and magazine cutoff. Browning A5 shotguns were made by Remington from1941 until 1947 when Remington ceased production of the Model 11.

There are many Browning-patent Automatic 5-shot shotguns made by FN (FN did not call them Auto-5s, they were the Model 1905 IIRC) in circulation, both from before after the wars (WW1 and WW2) because of the large American troops presence and international travel and trade during that time. I own two, one is a 20 gauge FN-marked shotgun made in 1951, the other is an aluminum-receiver FN-marked 12 gauge made in 1965. Neither are "Brownings", they are FNs. The majority of FN's Auto-5 production was branded as FN, not Browning, so there are a lot of shotguns marked as such that were imported to the USA from overseas used. So the forum member who has a 1949 FN Auto-5 most likely does not have a Browning, he has an FN shotgun.

While the Browning Auto-5 and Remington Model 11 shotguns are very similar, they are different dimensionally, so very few parts interchange without extensive fitting.
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Last edited by Scorch; October 25, 2010 at 04:15 PM.
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Old November 9, 2010, 02:18 PM   #5
Big DG
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Last week I received my great grandfather's A-5 from my uncle. I was curious as to the vintage and history of the gun. According to Brownings Website the serial number shows that it is a 1950. I took it to my local gunsmith who examined it. On the Barrel is says "Browning St. Louis" but on the side of the barrel in small lettering it says Made in Belgium. On the buttstock end plate it says automatic browning with FN in the middle. He was pretty sure the gun was made in Belgium. Hopefully this helps with some of the questions.
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Old November 15, 2010, 09:54 PM   #6
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Weren't all the WW II Remington made A-5s called "Browning 3 Shot?"
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Old November 19, 2010, 02:06 AM   #7
DG45
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I've never heard that term. When you say "Browning three shot", I assume you're talking about an FN A5 because, for some reason A-5's were often called Brownings while Remington Model 11's weren't, although in fact, the Remington model 11 was every bit as much a "Browning" as an FN A-5 was.

Remingtom manufactured a variation of a Model 11 called a "Sportsman" that was a three shot gun, not a five shot gun like the standard Model 11. Is that "Sportsman" model what you're referring to as a three shot Browning?
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Old December 1, 2010, 03:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Remingtom manufactured a variation of a Model 11 called a "Sportsman" that was a three shot gun, not a five shot gun like the standard Model 11. Is that "Sportsman" model what you're referring to as a three shot Browning?
No. I was under the impression that all A5's made by Remington during WWII were marketed as "Browning Three Shot" guns, and the ones I have seen were all so marked (if I recall correctly) on the forearm.

This is the information I got from a gent with whom I worked back in the 80's. He was a stockmaker for Remington during and after WWII. ("8" was his maker's stamp on shotgun buttstocks.)
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Old December 23, 2010, 03:56 PM   #9
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I would be curious to know if Model 11 parts interchange with Auto 5's.
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Old December 30, 2010, 05:56 AM   #10
gyvel
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I would be curious to know if Model 11 parts interchange with Auto 5's.
No, they don't.
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