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Old September 8, 2012, 05:27 AM   #1
Picher
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Browning Auto 5 - Ejection Problem

I recently got an Auto 5, 16 gauge 3-shot, from a customer who said it had feeding problems. I checked it and found a couple of rough spots that I cleaned up. It now functions smoothly, but has another problem.

Now, it feeds well and ejects well, except for the last shot. It won't eject the last empty and stay open. The empty case is re-chambered and action closed. If only one round is loaded, it won't eject it either.

I've checked the friction ring positions and tried the ring at the rear and in both directions without success.

Any suggestions?
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Old September 8, 2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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I have an old Remington Model 11 (same action). Forgive my lack of proper technical wording, but there's a 'thingy' that catches the bolt in the rear position after the last round is fired. First thing I'd do is pull the bolt back slowly by hand while looking to identify the 'thingy' to observe if it moves into position or has been damaged or sheared off by somebody shooting magnum rounds in the A5. The part is in the inside of the action, near the mag tube, and is connected to the button that you push to release the bolt after reloading the gun and to get a round into the chamber. I had that same ejection problem while goose hunting in 2 degree weather on the Maryland Peninsula many years ago. I think the old shotgun was shocked to be out of Texas and in cold weather.

That may or may not be the problem, but it's the first thing I'd look at if it was my old shotgun having issues.
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Old September 8, 2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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First, you need to understand how the Auto 5 works. When the gun is fired, the barrel and bolt recoil, locked together. At the rear of the stroke, the barrel unlocks and comes forward, driven by its spring, the one under the barrel. The fired shell is held by the bolt extractor. As the barrel moves forward, it pulls away from the fired shell and an ejector on the inside of the barrel extension kicks the fired shell free and out the ejection port. As the barrel goes into battery, it trips the bolt release, letting the bolt come forward, driven by its spring in the buttstock. That raises the carrier and presents a fresh shell to the bolt for chambering.

If the mechanism is not understood, the gunsmith can chase extraction/ejection problems for a long time with no result.

Jim
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I better understand how the mechanism works, but don't know why it works perfectly when other shells are in the magazine, but not on the last (or only) shot.

John
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Old September 9, 2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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I haven't dragged out my old Model 11, so I'm still going on a faded memory. But...I'm thinking that the magazine cutoff (which prevents double feeding) is part of the mechanism that locks the bolt open after you've fired the last shell. If I'm correct in that, then your problem is in that area of the shotgun. That's the same part as I earlier referred to as "the thingy". When I had the problem, I had a gunsmith fix it, so I don't know exactly what he did, but I do know that the problem was in the area I'm talking about. I'm sorry that I don't have better or more specific information.
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Old September 9, 2012, 03:49 PM   #6
impalacustom
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Model 11's never had a magazine cutoff, the MC only moves a little piece of metal to physically block off the magazine. I also don't think that Browning ever made a 3 shot A5. Put a little bear grease or 40 weight motor oil on the magazine tube where the bronze bushing is. My model 11 has never failed me in the field and 2 years ago I used it in - 27F weather, pheasant hunting. You won't find a more reliable gun in my opinion.


Edit - When you said tried the ring at the rear, do you mean you put the bronze bushing below the spring or are you talking about the steel ring that is flat on one side and concave on the other?
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Old September 9, 2012, 05:11 PM   #7
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Good point on the magazine cutoff, but when I used that term I really was speaking of the mechanism that stops a second shell from exiting the mag tube as the action cycles to replace the fired hull with the next shell. But you got me to thinking. If that part was fully busted, the action would double feed if you had two shells in the mag tube, and I don't think the OP mentioned that as a problem. If I had the shotgun, I'd try to lock back the bolt. If that won't happen, then you'll know of at least one part that isn't working as planned and I'd focus my attention on that area of the shotgun. But...if I actually owned that shotgun, I'd just take it to a good gunsmith.
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Old September 9, 2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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Impala Custom:

It was the little stainless ring, not the copper friction ring.

James K:
I agree that the barrel is not unlocking. How does the unlocking happen? Is it dependent on the shell retainer on the bottom of the bolt? The spring under that appears to be either very strong or jammed.

Also, I still haven't discovered how to get the bolt out of the receiver. is there a pin to be driven out to allow it to go forward through the opening?
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Old September 9, 2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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Go to www.midwestgunworks.com under the Browning section you can find and download the factory service manual.
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:46 PM   #10
impalacustom
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Take the steel ring and put it below the spring (base of the receiver). This isn't chambered for the 2 9/16 is it?
I would say that it is almost impossible to get an A5 to double feed unless parts are broken, even then the carrier will be up and the shells will come out of the loading port.

The part that unlocks the bolt from the barrel is unlocked by the link on the cam , when it moves back it the link changes angle and moves the cam and unlocks the barrel.

I am mobile here but when I get home I can give you instructions on how to remove the bolt if you want. I have pictures of the parts too.

Last edited by impalacustom; September 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:19 PM   #11
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Picher, I personally wouldn't take the bolt out as I don't feel that is the problem. I have a very strong feeling that the bolt isn't cycling back far enough to eject the last shell. I have enclosed 2 pictures for the bushing settings, and 1 picture of the bolt and the link with the locking block (i called it cam earlier). The top of the block locks into the barrel until the link gets to a steeper angle and moves the block down and unlocks the barrel. These are from a model 11 but they are the same guns mechanically.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMAG0364a.jpg (151.7 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0365a.jpg (138.3 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0366a.jpg (57.4 KB, 17 views)

Last edited by impalacustom; September 9, 2012 at 10:26 PM.
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Old September 10, 2012, 12:59 PM   #12
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THis is the full URL for the factory manual:

http://www.midwestgunworks.com/field...ice_manual.pdf

Have you checked the ejector? It is on the inside of the barrel extension, right at the back. If it is broken/missing, it will cause the problem you describe.

Some of the advice given is by folks who really don't understand how that gun works. Remember, unlike gas guns, the ejection does not take place when the bolt goes to the rear. It takes place when the barrel moves forward; the barrel is pulled off the shell, not the shell pulled out of the barrel. The ejector is moving forward with the barrel and hits the base of the shell being held in the stationary bolt, ejecting it.

What deceives folks is that when operated by hand, the gun seems to act like a gas gun. Pull the handle and the bolt comes back without the barrel moving. But in actual firing, the barrel does move, all the way back along with the bolt.

Jim
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Last edited by James K; September 10, 2012 at 01:09 PM.
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Old September 10, 2012, 01:46 PM   #13
impalacustom
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James, thanks for the vote of confidence, but I understand exactly how it works. If you feel I have said anything in error feel free to correct me.

The bolt isn't moving back far enough which has everything to do with the friction rings.
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Old September 10, 2012, 02:11 PM   #14
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Hi, impalacustom,

"If you feel I have said anything in error feel free to correct me."

With respect, I don't think you quite understand. Like many modern folks, you are thinking of a gas gun, where the barrel is stationary and the gas mechanism unlocks the bolt and moves it back extracting and ejecting the fired shell.

But an A5 doesn't work that way. The best way to see how one works when fired is to put some dummy shells in the magazine and a fired case in the chamber, then put the butt on the flloor and push down on the barrel. The barrel will move back (down) about 3 inches, with the bolt, then when you release pressure, the barrel will slam forward, followed an instant later by the bolt. It is when the barrel moves forward that extraction and ejection takes place, not when the bolt moves back.

If the barrel return spring is too strong or the rings are not set right, the barrel and bolt will not recoil far enough so they will remain locked together and go back into battery that way without any extraction or ejection at all.

HTH

Jim
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Old September 10, 2012, 03:03 PM   #15
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Instead of trying to cure symptons, take the whole gun down for a cleaning, last screw and spring out and cleaned.

One possibility is the action spring being dirty. If you know that every part is clean and oiled, now you have a starting point.

Please note that the Browning A-5 needs regular cleaning and maint.
This must be done every 15 years or so.
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Old September 10, 2012, 06:38 PM   #16
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I'm going to address the failure to lock open on the last round issue first.

Causes for this on an A-5 are:

1. Worn or broken carrier dog.
2. Broken, weak, missing carrier latch spring.
3. Failure of carrier latch to catch.
4. Weak recoil spring. You could also have a square-stock recoil spring that is dragging on the magazine tube.
5. Improper setting of recoil friction rings (which you've already addressed).
6. The carrier latch is worn and is sliding off the surface of the carrier.

Without having the action in front of me, that's about all I can offer.

I would first look closely at the carrier latch.

Last edited by wyop; September 10, 2012 at 06:54 PM.
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Old September 10, 2012, 10:02 PM   #17
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Wyop, I agree on all but number 4. Wouldn't a too strong recoil spring cause that problem, rather than one that is too weak? A too strong spring would keep the barrel/bolt from coming back far enough for the bolt to catch, so the barrel and bolt would simply close back up (or jam) without unlocking.

Jim
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Old September 11, 2012, 01:50 AM   #18
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I thought so too.

I'm going off what it says in the Browning A-5 field service manuals - and I have two. One that looks like it's from the late 70's or early 80's, and one that looks like it's from the 90's.

Both of them have the same diagnostics for:

- Failure to lock open on last shot using heavy loads
- Bolt fails to lock in rearward position when last shell is fired

and both of them contain "weak recoil spring" with a corrective action in the later manual of "replace recoil spring." Well, I can see replacing a weak recoil spring, certainly, but I'm not seeing how it leads to failure to lock the block back. Yet both manuals say this.

The same question you have has been sorta rattling around in my head this evening while working on stocks: If the recoil spring is weak, then the block & barrel are going to come rearward with, if anything, too much force. The only place where a weak recoil spring might matter is just as the barrel is going into battery.

I've been pondering how a weak recoil spring can result in a failure to lock the block open on the last round, and all I can conceive of is timing issues with the carrier latch - which I'm not ready to believe yet. I'll look at an A5 in the next couple of days and ponder this problem if no one has a flash of brilliance before then...

I found an online copy of the earlier of the two manuals I have from Browning:

http://www.midwestgunworks.com/field...ice_manual.pdf

Please reference #10 on p. 14.

Last edited by wyop; September 11, 2012 at 02:07 AM.
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Old September 11, 2012, 07:25 AM   #19
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Over time the recoil spring will take a "set" and become shorter. The factory manual at Midwest Gun Works that you can down load gives the lengths for the springs and when they need replacing.
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Old September 12, 2012, 01:02 PM   #20
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Hi, Jaguar,

True, but that still leaves the anomaly of how a weak spring can result in failure of the bolt to lock back. The only thing I can think of is that with a weak spring the bolt may bounce so fast that it doesn't catch, but then the bolt would not unlock. I have looked at the manuals, and still remain confused.

I would like the OP to post a picture of the inside of the barrel extension so we can look at the ejector.

Jim
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Old September 12, 2012, 05:05 PM   #21
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I keep coming back to this fact: The action works perfectly for the first two, but fails to eject the last shot fired and stay open (maximum capacity). The recoil spring seems very strong to me, so I fail to see how that could be the problem. The extractor and ejector both work well for those shots.

I've even tried firing the Express (1 1/8 ounce) loads without the extra ring with no improvement.

The first thing I did was to disassemble and clean the action. I adjusted the carrier, whose screws were loose, causing the carrier to have too much horizontal movement. Now it works very well, without binding or excess play.

Since the carrier doesn't lift on the last shot, (or only shot), perhaps the latch is at fault. I noticed that the action closing button on the right side seems to have play in it, so the latch may be misshaped?
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Old September 12, 2012, 06:39 PM   #22
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Can you post pictures? If not, OK. But if you can, please post a pic of the inside rear of the barrel extension, which is where the ejector is located.

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Old September 12, 2012, 09:29 PM   #23
wyop
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It is possible that the carrier latch needs to be adjusted.

On the A5, this is indeed done by bending the latch.
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Old September 13, 2012, 08:02 AM   #24
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If the action reliably and consistently locks open by hand with the magazine empty, then it might be safe to assume that the basic mechanisms are in correct working order. In that instance, I would put a drop or two of oil on the magazine tube and ensure that the rings are set up with the bevelled steel insert on the rear/receiver end of the spring, just to make sure that the action isn't short-stroking. Getting the rings set up correctly is important, but so is making sure that the tube has a thin film of lube on it.

If it had a true ejection/extraction issue, then it would try to re-feed the spent hull on every round (and lock up the action as the subsequent round was lifted up into the spent hull).
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Old September 15, 2012, 05:45 AM   #25
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I checked the shell latch very carefully and wouldn't change it, as it appears to work very well, but with minimal shell contact.

The shotgun is in very good condition. Parts don't appear to be worn and the fact that it functions every time with rounds in the magazine, but only malfunctions on the last shot is nothing I can cure without a bunch of new parts to try, so I'll give up on this one and let the guy send it to the factory or to an authorized repair station.

Thanks for all your good advice. I learned quite a bit about this shotgun model.
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