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Old August 25, 2008, 10:16 AM   #1
wetdawg
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Belgium Browning Auto-5 info/value?

Hello shotgun aficianado's.
I was recently given this Auto-5. The barrel measures 28 5/8" from front of action to muzzle. It's FULL fixed choke ( * ).
It has a vent rib - looks original to me, white dot sight.
Besides the "Browning" on the left action side plate - there's very little other markings to distinguish it.
I have learned, due to the all matching (including forearm inner stamp, barrel lug ring & external SN mark at magazine tube entrance) that this sn 363167 was built by FN in 1952. (jeez it would help if I could hit the right numbers!)
12 Gauge low brass shell fits perfect - no doubt that it's a 12 gauge (as marked on the barrel's left side).

What's it worth? Where is the best place to put it on the market?
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Last edited by wetdawg; September 22, 2008 at 03:06 PM.
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Old August 25, 2008, 11:25 AM   #2
TxGun
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I didn't think Auto 5s that early had vent ribs. I thought they had solid ribs if they had any at all. I could easily be wrong about that though.

Auto 5s are collectable. As always, value depends on condition and features. Uncommon but original features are, of course, a big plus. If the vent rib is indeed original, it ups the value as most Auto 5s will be found without ribs.

Check the Blue Book to get an idea (I don't have one handy). Someone here should be able to check and at least give you a range of it's worth. A gunshop will typically give you about 60%, maybe 70% if you know them well, of the gun's market value. A gun show can be better because you can sell it to a shopper for much closer to true worth, or perhaps get good value in a trade. The internet can be best because opposing bidders can drive up the price to full value or even more (but if you don't have an FFL, you'll have transfer fees to contend with). These are all just my own experiences. YMMV.
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Old August 25, 2008, 11:55 AM   #3
wetdawg
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Some closeups of markings

As some members pointed out, close ups will help.
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Old August 25, 2008, 12:49 PM   #4
Stiofan
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The local Cabelas Gun Library has two Auto-5 12 gauges in stock and one was going for $540ish and the other just in excess of $1,000. I only looked at them in passing so couldn't comment on their condition, and I don't know if they were Belgium models, suspecting one was and the other Japanese as that is about right for the price spread.

According to the Browning Website, your serial number is late 1952 production. http://www.browning.com/customerserv...tail.asp?id=13

I'm far from an expert, but I paid $400 in the early 80s for a very early 1958 model, Light Twelve in good condition, when everything new at the time was Japanese.

Here's a current website showing a number of Belgium A-5s - lowest is about $950 up to $1,650. You're probably looking somewhere in that range but seeing 1952 is the first year of Belgium manufacture, maybe it's worth more, I don't know. http://www.shootersxchange.com/browning_shotguns.cfm
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Old August 25, 2008, 01:25 PM   #5
k Squared
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Blue Book

The Blue Book lists seven different variations of the Auto-5 produced after 1940. Most of which have a vented rib option.

The options are Standardweight, Lightweight, Magnum, Stalker, Buck Special, Skeet, and Trap Models.

Prices vary from $900 to $1150 for a 100% condition to $400 to $575 for a 80% condition.

P.S. Nice camera work!
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Last edited by k Squared; August 25, 2008 at 01:33 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old August 25, 2008, 06:13 PM   #6
Jeff Mulliken
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I know all the intentions are good but there is so much bad information around.......

This gun was made in the first half of 1952, probably may or early June.

It is a Standard Model, Grade 1. It has the cross block safety introduced in 1951 and should have the one piece lifter (no speed loading feature) The two piece lifter was introduced the year after this gun was made. The vent rib is not rare Browning introduced the vent rib as an option in 1927/28 which was 24 years before this gun was made. The Auto-5 was made in Belgium, starting in 1903.

With the exception of the occupation of Belgium by the Nazi'z from '39 to '44 the A5 was made in Belgium until 1976 when production moved to Japan. (I'm not sure why the Blue Book indicates they were making them during the war.....there are lots of errors in the Blue Book)

The receiver blue looks to be the proper slow rust blue in high condition but the wood finish shows heavy wear.

Some sell for more money but realistic values for Auto-5's of this type, in this kind of condition run $450 to $650. However this gun has one serious fault that will reduce the interest from anyone with interest in the Auto-5.

The vented rib is not a factory rib. It is an aftermarket rib mounted on a factory barrel.

Though you may find a buyer with more interest than knowledge, this gun is really only worth $350 to $450 an educated buyer.

Jeff
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