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Old March 1, 2010, 01:25 PM   #1
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Had another guy call me today

wanting me to look out for him an Auto 5. Anybody know why Browning won't build any new ones? There are a bunch of collectors, but most of the people I know wanting them want to use them to hunt with.
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Old March 1, 2010, 01:52 PM   #2
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My guess would be that FN feels it would be too expensive to build for the niche market it has.
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Old March 1, 2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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With the current rage about Benelli's inertia system, I doubt Browning could build it for a comparable price. Besides, that would only ruin the collector value of the old ones.
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Old March 1, 2010, 02:07 PM   #4
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The Browning A5 was first produced in 1903 by FN, and was produced more or less continuously until 1940 when Germany invaded Belgium. During the war, Browning had Remington produce the A5, and resumed production in Belgium after 1951. Due to rising prices, Browning took A5 production to Japan in the late 1970s. Production was finally stopped in 1998, the reason cited was declining sales (gas guns were really getting good by then). For a gun to be produced almost continually for 90+ years is amazing. Very few other guns can claim that.

I have several of them I hunt with regularly (two 12s and a 20). Good shooters can be found for $350-$500. The Belgian guns get the most attention, but the Japanese guns are just as good, and are available with removable chokes.
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Old March 1, 2010, 02:17 PM   #5
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You can't get one down here in that price range. Good jap guns are easily $600.
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Old March 1, 2010, 03:42 PM   #6
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Don H
My guess would be that FN feels it would be too expensive to build for the niche market it has.

^ Agree.
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Old March 5, 2010, 02:19 PM   #7
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Maybe they could consider buying a used Remington Model 11 for their hunting needs. One can probably be found this week-end going for $200 at a gun show near you. There's no better buy to be had in America.

The Model 11 was built in the USA on the same patent as the Browning F-5. John Moses Browning who designed the gun had an agreement whereby FN would produce it for the worldwide market outside the U.S., and Remington would produce the gun inside the US. Remington manufactured its Model 11 version of the Browning patent shotgun from 1905 until 1948 when it became too expensive to produce for its the moderate income mass American market. FN, with cheaper labor costs in the post WWII years was able to produce the A-5 in Belgium for many more years. Later they moved production to Japan.

The Remington Model 11 and Browning A-5 guns are basically the same guns, but they are not identical. Some parts aren't interchangable, they have different rollmarks, etc. The only substantive difference though is that the F-5's have a magazine cutoff and the Remingtons do not. Many people consider the cutoff useless; others swear to its value. Used FN models sold in the US fetch a higher price (about double) than used Remington Model 11's do, likely because the Remingtons are generally older than the A-5s that come up for sale in the US.

For hunting purposes both were, and still are, wonderful guns. Still among the fastest cycling automatics in the world, both still draw admiring glances from other shooters who instantly recognize the receiver and the beautiful walnut stock and forearm as a "Browning".

Bottom line, how far wrong can you go with a $200 purchase of a used John Moses Browning designed Model 11 in good condition, that if manufactured today to the same standards and with all the hand fitting involved in 1947, would probably cost over $2,000 new?
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Old March 5, 2010, 03:14 PM   #8
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I see a lot of them around ( in every pawn shop, every used gun shop ...) if he really wants one, it would seem to be very easy to find....

Why they won't make any new ones my opinion, its time has come and gone ...there are a lot of new innovative shotguns on the market these days from Benelli and others.
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Old March 6, 2010, 08:22 PM   #9
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I agree with BigJim. There are lots of them around here in lower Michigan. Most gunshops have several. Gunbroker has lots of them. How bad does he want one?? Just go buy it.
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Old March 6, 2010, 08:56 PM   #10
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Cabela's here has at least 3-4 on their used gun rack. They look fairly used but overall in good shape. I've not even looked at one seriously because I really don't know how to tell if a used shotgun is in good shape.
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