View Full Version : Old Browning 12 gauge Shotgun

November 27, 2004, 01:46 PM
My father collects shotguns and I don't know very much about them, but I am buying one for him for Christmas and I want to make sure I am not paying too much. Also, he is very educated in shotguns so I want to make sure this is a nice one. I would appreciate anything you can tell me about this shotgun.

It is wood, probably Walnut, 12 gauge Browning semi-automatic and according to the seller it was made before 1939 in Belgium. The barrel and chamber have what looks like hand engraving in goldish inlay. On the chamber 20 weight is engraved (no idea what that means?). On the end of the gun there is a brass engraved plate that says "Double automatic" and "Browning"and an engraving of a man (probably Browning?). The numbers I have found on it are OKg 727WN+ (on barrel) and a23 - 416.

This is all the identifying information I can think of...The seller is requesting $600 for it and it has been used and does not have its original case or manual. I have tried to research this shotgun, but I can't find any solid information as I am not familiar with gun vocabulary.

Please help me out. I would really appreciaite any advice or information.

Jim Watson
November 27, 2004, 02:26 PM
This is marked as a Browning Double Automatic, a nice shotgun designed by Val Browning, John M.'s son, but there are some things you ought to know.

(Does it look generally like the picture in this ad?)
If so, read on, if not, get back to me.

"Twentyweight" means that it is a 12 gauge shotgun as light as a 20 gauge. (There is also a Twelvette that is lighter than the average Browning A5 12 gauge and a standard model Double Automatic.) The cryptic alphanumeric markings are serial number and proof marks.

The seller is wrong or lying about the age of the gun. The model came out in the early 1950s; the Blue Book says 1952, the Browning website says 1955. They were made until 1971 and discontinued because of slow sales, only 67,000 of all versions in 19 years. The usual Browning A5 sold 2,750,000 over 80 years.

Why slow sales? Because "Double Automatic" means that it is an autoloading shotgun that holds only two shells. Starting with the gun empty and the bolt back, press a shell into the port on the LEFT side of the receiver. It will be fed up into the chamber and the bolt will close on it. Press another shell into the port and the gun is as loaded as it gets, there is no tubular magazine as other auto shotguns have. They advertised it as "The gun that is never empty." because it is easy to keep shells in your left pocket and feed one or two in at any time. But it still didn't sell well.

A brass plate with the model name and a portrait of one of the Brownings (On the "end of the gun"? Which end, the butt?) and engraving on the barrel indicate this one is embellished more than average. $600 is in the usual range of prices for Twentyweight Double Autos. If additional engraving was done at the factory it is a low price. If it was done aftermarket, the value depends entirely on the quality of the work and how much you and Dad like it.

Pictures would help a LOT.