View Full Version : Browning A-5 Won't cycle second shell when shooting Trap doubles

April 21, 2009, 02:33 PM
Hello : I am new here:
I have an old 1956 browning A-5 Shotgun,regular 12 guage 2.75inchshells that I use to shoot trap. I reload my own shells, and it has worked fine for singles. This last week it was hot (96 degrees) shooting a two rounds of doubles (50) total about the 30th shot. it would not cycle the second shell into the chamber. The second shell gets hung up on the elevator lever with the action "open" . I have to pull back hard on the action lever. depress to release button and slightly move the new shell up into the magizine, in order to free it up.
Here is what I have down prior to this failure :
I have cleaned the shotgun the previous day, I "did not " deep clean the action, I did not remove the bolt, or any thing behind the bolt face. I did liberally spray "breakfee aerosol" up inside the action with the barrel off and had it pointed down, to ensure that any debris flowed out, I brushed out the action area, and sprayed the Magizine tube clean, I sprayed and brushed the elevator lever pivot point. I cycled the action back &forth numerous times. I then lubed it with Outers Gun oil. and reassembled the shotgun.
Parts : I recently replaced the friction ring & friction ring band around it , the main recoil spring, and have lightly lubed it, 2 drops.
Ammo : for the doubles shoot I used the "Winchester Universal load " 7.5 shot load from Walmart, to try and ensure that it cycled. I really don't want to disassemble further. as I have hand problems.. any Ideas, Is it possibly that I need to replace the magizine tube spring? This has happened in the past,
It fires and ejects single just fine. Thanks for any help .

April 21, 2009, 02:37 PM
I'd try a different ammo type. I have an 1100 that won't reliably feed the Federal bulk packs- the second round will hang up on the carrier for some reason. It never happens with Remington or Winchester ammo of any kind.

April 21, 2009, 02:58 PM
neither the 1100 or the a5 are well known for cycling target loads. The 11-87 specifically addresses that proble.

Stouter loads!!!

April 21, 2009, 03:34 PM
neither the 1100 or the a5 are well known for cycling target loads. The 11-87 specifically addresses that proble.

That's just it though. My 1100 would fire any light load- light target, even really light handloads. The Federal bulk is a pretty standard load (not light, AFAIK), it just wouldn't feed reliably.

April 21, 2009, 03:52 PM
Try turning your compression ring around. On the 1100, the ring goes one way for high brass and the other for low.

April 21, 2009, 05:21 PM
Sorry, not true. 1100 rings go in only one way. There is usually a diagram on the mag tube. The large ring goes on first with the flat part facing down. The small one goes on next with the bevel down. Last is the O-ring.

Shot lots of doubles with several 1100's.

1100 ports need to be decoked from time to time to insure good function.The powder residue leaves a hard cake in there best removed with the proper size number drill. Start with a 46 and increase till you hit metal. I use a pin vise and manually turn the drill bit.

Other 1100 failures may involve the action spring in the stock getting sludged up. theis whould be taken apart and the tube and spring cleaned once a year if you shoot it much.

I don't know from A-500's since there are both recoil and gas versions.


Willie Lowman
April 21, 2009, 05:40 PM
The only ammo that my Light-12 (A5) will digest all day without complaint is Remington Premier. The STS light target (green hull) work well but the Super Sporting Clays 27 have more ass (the gold hulled shells).

Jeff Mulliken
April 21, 2009, 06:45 PM
There are a couple of things to consider.....first you just replaced the friction ring so it will have more resistance until it is well broken in. I'd put the old one in the gun when shooting target loads. Those rings almost never wear out and I have A5's over 100 years old with original rings.

Replacing the recoil spring will make it harder to cycle, not easier. Leave the spring alone.

Your solution lies in 2 issues that cost nothing but a few minutes of your time.

Auto-5 chambers are very clingy. They should be cleaned and polished from time to time. Even if it feels clean wrap a bore brush with 0000 steel wool, put it in a drill and spin it in the chamber with some Hoppes #9 on it. Repeat.

The second thing is the action spring tube. Old oil runs down it and turns to gum making the operation of the breech block a lot stiffer. Remove the stock to acccess the tube. Take out the plug and spring and clean everything.
A rifle bore brush is good for cleaning the crud out of the tube. Lightly oil and reassemble.

One more thing, cheap promo loads have steel heads with a brass wash on them, they expand upon firing and dont contract much after firing so they aggravate the chamber issues. High quality target loads tend to feed better in a sticky chamber.

Report back, let us know how things work out.


April 22, 2009, 12:03 PM
Jeff thanks for the input - will let you know- Allan

April 23, 2009, 01:45 AM
some people take to oiling the mag tube to cycle the lighter loads. Me, I just shoot the higher quality ammo and it seems to work fine.

April 23, 2009, 02:59 AM
John I don't know what A-5's you shoot but mine will shoot light loads all day long with no problems.

He doesn't have ejection problems though and that is the only thing that the friction rings do is adjust the ejection and recoil. His problem if I read it right is feeding.

Warmhands, if I understand what your saying your brass head of the shot shell is getting caught underneath the carrier after it goes up to feed the round right? If that is the case you have a worn cartridge stop, it is easy to replace. If you need help on how to do the replace I will walk you though it but you sort of have to have nimble fingers. Don't mess with your friction rings, set them up according to the manual for light loads.

I shoot every A-5 I own, except one, and they all will cycle anything I put in them, from cheap federal to winjunk even the aluminum headed crap, to reloads.

I wouldn't mess with the action spring either as those can be a PITA to get back in. Plus since his shotgun is that old I would bet his spring plug is wood and will more than likely break drving the metal pin out of it. Not to mention lining up the link can get frustrating if you've never taken them apart before.

April 23, 2009, 11:00 AM
For an 1100, target load reliability may be as easy as enlarging the gas vent hole(s) one or two drill sizes. Not as easy with an Auto-5's recoil system. Yet, since the problem seems to be feeding and not cycling the action, the solution may be as close as the aforementioned different shells. And, like chicken soup, a fresh a mag spring can't hurt.