View Full Version : Browning Auto 5 16 gauge

January 18, 2011, 06:28 PM
Hello folks, I was searching the forums, but I really didn't see an answer, so I thought I'd post a thread.

My father gave me a Browning 16 gauge Auto 5 shotgun for Christmas, and he doesn't know the exact age or worth of it, so I've been trying to figure it out for myself, without much luck. I know he told me it was HIS grandfathers, so it's a pretty old gun.

It's got the FN stamp on the bottom, the barrel and the stock serial numbers match, and it's got decorative engraving on the metal parts of the stock. The barrel also has engraving on it.

The barrel has engraving on it that says "Browning Arms Company St Louis MO" at the top, and it also has that same mark on the top of the stock. The number 229 is repeated several times on several places on the gun. The screw heads have 229 on it, it's on the barrel in places, etc. There are also leaf engravings in different places as well, and decorative scrolling/leaves on the trigger guard.

I almost forgot. The serial number on both gun and barrel is 111229.

I do have pictures, but I'm not sure exactly how to upload them to the forum.

January 18, 2011, 06:42 PM
AFAIK, the 16ga's DOM is 1939, and it's value would very much depend upon a few features (like barrel rib Y/N, etc) and it's condition - best expressed as the remaining % of original factory finish remaining on metal & wood.


January 18, 2011, 06:47 PM
From the information I have at hand the 16 gauge Browning A5 was made in 1938.
That year serial numbers ranged 111001 to 118200. The 16 gauge is a very nice shotgun, should handle well.

If you go to www.midwestgunworks.com you can find the factory service manual.
In the manual you will find out how to service the gun. Please note the A5 needs regular maintence and should be taken down for cleaning every 10-15 years.

With that being done the gun should serve your greatgrand kids very well.

To say the least Browning A5's are made very well.

January 19, 2011, 10:28 PM
above the woodline, will be a oval with numbers "16-65" or "16-75".

This indicates the chamber length of: "65mm = 2-9/16inch or 75mm = 2-3/4inch"

from the SN range it may have the 2-9/16 chamber. May need to use 2-1/2" shells that cabelas sell. $$$

The 229 match all parts to the same firearm.

January 19, 2011, 11:39 PM
Browning Arms, St. Louis, Mo. ? In 1938?????

I thought A-5's were manufactured and sold in Europe by Fabrique Nationale in Leige, Belgium, under license from John M. Browning, the patent holder, until the Germans took over Belgium in WWII. That war began in September 1939.

I thought after the Germans took over Belgium in WWII, Remington, the US company which was licensed to manufacture and market the Browning patent shotgun in the US, (which was known as the Remington Model 11 Autoloader) was also licensed by FN to build and sell A-5's for them at a plant Remington set up for this purpose in St. Louis, Mo. I was under the impression that Remington made A-5's for FN in that St. Louis plant from 1940 through the end of WWII, and possibly as late as 1953.

I know that Fabrique Nationale owns a company called the Browning Arms Company. I'm not sure where (or if) it fits into the whole FN, Remington, A-5 equation (or how). Can someone explain how all this worked.

January 20, 2011, 07:37 AM
The serial number range for 1938 is 111001 to 118200, that equals 7,199 guns made during that year. Or about 600 guns per month, the serial number indicates the gun was manufactured in Jan. of 1938 before the Germans took over.

Germany invaded Belgium on May 10,1940. The serial number range stops during the years 1941 to 1943, Years 1944 and 1945 production was only for service men.

January 20, 2011, 11:21 AM
Jaguarxk120, if I correctly understand what you're saying, it sounds like A-5's were actually being manufactured by Remington in St. Louis Mo., and not by FN in Leige, Belgium in 1938, a full year and a half before WWII began. Can that be true?

Do you know if the serial numbers you're quoting are inclusive for all guages of A-5, or do different guage A-5's have different serial numbers?

January 20, 2011, 06:44 PM
Yes, different gauges used different serial numbers. They're looking at the correct list.

For a couple of years at the beginning of WWII Remington made their Model 11 with Browning marked on it. For a couple of years after the war, Remington made the A-5 for Browning until FN could get up and running again.

Browning opened a distribution and sales center in St. Louis in 1930. That's where the address comes from.

He said "It's got the FN stamp on the bottom"

January 21, 2011, 09:33 AM
Thanks johnbt,

I'm a little thick, but I think I finally understand it, thanks to your assistance.

A-5's were manufactured by FN in Belgium until about 1940, and again after the war, but after 1930 they were apparently always marketed in the US as "Browning A-5's" by an American sales and marketing arm of FN called the Browning Corp. which was headquartered in St. Louis, Mo.

Now it makes sense to me why Remington, during the period when they were making "Browning" A-5 's for FN, manufufactured them in St. Louis, Mo. instead of Ilion, NY.

January 22, 2011, 08:39 AM
It's like a trick question and it confuses most people the first time... 3 companies, a war, two countries, two or three states, two different guns, see I'm getting confused again.

Here's another trick question to fool your friends. How many Grammys did Elvis win? A hundred you say? Only three and they were for gospel. (He'd had his hits and was in the army by the time they invented the Grammys and then he went Hollywood.)

January 24, 2011, 07:47 AM
charlie, look on the left hand side of the barrel right next to the chamber. you should see a "star" looking mark. that tells you what choke the gun is. one is full, two is modified or improved modified, someone here can correct me on that. 3 i think is either modified or skeet?

January 24, 2011, 08:22 AM
Some good info can be gleaned from these folks:

The Browning marks: