View Full Version : Browning Light 20 A-5 -- keep or sell?

February 2, 2011, 09:33 PM

I have a shotgun, new in box, that I inherited from my dad when he passed away several years ago. Dad got it as a gift from my grandfather. It's been in storage at my mother's place, until she moved recently. I'm trying to decide now whether to keep this gun or sell it, and I could use the help of more experienced folks in the shotgun realm.

A few things about me. I'm a competent pistol shooter and own several. Don't shoot as often as I'd like. I've taken an NRA shotgun course and had a great time shooting clays with a 12ga during the class. Didn't hit much, but that just makes me want to go back! :-)

The class was several years ago, and I honestly don't remember at this point whether we shot skeet or trap (I think trap -- I know the range offers both), and I don't even remember if the shotgun the instructor brought for the class was over/under, pump or semi-auto. I think we probably shot several of different types.

Unlike my grandfather, who was an avid bird hunter, I don't hunt and I don't plan to start. So the only use for this gun would be recreational shooting with either skeet or trap. Given my limited experience, I have no idea whether I prefer skeet, trap or both.

On to the gun. As mentioned, it's new in box. Never fired. So far as I know, never even assembled. It's a Browning Light 20 A-5. It has a 28" barrel with modified choke. The serial number is 70Z54322. It has the flat bottom on the pistol grip (not the rounded).

From the research I've been able to do, it seems like these are pretty desirable guns, especially in pristine condition, so I'm sure I could sell it for a nice price (more if it had the round bottom). I have one party interested already, in fact, although we haven't discussed price at this stage.

Given the family history with the gun, it'd be nice to keep it. But, if I'm never going to shoot it, that's a waste, and I'd rather that it went to somebody who would enjoy it.

My question, then, boils down to this: is this gun suitable for skeet and/or trap shooting? Is it something that is likely to be fun, or frustrating? Would I be better off selling this gun and buying something different?

I realize this is a broad question, and even a gun that's well-suited for the sport generally may be a poor fit for me personally (I'm 6'1", 230 for what that's worth), so this question likely doesn't have a definite answer.

I'm mostly interested in avoiding making a mistake like taking this gun out, assembling and shooting it (thereby lowering its value), and discovering that it was never going to work no matter what and I would have been better off selling it for as much as possible and using the proceeds to get something that was a better fit.

If it turns out that selling it is the way to go, can you shed a little light on appropriate value? I looked it up in a blue book, so I have an idea, but I'm interested in real world experience.

Thanks in advance for any input!

February 2, 2011, 09:41 PM
A Modified choke is a little tight for skeet and about right for trap. However, a lightweight gun in any gauge will beat you up after a few rounds of either game.

Family history notwithstanding, if you are not an avid hunter, you would be better served selling it and getting something else that you would enjoy using more - whether that is a pistol, rifle, shotgun, or a few cases of beer......:D

NIB, look on places like Gun Broker, or go to your library and get the Blue Book and see what the current value is as an average, realizing that true value will be determined where you live

February 2, 2011, 10:00 PM
Just a thought but is there a family member that might value this heirloom more? A son, brother or uncle? You might pass it to a family member that will bird hunt at some time keeping it in the family.

February 2, 2011, 10:51 PM
Please do keep it! Not many like the old A-5 and im smaller than you (5'11 and 150lbs) and love my light twelve. I now its not the best skeet gun but in the condition it sounds it could be worth some money and something to pass down to the kids. Send pics if you can. Take a look http://www.browning.com/customerservice/dategun/detail.asp?id=13 it might help a bit.

February 3, 2011, 12:04 AM
Thanks, all. There's really no other family member to pass the gun to, so it's basically either mine or something that I'll sell. Interesting point about the lighter gun being harder on the shooter -- of course that makes sense but it didn't even occur to me.

That Browning web page is a puzzler. The serial number on this gun doesn't conform to any of the schemes they show there. :confused:

Sounds like I should probably spend some time looking at the blue book again and then get back with my interested buyer.

February 3, 2011, 05:58 AM
I believe your gun was made in 1970.

February 3, 2011, 08:17 AM
Indeed the gun was made in 1970 and is a light 20 gauge as you have said.

Please do not sell the gun. you have family hstory in it. There may be a son/daughter that may want the gun. It doesn't eat so enjoy it for what it is, the money's you will get from it will soon be gone and you will have nothing but fading memories.

February 3, 2011, 02:26 PM
Check your serial number here:


February 3, 2011, 06:45 PM
Please do not sell the gun. you have family hstory in it. There may be a son/daughter that may want the gun. It doesn't eat so enjoy it for what it is, the money's you will get from it will soon be gone and you will have nothing but fading memories. +1