View Full Version : Browning A5 identification HELP

April 13, 2011, 08:22 AM
I would greatly appreciate any help. I'm trying to determine the year or era of this A5 for a friend of mine. The serial number as told to me appears as this "x26032". A picture below shows the earlier style safety. Is this pre WWII?

Many thanks, God bless.

April 13, 2011, 08:37 AM
The front safety was last used in 1952 I believe.

The X in the serial number is throwing me off though. Is it a 16 ga.?

April 13, 2011, 09:11 AM
yes John it's a 16ga

April 13, 2011, 12:25 PM
The gun was made in 1949.

The serial number range for that year was X23502 to X34600.

April 13, 2011, 12:34 PM
This is the link to Brownings website on the Auto 5's ...for serial numbers...

Date Historic Information Serial Number Info
1903-1939 First 10,000 shipped to U.S. Marked with "BROWNING AUTOMATIC ARMS CO. OGDEN UTAH-U.S.A." Very few serial number records remain. Beginning with Serial Number 1 to approximately 228,000. Exact production figures are not available. Year of manufacture on Pre-World War II production is strictly a guess.

1940-1946 From 1940 to 1946 production of the Auto-5 was turned over to Remington. Serial number is on the side of receiver. "ABC" for American made Version. (A=16 gauge, B-12 gauge, C=20 gauge) 1946+229,000-237,000

1947 237001-249000
1948 249001-270000
1949 270001-285000
1950 285001-315000
1951 315001-346000
1952 F.N. took over production of the Auto-5. 346001-387000

Note: ( and the list goes on / I only copied a portion of it here ...)

looks like it indicates the age is between 1903 - 1939 with nothing more definite. I don't know anything about the X either ...but it would be an A, B, or C if was a gun made after 1946 but those serial numbers start at 229000 which is much higher than your 26,032 ....

Will Beararms
April 13, 2011, 01:08 PM
Ah...the old "Suicide Safety" A5's----gotta love em-----Boom-kla-chink-Boom-kla-chink-Boomkla-chink!

I have a 1957 model 16 A-5 that has NEVER hung up. It has been in our family since it left the store.

I am convinced if Browning would bring it back in a 3" duck gun version, they would not be able to keep up with the orders.

No semi-auto duck gun made today at any price can touch it in terms of reliability.

April 13, 2011, 02:28 PM
The "X" prefix was used on 16 gauge guns for the years 1947 thru 1953.

April 13, 2011, 02:47 PM
I'm not saying you're incorrect / but where are you getting the reference from ? Why doesn't the serial number fall in the same range - as the years indicated on Browning's site ...

April 13, 2011, 03:43 PM
Jim the info I have is a section from the Blue book of Firearms. It was on the web and I down loaded it, it is just the serial number section.

April 13, 2011, 03:48 PM
Interesting that its different than what Browning says ....now I'm just more confused ...which is pretty normal ...:D

April 14, 2011, 08:56 AM
Confused? Me too, but I vaguely remembered something about the X.

See, now I know I must have seen it while reading the Blue Book. I know people who read cookbooks for fun, but I read the Blue Book.

April 20, 2011, 11:28 AM
Love that A5 front safety.