View Full Version : Need info on Browning Auto 5, please

October 21, 2001, 08:28 PM
I just inherited a Browning Auto-5(at least I think that's what it is)and would like to know when it was made, rarity, etc.

On the left side of the barrel, just above the forearm is engraved "ACIER SPECIAL", then a whole bunch of proof marks, I guess. I know it's a 12 ga, and I think the "12 C" inside a diamond indicates that.

How much of the serial number would someone need to do the research? I'm not sure I want to post the whole sn on a public forum. I'll give out this much: 10XXX Hope it's enough for a start.

It also has a Poly choke (adjustable choke setup) attached to the muzzle. It's marked "THE POLY CHOKE CO. HARTFORD CONN.-PATENTED" I guess it's the forerunner to removable choke tubes.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!

James K
October 24, 2001, 04:43 PM
I am not sure what you want. The gun is Belgian made and should have the "E/L/G" proof as well as the "tower" proof. "Acier Special" simply means "special steel", whatever that is. The gauge is 12, the "C" merely means "chamber". The serial number would indicate early production, but I don't have the Browning book, so perhaps someone can help there.

The Poly choke was after market, put on in the U.S.

The question on those older guns is chamber length. Many were made for the 2 9/16 shell and will not work with the 2 3/4 inch shell. You can either try the longer shell or look for a mark on the barrel something like 70 over 20.6. If it says 70, it is 2 3/4 inch; if it says 65, it is 2 9/16. Trouble is that that mark was not always used. 2 9/16 shells are not easily found; 2 3/4 is the standard length today.

If the gun is in good condition and shells of the right size are available, I see no reason it cannot be fired. Just make sure that the friction ring setting is correct for the shells. I suggest that unless you are familiar with those guns you contact a gunsmith to check out the gun and advise you.


October 26, 2001, 11:13 PM
I just looked, the barrel is marked with a 65 over
20.6, So I guess I have a 2 9/16" chamber- but I know my Dad always shot 2 3/4" shells in it. And he still has all his fingers.

Maybe my Grandfather (who had the gun before him) had it modified for 2 3/4"? Unfortunately, I can't ask him, and Dad never mentioned anything.

I will see if there is anyone locally who knows the Auto-5 well. I might even try to find a new barrel assembly that I know is 2 3/4".

A 2 3/4" shell will chamber, but does that necessarily mean it will shoot right?

Thanks for the help so far, it is much appreciated.

James K
October 27, 2001, 11:02 PM
Maybe it was modified, but the barrel is not the only change, as the 2 9/16 carrier will not work with the 2 3/4 shell and the gun will jam. Anyway, a good gunsmith should be able to check it out and do a chamber measurement.

The chamber can be reamed if necessary, but I think a carrier would have to be ordered. The gunsmith can check feeding with dummy shells without firing it, and see if things are OK. If they are, you have a nice old gun.


October 28, 2001, 12:47 AM
Looks like that five digit ser # puts in year 1925. If you left out a digit an it really has six.....year would be 1931. Got that from Fjestad 22