Browning A5 Questions
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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I just came into an old Browning A-5 shotgun. By the serial numbers (279947), I think it was made in 1949. Stamped "Made in Belgium", and "Special Steel" 12 gauge, 2 3/4". The barrel is about 28.5 inches past the receiver. How do I know if it's a straight cylinder, or if it's choked? It doesn't have any thread at the end of the barrel. And I couldn't find any of the notches mentioned in an on line manual. My big question is whether this is a good gun, and safe, for shooting slugs. I'm only interested in pig hunting, and slugs are required many places around here. I'm new to shotguns. It's a beautiful gun-- engraved all over the place. Thanks for any help.

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Old 12-04-2010, 07:22 PM   #2
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You can shoot Forster or rifled slugs thru any choke. They are made to shoot thru a choke from back in the days when most guns were full choked. It is a good gun, no doubt, but i hope you like the feel of a long recoil semi-auto better than I did. I am sure it has some choke in it; probably modified or full at that barrel length. Look for 3 or 4 asterisks on the barrel.

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:46 PM   #3
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You can use a choke gauge- or just go shoot it, and see what pattern you get. And yes, standard rifled slugs should work just fine. Slugs are slightly undersized, and the raised riges of soft lead and the hollow skirt will swage down if needed.

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:57 PM   #4
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Virginian and C3: Thank you for the replies. I'm really glad to hear I can shoot slugs through it. I'm more inclined to keep the gun if I can shoot slugs with it. And I looked for the asterisks. To the left of the 12 guage denomination on the barrel, there's a single asterisk. Do either of you know what that denotes? And there's definitely some more writing on the barrel, but mostly covered by the wood. I don't want to take it apart till I see a manual, then I'll find out what it says But if you know about the asterisk, I'm curious. Thank you.

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Old 12-05-2010, 03:48 AM   #5
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no you cannot shoot slugs out of that gun its to old the choke is to tight the belgem steel is no good it will blow up in your face but i have a mossburg 500 slug gun i can trade you even up

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Old 12-05-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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Tony- sarcasm posts should use GREEN ITALICS so you don't confuse the poster. I of course, would be willing to dispose of that "furrin shotgun" for him. Must be one of them cheep imported guns they warned us about.

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Old 12-08-2010, 12:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxwell1 View Post
Virginian and C3: Thank you for the replies. I'm really glad to hear I can shoot slugs through it. I'm more inclined to keep the gun if I can shoot slugs with it. And I looked for the asterisks. To the left of the 12 guage denomination on the barrel, there's a single asterisk. Do either of you know what that denotes? And there's definitely some more writing on the barrel, but mostly covered by the wood. I don't want to take it apart till I see a manual, then I'll find out what it says But if you know about the asterisk, I'm curious. Thank you.
The single asterisk * denotes a full choke.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:18 PM   #8
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Thanks to C3, Virginian and YJGuy for helping on this gun. The consensus is that it's a full choke. It's also got some inscriptions on the metal part connected to the cocking device (excuse my ignorance here). From the left, there's (1) a square with a post coming up; 2) initials P.V; 3) a diagram that looks like a squirrel; 4) initial "K"; 5) a single asterisk; and 6) the last 3 digits of the serial number. If anybody has any ideas on what this denotes, I'd be grateful. Thank you again everybody.

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Old 12-08-2010, 11:12 PM   #9
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Thanks to C3, Virginian and YJGuy for helping on this gun. The consensus is that it's a full choke. It's also got some inscriptions on the metal part connected to the cocking device (excuse my ignorance here). From the left, there's (1) a square with a post coming up; 2) initials P.V; 3) a diagram that looks like a squirrel; 4) initial "K"; 5) a single asterisk; and 6) the last 3 digits of the serial number. If anybody has any ideas on what this denotes, I'd be grateful. Thank you again everybody.
Those additional markings are proof marks that were added when the barrel was test fired with a hotter than normal load. Browning also added the serial number or part of it to the barrels up into the 1960's. They took the extra time back then to make sure all parts were hand fitted. I would bet you have a lot of serial numbered parts on that gun. Not something they do anymore.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:20 PM   #10
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Hey everybody-- thanks for all the replies. I took the information and called the gun history guy at Browning. He said some interesting things. He confirmed that all the odd stamped figures were the marks of individuals doing testing, but don't denote anything, except for the single asterisk. He said I can technically shoot slugs out of it, but he didn't recommend it because the full choke would probably deform or knock a slug around so that it wouldn't be accurate. That was the main reason I bought the gun, so I'm going to sell it and probably get a slug gun. If anybody's interested in buying it, give me a shout. Thanks again for help.

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