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Old 08-29-2009, 05:51 PM
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Default Browning Auto-5 Problem

One of my favorite shotguns, a 1954 vintage Browning Auto-5 12 gauge, has suddenly, right before the start of dove season here in Texas, has developed a failure to cycle. The first shot does not exist completely, leaving the open end sticking out of the breech opening with the brass end still inside.

The gun is very clean, and lightly oiled. It make me believe one of the following may be the problem:

1. The extractors are not grasping the fired shell firmly enough.

2. The second round is not being fed into the breech properly, perhaps because of a weak magazine spring.

3. The light dove loads are not generating enough recoil to cycle the action (never had this problem before!, and gun is properly set up to handle light loads.)

With the dove season opening on Tuesday morning, 1 September, can anyone suggest a quick fix, other than going out and buy a new shotgun?
(Actually, I have several others, but I like this one best for doves.)

Thanks,

RKO
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:02 PM
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Try the application of one of the grease products available now to the tube. Browning used to supply a can of tallow to help in breaking the new gun in. Maybe yours has dried up somewhat in the off season. Felt recoil may be a little more noticeable but it's worth a try. Good luck on your hunt.
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:02 PM
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Has it, by any chance, been disassembled for a complete cleaning since it was last used? I ask because you mention it being very clean.
Are you familiar with how the friction rings work? I am thinking one got reversed when it was cleaned.
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by handejector View Post
Has it, by any chance, been disassembled for a complete cleaning since it was last used? I ask because you mention it being very clean.
Are you familiar with how the friction rings work? I am thinking one got reversed when it was cleaned.

Yes, a quick check of the reassembly of those components may reveal the problem.
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:00 PM
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Keith are you sure your friction rings are set correctly-That sounds like you have them set for heavier loads-or you need to perhaps put a touch of lube on the magazine tube.
Nevermind...I see those have been covered,shoulda read the entire thread first.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:03 PM
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There are 3 springs that can lead to this problem.

The first is the main recoil spring around the magazine, not likely the problem.

The second is the magazine spring. If you have never replaced it, do it now, they are very easy to find.

The third (and most likely culprit) is the main spring (or bolt return spring). This is at the back of the receiver, in a tube going down the buttstock. These take a beating, and tend to break.

My hunting partner has a broken one right now in one of his A5s. Will probably be replacing it for him this week.

BTW MGW is the place to get A5 parts.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:01 PM
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I also like my Auto 5 for dove. Good luck on getting yours fixed and have a successful hunt.

LL Cary
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:08 PM
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I had a similar problem last year. At the end of the barrel extension is the ejector. If the ejector rivet comes loose, which is what happened in mine, the shell will partially eject and the fresh round will come up and jam. Take the barrel out and if the ejector is missing, then you know. In mine the ejector fell down into the gun and rattled around. Also, the suggestion regarding the action spring is good. There is an action spring follower that can break. If it breaks and shifts around, the timing of the gun is then off. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:11 PM
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I have an uncle that used a dry lube on the friction rings on his A5. The same dry moly for locks from ace hardeware. He also used pencil lead he would sharpen the pencil and rube the mag tube with it. Not sure if this is proper but he would not use anything else on it. BTW never seen it jam miss feed or anything else, and he seldom missed.

Right or wrong it worked for him.

The chamber on my 11-87 has to be spotless or it will not extract fired hulls. Ribbed shells work best in it. I may have other problems with it causing this problem. I replaced the o-ring which didn't fix it (helped a little). Maybe shotgun shells are just to cheaply made now days.
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Last edited by 84CJ; 08-29-2009 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:23 PM
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http://www.browning.com/customerserv...ail.asp?id=105
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:09 AM
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If you suspect a bad ejector, the easiest check is try another barrel. You should have no problem finding another A5 owner close by, these are very popular shotguns.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:12 PM
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Default Thanks for all the good advice.

Thanks for all the good advice. I think it must be the magazine spring. I won't be able to find one until Tuesday afternoon, after the first morning's dove shoot. Meanwhile I will plan on using my Citori o/u which is just as effective. I like the Auto-5 because I cut my wisdom teeth on my grandfather's Remington pre-1911 auto, after I graduated from my first shotgun, a H&R 20 gauge single shot, at the age of 14. Buying my first Browning Auto-5, new, when I was 19 was a step to maturity, a real grown-up's gun, comparable to being allowed, to occasionally carrying my dad's Colt 1911AI, or driving his Packard Clipper Delux on a date, but not at the same time.

RKO
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Last edited by RKO; 08-30-2009 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:11 PM
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RKO
You might find this link helpful.

Keep Our Browning A-5 Shotguns Running!

Bill
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:46 PM
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Default Auto-5 Problem Solved!

After meditating on the all the good advice, I took my Auto-5 down one more time, and found all was as it should be. I then used Gun Scrubber to remove all oil and residue from the breech area. Once dry and clean, I sprayed a coat of Gun-X (Corosion-X in a smaller container) inside the breach. Then I found the original barrel, a 26" Belgium made improve cylinder barrel, sprayed it well and then re-assembled the gun.
The next day,yesterday, 1 September, was opening day in Texas,
somewhat akin to the second coming of the late JC. Sure enough, the old Auto-5 worked marvelously well. I downed eleven birds (4 short of the limit.) Towards the end of the day, I happened to see that one of the small vertical screws, the one just under the magazine cut-off lever, was
potruding out 1/4". I screwed it back in with the small screwdriver of my
Victorinex pocket knife, and went on shooting.

I don't know what cured the failure to eject or stove-piping problem, the
second thorough cleaning and lubrication or the original barrel.(Both barrels' ejectors were in place.) It wasn't the loose screw, as I had fired the gun at least 21 times to get the 11 doves. Must be just clean living and the right attitude.

Going this afternoon to bag a few more.

RKO

Thanks to everybody.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:03 PM
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Glad you worked out the problems. I also went out yesterday morning with my new to me 64 Auto 5 in 20 gauge and limited out. I grew up on my Dads A5 in 16 gauge and shoot these guns better than almost any other. Perfect pointers, even for a lefty.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:36 PM
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My Dad has an A-5 too, a Light Twelve non-vent rib that he bought new in 1957. It is still immaculate, with only the face of the gold trigger showing wear. He pheasant hunted in Michigan for years with this gun. I've never shot it and it hasn't been shot in years, but I'm sure it would be as good as ever. Previous poster was right, it DOES point good, and I'm a lefty too. Just one of those guns that will be with me forever.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:43 PM
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rko- your dad had a 1911 and a packard? you are a lucky guy. would love to have a packard clipper like i used to see years ago.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:28 PM
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John Browning was a firearms genius. The A5 design is 100 years old, but it is still one of the best autoloading shotguns ever made.

It points as naturally as does a 1911 (another one of his designs, of course).
The speed feed feature is only found on one other autoloader even today, and once you use it, you can't go back to the two-step loaders.

For those that have never owned or hunted an A5, you owe it to your self to burn a box of shells in one.
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:15 AM
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My dad had a friend who had huge hands. He could hold two shells in his left hand and shuck them into the gun using the speed feature. You'd hear bam-bam-bam - bam - bam. The game wardens checked him constantly. He was consistently legal - if not moral, but he sure kept the game wardens jumping.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:16 PM
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Shot my A-5 for opening day this year. First time in years I had shot the gun. I had forgotten how well I could shoot this thing!!! Scary accurate. I had also forgotten how much it kicks compared to the SBEII or even my fixed breech guns. Still have a bruise on my shoulder after a week. Something about that square backed gun together with that CHA CHANG sound it makes when it cycles
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:18 PM
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Default SOME INDISPENSABLE A-5 TIPS FOR TROUBLE FREE SHOOTING

I know this is an older thread, but the info here will really help A-5 owners never the less. Now I am not an officially licensed GS but I own, have shot thousands & thousands of rounds through my vintage A-5 and have worked on many of these shotguns (many friends of mine own them) as well as having repaired, manufactured parts and rebuilt them to get them back shooting again. Here are a few tips...........

1) The A-5 has a Friction Ring that must be set to the proper shell type being fired - Target or Hunting loads. The instructions are usually on a piece of paper inside the for-end and if they are missing, Google it and you will see how to set them. Now a lot of people make the common mistake of over lubricating these Friction Rings which is one reason they fail to eject and feed in a new round. The Friction Ring MUST HAVE FRICTION for proper operation and using a lube that is too slippery is just as bad as not using lube at all. I have found that STRAIGHT 30 WEIGHT NON DETERGENT Motor Oil is what works perfectly. Lube the outside of the magazine tube, lightly wipe off the excess and you are done. This will let the Friction Ring work the way it is suppose to..... NOT too fast, NOT to slow.

2) Some of the promotional low brass (or aluminum) shells have been cranked out in such numbers and on high speed machinery that the lip or edge that the extractors catch on is not a sharp edge anymore. They are too rounded and a quick test when buying Shells for your A-5 is to use your thumb nail and pull against the edge like an extractor does. If your thumb nail slips off easily then most likely your extractors will also. When shooting the vintage A-5's you must buy better quality Shells that have sharp edges. Now this does not mean you need to spend a lot of money on ammo, just test different brands of shells to find the one that has been made with newer dies and has sharper edges and it will work properly. The premium grade shells I have used are always made to the correct spec's and never has caused any problems. The Winchester AA's are great - for example. Now even though the AA's work great, they are expensive - so I just check to make sure the promo grade shells I use for informal skeet and trap are sharp before buying them. Sometimes the Remington Gun Club Shells are good, sometimes not. The Federal's (in the blue Champion marked box) seem to be consistently good) but the Winchester promo grade Shells are usually not great (silver box). AGAIN, just check with your nail first because the manufacturer's do change production dies from time to time when they are aware that they are worn.

3) If you have the original action and recoil springs on your vintage A-5 call Brownell's and order replacements - they are cheap. They are recommended replacement parts by both Browning and a few of the Browning Service Shops that work on them. I can tell you that not only will you improve function of old & sluggish sprung guns, but your guns will suffer less wear under constant firing and felt recoil might be reduced slightly. While you are at it, replace the wooden spring plug (the older ones were made of wood) to the new plastic type. The wooden ones are usually worn, cracked and saturated with oil.

4) When cleaning your A-5 use a toothbrush and solvent to clean under the extractors - inspect them to make sure they are still sharp and not chipped. replace them if necessary (not too often, but on rare occasion I have had to).

These are the most common reasons that A-5's have failures to eject, feed or work properly. If you address these issues your vintage A-5's should be completely reliable, and a pleasure to shoot. Oh....... don't neglect your magazine tubes. Remove the spring retainer, spring and follower and clean the inside of the tubes. This is one area that a lot of Shotgunner's neglect.

I hope these tips help some of you that have been frustrated with the A-5, but they should resolve the most common feeding and operating issues as I have experienced among my circle of shooting and hunting buddy's.

Regards,

Chief38
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:43 PM
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A fourteen year old boy down the road from me bought a slick 12ga 3" A5 Browning for like $300!!...A really clean nice-looking little used gun.

Wouldn't work worth a hoot though...and he was wanting to hunt some dove.

The kid being fatherless uses us nearby 'fathers' for such issues. Anyhow...another neighbor guy and the boy came over and we cleaned the gun up....had what appeared to be some sort of petrified cosmoline on the mainspring and magtube.

We cleaned and puzzled over the friction ring settings...and google was our friend...we found destructions online for how to install the friction-rings for 2 3/4" shell function.

We could not get the 3" Browning A5 to run light game loads...however it would run really good with stiffer 2 3/4" shells and this got the gun running with shells that didn't cost $30 a box!!

The kid now knows to watch his drams and ounces when buying shells...and where to find destructions to install his friction-rings and care for his super-nice shotgun!

Last edited by Stevie; 11-17-2012 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post
A fourteen year old boy down the road from me bought a slick 12ga 3" A5 Browning for like $300!!...A really clean nice-looking little used gun.

Wouldn't work worth a hoot though...and he was wanting to hunt some dove.

The kid being fatherless uses us nearby 'fathers' for such issues. Anyhow...another neighbor guy and the boy came over and we cleaned the gun up....had what appeared to be some sort of petrified cosmoline on the mainspring and magtube.

We cleaned and puzzled over the friction ring settings...and google was our friend...we found destructions online for how to install the friction-rings for 2 3/4" shell function.

We could not get the 3" Browning A5 to run light game loads...however it would run really good with stiffer 2 3/4" shells and this got the gun running with shells that didn't cost $30 a box!!

The kid now knows to watch his drams and ounces when buying shells...and where to find destructions to install his friction-rings and care for his super-nice shotgun!
The 3" A-5 will not run the light 2 and 3/4 loads. They were meant for 3" and the heavy 2 3/4. Try a little lube on the mag tube though, it might make it slippery enough to cycle the light loads.
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Last edited by CAJUNLAWYER; 11-20-2012 at 01:51 PM. Reason: It's "on" the magazine tube not "in" the tube ;)
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:25 AM
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It would shoot the really light loads...however it was a manually operated gun. As in shoot...rack the bolt to eject and load.

Yeh..we put a bit of John Deere TY6341 grease on the tube...still too stiff for light loads.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:44 PM
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[QUOTE=Stevie;136807393].

...we found destructions online

Occasionally I find them on line too; particulaly in the handloading sections.

Last edited by Cyrano; 11-22-2012 at 12:06 AM.
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