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Old 09-25-2008, 12:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Belgian Browning

So my dad up and asks me to keep some of the "family" guns in my safe. Among them is a nice old 16 ga. Browning that belonged to his father. It's an A-5, I guess. Says that it's made in Belgium on the barrel. Having a real hard time determining when it was manufactured. The Browning site doesn't offer much clear information. No serial number on the side of the receiver, just a two character code ("1R"), followed by a five digit number on the bottom, forward portion of the receiver.

I'll see if I can get a pic up. Little help identifying exactly what this is?
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's a pic from the barrel near the receiver.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've used the Browning site to look up serial numbers on A-5's before.

I guess you checked here:
http://www.browning.com/customerserv...tail.asp?id=13

No serial number indicates that is was prior to 1939.
I have also seen books on the auto 5 if you want more detail.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverZuk View Post
I've used the Browning site to look up serial numbers on A-5's before.

I guess you checked here:
http://www.browning.com/customerserv...tail.asp?id=13

No serial number indicates that is was prior to 1939.
I have also seen books on the auto 5 if you want more detail.
I believe that the number on there is a serial number. What confused me about the Browning site is that most of those numbers are six digits. I just don't think this is a pre-war gun. It's in really great shape. Dad says he thinks it was bought in the mid-50's.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The serial is on the bottom right behind where the shells are loaded
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's what I was figuring.

It Looks like this:

1R
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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oops.
I missed where you said that.

The the knob on the stock round or square?
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My dad still has my great grandfathers "Sweet 16", they are great guns

FYI, they won't eject the modern 2 3/4" shells, the old shells used a center cap instead of a crimp. We ended up drilling a 1/2" hole in the end of the shells and dripping in some wax to hold the shot, that was just enough off the crimp to get them to eject. It's better than cutting the chamber longer as some have had done.

Last edited by Norm; 12-26-2008 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Looks like a 1961 gun.The barrel should read St louis, Missouri and Montreal P.Q.. The barrel pic is the proof stamps
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Looks like a 1961 gun.The barrel should read St louis, Missouri and Montreal P.Q.. The barrel pic is the proof stamps
Thanks.
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I am just curious, what would you use a 16 gauge for? I have one of those sweet sixteen's myself...
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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My dad still has my great grandfathers "Sweet 16", they are great guns

FYI, they won't eject the modern 2 2/3" shells, the old shells used a center cap instead of a crimp. We ended up drilling a 1/2" hole in the end of the shells and dripping in some wax to hold the shot, that was just enough off the crimp to get them to eject. It's better than cutting the chamber longer as some have had done.
My dad has one as well. I'd be interested in buying another one if anyone has one for sale
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I am just curious, what would you use a 16 gauge for? I have one of those sweet sixteen's myself...
Shooting stuff

what do you think?
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Bringing up an old thread but those are some sweet guns. My dad got a 1952 model Sweet 16 Belgium made from Granddad. He bought it new for like $150 bucks or something like that. I had no problems shooting the 'new' shells from it. My Granddad made us promise to not put it up but keep on shooting it. I have used it to duck hunt (with lead.....woops), squirrel and shoot skeet. I have to say that is the best shooting shotgun I have EVER shot and it fits like a glove. I wish I could find the belgium 12 and 20 to go with it. I hear that the 'set' is worth a pretty good chunk of change.
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am just curious, what would you use a 16 gauge for? I have one of those sweet sixteen's myself...
IMO the 16 ga is the perfect bore.
12 ga is way too big for about any small game.
Too much shot = too much meat damage.

The 20 ga is a touch light sometimes. I hunted with a 20 ga from age 11 or 12 until age 27. There is nothing you can't hunt with it, that you can with a 12.

The 16 ga is slightly smaller than a 12, and carries a little more shot than the 20. The recoil is about the same as a 20.
I prefer a 16 ga over all other bores for those reasons.
The downside is shell availability. I order shells 10 boxes at a time to get the loads I like for a reasonable price. The shipping divided over 10 boxes is cheaper than me driving 20 miles to town, and have a poor selection when I get there.
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Old 12-26-2008, 06:22 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I've got an 60's model 12 guage. It was my grandfather's, then my dad's, then mine. Hopefully I will be able to pass it on down the line at some point. I would love to find a 16 and 20 at a reasonable price someday. I've killed pheasants, grouse, woodchuck, and deer with my 12. Plus probably 2000 clay pigeons. Its a sweet shooting gun.
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:44 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I am just curious, what would you use a 16 gauge for? I have one of those sweet sixteen's myself...
I love the 16 ga, though I sadly do not have one.

I shot a 16 ga Remington 870 Wingmaster when I was a kid, shooting clay pigeons in the field. It belonged to a friend of the family and man did I fall in love with that thing.

I like them for all the reasons SilverZuk listed, plus they're different. I dig my 20ga because my wife gave it to me for Christmas one year not long after we were married. It's purdy as hell and fun to shoot. But it's no 16ga.
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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We have 2 belgium light 12's. One short barrel, an one longer barrell with a polychoke, complete with round knob stock. It was fired baybe 50 times before we got it. It was oiled up and then never shot for 20 some odd years. I had to pull all the wood and brake clean it to holy hell, becuase the oil turned to sludge and it would ftf, and fte every shot.
After cleaning it up, it looks factory fresh, and shoots great.
I still prefer the short barrel newer model though, for handling purposes...

I have thought about buying a beater A5, SBS'ing it, welding on some rockstomper rail, and slapping on a holosight, for bed duty.
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Bringing up an old thread but those are some sweet guns. My dad got a 1952 model Sweet 16 Belgium made from Granddad. He bought it new for like $150 bucks or something like that. I had no problems shooting the 'new' shells from it. My Granddad made us promise to not put it up but keep on shooting it. I have used it to duck hunt (with lead.....woops), squirrel and shoot skeet. I have to say that is the best shooting shotgun I have EVER shot and it fits like a glove. I wish I could find the belgium 12 and 20 to go with it. I hear that the 'set' is worth a pretty good chunk of change.

FYI, a lot of them had the ejection ports milled out about 1/8 or 1/4 inch so they would eject the newer longer shells. It's a close fit, the newer 2 3/4" shells are about 1/8 inch too long to eject properly in the early actions.
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have a sweet 16, never shot it though. Have no interest in selling it either. The whole 16 gauge platform gets a great big "meh" from me. 12 gauge can be loaded down to do anything a 16 can cheaper, with a shotgun you are probably already familiar with and is still capable of doing things the 16 isnt. There's a reason it is considered antiquated.
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