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FN is going to say the records no longer exist. Best guess is about 228,000 guns between 1902 and the fall of FN to the Germans in '39.
Factories many times have batches of parts that are out of spec and need another operation and some are in one section of the plant while newer parts gets ahead in line.
I've got a 62xxx 12 gauge with straight grip stock that the Browning Museum thinks is from 1927 or '28 as a special run after John M died. He's pictured with straight grip M93, M97 and A-5s on trap ranges, so must have preferred them. I owned (for a very short time), an original Browning A-5, straight grip, serial #7xx along with a Browning Bros. Ogden, Single shot 45-70. They were on display in a tiny cafe' for decades.

Here is what Browning says on serial numbers from 1 to 228,000 -

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.
 

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The Browning museum has more records than that, but mostly by 'lots' of guns sold to jobbers in the US, but FN had their own distribution network in Europe that took most of the pre-war guns. The name Browning was MUCH more known in Europe than the US. His pistols were famous and his name associated with them pretty much all over the world.
The prototype A-5s are all 12 ga. but 16 was very popular in Europe so was scaled down in some parts for 16 ga. very soon in the production phase.

The weakest part of an A-5 is the fore-end and the first to get damaged or 'wear out'. Excess oil destroys them in short order as does shooting the gun with the mag cap loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
So i took some pictures from some parts. It seam that my barrel is matching the number with all other parts.
Where would I find a caliper marking? The barrel says something about choke and also acier special
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102159
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PXL_20210721_000307328.jpg
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PXL_20210721_000818943.jpg
 

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That IS a very early gun. Note the file marks and 'lumpiness' of the barrel to mag loop transition. Anybody want to try to make an A-5 barrel? They start as a forging.
16.8 16.9 means 16 gauge and .8 to .9mm choke boring. It's FULL for sure....and normal for a European gun.

That friction ring is not worn at all. If that's the original ring to the gun, it means its been shot very little. A worn ring is tapered from the beveled end to the square end and the 'lands' are nearly touching the 'grooves'. Steel wool the mag tube before cleaning and lubing it.
Acier special is the steel maker and means it's not 'laminated', Damascus, or 'twist'. Acier special barrels are found on many high grade English guns.
I'll predict that'll be shooting before long. ;)

I have a 1910-11 Jefferey's catalog that shows a straight grip A-5 at a price of 9 pounds even. Their cheapest 'Farmers's Bar Lock Hammer Gun double was half that. Best quality, side lock ejector doubles were 50 to 55 pounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Did i install the ring the right way?
102162


I took some pics. For me it does not look like something is missing?
102163

102164
 

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Turn the steel part so it covers the gap in the bronze part. It's oriented right. There's a matching taper in the mag ring. I assume there is another, thin, steel ring between the spring and receiver? Turn that bevel down.

Those are snap caps and not feeding dummies but you can make a few by drilling through live ammo and dumping the powder. :eek: The dummy needs the weight of the shot to work the shell stop.
Speaking of shell stops- The picture of the left shell stop shows considerable wear on the corners. That could cause a feeding problem. That stop is operated by the barrel extension. Make sure that's not scarred up and has a little lube.
The ejector looks fine. The left hand extractor looks to be too far away from the bolt, but it could be just picture angle. Is that a broken right extractor or just the end of it?

The one thing you want to avoid at ALL cost is having a finger in the chamber and have the bolt slam shut. I've seen it done and heard the howls and figured I'd pass that on. :) Look at the extractor again and figure out how to get that back OUT!!

Check the 'wear stripes' on the sides of the barrel just ahead of the mag tube cap. It takes a couple hundred rounds to get to shiny metal, depending on how dusty it is. I don't think that gun was shot much.
 

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Okay, some things to try first.

1 - Check out this diagram for how you should set your friction rings.
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2 - The magazine tube should also have a light coat of oil.


3 - Try different ammunition

If that doesn't work, then the next thing to suspect is the chamber. If the gun is made for a 2 9/16", then the ejector will need to be modified to make it work with 2 3/4" shells. You'll need a gunsmith for that...it's not something I recommend you try at home.

OR

It could be something else. Kinda hard to diagnose over the internet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
So guys I'm back. After some research with 2 historical guys they date my gun from 1910-1915. I managed to buy original 16/65 ammo and will try it next week.ill post some pics from the ammo.
 

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Be careful with ammo that old, powder isn't a fixed or unchanging thing.

Cheers
 

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The marking he showed earlier shows the chambers to be 70mm which is 2 3/4 inch.
 

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Checking an A-5 by pulling the bolt back does nothing to show operations. You'll have to make dummies and look at how it actually operates to figure out where the problem is. I still don't know where it gets 'stuck'.
 
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