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This was originally my grandfather's hunting shotgun but when he passed away in 1989 it became my fathers. He recently passed as well so I've inherited it. My dad never hunted with it but my grandfather took it out quite often and if it wasn't him hunting with it then one of my dad's younger brothers had it in the field. I've shot it a few times and it's mechanically quite sound. It has a few blemishes on the stock understandably and a bit of the bluing is gone but still an all-around great gun. :)
 

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The A5 Browning recoil design is still made by different manufactures. My youngest son has a Franchi Ultralight 20 gauge about 15 years old a friend gave me, he loves that shotgun, John Moses Browning's designs were so amazing over such a broad spectrum.
 

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The Browning Auto-5 is a classic, but I don't believe I have ever shot any other 12 gauge shotgun that kicked as hard as an Auto-5....

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Very Nice Auto 5! Congratulations on such a nice family heirloom! The Auto 5 will serve you very very well! Take it out, shoot it, and enjoy it!
 

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If a A-5 Browning kicks hard it is one of two things. The recoil springs are not set properly or they are old and have became compressed. The recoil spring can be adjusted for light or heavy loads They cost about $40 dollars to replace and can be done in about 5 minutes.
 

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I have my granfather's A-5 and one I snatched from a pawn shop when I saw it. That design is so timeless that Browning has finally seen the light and is making them again. I don't know for sure if they are exact recreations of if they have changed it, but still, the A-5 will never die.

And I find that any of the inertia based actions and of course any pump or fixed action will recoil far worse. If you want soft recoil then a gas operated auto is for you. If you want drop it in the swamp, pick it up and sling the muck from the bore, and it still works, then the A-5 is for you.
 

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Looks like an original Belgium made A-5 Light 12. They used really nice wood back then and with a little work it really pops. My father left me 3 of them, all in pretty sad shape because they were used so much. I refinished 2 of them to pass on to my boys and gave one to my BIL to pass on to his son. One of them , the light 12 I carried hunting since I was about 13 or 14 years old and have done everything from deer hunting to **** hunting to dove hunting with it. It was the only gun I used up until I joined the Army at 19 and my father gave it to me after I got out of the Army.

A lot of people will tell you that these old Belgium makes are valuable and not to refinish them because they will lose value, but mine were all very worn and the their sentimental value far out strips any monetary value, plus I wanted my sons (and their sons) to use them, not lock them up somewhere.
 

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The Browning Auto-5 is a classic, but I don't believe I have ever shot any other 12 gauge shotgun that kicked as hard as an Auto-5....
...the Benelli inertia driven shotguns are fast and very reliable, but I feel kick worse than the Browning Auto-5.:(
 

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You now own one of the finest shotguns ever made -- and it's a semiauto to boot! I have always wanted one, and it looks like you have received one fine example. And it is even more precious because it's an heirloom.
 
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