Shotgun-Browning Light 12 Automatic
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  1. #1
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    haysmclean's Avatar
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    Shotgun-Browning Light 12 Automatic

    Shot my uncle's Browning 12 gauge today for the first time (at least since I was a teenager hunting with him, don't know if I shot it then). The shotgun is almost as old as I am, I think it was made in the latter 1950s. I inherited it when he died almost 20 years ago, and, yes, this is the first time I have shot it. I went out with some shotgun shooters shooting at targets with an instructor this morning.

    Anyone know about this gun? I'd like to know enough to be able to disassemble it and clean/inspect the insides. But, it's not like taking a Glock apart with all of the screws on the shotgun, etc.

    I shot a few times, loaded the magazine with 5 shells and shot them about as fast as I pulled the trigger. I believe (I'm pretty sure) it's a spring activated recoil/eject/feed system and not any gas involved. But, at some point, it jammed with loaded rounds in it. Shell apparently double fed. Anyway, a shell got caught up under the mechanism and didn't feed properly into the chamber. I couldn't eject the shell or get it to go into the chamber, so had to stop using it and finished the rest of the course using the instructor's Mossberg 500 ( nice gun!).

    I took the shotgun immediately to the gunsmith, who got right on it because he didn't like having a live round sitting around. So, I've got it back now. Gunsmith (after extracting the round) just talked like it was a fluke and tested it, didn't think there was anything wrong that needed fixing. The shell was mangled having gotten caught up in the moving parts, and we disposed of it. Being a novice to the gun, I was messing with things that could have caused something to get out of whack, I don't know.

    Anyway, it's a fun gun to shoot, seems like the trigger pull is very light which surprised me (and made me extra careful with it). It shoots rounds as fast as I can pull the trigger it seems. I'd like to be able to open it up and look on the inside, but I'm reluctant to get into something over my head without anyone with experience looking on.

    Anyone familiar with this gun, what do you think?

  2. #2
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    haysmclean's Avatar
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    One more thought: The gunsmith called it an A-5, though I've never seen that on the gun. It will hold 5 in the tube and one in the chamber, I believe.

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    There's a forum called "shotgun world"... Do a search and on there you'll find plenty of information specific to your A5 lightweight... Nice shottie by the way.
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    Here are a couple of links you will need.
    http://media.browning.com/pdf/om/auto5_light_om_s.pdf

    http://www.shotgunworld.com/images/B...ISASSEMBLY.pdf

    I don't own a light 12, but I do own a matching set of Belgian made sweet sixteens. One belonged to my grandfather, the other to my dad.
    They both were old-school shooters - more accustomed to pumps and singles shots. The way they cleaned their shotguns was to spray them full of WD-40, then wipe them down with a dirty shop cloth. Both of them eventually came to me with the same problem.
    "The first round shoots fine, but then the second round won't load."
    So I disassembled the shotgun and gave it a good cleaning. Good as new!
    Get aquainted with a nice Browning Auto five and you will never want to shoot any other shotgun. Best bird and rabbit guns ever made!
    -Blue

    Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

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    Have an A-5 and absolutely love it. As a gunsmith I will say that it's not a difficult firearm but you MUST take your time and watch the springs. Unless you feel that it is "gummy" or "gritty" for some reason then I would advise against trying to disassemble until you have had the opportunity to become well versed first or allow a qualified gunsmith to show you how. Some will not want to show you because they act like they are giving away "trade secrets" and that is a bunch of hooey. Find one that will take the time to instruct you properly because he knows by doing so will gain a customer for life. The Browning A-5 is a wonderful firearm with an extremely long history. In fact Browning has decided to start making them again because of so many requests.
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  7. #6
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    Thanks for all of the responses. Some good stuff in the online owner's manual and disassembly instructions.

    I started taking the A-5 apart last night: took the barrel off, opened the magazine, pulled the recoil spring, and friction rings. I have the PDF on disassembling it and noticed that the friction rings were placed for light load bird shot (which is appropriate because my uncle was an avid bird hunter). I guess when the rings are both in front of the spring, it makes less recoil for heavy loads, but it may be not enough recoil for light loads to eject and feed, so for bird shot you place the ring behind the spring (next to receiver) in order to get more recoil for cycling? I placed the rings in front (muzzle side) of the spring ... don't know what light loads will do with that.

    I disassembled the receiver up through taking the stock off and taking the trigger group out. Cleaned lots of probably 50 year old black gunk out. Didn't take out the upper receiver but cleaned what I could see with q-tips and rags. In the trigger group, I tried punching the pin out at the base of the hammer but couldn't get it to budge. I don't know if I needed to hit it harder with my hammer or what, but it was not coming. I'm a bit afraid that rust may be setting in in some of these small parts which is why I wanted to look at them. There is a little rust that I saw and tried to clean it off with solvent and elbow grease.

    Anyway, it's back together now, a little cleaner, and functioning testing ok with snap caps.

  8. #7
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    You could try soaking the entire trigger assembly overnight in some Gunscrubber, Ballistol or Hoppes #9. Then blow it dry with compressed air and try again. If there is old oil even in there, that oil can turn to a varnish like consistency and a mild solvent will break it down so you can dis-assemble and not screw anything up.
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