Browning Auto 5 20 Gauge Serial Numbers

I have a Belgian Browning 16 gauge auto that I inherited from my parents. The Serial number is 1048 59 with the 59 stamped in smaller numbers that the 1048. Barrel length is 29' and it is a full choke.

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I posted a couple of pics on here of my Browning A5. Having only a 5 digit serial number I assumed it was much older than it is. The serial number is B138**.

I could not find the significance of the 'B'. Yesterday, at a gun show, there was a booth that had about 10 A5s. I was discussing this number with the booth owner.

It was his opinion that the 'B' designated 12 gauge Remington production for Browning during WWII after Hitler had seized the Belgium facilities where the A5 was manufactured. Indeed, it does not have any of the Belgium markings but does bear the word Browning and a bust of John Browning. So far I have not been able to find a year of production. I have found out a couple of things on different sites. One points to the serial numbers all being in the 200,000s. Another said that these guns were available to 'servicemen only' during the war.

Anybody here have any A5 knowledge?

Quote: Also, does anyone know what the X means in the serial number above? From the link provided, there doesn't seem to be an 'X' code for this year model? You are correct - it was made in 1971.

I think the 'X' means it is a Magnum Twenty - I know 'Z' was the Light Twenty (similar to the 'M' and 'G' for 12 gauges listed on the Browning website above). Edit to add: I shoot the heck out of my 1976 A5 Light Twelve, and I'd LOVE that 20 - you've got a heck of a piece of history there. I originally opened this thread really hoping you were selling. [This message has been edited by Ark03 (edited 2/25/2013 11:49a).].

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Quote: One more question. The gun is marked for a 3' shell but can these guns normally shoot a 2 3/4' or should I stick to the 3? Not sure if it is historically a problem with this one. You can shoot 2-3/4' all day long in it.

Just make sure you visit the website above and ensure the friction ring is in the proper configuration for the load you are shooting. I would treat all high brass, regardless of length, the same with respect to how you set up the friction ring. Same with light/skeet/target loads in both sizes. If you notice there are issues with ejection, swap the configuration and see how it works. I've personally never had an issue with different loads operating or not operating on my 20 gauge, but that gun was built in 1918 or so and has had about a half million rounds pushed through it, so it's well broken in.

My 12 gauge didn't have any issues with some skeet loads, but I had it set up specifically for the lighter recoiling loads. Not sure on the Brownings, but on the Remingtons the barrel choke is stamped near the chamber on the underside of the barrel.

Browning auto 5 20 gauge serial numbers for sale

You need to remove the forearm to find it. Both of mine are full chokes, and reaching out to 60 yards with the 20 gauge isn't unheard of. In fact, a childhood friend of my grandfather downed a goose with it at 90 yards (+/-) - a single pellet hit the elbow in the wing.

Lucky as hell on the shot. I was young and dumb once and fired a slug through it - and my shoulder paid the price. The poster above that mentioned tight chokes is 100% correct.