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Browning Auto-5 Shotguns

The Belgian FN Production

Browning Auto 5 shotguns edition.jpg
Browning Auto 5 Shotguns The Belgian FN Production book Vanderlinden Shirley

Update on June 18, 2024:

This second edition is now sold out, but not to worry.  We are working on an expanded all-color third edition with the goal to have it available by Christmas 2024.  Please send us a message and we will notify you of the release including any specials or special editions.

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The Browning Auto-5 Shotguns is the first book ever to cover the history, model variations, accessories and production dates of the legendary Browning Auto-5 shotgun. The authors; H.M. Shirley, Jr. and Anthony Vanderlinden combined their knowledge in specific areas to make this publication possible.


This publication is to date the only reference book on the Auto-5 ( A-5 ) shotgun prepared entirely with the extensive cooperation and support of Browning, FN Herstal, the Ogden UT, Browning museum and the Liege Firearms museum.This book is the only accurately researched book on the Auto-5 ( A-5 ) shotgun and its production. The purpose of this book is not only to introduce the many models and details of the Auto-5 ( A-5 ), but also to give the collector the first and only accurate method in dating a specific Auto-5 ( A-5 ) shotgun.


The Browning Auto-5 Shotguns contains the following chapters and information:


1-The History of FN, (Fabrique Nationale): A thorough and extensive chapter on the history of Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre, the company that produced the Auto-5 ( A-5 ) and many other Browning firearms. This chapter is laid out in various historical time frames which outline important periods through FN’s history. From FN’s incorporation in 1889 through both World Wars up to modern times.


2- John M. Browning and the Browning Arms Company: An overlook on the biography of John Moses Browning and the Browning Arms Company through the years.


3- The Creation of the Auto-5: From patent dates and numbers to prototypes. Included is the evolution of the Auto-5 ( A-5 ) and also includes photography of all the remaining Auto-5 ( A-5 ) prototypes that are housed at the Browning museum in Ogden Utah.


4- The initial order of 10,000: A detailed analysis of the first order that John Moses Browning ordered with FN in 1903 and how many actually were shipped to the United States. The chapter includes details on the first produced Auto-5 (No.1) as well as details on the markings and variations of the first 500 guns produced.


5- Serial Numbers: The first an only available accurate published record of serial numbers for all Auto-5 guns in all gauges. Each year is listed with ending serial numbers for each caliber. The information clearly explains FN production and warehousing habits and the difference between in warehouse dates as well as shipping dates. To facilitate research, the authors have prepared a quick reference chart on the last page of the book which directs the reader immediately to the page in where to find a specific serial number.


6- Proofmarks: A historical review of the Belgian proofing system, as well as a detailed account of each proofmark and explanation as found on Auto-5 ( A-5 ) shotguns.


7- Component Parts: Each relative part of the Auto-5 ( A-5 ) shotgun is reviewed and changes and introduction dates on the changes is explained. Including Auto-5 ( A-5 ) shotgun barrels and variations, receiver changes, safety modifications, magazine cap and magazine plug variations, stock and butt-plate variations, and other related parts.


8- Models: All models are clearly discussed with their variations and introduction dates; including the standard 12 gauge Auto-5, the 16 gauge Auto-5, The Sweet Sixteen, Trap and skeet models, Lightweight and super lightweight Auto-5 models, etc.


9- Boxes, Cases and Hang tags: All accessories are explained in detail in this chapter including instruction manuals and their envelopes, hang tags, boxes and cases. All accessories are set up to properly identify the periods in where they were used making it possible to verify accessories and making sure they are proper to a specific Auto-5 shotgun.


10- Engraving patterns: From the early custom "One of a kind" Auto-5 shotguns to the later special grade Auto-5 ( A-5 ) shotguns. This chapter references all the FN engravers and includes all the European FN engraving Types and U.S. grades. Also included is related information on the 2 millionth special edition Auto-5 series and the Gold and Gold Classic series as well as the SAC series Auto-5 ( A-5 ) shotguns. To further enrich the chapter the authors have selected a series of photographs out of the FN archives which beautifully illustrate various rare and special engraved Auto-5 shotguns, this images of rare guns are found in the last section called the engraving gallery.


This second edition is sold out, we are currently working on the expanded all-color 3rd edition!

Samples seen below are of the second edition.  

Autographed by Author


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