The New Browning A5 Shotgun

browning_a5-tfb

John Moses Browning’s Auto-5 is back in production, sort of. The newest incarnation of the Auto-5 is the Browning A5. While it has the distinctive Auto-5 “humpback” appearance, inside it is all new. Browning ripped out the nifty long-recoil (recoiling barrel) system and replaced it with a new short-recoil system.

Browning’s new short recoil system, named the Kinematic Drive System, is almost identical to the Benelli Inertia recoil system. Paolo Benelli invented the Inertia system in the 80s and was granted a patent for it in 1986 (Patent #4604942), thus preventing any competitors from incorporating it into their designs. I believe Browning is the first second company outside the Benelli/Beretta family of companies1 to produce a shotgun using the Inertia system since the patent expired in 2006.

Browning A5 Stalker
Browning A5 Hunter
A5 Camo in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity

Along with a new recoil system, the A5 features Browning’s new Invector DS (Double Seal) choke system. The Invector DS chokes have a brass seal at the base to prevent gas and grit from entering the gap between the inside of the barrel and the outside of the choke. I really hate removing, cleaning and retightening choke tubes, so I am hoping it works as advertised (see below):

Invector DS (left), Competitors chokes (Center, Right)

The Browning A5 will be available in 26″, 28″ and 30″ barrel lengths and in wood (A5 Hunter), synthetic (A5 Stalker) and camo (A5 Camo) furniture/finishes. MSRP will range from $1,399 to $1,599.

Specifications
Caliber 3″ 12 Gauge
Capacity 5 rounds
Receiver Aluminum
Action Kinematic Drive
Stock Shim adjustable for length of pull, cast and drop
Barrel 26″ lightweight profile
Overall Length 47 5/8″
Weight 7 lbs. 3 oz.
Front Sight Fiber optic
Other Features INFLEX II recoil pad, Speed Load Plus
Availability 2012

  1. Beretta owns Benelli, Stoeger and Franchi. 


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Julio

    The Benelli inertia system has been used previously outside the Beretta Group, by Marocchi, who launched the SI 12 in 2009. (link:
    http://www.marocchiarms.com/index.php?menu=104&sprache=0&product_id=35)

  • Vitor

    The video is so Call of Duty: Modern Duck Hunting.

  • Andy from West Haven

    A5 in appearance only.

    My first shotgun was a used Charles Daly replica which was made in Japan. It worked though. Never jammed no matter what I fed it. I’m sure this new “A5″ works just fine but no thanks.

  • Buster Charlie

    The last Remington long recoil gun, IIRC, was the Remington 11-48, internally very different from the Remington 11, which was basically an Auto-5 clone. If someone said the 11-48 was an updated Auto-5 they would at least be able to point out that it used the same operating principle as the Auto-5.

    The Receiver is different, and made out of aluminum. The entire trigger group/frame is different and it looks like it’s made out of plastic. I imagine it’s the same as on another modern browning shotgun (same thing as the 11-48 vs 11) The Bolt is different, the operating system is different, the ‘rat tail’ is different.

    How is this in *ANY* way an Auto-5? It has a hump back? If that’s the case my Remington 8 Rifle is more an auto-5 because it has a hump back, is long recoil, and a similar FCG.

    If someone came out with an Kalashnikov that used an aluminum receiver and all the internals and operating system were from the ar-15 would we still call it an Kalashnikov? I mean by this definition we might as well get excited over every time someone shoves a 10/22 action inside an airsoft gun!

    I don’t mean to bash Browning, I’m sure it’s a nice gun, but it’s kind of disrespectful to come out with a “new” Auto-5 when it has no similarities to the old one besides a ‘hump back’ and the name. This is worse than new coke.

  • TwoZero

    Patents last for 20 years??

    That’s outrageous. 5 years should be more than enough.

    • 45Super

      This from somebody who never created a damn thing and probably never will.

      • TwoZero

        Please, you no nothing about me.

        Take a look at the link provided by chrispy.

        Then go to http://mises.org/daily/ and enter patents in the search engine. The patent process can do as much harm as good.

        Educate yourself a little before just spewing out the typical knee-jerk reaction.

    • chrispy

      There are actually good reasons why patents shouldn’t exist at all:
      http://www.dklevine.com/general/intellectual/againstfinal.htm

    • Komrad

      While I agree that most intellectual property laws give way too much time to the creators, 5 years is no where near enough to start up a business and build a presence in the market. Maybe 10 or 15 years would be enough (maybe), but 5 is too short. Really, patents aren’t too absurd; it’s the 50 year copyright rules that are BS.

    • Big Jay

      As an engineer, I believe the length of time a patent lasts should be relative to type of invention that it is. Software tech changes so fast a 17 year patent might be overkill. However for pharmaceuticals, which might spend the first 10 years of ther patent in trials waiting for FDa approval, 17 years might not be long enough. The length of time a patent lasts should reflect the time and effort that was spent developing whatever is being patented. The more insentive the work, the longer the patent lasts.

  • Ian

    I’m not sure I see the connection to Benelli. I don’t even think that I buy the claim of how it works from Browning. Somehow this spring behind the bolt is loaded when the barrel recoils, enough to create more energy than the action spring holding the carrier forward? Yet when it’s preloaded in battery, it doesn’t overpower the same action spring? I smell bunk.

  • http://www.kaliber.hu gvass

    The dog is nice in the video. However I can get no info on the gun from it.

    But the I love dogs.

  • Denny

    I do not see why to bother copying Beretta/ Benelli product, notabene such a strange hybrid. Are they running out of creative energies? At around 2000 they introduced presumably excellent Super X2 under brand Winchester (still same roof company), now defunct in United States. They aleady had bunch of good guns, among them also overunders. I think shooting public would be more interested in original JM’s design. I definitely would.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    So apparently this is the answer to the question: When is an A5 *not* an A5?

  • Komrad

    Why would they do this. The whole appeal of vintage A-5s to today’s shooters is the nostalgia and history of it. Putting a Benelli in an A-5 receiver is deceitful and useless. Why would I buy a fake A-5 when I could just get a Benelli or a real A-5?

  • Buster Charlie

    Have we coined a new term? AFINO? Auto Five In Name Only?

  • Lance

    They were ugly before and there ugly shotgun now.

  • Samopal

    I cannot adequately express my disappointment in Browning. Why tease us with a supposed A5 re-issue and then just bring out a Benelli in an A5-esque shell? This isn’t any better than the current trend of blowback .22s in “tactical” lookalike packages.

    And what the hell was that video ad all about?

  • Hrachya Hayrapetyan

    I like the Browning company and I respect the name of the greatest firearm designer … however in this case I don’t see much differences compared with Benelli Inertia Driven system :(
    Seems they just took the Iconic design of A5 autoloader and “copied” Benelli mechanism (with minor changes) ! …not the way J.M. Browning would do !
    In other hand if it shoots well …why not !?!?

  • http://none Robert

    If they are going to half ass remaking the A-5 they should has left it dead. I already have a 1920′ era model 11 and a benelli m1 I don’t have any desire to own a gun that tries to be both

  • http://www.nitroexpress.com Mehul Kamdar

    Steve,

    Not sure who owns Breda but they had a long recoil shotgun on a modified A-5 design. For all I know, Breda may still offer them.

    As someone who loves the A-5 and who hunts with one regularly, I find that the humpback gives an extended sighting plane which helps kill more birds and break more clays depending on what I am shooting. It never did look streamlined (old custom gunsmiths tried rounding the hump off to make the old Remingtons look like today’s Remington 1100) but the hump does have its uses in the field. There’s a reason why several more modern designs from the various Beretta companies have a faux hump and that goes back to the venerable A-5.

    I will buy the new “A-5″ when it comes out and make it my main using gun. My venerable ’56 A-5 which is still in mint shape in the original case will be given a gracious semi retirement as I wish to preserve the old girl for as long as I can.

    • matt

      http://www.bredafucili.com/

      Breda Shotguns website, looks like they have not anymore any long recoil shotguns, only ”benelli” style inertia & gas operated.

      By the way ADMIN, the inertia system was not invented by Paolo Benelli, but
      by Mr. Bruno Civolani.

      http://www.benelli.it/Azienda/Index.asp?ID=23&Lan=EN

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benelli_%28firearms%29

      • http://www.nitroexpress.com Mehul Kamdar

        Matt,

        Thanks for the reply. It is unfortunate that Breda dropped their long recoil guns, as they were very good. Guess this means that I need to look for a mint used specimen. :) For the gun collector, there is always something to look for . . .

      • http://www.nitroexpress.com Mehul Kamdar

        Matt,

        Just checked the Breda website and the inertia system Xanthos is still in production. Just FYI.

      • matt

        No Mehul, I said in my post breda has not anymore in production LONG RECOIL (e.g. ”Browning type”) shotguns.

        It looks like they have 3 semiautomatic shotgun in production as of now, production 3 types:
        gas operated
        Inertia (”benelli type”)
        Inertia ”Breda Technology” (Benelli type improved) e.g. the Xanthos you are referring to.

  • JMD

    What’s the deal with Browning reusing old names for new guns? First the BAR, now the Auto 5……

  • strongarm

    Much of improvements are effected by earlier ones. Benelli for
    instance, is an improvement of earlier innovations like shotgun
    patented by Lochhead of Olin in 1949 with patent number, 2466902.
    That gun worked in the same manner of Benelli’s kind of getting use
    of the compression of a heavy Inertia Spring to delock the breechbolt.

    Browning’s New A5 may be a continuation of this concept with Browning
    type features Like “Fast Loading” which was another innovation of its
    time, patented by Val. Browning.

    Though some Benelli features like “Long Receiver” remained on New A5,
    especially Browning’s New Warranty of five years or 100 000 Shots
    will take this shotgun a step forward over Benelli.

  • Sid

    $1400-$1600 for a semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun….

    I like guns. Took the kids shooting this weekend. Is a good hobby and part of what I do as a soldier. I don’t want to sound like a one trick pony but what the hell is going on with gun prices? $1400 can buy a working jeep for the hunting camp.

    I have been a fan of the original A5. I always like the distinctive humpback. But I can buy a few good guns for this price.

  • Big Jay

    I think they lost sight of the beauty of the A-5. The Benelli recoils as hard as any shotgun I have ever used. It has to, in order to compress the inertia spring and cycle the gun. The A-5 has the softest recoil of any shotgun I have ever used. That is becuse much of the recoil energy is used to cycle the gun and does not go into your shoulder. You could spend a whole day at the range with an A-5 and not ache at the end of it. JM Browning was a GENIUS when it came to gun design and ergonomics. The A-5 was a masterpiece in making a gun pleasant to shoot.

    That was the ONLY problem with the A-5, you were limited to 2 3/4 inch shells, the recoil spring had to be tuned to the load. IMHO, if Browning was to bring back the A-5, keep it the long recoil design and supply the gun with two recoil springs, a light one for 2 3/4 inch field/target loads, and a heavy spring for 3 inch waterfowl loads. Then they would have something novel on the market.

    • vamtns

      I agree with you, I don’t like the inertia system either. I have a magnum A5, on mine you can swap the rings around on it and shoot 2.75 game loads. it even has a sticker inside the forearm that shows how to set them for the desired load. Mine was manufactured in the mid 70’s if I recall.

  • Jon

    Those are some nice looking Labs….errr…this was supposed to be about a gun, wasn’t it?

    I’ve got 4 A-5s; 2 Pre-wars 12’s, a ’61 Light 12, and a ’60 Sweet Sixteen. I may give this a shot, once there are some used models available.

    Otherwise, for that money, I’ll go buy another Sweet Sixteen or a Superposed.

  • Dwayne

    if you need more info on the gun. go to http://www.outdoorlife.com serch frist look at the all new a5 browning shotgun the hump is back there will be a video on there that explines a lot. Browning is the best there is!!!

  • http://www.inyankaragroup.com tony petres

    Can anyone compare the Browning Double Automatic “short” recoil system to the Benelli system? I’m curious as to the difference. Perhaps Browning should have developed the new Auto 5 using a already designed recoil system that was not a “long” type, that they invented and which already existed in their inventory?

    • Will Matney

      The Double Automatic was based on a short recoil inertia system. Even though this sounds similar to the system used by the new A-5 and Benelli, it is not.

      The Double Auto’s barrel and bolt stayed locked together through part of a short recoiling barrel system, where the barrel and bolt travels a short way rearwards, then bolt and barrel unlocks, and the barrel is then snapped forward, but the bolt continues rearward into the receiver, thus ejecting the spent shell, and loading the second shot from the carrier below. The gun is only a two-shot shotgun, having no magazine tube, and was meant to compete with SxS, and O/U, shotguns of the day. It is similar in operation to the Auto-5, but the recoiling barrel is short in stroke instead of long.

      In the Benelli and A-5 system, the guns use a rotary bolt, and the two-piece bolt has an internal inertia spring holding the two halves slightly apart. In theory, during firing, the inertia of the bolt body trying to stay stationary, as the gun recoils, causes the two halves of the bolt to lock the rotary head tighter into the barrel. Finally, when the bolt starts traveling backwards into the frame due to the recoil, and the bolts weight, the rotary bolt head unlocks, and allows the bolt to travel rearward, thus completing the cycle.

  • Steven

    Will they ever make this gun in a 3.5 inch??

    • Patrick

      Well, obviously Browning engineers are not capable of building anything on there own. Example Gold 3 1/2. Borrowing Benelli’s system is the best thing they could do. But, Browning had to build a modern shotgun with the classic Auto 5 looks and not chambered for 3 1/2. What a bunch of MORONS! I own eight Auto 5’s and they are great guns but Browning engineers can’t buid anything better than the works of John Moses. What a joke. Stick with house furnishings Browning and leave the firearms to more capable companies.

  • Brady jeffus

    This is awful…..I love the auto 5! It was the best there is browning!!! Ur new a5 is the worst there is!!

  • Tony

    The a5 Browning is the best gun for killing deer in front of dogs. I want the new one.

  • Joseph Jones

    Any plans to bring back an A-5 in Light Twenty would be greatly appreciated!

  • Rick

    Where is the new A5 made, Belgium? Japan or USA by Browning or FN

  • Brady jeffus

    Make a sweet 16 in it browning!!!

  • Will Matney

    I think, in reality, this is more of a reincarnation of the Browning 2000 in looks, but not gas operation, and Browning is taking advantage of the inertia bolt design that a few have had success with, and they are losing market share on.

    I wonder if one of the selling gimmicks will be the same as Benelli-Stoeger, where they show you how easy it is to pull the bolt back against the light pressure bolt return spring? In reality, it has to be light, or the bolt wouldn’t unlock when firing. It just has to be strong enough to close the bolt, while operating the carrier.

  • Joe

    I honestly don’t know why so many people are critical of this gun. I love the Auto 5 as much as anyone. I have my grandfather’s 16 gauge that was made in the 20’s, a Remington Model 11 Sportsman 16 gauge made in the 40’s, a Sweet Sixteen made in the 50’s, a Belgian Light 12 and a Japanese Light 20 made in the 80’s. I love them all. I also have a couple of Benelli’s that I took to Argentina a couple of times,and they work great. I think what Browning is simply trying to do is build a recoil operated gun that screams “BROWNING” when you see it, and that they can sell at a profit. I like the idea! Besides, to build that Sweet Sixteen I have today, with engraving, hand checkering, rust bluing etc etc………Browning would have to sell it at over 2 grand to make a profit. It also required a lot of hand fitting, which drives cost up. I love my old ones, but applaud them for bringing out a recoil operated model that looks to be a great gun and plays on the company’s heritage.

  • Birdk9

    I own three Brownings. A500 recoil, Gold Fusion -gas, and my personal favorite, “The Legend” 1966 vintage A5 Magnum that was re-fitted with a newer Japanese Invector Plus barrel. The Legend is a nine pound beast that rides in the bottom of the boat and blasts the biggest three inch magnums I can shoot. It is the softest shooting gun I own no matter what shell is used. The Fusion is a light pheasant gun at just over six pounds. Thank god its gas operated. The recoil is managable when I have to shoot 1 1/2″ ounce super magnum shells in a 40 mph wind in South Dakota. The A500 is only used on the trap range these days.

    You ask why a new A5. If, and I mean a big if, this gun can shoot as soft as the Legend or the Fusion and it only weighs seven pounds then it is my new all around gun. It can do it all. The Legend shoots and swings the best but I am not going to pack it all day for pheasants. The Fusion is a featherweight but does not swing anything like the Legend. If the new A5 works as billed then there is a place in the market for a great new gun. Being a “Browning” is an added plus. I really like the speed loading feature too.

    By the way. Go back and look at the design of todays Benelli’s and the rib height. No coincedence, it is about as tall as the original hump back. For years Remington dominated the market with a flat shooting plane on 870’s and 1100’s. Beretta/Benelli used to have the same profile. When Benelli really started pushing thier new premium guns, the rib grew taller. Now Benelli sights much easier when you shoulder the gun. It almost sights as easy as the A5. Benelli recognized the higher rib as a more ergonomic and stole it from the A5. If Browning wants to copy an inertia drive, I am ok with that. The hump back is a bit of nostalgia yes, but it is really easiest to sight and shoot.

    Now, if Browning would make the new A5 with a round knob, to give it the “feel” of the Legend, then they would really have something.

  • justin

    Are they serious? I am very upset. I believe that they have made a huge mistake. I have been waiting for 10 years for browning to come out with this gun and they screwed it up bad. The original was the BEST shot gun ever. All i wanted was a 3.5″ A-5. I believe i will never buy a new browning ever again. Why couldnt they just come out with a 3.5 camo REAL A-5?

  • Hippster

    I am a long time Browning fan, period. But, and not just a cliche, why does this new offering not have the 3.5″ stamp?? All other major gun producers offer the 3.5″ gun. It should have been a given to produce a well made American lineage gun in the larger chamber. It’s not that I choose the larger shell every time, but I would like the choice to do so. I hunt ponds and timber mostly, and I use the 3″ ammo more often. What if the hunting situation I chose to be in lends itself to a bigger round? If I need to put the full tube in vs. a modified. As many other waterfowl hunters, I was excited at this new offering, now I am a good bit let down. I can’t believe this never crossed the engineer’s minds.

    • jim

      im I missing something I just bought a 3.5 slaker right now I think its a piece of junk

  • Lee Krugerud

    I collect A5’s, this is a good start but there are a couple of areas they need to include/improve

    1. Make the gun with the round knob

    2. The side of receiver (behind the bolt) looks like it has a hood over
    it, clean this up to look like it is a one-piece receiver

    3. Make available in 20 ga or better yet the 16

  • Дмитрий РОССИЯ

    Очень хорошее ружьё. Молодцы мастера оружейники. Буду ждать когда дилеры привезут в Россию, готов купить прямо сейчас. Это то ружьё о котором я мечтал. Ещё раз молодцы, спасибо за А-500.

  • le févre

    it is just a shame than a company as browning with the abbility of miroku
    as “maker” don’t realise that a true nice gun can only made of steel , and steel …….and wood for stok and forhend ; no aluminium or plastic……
    considering the design this new a5 is just a pitty , as elegant as a patatoe!!!

    is it possible to dream of a gun or a rifle , built to be “the one” since five or sixty years …. and not conceived as amarkettig object of lower cost.

    soory for my “english” i’m french and a great lover and amateur of mister John Mose BROWNING masterchief maker , ” the master”.

  • Marty Paulsen

    I have 5 A5 Browninings. 12 mag, 12light sweet 16 20 light, and 12 light japanese. Was thinking of buying one of these new A5’s but when I found out it was not a browning design, I say I can buy another original A5 Browning for the same price, found a 20 japanese mag 20 for the same price, much better gun!

  • Marty Paulsen

    Thier advertisement ” This isn’t your granfathers A5″ How True!

  • Carson

    The new and old a5 are so cool and authentic it’s so cool its not even funny

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ekPt8G07Go&feature=plcp LF

    have fun

  • GEORGES THEOHARIS

    ΤΙ ΚΡΥΜΑ ΤΟΣΟ ΚΑΛΟ ΟΠΛΟ ΝΑ ΕΧΕΙ ΤΟΣΟ ΦΑΡΔΥ ΑΥΛΟ?

  • Andrew

    I have waited so long to buy a new Auto-5 . I have 2 original ones and love them. When it finally came available I bought one and its been in the shop 3 times now with no idea whats wrong. Its back in the shop again and I don’t want it back till its fixed. So I just went and bought another original but a 3 inch magnum this time for half the price and love it . Works great . I’m so dissapointed with browning . I guess I bought a $ 1700 paper weight. Go back to what works.

  • Hoag

    I have heard some of the dumbest and most out of touch comments here and I have absolutely no affiliation with Browning other than having owned a couple Belgium & Japanese Made Auto-5’s, being a customer! Sorry Andrew as is the case, sometimes you get a defective gun and I understand your frustration. After that, have most of you simply not done their homework? First of all there is no ‘New Auto-5′ it is the ‘New A5′ for clear terminology’s sake… I’ve owned two Benelli’s and like any inertia gun of similar design since their patent ended and there are a few others (Franchi, Beretta, Remington, Mossberg), must be broken in a bit to be consistent with light loads, but are problem free afterward… The kinematic drive system in a ‘Browning Design’ is modeled after Benelli’s inertia bolt system and crossed with some BAR characteristics such as having four locking lugs on the bolt instead of two. The A5 also now sports the distinction of being the fastest cycling semi-auto shotgun on the market and overall is far superior to the old Auto-5’s. With a Five year 100,000 Round Warranty it may be one of the most reliable designs ever made when broken in! Sporting a modified hump back receiver other features not seen on the original such as: Inflex II, VectorPro, TurnKey, Steel Shot Performance, Speed Load PLUS+, InvectorDS, Total Barrel Dynamics and Back-Bored Technology this definitely isn’t your grandfather’s Auto-5 and is not intended to be! It’s a lot nicer… With a very strong extruded aluminum receiver shedding some weight it is more than strong enough for an heirloom of service… Why would any company in their right mind that had declined sales and could not give away Auto-5’s come back with the same product? Beloved but simply time to move on…

  • Ken

    I purchased a new Browning A5 12 gauge 3″ Hunter and have been experiencing problems with the speed load system. At this point it only functions correctly about 70 to 80% of the time.I sometimes have to attempt 3 or 4 time before the speed loader will function. Does any one have any suggestions on what I could be doing wrong? This is somewhat of a disappointment as this is supposedly is one of the features of this gun.

  • Darrin

    Hey I have a old light twenty auto 5 browning….but the sn does not make sense to me the browning website sn decoder. Can any one help

  • Kclinsd

    The dog is nice in the video. However, but can you gun one of them on under water ? This is fish you must try to gun http://sportfishingmagz.com/travel-directory/types-of-fish-in-the-great-barrier-reef/