View Full Version : Potentially Dumb Browning Auto-5 Question

September 28, 2015, 08:47
I humbly propose that I be allowed to ask the following (potentially!) dumb question:
If I have a Browning Auto-5 12Ga 3" Magnum (and I do), can I set it up to fire light 2 3/4" loads by substituting a complete set (Spring, friction piece and friction spring) of recoil parts or do I need to do something else?

I am contemplating purchasing a "rebuild kit" that includes all the recoil parts and I wondered if I should buy the 12 Ga normal or Magnum rebuild kit if I PRIMARILY want to shoot "normal" light 12Ga loads and not magnum loads. I would, of course, properly set up the recoil system for magnum loads should I want to use them.

What say y'all?

Thanks In Advance!

September 28, 2015, 09:41

September 28, 2015, 10:32
Thanks SAFN49,
I had already read that page and I know how to set up the friction rings according to the manual. However, it says to set the magnum up for "Shooting 2 3/4" High Velocity and Steel Shot Loads" you set it up for the "Light Magnum" setting (one of the narrow friction pieces). I was wanting to shoot lighter 12 Ga rounds that would be lower velocity like trap or clays type rounds. I have not had the time to verify that these lighter rounds WON'T function at the "Light Magnum" setting but I wanted to see if others had and would putting in the (presumably) less stiff recoil spring and the wider friction piece from a Light 12 gun would work.
Essentially, I want to set up this 3" Magnum gun to function as a 2 3/4" Light 12 so that I can shoot light 2 3/4" shells from it. Would replacing the recoil bits do the trick or is there some other mechanical difference that would make the changeover unsafe, unwise, or non-functional?
Please Discuss!

September 28, 2015, 18:18
From some of my friends who have the 3" A5, they said they only have to change the friction ring set over to the 2 settings to shoot field loads for doves. A couple said they lube up the mag tube with Break Free after the change over just for insurance.

September 28, 2015, 19:40
+1 on using Breakfree or other modern lubricant generously on the magazine tube.

September 28, 2015, 20:47
If you're going to try to shoot 2-3/4 low brass target loads I would try the 2-3/4" setup on the Magnum friction rings, but use a standard Auto 5 recoil spring in place of the magnum one. Because the Magnum ring is squeezed on both sides even in the "light" mode (which really is still for high brass 2-3/4" shells) this may still be too much. You can try the friction ring from a 2-3/4" gun, but I'm not sure the bevel angle is the same to match the magnum barrels conical lug, or even if the mag tube diameters are the same. I thought the Magnum had a slightly thicker walled magazine tube.

In either case, dont get springs and rings mixed up so the next time you go to shoot 3" loads you dont batter the gun or yourself up.

September 29, 2015, 11:33
Thank You All for the info you have provided! I knew that somewhere out there, someone had had some experience with shooting light field loads out of a Magnum Auto-5! I will try the Light Magnum setting with a lubed mag tube first and see what happens before replacing the recoil spring and possibly the friction piece.

I'm pretty sure that the mag tube diameters are the same since Midwest Gun Works lists the same part (mag tube) for both Light 12 and Magnum. Also the friction ring (the blued metal ring with the conical inner surface is the same so the bevel on the Friction Piece (Bronze Piece) should be the same.

I will definately figure out some way to note that the gun is set up for "Light 12 mode" or "Magnum Mode" for the safety of myself and the gun!

The knowledge of the FAL Files never ceases to amaze and encourage! :fal: before :beer:!

September 30, 2015, 20:12
The ring on the barrel and the cutout in the forend are further away from the receiver, considerably on the magnum A5. The standard setup is one friction piece / spring / +- ring; the magnum is two friction pieces and four rings, and the friction pieces are narrower. You may get it to function with tho longer magnum spring, standard friction piece and spring, no ring, but you will have reliability issues (ejection). But it won't hurt the gun to try. Will be very dependent on your loads.