View Full Version : Convert a A5 into a Riot or trench shotgun

June 17, 2017, 17:06
So I want to make a Rhode clone Trench ShotGun. If I start with a A5 browning, what parts are needed? I know I need a extended tube, a wood foregrip, and I am guessing a spring? What else and how can we make some clones to make it affordable to own a Clone for our collection?

June 17, 2017, 18:48
IMHO, just trim A5 bbl to 21" and put a mag extension on it.

Those long delicate hand guards do nothing, except crack pretty good.
Yes,,ive owned a couple, and repaired 4"+ cracks on both.

The rodies didnt use an extension, they used a longer replacement mag tube and handguard.
The barrel js different,, recoil lug was further towards muzzle.
'Counterfitting' one like that would take some doing...

My $.02
Cheers, yv

Nihonto Chicken
June 17, 2017, 19:55
It depends on how authentic you want to it to appear. The barrel is 24 inches with the bead on the typical Browning pedestal, which must be silver soldered on your shortened barrel. Then there are the sling swivels on the mag cap and butt stock, and also the cross bolt in the upper grip area. Finally there is the Herstal butt pad and the black (enamel?) paint on the receiver and barrel. Also note that the butt stock is walnut, but the forearm is not (I believe it is beech, someone else opined oak). If it were me, I do the extended mag tube, forearm and spring, maybe the bead pedestal, and call it a day, but even that is a lot of work. Much simpler to just add an extended mag tube:


Nihonto Chicken
June 17, 2017, 23:29
The barrel js different,, recoil lug was further towards muzzle.

No, it's the same length as the other A5 barrels. The only functional diff is the extended lengths of the magazine tube and spring, plus the forearm. Examples below, Rhodie A9 on top, standard A5 underneath. Barrel recoil springs are the same (well, when new! - the 30 year older A5 spring has sacked out some more in length, but the coil count is the same).


June 18, 2017, 19:47
Ok,,my bad,,thought they were further out.
How about your handguard,,got cracks ?

Timber Wolf
June 18, 2017, 20:18
Somebody find us some conversion kits, I just happen to have a rough old A5 (Police confiscated auction gun) that would make a great start.:wink:

Nihonto Chicken
June 19, 2017, 17:28
Ok,,my bad,,thought they were further out.
How about your handguard,,got cracks ?

My FN Police Model shotgun (A9?) has a non-cracked fore end. When Sarco sold off the last of these shotguns imported in 2014, I called them up when alerted on the Calguns Forum (hat tip to deadsled65 :)) to their ad in Shotgun News. After ascertaining that they still had some of these in stock, my very next question was, "Do you have any with uncracked fore ends?" The Sarco guy on the phone answered, "Yes, we have two." I replied, "I'll take one." :bow: In retrospect I should have taken them both. :sad:

Yes, there are a number of people interested in some sort of an A9 conversion kit for standard Browning A5s. The extended mag spring is trivial, but the longer mag tube is tough. The square shouldered Acme thread at the receiver end is a bit unusual but doable on a decent lathe set up. But the tube wall is a couple of hundredths of an inch thicker in the last inch at the rear end in order to stop the mag follower. The entire tube forward of this is reamed out to a slightly larger ID, not so simple for the home hobby machinist.

But he real kicker is the fore arm. It's a hell of a carpentry job. Probably easier (and more robust) to cast it out of a suitable plastic if one has a decent model with which to make a mold. That is why the Rhodesian plastic replacement at auction here recently had some decent attention beyond the FAL Files Forum. :uhoh:

June 22, 2017, 21:22
Stick with the KISS mindset, as the Herstal machinists would not have been making a rod for their own back with these mag. tubes.

Maybe the issue over the mag tube having an inch or so of restriction at the receiver end, would be to fit a short section of sleeve to reduce the inner dia?
A tight friction fit would stop the combined pressure of the follower & spring from pushing it out...or maybe have a screw in fit like a short choke tube?

Last week I tried for quite some time to remove the push-fit spring retainer from the muzzle end of an A5 mag. tube, and that was a friction fit part that is designed to come out. It put up a fight.

No reason for a small shim at the other end of the tube not to also have a similar effect.

Nihonto Chicken
July 17, 2017, 23:23
For anyone wanting to make a Browning A5 into a Fraudesian FN Police Model (A9) riot gun, here's a Fleabay link to a reasonable facsimile butt stock for sale. The pad is marked Browning and not Herstal and there is no sling mount, but it does have the strengthening cross bolt and overall looks to be in the ballpark. Listing for $149.95 or best offer, BIN, $14.95 shipping, only a day left:


No relation to the seller, no knowledge of this item's quality, just a heads up.

July 18, 2017, 21:33
Good eye. Thank you

July 19, 2017, 17:53
Original conversion kits to hit the MP soon.


July 21, 2017, 19:22
Original conversion kits to hit the MP soon.


Wood or plastic handguards?

July 21, 2017, 21:06
Wood or plastic handguards?

Original embargo era plastic HG's and tubes. The poly Hg's have shrunk a little over the years. The gel coat was badly crazed and the tubes were .003" over spec. Still not bad for locally produced parts from SA/RA.

All original parts will be brought to as close as possible to spec before being offered for sale.

Including new Nordic spring. Remington 11 and Remington produced Brownings will need to use an old style BPS/A5 mag cap.

July 25, 2017, 15:42
Here you go.


July 29, 2017, 07:49
This shotgun is fascinating.

August 06, 2017, 01:50
Converted one of my A5's into a defensive scatter gun but never made any attempt to clone a Rhodie Trench Gun but have plans to do a loose extended law enforcement A9 clone. Am a sucker for A5's whenever find one cheap and cosmetic issues don't bother me if price reflects it's wear. Bedroom shotgun is an A5 with Nordic +8 extension tube. Load on Sunday and shoot all week. Found some of the 2.5" full power shells function in mine with friction rings set for light/short loads and adds an extra shell in the stack. Was planning on ordering a +9 kit for another picked up to sit next to my recliner but the Rhodie conversion may be more fun. Maybe do as planned and look for a more appropriate plain jane receiver for a Rhodie as most recent cosmetic blem A5 purchase has a lot of engraving on receiver to deal with. About how much do we need in the piggy bank for one of the long Rhodie kits? Have an extra forearm have considered fitting and cutting to size for a two piece long forearm A9 clone as used by police around the globe. Could your kit possibly be done with more than nine round capacity for folks more concerned with capacity than authenticity as most would never notice if held an extra shell or two and want to use for defense?

Always like to have scatter guns handy as certain circumstances where they give an advantage. Even the Germans protested our "trench brooms" as inhumane during WW1. Germans said General Pershings Winchester M97 was more horrific than poison gas or flame throwers, was said a few men could roll into an enemy held trench with their Winchesters and sweep up the enemy like using a push broom. Just the sight of a big shotgun has been known to turn a situation around without shots fired when perp gets a look down their gaping bore. Inexpensive A5's are something trip over more than on occasion.

August 11, 2017, 12:03
New color for the forend

http://i.imgur.com/zzsHALm.jpg (http://imgur.com/zzsHALm)

http://i.imgur.com/0cenwkU.jpg (http://imgur.com/0cenwkU)

August 18, 2017, 04:00
Looks great and I may be a customer on these but being the cantankerous old man that usully has mag tube even with end of muzzle or even a tad longer to get another round will one of the Nordic +3 extension tubes in combination with a +8 spring fit on a shotgun with your kit? Recently ran into another nut job with a +8 extension on his A5 but also had one of the Lyman Corn cob adjustable chokes on his. Allowed him to go from Improved Cylinder to Extra Full choke or anywhere in between with just a few turns plus offered some reduction in muzzle climb from ports.

Currently looking for another beat to crap A5 as show up on the cheap regularly and often find one that's "broken" because owner doesn't know the rings have to be lubricated and adjusted for light or heavy loads and basically get it at a parts gun price. Your extended handguard looks good (going to market it on other forums for people wanting Browning Police clones, same handguard) and rather than piecing the spare wood unit I have to another to achieve the Police Shotgun look would be much easier to buy yours then print and wrap the handguard with a woodgrain finish using same technique as wrapping cars or rifles now. My first rifle wrap is a daily carry and after a year looks as good as did when new. Thought about a "baby poop" wrap for FAL's for those that want the ugly stuff but have the option to go back to original finish, especially if their rifle has a nice finish.

August 27, 2017, 15:54
Love the old rhodie shotguns.

I made do best I could with a Remington M11:


I like the Polychoke on the end making it just a shade longer than the tube.

August 30, 2017, 13:13

http://i.imgur.com/MchIE4a.jpg (http://imgur.com/MchIE4a)

:whistling: Shameless self promotion.

September 30, 2017, 21:49
I've shared the fascination for the Rhodesian A5s and considered buying one of those cheap Remington 11s I see for sale from time to time as a project gun.

Is this something you're doing regularly, conversions?

October 01, 2017, 07:46
I've shared the fascination for the Rhodesian A5s and considered buying one of those cheap Remington 11s I see for sale from time to time as a project gun.

Is this something you're doing regularly, conversions?

No, that was the last one I'm converting.

October 01, 2017, 11:06
Are you still selling the stocks/kits? Would be easy for me to print up some wood grain "wraps" that would be super simple to install with a hair dryer, squeegee and ten minutes time. If have a "blem" forearm would be interested in doing some repair work to save a couple bucks as have to alter to fit around my +7 or +8 tubes. Have a damaged forearm had planned to use with one of the shotguns, using finger grooving bit to join but if could avoid a lot of work and destroying the factory original forearm if wanted to return to original would probably be smartest way.

March 16, 2018, 22:44
So I have one of the A5 police/Rhodesian shotgun kits pictured very similar to one posted by SAFN49 and been looking for a host. Had three vintage A5's in the house but one is totally unmodified shotgun from wifes grandfather and her dad felt I would appreciate it more so came to me and have left it unmolested. Other two have already been modified with +7 and +8 tubes for huge, high capacity zombie smashers which live next to bed and my recliner. Purchased another pair and both have different levels of engraving which is not exactly what I want.

Found this FN in 16 gauge in LGS today which if in 12 bore would be at work for cut down and the police kit though already printed a digital wrap for forearm that matches rear stock nicely. Had the kit a month or so now and purchased not one but two hosts and still not happy. Below are pics of the FN 16 gauge, appears unmolested with number matching and no major stock cracks or splits.





I can take the 16 gauge home for $400 and already having a Browning A5 in 16 unsure if just redundant or fills hole in collection. Meanwhile not rushing into converting any of the existing Browning A5's as all are engraved at least some and think may keep looking for an FN in 12 bore. Opinions and is $400 fair for the FN in 16 gauge?

Nihonto Chicken
March 17, 2018, 17:58
Wow, zombie thread arisen from the dead! Sorry, no valid opinion on the worth of the 16 gauge as I stick to only 12 gauge. But the straight stock may indicate something a cut above the average, like very old or for skeet?

I will throw in a couple of ideas on conversions. The old FN Police Model shotgun (A5 style, A9?) may be replicated at generally cheaper cost using a Remington Model 11 or Savage 720, but then won't have the magazine cut-off (allows single feeding the chamber, bypassing the occupied magazine). This is a meh, who cares thing to me (but I recommend staying away from the older Model 11 with the suicide safety inside the trigger guard).

More importantly, the Model 11, 720 and older A5 all lack the two-piece carrier of the later A5 that allows much easier and faster feeding of the magazine, which may be of tactical use in combat (and home invasions?). The Rhodie FN Police Model shotguns all have the later A5 style cross-bolt safety and two-piece carrier.

Still waiting for someone to contract the Chinese for low cost conversion mag tubes and fore ends! :biggrin: