Posted December 11, 2017 1:30 pm by Comments

By Chris Eger

John Popp and NRA Museums Director Jim Supica take a break from the exotic and rare to visit with the quintessential American autoloading shotgun, John Browning’s Auto-5.
Designed by Browning in 1898 and patented soon after, the A5 became the first mass-produced semi-auto shotgun when FN put it into production in 1902 and it proved so popular that it remained in production for almost a century across three continents with Remington and Savage both marketing their own version of it. Besides use as a sporting gun– the “Sweet 16” model was long the epitome field shotgun for many outdoorsmen — more than 50,000 A5 variants served in WWII.
As befitting the respected design, the specimin Popp and Supica examine isn’t some minty exhibition model with loads of delicate inlays, but a well-used A5 complete with a split stock held together with electrical tape and a roll of medical tape on around the muzzle to help pick up a bead faster. The gun is somewhat historic, however, as it was given to Bass Pro Shop founder Johnny Morris on his 21st birthday by his father back in 1969.
(Photo: NRA Museums)
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