You likely have fond memories of the old Browning Auto-5 – I definitely do, since it was the shotgun I first used when I began hunting pheasants as a young man. Certainly, Browning hopes to evoke those memories with its latest shotgun introduction. But the similarities between the old Auto-5 and the new Browning A-5 essentially end there.
I had the opportunity to handle and shoot the all-new Browning A-5 with a group of writers last month in South Dakota. The 3-inch, 12 gauge A-5 is lightweight – slightly under 7 lbs. for the Hunter (wood), just over 7 lbs. for the Stalker (synthetic) – and felt equally comfortable swinging on both clay targets and fast-flying ringnecks.
Available in March of 2012, the new A-5 features a recoil-operated system Browning calls the Kinematic Drive™ System. According to Browning, Kinematic Drive “harnesses recoil energy and converts it into the mechanical motion needed to operate the action.” Browning says the trade-marked system is so reliable that it plans to include what is believed an industry-first 100,000 round or five-year guarantee that the shotgun will work, come hell or high water.
The A-5 includes Browning’s new Invector-DS choke tube system. Thin wall construction and a longer (3-1/4” on the flush model, 4” on the extended version), more gradually tapered design highlight the new choke tub system. The DS stands for Double Seal, which incorporates a thin brass band at the base of the choke tube to effectively seal out gas and grit that sneaks between the barrel and the tube.
Other features of note: the Vector Pro™ lengthened forcing cone, an Inflex II Technology recoil pad, and Speed Load Plus – the system sends the first shell loaded in the magazine directly into the chamber, while the unload feature allows the magazine to be emptied without cycling and chambering every shell with the bolt handle.
The new Browning A-5 will be available in four stock configurations: wood (Hunter), synthetic (Stalker) and Mossy Oak Duck Blind and Infinity with Dura-Touch Armor Coating, with 3” chambers and 26”, 28” and 30” barrels.
MSRP starts at $1,399.99.