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Browning A-5


Fisherman72

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I've had thousands of rounds through my 870 supermag.... I've hunted some of the most extreme conditions ( -20.... Winds blowing 50 with 10ft seas breaking in my face) and I've never had my supermag fail. If I ever went back to an auto, I have a Beretta extrema.... Awesome gun... Shoots sweet. I'm partial to the 870 because it makes me slow down my shots and I feel I'm a better wingshot because of it. The A-5 is a great looking gun. I always liked the old humpbacks. Good luck with your decision and good luck with your season.

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Big topic but here goes : I bought a Browning A-5 years ago at a gun show [ the gun came from an estate sale and was apparently new / used ] from " friends " the mistakes will keep adding up !

 

Took the gun to the range would not cycle : I had paid $ 400 for a single shot ; showed the gun to the range owner who agreed I had paid too much for a single shot and to take it back ! Did so was told the gun was full of grease and we cleaned it .

 

Went back to the range the gun cycled fine then the wooden fore-grip cracked and the gun was useless ; range owner wondered how stupid I was ! Someone makes replacement grip parts in plastic [wonder why ?] which I have !

 

your interest is " waterfowling " ; this gun cannot shoot steel . RIO makes bismuth amo or you can hand load .

 

IMO forget the A-5 unless you know what you are getting ! I " waterfowl " a lot generally use a Beretta O/U[ who ever gets a good 3 rd.  shot anyway ! [ The only problem with the gun , as everyone agrees is that it shoots were you point it !] # 2 piece is a Browning pump , ejects from the bottom and takes 3 1/2 shells . I shoot left-handed my 870 is right eject and that spoiled my 2nd shot.

 

IF I was going to get a semi-auto it would be a Bennelli ; you get what you pay for !

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I think he was asking about the NEW Browning A5's - not the older models.  Although I don't have one or know anyone that's shot one, if they are made as well as the Browning Maxus, you'll be in good shape.  The new A5's are designed for waterfowling and should be a great gun if that's what you're looking for.

 

I have the Browning Maxus and been shooting it for 4 years now.  Softest shooting gun even with heavy kicking 3.5" goose shells.  We have a big group of guys that I hunt with and we've shot about everything.  Most of the guys in the group had bought into the Benelli hype but after getting beat up with the hard kicking inertia guns, more have been switching over to shooting the Maxus.  The soft kick really helps keep you on the gun and ready for that second or third shot.  Shoots where you point it and just works!

 

The A5's are inertia guns so you'll feel the kick of the gun more but from what I've seen on them and read - they'll perform and go "bang" when you want them to. 

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Let us clear some air . The A-5 that I bought was from an estate sale and never fired [ new old stock , now there is a pun !] or I would not have bought it.

I put a slug barrel on my 870 and it works just fine ! If I cannot kill a deer with one slug I should not have shot it ! I agree that a gun like an 870 is a good place to start ie. focus on every shot . The games keeper at our hunt club can tell the poor shooters with their "big buck" semi-autos : the first shot is followed by two rapid shots : The bird is either blown to bits or he killed a lot of air [ missed]

Not sure what is meant by " Bennelli hype " . Rule #1 of firearms ; Its not the gun its the gunner ! Nuff said by me !

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The "Bennelli hype" I was referring to is the mass amounts of marketing dollars put behind that brand - in example the good old duck commander guys pushing them like crazy, etc.  I agree to a point - it's not the gun, it's the gunner... but the gunner needs a properly fitted shotgun that feels good to him/her.  Same as in golf - just because you have the newest driver on the market, doesn't mean you can hit it 300+ down the middle.  Confidence in what you are using is key.

 

When I was purchasing my last gun I didn't care what brand it was - I went to the store and shouldered and swung just about everything on the shelf until I found what felt best.  For me it was down to the Browning Maxus and then Winchester SX3.  I personally don't like the raised rib on the Bennelli's and they tend to shoot high.

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The "Bennelli hype" I was referring to is the mass amounts of marketing dollars put behind that brand - in example the good old duck commander guys pushing them like crazy, etc.  I agree to a point - it's not the gun, it's the gunner... but the gunner needs a properly fitted shotgun that feels good to him/her.  Same as in golf - just because you have the newest driver on the market, doesn't mean you can hit it 300+ down the middle.  Confidence in what you are using is key.

 

When I was purchasing my last gun I didn't care what brand it was - I went to the store and shouldered and swung just about everything on the shelf until I found what felt best.  For me it was down to the Browning Maxus and then Winchester SX3.  I personally don't like the raised rib on the Bennelli's and they tend to shoot high.

See I have a nova that I use for both waterfowl and Sporting Clays... I love it as a trap gun (I feel trap shooting should be a warm up for waterfowl). It doesn't pattern high for me it patterns perfect

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   A few years back I traveled to St. Paul Alaska on a waterfowl hunt. pre planning was in full effect and I had a local gunsmith go through my 870supermag to make sure she was tip top. When I got to the Island , Ive never seen such crappy weather. On top of the cold wind and snow, I had to contend with salt water smashing us in the face. Two other guys had some real expensive guns ...Super black eagles. After day 1 I field stripped the 870, ran it under a hot shower, dried it out and cleaned it. I did this every day and the gun never failed. Those SBE's froze up everyday....  1,500 dollar single shots (when they actually shot). This past late season was pretty brutal. My buddy had a Nova and it froze up wicked. The other guys in the blind all had 870s and they worked fine...

   This is not a bash on eye-talian guns. they are fine weapons. If your just hunting the early season, or is semi mild weather I think those kind of guns would be Ok. For me, duck season doesn't start till the Divers arrive in Late November.

   I like the 870 for the simplicity of stripping and cleaning it. The gun goes bang every time I squeeze the trigger and If a duck is within 40 yards, more times than not its a dead one....   Good luck man....

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Thanks for the replies... I will be going to check out a few and see what fits me and feels the best when I pull it up.. Nothing against the 870 but they don't fit me well at all, even though it's a older model its long and heavy and the recoil pad catches in my jacket when I pull it up..I've heard a lot of good about the frenchi as well .

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The "Bennelli hype" I was referring to is the mass amounts of marketing dollars put behind that brand - in example the good old duck commander guys pushing them like crazy, etc.  I agree to a point - it's not the gun, it's the gunner... but the gunner needs a properly fitted shotgun that feels good to him/her.  Same as in golf - just because you have the newest driver on the market, doesn't mean you can hit it 300+ down the middle.  Confidence in what you are using is key.

 

When I was purchasing my last gun I didn't care what brand it was - I went to the store and shouldered and swung just about everything on the shelf until I found what felt best.  For me it was down to the Browning Maxus and then Winchester SX3.  I personally don't like the raised rib on the Bennelli's and they tend to shoot high.

well said in my opinion. I think you have to go to the store and handle some guns to see what you like. Ive allways been a firm believer in you'll know what gun you want when you pick it up.

That said, I have a 1963 Browning a-5 mag and a brand new one that I won at a DU dinner... I shoot the old one. It fits me better and I shoot it better. I have a hasting's barrel and aftermarket chokes for it and it kills ducks. A lot of the problems people had with the older a-5's came from a lack of knowledge on how to clean them and how to set up the recoil rings. do it right and they work. Phil Robertson pushes the benelli's but if you listen to this interview

ant start at about 4:06 the question of his favorite shotgun comes up and his immediate response is the browning a-5.

The problem of recoil ring set up was fixed with the new a-5 so user error was essentially removed. Ill probably catch hell for this comment but they are pretty similar in concept (inertia operated action) to the benelli SBE and such. However they do come with that browning price tag (although the benelli isn't any better).

go out and look to see what you like, in terms of reliability you shouldn't have any issues with the a-5 as long as you care for it properly.

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I have a Super Black Eagle and love it.  I hunted with a buddy last year who had a Nova and it froze up so bad it wouldn't even fire, plus it kicks the crap out of him.  I actually have a story opposite of misdemeanors.  We were hunting the edge of a field of corn that never got picked and the snow drifted in around it.  We dug holes in the drifts and the morning started great, until guns started freezing up: a BPS, and 1100, and 1 other that I can't remember.  The only one that continued to work was the Benelli SBE.  One disclaimer: it was only 10 degrees and windy, not quite as bad as what his conditions were in Alaska.

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I forgot to mention - whatever you end up going with, get an after market choke for it.  They really help your pattern and worth spending some money on.  If you're hunting divers on big water consider an extended range to help finish any cripples that get out to 50 and 60 yards.  If you're primarily hunting puddle ducks all you'll need is the medium range.  Can't go wrong with Patternmaster or the Hevi-Shot choke tubes and you'll be amazed at your pattern and how hard shots seem to knock birds down.  Good luck and let us know what you end up with.

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I forgot to mention - whatever you end up going with, get an after market choke for it. They really help your pattern and worth spending some money on. If you're hunting divers on big water consider an extended range to help finish any cripples that get out to 50 and 60 yards. If you're primarily hunting puddle ducks all you'll need is the medium range. Can't go wrong with Patternmaster or the Hevi-Shot choke tubes and you'll be amazed at your pattern and how hard shots seem to knock birds down. Good luck and let us know what you end up with.

Now that's great advice..... I shot a ton of different shot through my choke tubes. IUP30 is 100% correct.

Sent from my VS980 4G using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I forgot to mention - whatever you end up going with, get an after market choke for it. They really help your pattern and worth spending some money on. If you're hunting divers on big water consider an extended range to help finish any cripples that get out to 50 and 60 yards. If you're primarily hunting puddle ducks all you'll need is the medium range. Can't go wrong with Patternmaster or the Hevi-Shot choke tubes and you'll be amazed at your pattern and how hard shots seem to knock birds down. Good luck and let us know what you end up with.

Absolutely.. wad wizard for me

Sent from my C811 4G using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I forgot to mention - whatever you end up going with, get an after market choke for it.  They really help your pattern and worth spending some money on.  If you're hunting divers on big water consider an extended range to help finish any cripples that get out to 50 and 60 yards.  If you're primarily hunting puddle ducks all you'll need is the medium range.  Can't go wrong with Patternmaster or the Hevi-Shot choke tubes and you'll be amazed at your pattern and how hard shots seem to knock birds down.  Good luck and let us know what you end up with.

 

 

+2 on the aftermarket choke. When I went for an aftermarket I got a patternmaster and a Comp-N-Choke. I like the Comp-N-Choke better, its less finicky about what you feed it and very consistent. If you go the CNC route they tend to run a little tight, modified is more like improved modified or even full. 

 

Ill say one thing you have to watch for is that you cant shoot a "flightstopper"  (black cloud) wad through a lot of the ported chokes and definitely cant shoot them through the wadstrippers.

Edited by WoodieBoater
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  • 2 months later...

I have a friend that guides in Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, and Northwestern Canada. (He is fully retired now). He would not take a hunter out for waterfowl if they had a semi auto. He made them take one of his many pumps,doubles, or single shots that he kept for the guys that showed up with the semi autos anyway.

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