September 27, 2022
Question: I have an older Browning Auto-5 12-gauge shotgun, and I’ve had it for around 47 years. I looked on the Browning website and cannot figure out when this shotgun was made. On the barrel it says “MADE IN BELGIUM,” on top of barrel it also has, “BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS MO and MONTREAL P.Q.” The serial number is 1M 47XXX. On the side of the receiver it says “BROWNING”, and there are engravings on both sides of the receiver and at the bottom of the triggerguard. The shotgun is in excellent condition. Can you tell me when it was made, and what it is worth? Any info would be appreciated.
-J.J. of White Lake, Michigan
Answer: The excellent Browning Auto-5 semiautomatic shotgun, designed by John Browning, was introduced by Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Belgium in 1903. Manufacture was terminated in 1940 because of World War II and resumed in 1946. In 1975, production was taken over by Miroku in Japan. Your Belgian-made Auto-5 Standard Weight features the address used by FN from 1959 to 1968. The “IM” serial-number prefix indicates this plain barrel 12-gauge was made in 1961. From the photos, it appears the condition of the piece is pretty good, I’d say around 80 to 85 percent. As such, according to the “Forty-Second Edition Blue Book of Gun Values” (bluebookofgunvalues.com), value would be in the $600 to $650 range.
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