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5 Reasons the Browning A-5 Still Beats the Competition

Images via Browning

The Browning A-5 was first designed in 1898 and was produced until 1998. Here are five reasons that it is still the best semi-auto out there.

Let’s face it, we all love a good semi-auto shotgun. Shots cracking off as fast as you can pull trigger. They revolutionized the way we hunt and bring ear to ear smiles to bird and waterfowl hunters faces.

The Browning A-5 was the first mass produced semi-auto shotgun and production stopped in 1998, but that didn’t stop it from being one of the best options out there.

Here are five reasons why the A-5 still beats the competition.

1. History

Sometimes a gun is just a gun. Manufactured by a company, thrown on a shelf, and sold to a hunter or enthusiast. That is not the case with the Browning A-5. A rich history dates back to 1898 when it became the first mass produced semi-auto shotgun.

Therefore, the first successful semi-auto design makes it the king of kings in the book of shotgun creators. The A-5 saw military service from World War I to the Vietnam War, helping build our country on values and freedom.

You would be hard pressed to find another shotgun with 70 years of service under its belt. A rich history of tradition and success makes it a must have.

2. Distinct Classic Design

That ol’ humpback look… No other shotgun is more noticeable or visible from a long distance than the distinct A-5. It features a distinctive high rear end, earning it the nickname “Humpback.”


Simply described, the top of the action goes straight back on a level plane with the barrel before dropping down sharply towards the buttstock making it a box shape. The hump is not just for looks though. It provides an instant, broad sighting plane. This takes away the need for a barrel rib. All you see then is the bead.

If you are going to pull out a gun from a case, it might as well be one people are going to recognize and notice. The A-5 is that gun.

3. Reputation of Reliability

A shotgun does not simply gain the popularity and obtain a 100 years of production under its belt without being a reliable firearm.

Talk to any A-5 owner, and they will rave about their A-5 or A-5’s. Often referred to as their favorite shotgun and stories of how it is the most reliable gun that has touched their hands. Constant years of use and play, but all without ever jamming up or not cycling correctly.

That is something to be proud of, just ask any waterfowler who has had an auto lock up after the first shot into a huge group of green heads. Enough to make a man go mad.


The Belgium Browning’s are unparalleled in their quality and design. Made with great materials, the gun just simply doesn’t fail.

4. Smart Investment

Life isn’t cheap these days. Things are expensive and they often lose value fast. With production halting in 1998, the A-5 has become more of a hot commodity to gun enthusiast and hunters around the world. Speaking with a friend, one of the last points he made to me about his A-5 was “unlike any other shotgun, the A-5 (even their barrels) seem to increase in value…making them a great investment.”

If you are looking to get a semi-auto, might as well grab an A-5  that you can hand down to your son or grandsons and gift them with an investment that can continue to grow throughout their life.

Shooting a quality gun is a blast, and losing money is not. Sounds like a win-win to me.

5. Grandpa’s Gun

Foolproof reliability made the Auto-5 successful as we mentioned earlier. And that is why our great grandfathers and grandfathers all loved them. I am a sentimental kind of guy. If my grandfather hunted with it, that in my book is already better than any other new inertia driven design or new technology to come.


Get a shotgun with a tradition and connection to those who hunted before us.

We all know the guy who can grab any gun, and knock down birds like it’s his job. Most aren’t blessed like that and have a hard time finding a gun that fits. The A-5 changes that and does what other guns don’t. It points for you.

I could go on and on on each of these points and bring many more points to light, but then I would be writing a book. Make sure to do more research to find out the nuts and bolts of what makes this gun so sought after.


Rich history, distinct design, foolproof reliability, and a great investment for years to come is what puts the Browning A-5 above the competition.

And that is why it’s Grandpa’s gun.

NEXT: The Triple Double Shotgun: 6 Barrels and 48 Rounds

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5 Reasons the Browning A-5 Still Beats the Competition