The first recoil-operated shotgun

A shotgun entirely in steel and walnut wood, produced in the late 1920s by the Belgian F.N. (Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre) of Herstal.

Like all the FN shotgun of that period, this model presents the so-called "suicide safety", a switch in front of the trigger guard that moves forward to fire. (remember the Garand?).

After the end of the Second World War, the Remington began to replace the mod. 11 experimented side cross-bolt safety in the Auto-5 shotgun. The pretest was that the frontal safety could inadvertently be activated by a collision, and that the shot thus endangering the user.

Coeval with the rifles produced by the FN after 1925, this shotgun has:
- the type 3 horn buttplate with the words “Browning” and “Automatic” around the FN logo;
- the trigger with a curved profile;
- the sub-barrel ring milled from solid in one with the barrel;
- round section profile of the recoil spring;
- a towering solid rib.

A great shotgun in the original finish and in excellent conditions that worthy of charm, history, tradition and quality, represents piece of history and still considered masterpieces.

Historical references


Private collection


Refering to the serial number, the book "Browning Auto-5 Shotguns – The Belgian FN Production" by H. M. Shirley Jr. and Anthony Vanderlinden indicates 1931 as year of production. But the letter "h" marked next to the serial number correspondes to the FN "data code" of the weapons produced in 1929.

Data sheet


One of FN/Browning’s oldest shotgun designs, the Auto-5 was the first shotgun to be produced on a large scale. Designed by John Browning himself in 1898, was first manufactured by FN from 1903 to 1939, and then by Remington, by Savage and by the Japanese Miroku.
Also the Italian Franchi 48AL took its origins from this model.



12-70 (2 3/4")

Total lenght:

1210 mm – 47.63"

Barrel lenght:

700 mm / 27.56"

Choke 18.2

Magazine capacity:

5 rounds

Condition of the product


Collectible - Very Good

Product authenticity


Original - Not refurbished


Terms of gun sale by correspondence:

Pursuant to art. 17 of the L. n. 110/1975 the order by correspondence or by distance contract of weapons is allowed to the residents in the Italian State only if the purchaser provides for the withdrawal of the firearm at a license holder for the trade in guns (armory).

Other information

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FN Browning Auto-5 cal. 12

  • 600.00€

Tags: used long gun