History of the A5

The story of today’s new A5 begins with John M. Browning himself. In the mid-1890s, with many world-changing firearms inventions to his credit, John M. Browning began dabbling in automatic action designs. In 1900 he filed for patents on a revolutionary shotgun design that would use the recoil forces produced by the fired shell to work the action.

His new “Automatic-5 Shotgun” set a new standard for functional excellence under the most extreme conditions, a benchmark that would last for more than a century. When the legendary Auto-5 left the scene in the 1990s other great Browning shotguns stepped in to fill the void. But many diehards thought that the Browning Arms Company without a recoil-operated autoloading shotgun in the product line seemed somehow incomplete.

A rebirth of recoil-operated shotgun has been on the minds of Browning design teams for more than a decade. The engineers at Browning’s main European R&D facility located in Herstal, Belgium, along with the “Wild Bunch,” our innovative team of designers, model makers and engineers working at our headquarters in Morgan, Utah, got together in 2006 to make it a reality.

The Herstal team – with all its FN Group resources – took the lead on the basic design while the Morgan team focused on creating a feature-rich package specifically designed to meet the expectations of American hunters.

Prototypes were in testing for over a year, and by the end of August 2007 the “Auto-5 look” was incorporated into the mechanics of the design. The A5 design was firmly on a path that John M. Browning himself would approve of, offering the most advanced concepts of recoil operation in the history of Browning. By 2010 the full A5 package was in testing, complete with all the features that would become its foundation: from the recoil-operated Kinematic drive system to the Invector-DS choke tube system. By early 2011 pre-production guns were seeing action all over the world with Browning’s beta-testers, proving the effectiveness of the design and reaffirming its built-in reliability.

The culmination of this five-year project was the newest autoloader from Browning – and it now had a name: the A5. As you’d expect, it is so robust and so proven that the new Browning A5 comes with a 100,000 round, 5-year guarantee. Come Hell or High Water – the A5 works.