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<  16ga. Guns  ~  >>>BROWNING A5 16ga SERIAL NUMBER DATE GUIDE<<
morngstar
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:33 am  Reply with quote
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This guide is for the Browning A5 16 gauge only. Browning 12ga numbers began with number 1 in 1903. The 16ga number 1 began in 1909. The two sets of numbers are different. A common mistake I have seen in many, many, gun shops and online sites is to assign the 12ga serial number date to a 16ga.

I compiled this quick reference serial number guide for dating 16ga Browning A5s and the Auto 5-3 Shot, by serial number. I decided to share it here since this is where much of my limited knowledge came from.

The serial number and dates are approximations only. These dates were gleaned primarily from Sauerfan's timeline and the Shirley/Vanderlinden book. Details about dates, transitions, exceptions, and other nuances can be found in the Shirley/Vanderlinden book, Browning Auto 5 Shotguns.

I took the liberty to use the Calandar Year Jan. 1 - Dec. 31 for the X series. FN used the Fiscal Year July-June. Other factors need to be taken into consideration to properly date your gun. I found what I thought was a very early 1948 Sweet Sixteen based on the serial number. Browning informed me the gun left the factory in 1955.


1909
1 - 3200

1910 to 1914 There is only vague info about 16 ga SNs in SV (page 74) for the time 1910 to 1914. SNs 3201 – 15000 were invoiced between 1st Jan. 1910 and 30th June 1913. Last shipped before the outbreak of WWI was SN 19642.

1915 to 1918 No production due to German occupation of Belgium during WWI.

1919: 19671- 20500
1920: 20501 - 22237
1921: 22238 - 24050
1922: 24051 – 26000

1923 Barrel Address (US market) BROWNING ARMS COMPANY OGDEN UTAH BROWNING’S PATENT
26001 – 28400

1924: 28401 - 35650
1925: 35651 – 40010 (app.)
1926: 40011 (app.) - 51600
1927: 51601 - 57900
1928: 57901 – 65100

1929 Ventilated barrel rib (as an option) and barrel address change.
65101 – 82750

1930 Barrel Address (US market) BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS MO
82751 – 90500

1931
90501 – 94000

1932 Introduction of the three shot Auto 3 with shorter magazine tube and shorter forearm marked “Browning 3 Shot”
94001 – 96072

1933
96073 – 96143

1934 Receiver legend Now with BROWNING and John M. Browning’s bust between “TRADE” and “MARK”
96144 – 99500

1935
99501 - 103500

1936 The "Sweet Sixteen" was released but limited to a test market.
103501 – 105850

*1937* Introduction of the “Sweet Sixteen” sale to the public. Barrel Rib four possibilities in 1937: none, solid (hollow) rib, ventilated rib with X posts or matted finish for Sweet Sixteen (SV page 9Cool Barrel Ring as before or drilled with three holes on the barrels of Sweet Sixteen Safety Gold plated (Sweet Sixteen only) Trigger Gold plated (Sweet Sixteen only) Misc. “Sweet Sixteen” not separated by SN. No serial number distinction between the Sweet 16 and the Standard 16 gauge A5s.
105850 – 111000

1938: 111001 – 118200
1939: 118201 – 126123
1940: 126124 – 126175

****1940 – 1953**** "A" Prefix American made Browning by “Remington Arms.”

1947 Post war Belgium made “X Prefix Series.” No serial number distinction between the Sweet 16 and the Standard 16 gauge A5. This is the “unmarked” Browning, era of the Sweet Sixteen.

These are among the rarest of the A5 Sweet Sixteen but are priced as standard 16 gauge A5s in value guides. This is the first year of standard production of the 2 ¾ inch chambered 16 gauge. It is also the last year of the non-engraved sweet sixteen. The popularity and success of the Sweet Sixteen from 1937 through 1947 earned it a permanent place in Browning marketing as the 1948 engraved “Sweet Sixteen.” 1947 is also the only year the 3 shot 2 ¾ 16ga was marketed in the USA. Getting one of these extremely rare original factory issued guns at a standard gun price is a trophy in itself.

1947 – 1953 “X Prefix Series”
1947: X1001 - X13666
1948: X13667 - X23501
1949: X23502 – X34600
1950: X34601 – X43700
1951: X43701 – X59400
1952: X59401 - X77700
1953: X77701 – X99999

1948
Introduction of the “Sweet Sixteen” in script engraved on the receiver. Prior to 1948 no sweet 16 was factory engraved “Sweet Sixteen.” Glen Jensen, Browning Historian takes the position that the true “Sweet Sixteen” was born when the receiver was engraved “Sweet Sixteen” in 1948. He acknowledges the lightweight A5 16 gauge guns produced between 1937- and 1947 are in fact Sweet Sixteens and identified as such in the factory issued catalogues. If the serial number records archived at Browning indicate the non-engraved guns are a Sweet Sixteen, Glen Jensen will issue a letter on Browning letterhead with an official seal for a fee authenticating the gun as a “Sweet Sixteen.”

1953 – 1954 A - Series "A" in front of or above the serial number. These guns were a transitional series between the X and the below R/S marked guns.
A1-A958

1953 - 1957 R = Standard Weight, S = Sweet Sixteen
1953:
S 01 – S 3700
R 01 - R 3100
1954:
S 3701 – S 24850
R 3101 - R 20800
1955:
S 24851 – S 49350
R 20801 - R 48750
1956:
S 49351 – S 72300
R 48751 - R 74700
1957:
S 72301 – S 99908
R 74701 – R 99999

1957 – 1958 Second series of "A" prefix
A Serial Number 01 November 14, 1957 and T Serial Number T229 November 24, 1957
1957-1958 A or T #01 – 10900 A Indicated Sweet Sixteen and T indicated standard 16

1958 – 1967 The single digit precedes the S and R. 8S,8R = 1958, 9S, = 1959, 0S = 1960, 7S =1967

1964 was the last year of the “R” (4R) Standard Weight A5 16ga.

1968 – 1976 The two digit year precedes the S. 68S = 1968, 76S = 1976

1976 Japanese Production Began, however, FN still produced Browning “Made in Belgium” shotguns into 1984, SV p65. The serial number coding system changed to the serial number preceding the date code. Serial began with 1000 – 99999 followed by the model code 221 Sweet Sixteen and 171 Superlight 16 and two letter year(R=7, T=6, P=Cool. see Browning Website

1976
1000 221 RT – Sweet Sixteen
1000 171 RT – Superlight Sixtee
1978
1000 221 RP – Sweet Sixteen
1987
1000 221 PR – Sweet Sixteen


Last edited by morngstar on Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:41 pm; edited 8 times in total

_________________
1909 Browning A5 16ga
1936 Very Sweet Sixteen, 1937 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot, 1938 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot
1947 Sweet Sixteen Three Shot, 1947 A5 16ga Three Shot, 1947 Sweet Sixteen
1935 Superposed 3 inch chambered, 16ga conversion
Browning 725 16ga
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Flues16
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:09 am  Reply with quote
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morngstar, thank you for that very informative post on a favorite subject.
Perhaps it should be added to the permanent 'announcements' on this forum.

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Square Load
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:08 pm  Reply with quote
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Flues16 wrote:
morngstar, thank you for that very informative post on a favorite subject.
Perhaps it should be added to the permanent 'announcements' on this forum.


+1

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Dennis

Current 16ga. Stable

Browning Citori Gr I
Browning Sweet 16
Remington 11-48
Remington 31
Remington 870
Ugartechea Gr II
Winchester Mod 12
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morngstar
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:56 pm  Reply with quote
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Here are a couple of my favorites...the elusive Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot



And the equally elusive five hole first generation Sweet Sixteen.


_________________
1909 Browning A5 16ga
1936 Very Sweet Sixteen, 1937 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot, 1938 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot
1947 Sweet Sixteen Three Shot, 1947 A5 16ga Three Shot, 1947 Sweet Sixteen
1935 Superposed 3 inch chambered, 16ga conversion
Browning 725 16ga
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byrdog
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:34 pm  Reply with quote
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I guess you are the A-5 man about these parts. I just bought a 16ga A5 IT IS A THREE SHOT it has the 5 hole barrel lug it has exibition wood seems as old as the gun. it has a Cutts compensater I believe it was used as a skeet gun it also has an old recoil pad that was added. the S# is X15800 I think it is a 1948 make it does not have "Sweet Sixteen" on the reciever . Is it an un marked Sweet?

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If you take Cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like Prunes than Rhubarb does ----G.M/
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morngstar
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:53 pm  Reply with quote
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The 5 hole barrel ring seemed to be a first generation Sweet Sixteen. These are typically dated 1936 and 1937. Does the barrel serial number match the serial number on the receiver? I would love to see pics of your A5. Thanks

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1909 Browning A5 16ga
1936 Very Sweet Sixteen, 1937 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot, 1938 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot
1947 Sweet Sixteen Three Shot, 1947 A5 16ga Three Shot, 1947 Sweet Sixteen
1935 Superposed 3 inch chambered, 16ga conversion
Browning 725 16ga
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byrdog
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:18 am  Reply with quote
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Serial nos match and it has a simons rib chambered for 70 mm shells I will get some pics today
Will a barrel without holes in the lug work on this frame?

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ALWAYS wear the safety glasses

If you take Cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like Prunes than Rhubarb does ----G.M/
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morngstar
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:42 pm  Reply with quote
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All the 16ga Belgium barrels (Sweet 16 and standard) are interchangeable.

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1909 Browning A5 16ga
1936 Very Sweet Sixteen, 1937 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot, 1938 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot
1947 Sweet Sixteen Three Shot, 1947 A5 16ga Three Shot, 1947 Sweet Sixteen
1935 Superposed 3 inch chambered, 16ga conversion
Browning 725 16ga
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morngstar
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:51 pm  Reply with quote
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Thanks for the pics. I will post them here later tonight. It seems to be a shooter grade X series unmarked Sweet Sixteen. As a shooter some will love the upgraded fancy wood and Simmons vent rib/choke. The 1946-8 unmarked Sweet Sixteen don't have the speed load feature which hurts value for some. Its hard to place a value on these cause if its in the right auction at the right time it may bring $1,000.00. These are the type of Sweet Sixteen most shooters want for as cheap as possible and wont bid over $400.00. I paid $500.00 for my fancy wood, beaver tail fore customized 1940 A5. If it was an all original unmarked 5 hole, Sweet Sixteen, 3 Shot in excellent condition a collector may pay $2,000.00 +.

_________________
1909 Browning A5 16ga
1936 Very Sweet Sixteen, 1937 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot, 1938 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot
1947 Sweet Sixteen Three Shot, 1947 A5 16ga Three Shot, 1947 Sweet Sixteen
1935 Superposed 3 inch chambered, 16ga conversion
Browning 725 16ga
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morngstar
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:14 pm  Reply with quote
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Here are 3 of the 7 pics sent. It looks like it was sent to Simmons for the 50s/60s top shelf upgrade. Simmons vent rib, outstanding high grade figured wood, recoil pad, and Cutts compensator. A very beautiful shooter grade unmarked Sweet Sixteen. If Browning confirms it was a factory issued X Series 3Shot Sweet Sixteen, the letter may add to its value for some.







_________________
1909 Browning A5 16ga
1936 Very Sweet Sixteen, 1937 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot, 1938 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot
1947 Sweet Sixteen Three Shot, 1947 A5 16ga Three Shot, 1947 Sweet Sixteen
1935 Superposed 3 inch chambered, 16ga conversion
Browning 725 16ga
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morngstar
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 11:19 pm  Reply with quote
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Here is my latest Sweetie. The second most rare Sweet Sixteen, a 1947 2 3/4 chambered 3 Shot. This is only the third I know of to surface.













Here is the rest of the story
http://www.16ga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=149176&highlight=#149176

_________________
1909 Browning A5 16ga
1936 Very Sweet Sixteen, 1937 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot, 1938 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot
1947 Sweet Sixteen Three Shot, 1947 A5 16ga Three Shot, 1947 Sweet Sixteen
1935 Superposed 3 inch chambered, 16ga conversion
Browning 725 16ga
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rudolph31
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 5:49 am  Reply with quote
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Morngstar,

Outstanding find! Only, you won't be using that gun for "Double Doubles"!
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rudolph31
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 5:54 am  Reply with quote
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Flues16 wrote:
morngstar, thank you for that very informative post on a favorite subject.
Perhaps it should be added to the permanent 'announcements' on this forum.


That was almost 2 years ago. I hate to have to keep going over to SGW (where it's kept near the top) every time I need it. If it's not made permanent maybe we can keep bumping it up.
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morngstar
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 6:36 am  Reply with quote
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rudolph31 wrote:
... you won't be using that gun for "Double Doubles"!


What is a "Double Doubles?" I have been to a gun club 3 times in my life. Number 4 will be the Mid-West Shoot next Spring. I am a meat and potatoes kinda guy. The daily limit on pheasant in South Dakota is "Three."

Hope you and KGB join us next year.

_________________
1909 Browning A5 16ga
1936 Very Sweet Sixteen, 1937 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot, 1938 Sweet Sixteen 3 Shot
1947 Sweet Sixteen Three Shot, 1947 A5 16ga Three Shot, 1947 Sweet Sixteen
1935 Superposed 3 inch chambered, 16ga conversion
Browning 725 16ga
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rudolph31
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 6:54 am  Reply with quote
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"Double Doubles" is something we do occasionally at Skeet or Crazy. Load 4, call "Pull!" and the trapper pushes the doubles button--twice.

Easy at Skeet Station 7 . Really, really hard at Crazy when you have to shoot High, Low, Low, High.

Makes your Auto-5 sound like a machine gun!
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