Basic Browning A5 Maintenance

The Browning A5 is an icon among icons. It was in production for over a hundred years since its development and release by John Moses Browning himself and has become enshrined in the annals of history and gun lore as one of the most reliable, best-handling, and fastest-cycling autoloaders ever produced.

Immediately recognizable by its “humpbacked” design and the sharp corner at the rear edge of the receiver, the A5 has probably taken more waterfowl and upland game than the average sportsman can count – not to mention countless other species and illimitable clays.

If you have one, here’s a quick guide on how to keep it clean after a day of shooting (note, this does not cover in-depth cleaning, just a quick cleansing of the bore after a day in the field.)

1. First, clear the weapon by removing any shells from the mag tube; then open the action and inspect the chamber.

2. Next, stand the shotgun vertically and push down on the barrel; towards the receiver. Push down until you can feel the recoil spring compress, then unscrew the magazine cap.

3. Slowly remove the barrel and forend. Gently remove the recoil spring and friction rings and make note of the order in which you remove them. Place them to the side.

4. Hold and secure the charging handle and depress the carrier latch button. Allow the bolt to travel forward under control so it doesn’t slam into the receiver.

5. From the chamber end, look down the barrel. You’ll see a bunch of fouling. The first thing you’ll want to do is clean this out. Soak a bronze brush in a bore solvent or use a bore mop and then run it down the barrel from chamber to muzzle until it comes out clear. You’re done when there is no speck of fouling left in the barrel and it shines like a mirror when held to the light.

6. If you haven’t cleaned the choke tube recently, remove it and use a nylon or bronze brush to scrub the fouling off of the threads. Then, put a single drop of oil on the threads and wipe off the excess before reinstalling the choke tube.

7. With the barrel and choke tube cleaned, you can turn your attention to the barrel extension. Wipe off any fouling, and apply a light coat of oil to the inside and outside of the extension.

8. It is also imperative to make sure that the friction rings are under the right amount of friction. With the shotgun disassembled, wipe off any fouling or excess oil, then apply a fresh coat. After you have applied a fresh coat, wipe off any excess oil.

9. With the shotgun cleaned and lubricated, reassemble it in the reverse order in which you took it apart, carefully.

10. Once again ensuring the shotgun is not loaded and there are no shells in the magazine tube, cycle the action manually a few times. It should be limber and smooth; that’ll be your insight into whether or not you applied the proper amount of oil to the friction rings.

Need Browning Parts for Repairs?
Now, when you took your A5 apart did it seem as though your friction rings or recoil spring were a bit worse for wear?

If you need to make any repairs during this process or are looking for Browning parts, check out SARCO, Inc., online at They carry one of the industry’s widest collections of Browning parts (including parts for the A5; they even carry hardwood stock replacements!)

Visit their website for more information via the link above and if you need help with A5 maintenance or repairs, or have general questions about gun parts, their specialists can help you out; just give them a call at 610-250-3960.

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