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I am normally more interested in military small arms than sporting ones, but the Browning Auto-5 is such an important firearm that it deserves the recognition of and proper small arms enthusiast. It was not only the first long recoil firearm, but also the first viable semiautomatic shotgun – and it remained very popular for many decades. H.M. Shirley, Jr and Anthony Vanderlinden teamed up to write the definitive reference work on the gun, covering everything from prototypes and Browning’s patents as he designed it to the Japanese production almost a century later. The book begins with an excellent extended overview of the history of FN, John Browning, and their collaborations – a section which will be excellent reading for anyone not familiar with that history (and with lots of detail that many folks probably don’t know). It then explains really every aspect of the gun’s production and variation – proofing, barrel marks, different grades and options, mechanics, serial numbers and date codes, special models, engraving, and more. This really is a one-stop-shop for anyone interested in the FN production of the Auto-5!
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