What is My Browning Semi-Automatic Shotgun Worth?
Among the most popular shotguns ever created is John Browning’s Auto 5 shotgun. It is known as the first successful semi-automatic shotgun design and was produced for nearly 100 years with production ceasing in 1998. Unable to find a domestic manufacturer, the Auto 5 was picked up by Fabrique Nationale who produced the shotgun through its life cycle with the exception of the German occupation of Belgium during the Second World War. Not just a civilian hunting shotgun, the A5 served in both World Wars, Vietnam, the Malayan Emergency and the Rhodesian Bush War. In pop culture, the Auto 5 can be used in popular video games Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises. As a collectors item, the Auto 5 is highly coveted and is popular in the pre-owned market.
The Auto 5 has a fairly diverse production with a few rare variants. Values can depend on which manufacturer produced them. Browning, FN, Remington, Miroku and Savage are the producers of Auto 5 type shotguns. Among these producers FN, Browning and Miroku generally command the highest value. The Remington Model 11 and the Savage Model 720 models are nearly identical but lack the magazine cutoff. Different variants demand different values as well. For example the “Sweet Sixteen” and the “Light Twenty” are variants that hold more value compared with the standard 12 gauge Auto 5.
A major factor in determining value for any firearm comes from the condition of the gun. If it is in mint condition with little finish wear from handling, the gun can retain a good portion of its retail value. If more usage is apparent and the gun has scuffs, dents or scratches on the slide or polymer lower, the value will lower with each imperfection. Same goes with the metal parts, the more scratches and faded bluing finish that becomes present on the gun from handling and usage can greatly diminish its value. The takeaway is that as the condition of the firearm worsens, the less it will be worth when re-sold.
Another factor that contributes to a re-sale value is the firearm’s originality. Please note that as a collectors piece, the value of Auto 5s are greater if they retain the original finish. Another nuance is whether all the parts of the firearm have the same serial numbers.
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