Average Score 3.75 out of 5
Elsberry, MO --(Ammoland.com)- This isn’t your Grandpa’s A5. When Browning rolled out a redesign of the famous A5 it stirred up lots of nostalgia. The A5 is one of the most famous John Browning designs and when Browning came out with a new version of the gun they added modern updates while still staying true to some of the qualities that A5 owners love so much. Some people may not like that the new A5 has some different features, but I think Browning has done a nice job of updating the gun.
Let’s start out with how the new A5 works. The original A5 is a long recoil operated gun. When fired the A5’s barrel and bolt recoiled together. This design has been used for generations and has more than proven itself in the field.
The new A5 is also a recoil operated firearm but uses the new Kinematic Drive System. When the A5 is fired an internal spring accumulates recoil energy bounces back unlocking the bolt and cycling the action. This new systems handles a variety of shell loads so no mater what game you are after the gun will cycle the shells. You can see the gun in action in this video.
The Kinematic Drive System design allows for the A5 to have a much narrower forearm that is easy to handle and maneuver. With the new A5 you will probably feel a little more recoil, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. The A5 is faster than I expected when cycling shells and like I mentioned, handles a wide range of loads including the 3 ½ version.
Browning kept the humpback design on the new A5. Besides keeping the same look, the humpback on the gun extends your sight plane to allow for faster target acquisition. If you aren’t used to shooting an A5 it will seem a little awkward at first but doesn’t take long to get used to.
The receiver is made out of aircraft aluminum, making it lightweight and strong. The gun itself feels lightweight, handles well, and depending on what model you get weighs around 7lbs give or take a few ounces. The A5 is very well balanced even with longer or shorter barrels.
For a better shot pattern the A5 features backbored barrels and the Vector Pro lengthened forcing cones. These features help reduce shot deformity resulting in a better, more consistent pattern.
Browning new Invector-DS choke tubes are featured in the A5. The new choke tube design has a brass alloy band at the end of the choke tube. This keeps gasses and other materials from getting in between the choke tube and the barrel, aloowing the choke tubes to be easier to remove after extended shooting. The entire choke tube redesign was for better performance and more consistent shot pattern. The longer choke tubes have a more gradual taper to help keep the shot column in place. The A5 comes with a Full Modified and Improved Cylinder choke tube.
The A5 does have a bolt latch button that keeps the bolt open when the gun is empty. To operate you push the large button in front of the trigger guard pull the bolt back and it will stay open. When the bolt is closed and chamber is empty, the bolt unlatch button also can be used to take a round from the magazine and moves it on the carrier for loading.
To help reduce felt recoil, the A5 has an Inflex II Recoil pad. The recoil pad is a nice size and for me doesn’t snag on clothing and is very easy to shoulder. The Inflex II Recoil Pad is also designed to move the gun down and away from the shooters face.
The A5 also has the Turnkey Magazine Plug like the Maxus has. This feature allows you to easily remove the magazine plug using a car or house key. I really like this feature because I usually send the magazine spring flying when I take the plug out of my Winchester SX3.
Speed loading is an original Browning feature that has been passed down to the new A5. This feature allows the first shell loaded into the magazine to feed directly into the chamber. This feature also allows you to completely unload the A5 without having to run each shell through the chamber. You can see this work in this video.
As an owner of my Grandpa’s A5 I have to say I like the new version. It handles nice, shoots a variety of loads and has the nostalgic feel with modern updates.
Quality: It’s a Browning so it has the same quality and reliable features that has made the company so popular.
Reliability: Browning has a 5 year or 100,000 shot guarantee on this gun. Talk about having faith in your product!
Price/Value: Depending on the model the A5 is on the higher end of what I call hunting shotguns. With the different models and camo patterns available Browning has the right A5 for your hunting needs.
Referability: If you are looking for a recoil operated shotgun, look no further.