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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently acquired my first Browning. It is a shotgun with some characteristics of an A5 3-shot but it is also very different. The story from the family that had it is one of their ancestors used it in the 30's in a sheriff's department in New England. It has markings for a 3-shot on the hand grip but the humpback is missing on the reciever unlike any A5 or 3-shot I have seen or can find online. It also has a cut-off trigger guard which looks ot be factory original. Supposedly this was a model made for law enforcement and the cut-off trigger guard is to allow use with gloves or mittens in cold weather. That sounds reasonable but why would a law enforement use on a 3 shots when they could have 5? any help identifying this would be appreciated. Thanks In Advance!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's a BUTCHERED Savage auto shotgun......Their version of the A5 action..............As pictured. May be worth a $100. That cut trigger guard is dangerous and ugly.
I appreciate you taking the time to respond and the dangerous comment but I am not sure on this being a
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Savage. I know the stock looks like a Savage but did the Savage 720 shotgun have Browning markings? Did Savage ever make a 3-shot? From all the online research I can find there were no Savage 720's made in 3-shot. Also the 720's were made with Savage markings. There are no Savage markings on this gun. And Savage 720's have a 5 digit serial number while this has 6 digits (193XXX) Also the work on the trigger guard looks original to me, or done by a very good gunsmith that matched the original blueing. It is a puzzle to me.
 

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I appreciate you taking the time to respond and the dangerous comment but I am not sure on this being a View attachment 14734 Savage. I know the stock looks like a Savage but did the Savage 720 shotgun have Browning markings? Did Savage ever make a 3-shot? From all the online research I can find there were no Savage 720's made in 3-shot. Also the 720's were made with Savage markings. There are no Savage markings on this gun. And Savage 720's have a 5 digit serial number while this has 6 digits (193XXX) Also the work on the trigger guard looks original to me, or done by a very good gunsmith that matched the original blueing. It is a puzzle to me.
Do You find a "B" stamped on it anywhere ?
If it's a Browning the serial # will reveal what it is ; https://www.nramuseum.org/media/940941/serialization-date of manufacture.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do You find a "B" stamped on it anywhere ?
If it's a Browning the serial # will reveal what it is ; https://www.nramuseum.org/media/940941/serialization-date of manufacture.pdf
Thank you and the serial # 193XXX says it was an A5 made in 1936. The issue is the stock does not look like any A5 or 3-shot, which were also considered to be A5's. The stock does in fact look like the Savage 720 stock but it is not a 720. That is a big part of the mystery to me. Does anyone know of Browning made a special batch of A5's with very different different stock configuration?
 

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Thank you and the serial # 193XXX says it was an A5 made in 1936. The issue is the stock does not look like any A5 or 3-shot, which were also considered to be A5's. The stock does in fact look like the Savage 720 stock but it is not a 720. That is a big part of the mystery to me. Does anyone know of Browning made a special batch of A5's with very different different stock configuration?

Mike : Many years ago I was privileged to have assisted a close friend Tim a firearms dealer , in disposing of a unique collection of firearms ,from another of My acquaintances . Sandy was married to a Browning a granddaughter I believe ,as I don't remember exact relationship .Now there were a Bunch of Browning's and ALL of them had #3 digit serial numbers . Sandy's Wife was a Browning and as such she received Low serial #'d firearms directly from the factory ,as did other members of the family . I Don't ever recall seeing that style auto in any of his/her collection ,A5's Yes but ALL were humpbacks even early Belgium units . One BAR in particular had 007 serial # and as the sale was after the 1968 Gun Act ,I wasn't able to purchase that or ANY other machine guns . 20/20 hindsight I regret NOT purchasing a couple of other Browning's though . Unfortunately I had just purchased Leo Carrillo's ( Cisco Kid side kick ) 44-40's in their holster ,from his Daughters , Son .
Only to have to return them # 21 days later ,as I learned they were STOLEN o_O . Did later purchase a legit Dirty Harry .44 marked from the Studio and Yes Clint knows I have it along with it's sales slip from the studio (y)

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Interesting gun. The Savage was the Model 775 with the higher buttstock where the humpback would be. As far as I know all of them were made with an aluminum alloy receiver. This one looks different where the wood meets the frame, and looks like it could be made from blued steel. Suppose Savage was not the only one to try this idea? In my opinion it is a standard Browning humpback that has had very skillfully fitted custom replacement wood. And a Cutts compensator. Love those. What in the world did the stocker do with the upper tang though? Could be some enterprising individual who modified an Auto 5 to resemble the humpless Savage? Stanger attempts have been made.
 

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That's a BUTCHERED Savage auto shotgun......Their version of the A5 action..............As pictured. May be worth a $100. That cut trigger guard is dangerous and ugly.
It is my "opinion" that's a rather insensitive and disparaging "opinion" remark by you telling the OP his gun is a "BUTCHERED (in capital letters for extra insult) Savage auto shotgun". It is my "opinion" that you leap before you look. If you had bothered to look at the OP's 3rd pic, you would have seen the word Browning and the Browning head logo on the receiver as well as the word Browning on the barrel. So it's not a Savage auto shotgun as you ignorantly stated. ("Ignorant" means lack of knowledge of a subject and is NOT an insulting term and that's a fact not an "opinion").

It is also my "opinion" that you are also ignorant that law enforcement officers in the earlier 20th century commonly cut their trigger guards of their revolvers down so they could engage the trigger a split second faster and also for use with winter gloves. The same is true of this shotgun since the OP stated it was used by law enforcement back in the 1930's. Famous double action handgun shooter Ed McGivern along with many others cut down their trigger guards as well as their hammer spurs. See below photo (and link for) November 1957 "Guns" magazine .

Gesture Trigger Air gun Shotgun Gun barrel




As for your "opinion" that it may only be worth $100.00 please show us your evidence of an appraisal from a qualified, industry recognized expert in Browning shotguns to back that statement up. Otherwise it's just your subjective "opinion". My subjective "opinion" is it is worth more than that at least to me, simply for the fact of the novelty of its buttstock. Because it appears to be a standard squareback old Auto 5 that simply has perhaps a Savage buttstock specially modified to fit right up to and perhaps even telescope a bit over, the rear of the Browning receiver. By the buttstock wood being higher and engaging the receiver higher, this may even lead to less stress cracks that I have seen in regular old Auto 5 buttstock's grip areas as well as lessen muzzle rise when shot via the stock now being almost an inline with the receiver and barrel stock which is known to lessen muzzle jump due to those ergonomics. Also I don't believe the OP would take $100.00 for it, if I am wrong please let me know OP and I'll whip out a Benjamin for you.

As for your "opinion" that it is dangerous, it is my "opinion" that law enforcement as a profession is already dangerous and the officers accept that risk and they also train to use the safety so they won't have a negligent discharge (ND) due to their trigger guard being cut down. Also, the OP said he believes the cut trigger guard is factory done at the order of the law enforcement agency who if they thought it was too dangerous to use, they wouldn't have ordered it, and if it was done by the department or the officer himself, then the dept or officer obviously didn't think it was too dangerous.

Actually it's a fact not just my "opinion", that when someone calls something "ugly", that is just their singular and subjective "opinion". Beauty or ugly is in the eye of the beholder. It is my "opinion" that your post response to the OP is insensitive, harassing, impolite, discourteous, and attempting to incite and escalate towards creating an argument with the OP that if you couldn't say something positive or constructive, you should have just scrolled on by and "let it go" rather than you jumping to the wrong conclusion about what brand it was and then projecting your negativity onto the OP and his shotgun. I also noticed when it was mentioned that it said Browning on the receiver and barrel, you didn't apologize to the OP for your mistake in saying it was a "BUTCHERED Savage auto shotgun. In my "opinion", your entire post was rude and insulting and it is to the OP's credit that he did not allow himself to be trolled into an argument with you that by your disparaging remarks you obviously sought to incite and instigate. I'm not sure I could have been as calm as he considering your ignorance and insults. But that's just my "opinion".

Isn't it great how these forums encourage folks with differing "opinions" to contribute their "opinions". (The site admin himself told me that.) Then it is up to the reader to decide which "opinions" are logical, helpful, and that they agree with and form their own opinion of someones character and personality and whether they are a positive helpful person, or a mean spirited negative person that has an inferiority complex that has to be fed by trying to tear others and their items down so they can feel superior. Yes the ability for us to contribute our "opinions" here is just wonderful. :giggle:
 

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Interesting gun. The Savage was the Model 775 with the higher buttstock where the humpback would be. As far as I know all of them were made with an aluminum alloy receiver. This one looks different where the wood meets the frame, and looks like it could be made from blued steel. Suppose Savage was not the only one to try this idea? In my opinion it is a standard Browning humpback that has had very skillfully fitted custom replacement wood. And a Cutts compensator. Love those. What in the world did the stocker do with the upper tang though? Could be some enterprising individual who modified an Auto 5 to resemble the humpless Savage? Stanger attempts have been made.
All the Savage 775 models were the aluminum alloy receiver. The 755 and 755A were steel receivers. All are based on the Browning Auto 5 design but are a little different internally.

The steel receiver Savage 755 or 755A pic below. Somewhat similar in looks to the old 11-48 which is also based on the auto 5 but without the humpback on the receiver.
Wood Trigger Hardwood Metal Rectangle


I agree with you 4575wcf that where the wood meets the rear of the receiver on the OP's gun, it looks different from the 755 above as we can see in my enhanced pic below. There is no curvature to the top rear of the receiver in the OP's gun. It appears the stock is actually partially telescoping over the rear of the receiver some distance, and on all sides! No doubt because his is a Browning old auto 5 receiver and not a Savage 755 receiver. Possibly one of a kind and a rare version and not a "Butchered Savage Auto shotgun" as one always negative and disparaging poster said. If I were the OP, using its serial # I would contact Browning and try to find out if the cut trigger guard was done at the factory, if it was indeed made to order for some law enforcement dept, if the Cutts compensator was factory installed and if the factory put that stock on it. If any of that is so, that would make it a rare example and worth a lot of money. Definitely worth checking into.
I also agree with your diagnosis that it is a standard Browning humpback auto 5 that has had very skillfully fitted custom replacement wood. Possibly even a Savage 755 or 755A butt stock modified to fit an auto5. To your question of what did the stock modifier do with the upper tang, he probably first drilled out the stock so the bolt spring housing would fit unless if it was a 755 stock and already had that stock wood area bored for the bolt spring housing. Next he probably drilled out the wood so the upper tank of the auto 5 receiver would fit into the stock and there may be a long bolt going from the top of the butt stock down through the wood an into threads in the bottom tang which he also had to bore the wood for since the bottom tang goes into the wood as seen in more pics below. The bolt head at the top may be recessed into the wood, but we can't tell since the OP did not show a view of that area. The OP's gun for comparison below. See how there is no curvature to the rear of the receiver like there is on the 11-48 or 755? The wood appears to telescope over the rear of the humpback Browning receiver on all sides, look how far back the trigger is to also confirm that. Note the 12 wider ports Cutts comp with screw on "spreader" choke as compared to the 24 more narrow ports on another similar model of the Cutts comp.
Water Wood Building Font Rectangle


The fact that the receiver is marked Browning and has the Browning logos makes it obvious it is not a Savage shotgun. Wood appears cracked and you can see lower tang of auto 5 receiver is going into the wood. Possibly heated and bent tangs to fit highly modified custom stock.
Automotive exterior Rectangle Font Bumper Auto part


Another crack on the right side of the wood? There's a clue in this photo and the above photo of how the tangs are dealt with holding the stock. Above pic show lower tang actually going into the wood. In this below pic, we see what could be a screw going up through the wood and possibly into non factory threads of the lower tang. We don't have a pic of the top of the stock to receiver area, but there could possibly be a recessed screw head there going to the top tang. This butt stock appears to me to be telescoping the rear of the receiver on all sides.

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I’ve never seen an A-5 that wasn’t a humpback.
The receiver is curved like the rear end of an 11-48. Very interesting.
Look again carefully at these photos. The steel receiver itself isn't curved, just the wood is curved on the butt stock that is partially telescoping the humpback auto 5 receiver on all sides. Look at how far to the rear the trigger is to also confirm this. It sure appears the stock is partially telescoping over the rear of the receiver. How very unusual. One of a kind. I'd be doing a serial # search and checking on its provenance with Browning if I was the OP. At least even if Browning didn't do the mods to it, perhaps they could direct the OP to what law enforcement dept it went to. Then the OP could contact them and find out when and who modified it and what officers used it and when.
Automotive exterior Rectangle Font Bumper Auto part


Pollinator Arthropod Liver Insect Trigger


That's definitely a famous double action handgunner Ed McGivern style cut trigger guard for acquiring the trigger quicker or with gloves. Only in this instance the rear of the trigger guard is cut away instead of the front like on the Ed McGivern style handguns. Popular back in the 1930's through the 1950's and done by many people back then. Looks to be no safety on the shotgun either (or it's covered by the telescoping wood) so the officers must have carried it unchambered and chambered it when things got hot. No matter whether the mods are factory or not, they give the gun increased value simply for the novelty and unusual aspect of it. OP, if you read this, you need to research the provenance of your unusual shotgun.

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Just an afterthought--if the tang screw from the bottom was carried through to the upper tang as you suggest, would not it have to go through the action spring housing tube? Been awhile since I worked on my Savage 720 4575wcf custom fitted bird killing machine ; ). That rounded pistol grip certainly speaks Browning.
 
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