NRA American Rifleman calls Browning’s A5 Sweet Sixteen “…A sweetheart for the 16-ga aficionado.”

The latest Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen. NRA photo.

“Browning,” “Auto-5” and “Sweet Sixteen” are forever linked in the minds and hearts of avid upland bird hunters everywhere.

There are some things that naturally go together. Like “Mom” and “Apple Pie.” Like “Texas” and “Remember the Alamo.” Like “Second Amendment” and “Freedom.” So thus the terms “Browning,” “Auto-5” and “Sweet Sixteen” are forever linked in the minds and hearts of avid upland bird hunters everywhere.  

In the February 2017 issue of NRA American Rifleman the highly insightful technical editors who write the magazine’s long-running product test feature “Dope Bag” took a close look at today’s Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen and had some sweet things to say about this lightweight, smooth-swinging smoothbore.

 

“In 1903…semi-automatic shotguns revolutionized hunting.”

More than 100 years ago Browning created the autoloading shotgun. The legendary inventor John M. Browning holds one of his original Auto-5s, circa 1920. Browning archive photo.

“In 1903…semi-automatic shotguns revolutionized hunting. (Foremost was) John M. Browning’s long-recoil operated Automatic-5 – ‘Five shots under your finger’ read the advertising …” noted the NRA’s Dope Bag editors. “…Here were shotguns that did all the work, save aiming.  The darling of the Browning Auto-5 line was the Sweet Sixteen. Built on a sleek 20-ga. action, the Sweet Sixteen was made by Fabrique Nationale in Belgium from 1937 to 1975, although there was an understandable break from 1940 to 1947 due to World War II.”

“The darling of the Browning Auto-5 line was the Sweet Sixteen.”

In 2012 Browning revisited the inertia-operated shotgun with an all-new A-5, and in 2016 launched the new A-5 Sweet Sixteen on its own scaled down action. “The A5 Sweet Sixteen Kinematic Drive uses a rotating bolt head…which engages matching recesses in the barrel extension…,” explain the NRA’s technically sophisticated editors. “When the gun is discharged the bot remains stationary while a carefully calibrated spring tightens the grip on the locking lugs. When the gun’s recoil slows the spring decompresses, allowing the lugs to be rotated into the open position ate the stored inertia in the mass of the bolt to move it rearward.”

Browning’s Sweet Sixteen combines the original Auto-5’s aesthetic cues with the company’s more modern, inertia-operated Kinematic Drive system. NRA photo.

You’re going to have your work cut out for you if you want to TRY to wear out a Browning A5.

The NRA editors took the time to note of many of the great features that come standard on the A5 Sweet Sixteen, like the traditional humpback receiver profile, red fiber optic front sight and white mid-bead, the trio of interchangeable Invector-DS choke tubes, the nicely figured walnut stock with crisp, top-quality checkering, Inflex recoil pad and the industry leading 100,000 round guarantee. 

The Sweet Sixteen’s sights consist of a white bead (l.), located mid-barrel, and a red fiber-optic pipe (r.) found at the muzzle. NRA photo.

“…Carrying (the A5) through the grouse woods, behind pointers in quail cover or through an endless Midwest corn field for pheasants easy and comfortable for the entire day.”

“All in all, the Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen is a sweetheart for the 16-ga aficionado… it’s a treat in the field and worth checking out.”

Handling in the field was rated excellent by the NRA’s technical editors. “The balance is between the hands…” they confirmed “…And due to its light weight, would make carrying it through the grouse woods, behind pointers in quail cover or through an endless Midwest corn field for pheasants easy and comfortable for the entire day.”

“All in all, the Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen is a sweetheart for the 16-ga aficionado,” concluded the NRA gurus. “And for those unfamiliar with this old, traditional gauge, it’s a treat in the field and worth checking out.”

If it’s about time you discovered (or rediscovered) just how sweet a Browning Sweet Sixteen is, visit your local Browning firearms retailer today.

You can read the entire Dope Bag review in the February 2017 issue of NRA American Rifleman online at: 

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2017/1/26/gun-review-browning-a5-sweet-sixteen-shotgun/

Review copyright Browning 2017, written by Browning staff writer Scott Engen. Other photos copyright NRA American Rifleman.