Jun 13, 2012, 1:01 AM EDT
By Bill Miller
I went by my favorite local sporting goods store today – Cabin Fever in Victoria, Minnesota. It’s a place that reminds me a great deal of the bar in the old TV Show “Cheers.” As it’s theme song says, “… it’s good to go where people are always the same. It’s good to go where everyone knows your name.” That’s Cabin Fever for me.
I was making conversation with the manager while she was winding some new line on a few reels for me (yep, I might actually get time to go fishing soon, so I want to be prepared). I asked if they’d gotten in any of Browning’s new A5 semi-auto shotguns yet. She said, “No, but we’re sure taking orders for them.”
Adding my name to that list is mighty tempting. The new A5 has lit my fire. The profile is that of your grandpa’s vision of a shotgun (unless he was a Model 12 man like mine), but the insides and guaranteed performance probably exceed anything Gramps ever dreamed of. The hump is back, but that’s all!
The biggest difference is the new Kinematic Drive System. Kinematic Drive is the simplicity of design for consistent, reliable function with any load and in any weather. Bring on the moisture and the grime. From the heaviest 3-inch loads down to 7/8 factory target loads, Browning promises the gun will function.
How sure are they? Well, the new A5 is the first semi-auto shotgun ever to come with a 5-year/100,000 round warranty!
There are versions of the new Browning A5 with traditional wood and blue finish, synthetic black, and in Mossy Oak Duckblind camouflage.
Now, I’ve never owned an A5 before. I had the chance to shoot one several times in the field and on the trap range, and I shot it well. In fact, if I’m remembering right, I ran my first 25 straights in handicap trap shooting a borrowed A5. I won some money with it, too, shooting Annie Oakleys. Those are good memories.
I know that to break trap targets in succession, the place you have to be looking is down range where the bird will appear and you’ll visually acquire the target, but I still believe the success I had with the old A5 on the trap range had a lot to do with the maximized sighting plane. That squared off humpback extends the plane of the rib as far rearward as possible and gives it a definitive ending point. Even though it’s properly seen as a blur when you’re looking at the target, there is some kind of advantage there.
With Father’s day approaching perhaps I’m just nostalgic for the guns of my dad’s and granddad’s era, but so what? The new Browning A5 will scratch that itch very, very well. Now do I order a classic wood and blue finish? But that Mossy Oak Duckblind model has a great look to it, too. Decisions, decisions!!!!
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