These dates were gleaned primarily from Sauerfan's timeline and the Shirley/Vanderlinden book. Browning informed me the gun left the factory in 1955. Last shipped before the outbreak of WWI was SN 19642.1915 to 1918 No production due to German occupation of Belgium during WWI.1919: 19671- 205001920: 20501 - 222371921: 22238 - 240501922: 24051 – 260001923 Barrel Address (US market) BROWNING ARMS COMPANY OGDEN UTAH BROWNING’S PATENT26001 – 284001924: 28401 - 356501925: 35651 – 40010 (app.)1926: 40011 (app.) - 516001927: 51601 - 579001928: 57901 – 651001929 Ventilated barrel rib (as an option) and barrel address change to "Ogden Utah and St Louis Mo.Details about dates, transitions, exceptions, and other nuances can be found in the Shirley/Vanderlinden book, Browning Auto 5 Shotguns. 1909 1 - 32001910 to 1914 There is only vague info about 16 ga SNs in SV (page 74) for the time 1910 to 1914. "65101 – 827501930 Barrel Address (US market) BROWNING ARMS COMPANY ST LOUIS MO.Just two years into the 1939-45 War, Britain was suffering a serious shortage of suitable training rifles. were already supplying much miltary materiél, and a request was made for a consignment of .22 rimfire rifles suitable for the purpose.With all local manufacturers committed to the far higher priority of Service arms production, there were simply not enough small calibre rifles to go round. The Mossberg Model 42 rifle was a sporting/target based design which offered an excellent basis on which minor modifications could comparatively easily be made to current production lines; the substitution of the three-quarter length stock with a full-length military style stock being the most significant and obvious.
I decided to share it here since this is where much of my limited knowledge came from. Other factors need to be taken into consideration to properly date your gun.
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**The first letter on your barrel is the month your firearm was manufactured; the second letter is the year it was manufactured.
I compiled this quick reference serial number guide for dating 16ga Browning A5s and the Auto 5-3 Shot, by serial number.
A common mistake I have seen in many, many, gun shops and online sites is to assign the 12ga serial number date to a 16ga.Browning’s bust between “TRADE” and “MARK”96144 – 995001935 99501 - 1035001936 The "Sweet Sixteen" was released but limited to a test market.103501 – 105850*1937* Introduction of the “Sweet Sixteen” sale to the public.