On the new Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen

The examples we tried at the SHOT Show had extremely positive ejection. For whatever reason, the 16 gauge shells used were all 1-1/8 oz.

The last attempt at releasing a sixteen gauge autoloading shotgun of any consequence was not a new model at all: it was the Remington 1100. It didn't do particularly well, for it (like the re-release of the Remington 870) was essentially a 12 gauge shotgun with a bit smaller hole in the barrel, making the guns actually heavier than similar 12 gauge models.

Though there is usually a lot of chatter about shotgun “frames,” repeating shotguns don't have specific frames. They have receivers and barrels, but that hardly equates to anything meaningful. It also doesn't mean anything as far as weight, for lighter weight 12 gauges are nothing new at all, considering models like the Franchi 48 AL designed in 1948, released in 1950.

The last 16 gauge repeater to make it is the Browning BPS 16 gauge, introduced as a SHOT Show Special and still part of the Browning line. In the case of the BPS, you have the 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, and .410 bore all with similar dimensions and weight. Tested nine years ago, the BPS 16 is a 7-1/2 pound pump: http://www.randywakeman.com/BrowningBPS16GaugePump-actionShotgun.htm .

It is no secret that some models in 12 gauge are far more satisfying than their other gauge counterparts, and vice-versa. One example that comes to mind is the old Browning B2000: a nose-heavy, poor handling pig in 12 gauge, but yet the B2000 in 20 gauge is one sweet field gun.

So it goes with the new Browning A5 12 gauge, reviewed previously in detail. When gun makers put out a new 12 gauge, it is decided up front whether is is going to be a 3-1/2 inch model, or not. The A5 12 gauge is, and that means a monstrously long receiver, larger ejection port, abnormally long shell lifter, and so it goes. Add in the 12 gauge Invector DS choke issues, it wasn't tremendously appealing. The DS choke problems were fixed in the 20 gauge Citori 725 and likely in the A5 16 gauge as well. With its 2-3/4 inch chamber and shorter receiver, I can tell you already that the speed-loading feature is vastly improved as well.

The A5 Sweet Sixteen is under a 6 lb. gun, lighter than many 20 gauges, over 1-1/2 lbs. lighter than than BPS 16, and about ¾ pound lighter than the original Automatic-Five Sweet Sixteen. It is the 16 gauge autoloader that 16 gauge aficionados have longed for, for many decades. It sounds like May / June availability, so I won't have the chance to execute a full review until then. It is going to be available with 26 inch or 28 inch barrels.


Item Number 0118005005

UPC 023614439578

Gauge 16 Ga

Chamber Length 2 3/4"

Barrel Length 26"

Overall Length 47 1/4"

Length of Pull 14 1/4"

Drop at Comb 1 3/4"

Drop at Heel 2"

Weight 5 lbs 12 oz

Magazine Capacity 4

Rib Width 1/4

Barrel Finish High Gloss

Stock Finish Gloss

Wood Grade Grade I

Chokes Included Full, Modified, Improved Cylinder

Receiver Finish Polished Black

Dura Touch Finish No

Chamber Finish Chrome Plated Chamber

Front Sight Fiber Optic

Choke System Invector-DS Flush

Barrel Material Steel

Stock Material Turkish Walnut

Recoil Pad Inflex 2, Large

Checkering Cut 18 LPI

Sling Swivel Studs None

Receiver Material Aluminum Alloy

Trigger Finish Gold Plated

Trigger Guard Finish Matte Black

Bolt Slide Finish Brushed Nickel

Magazine Type Tubular

Trigger Material Alloy

Trigger Guard Material Alloy

Trigger Guard Engraving Buck Mark in Gold

Copyright 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.



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