Century Commemorative Browning Auto 5 Up for Bid

The firearm has been donated to the SHOT Show auction that benefits the HSSFF.

NEWTOWN, CT -- Sportsmen, collectors and anyone else with a love for craftsmanship and history will have a chance to bid on an exquisite one-of-a-kind Belgian-made Browning Auto 5 that was created to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of this tremendously popular shotgun.


The exceptional, Belgian-made commemorative edition has been donated by Browning for the SHOT Show auction, with the proceeds benefiting the Hunting & Shooting Sports Heritage Foundation (HSSHF).


The first production Browning Automatic-5, Serial No. 1, designed in 1902, was shipped from the Fabrique Nationale plant to John Moses Browning's Ogden, Utah, store on September 17, 1903. Mass production of the Auto 5 ceased in 2000, but skilled craftsmen continue to produce the model in prized, very limited numbers in the custom shop in Herstal, Belgium.

The centennial-celebrating 12-gauge shotgun was completed at the Belgian facility in September 2003, almost 100 years to the day of the original gun's production.


"This One-Hundredth Anniversary Edition Auto-5 is a tribute to the genius of John Browning," said Denny Wilcox, Browning's firearms product manager. "Browning's commitment to quality and functionality, as well as his ingenuity of design, continues to be the cornerstone of our company's success."

The commemorative Auto 5 features custom hand engraving and 24-karat gold inlay. The right side of the gun shows a vignette of John Browning standing in front of the Fabrique Nationale plant, four high-relief gold-inlaid mallards in flight and a banner with the dates, "1902-2002," and the words, "A-5 Browning-One Hundred Years."

The left side features the words, "Auto-5 A Legacy of Genius," inlaid in flush gold, four high-relief gold-inlaid Canada geese and a banner that reads, "Century Commemorative."

The commemorative's fancy walnut stock is hand carved and checkered. The offering is completed by an exquisite leather takedown case.

This spectacular firearm will be auctioned at www.hsshf.org/auction, where bidding opens on January 15, 2004. In order to bid online, participants must register at www.gunbroker.com, the host of this exciting auction. Bidders attending the 2004 SHOT Show may also place their bid in person during show hours at the NSSF office in the Las Vegas Convention Center. All bidding will end at the conclusion of the SHOT Show.

Bidders for this unique shotgun will be participating in the effort to ensure the future of the hunting and shooting sports in America. The HSSHF's mission is ". . .to create a sustainable environment for the shooting sports in America." In the last two years, the SHOT Show auction has generated $47,400 for the Heritage Fund.

"Browning Firearms is proud to be part of the 2004 SHOT Show auction and hopes that this historically significant firearm will provide additional horsepower to the Heritage Foundation's efforts and that it finds a good home in the fortunate high bidder's collection," Wilcox said.

Launched in 1998, the HSSHF provides a coordinated legal defense to politically motivated lawsuits against the firearms industry, initiates voter education campaigns to mobilize the sportsmen's vote in favor of pro-gun candidates and supports firearms safety education campaigns, including the nationally acclaimed Project ChildSafe free firearms safety kit program and the Don't Lie for the Other Guy program aimed at curbing "straw purchases."

"It is clear from this donation that Browning recognizes the importance and value of the Heritage Fund's efforts," said David Miles, director of market development for HSSHF. "With the continued support of Browning and our more than 150 other HSSHF supporting member companies, the Foundation will be strongly positioned to handle any future challenge against our hunting traditions and our firearms freedoms."

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