Over the centuries the shotgun has evolved, but the concept has remained the same, a weapon that fires many large (and small) projectiles down range. From the blunderbuss which is a firearm with a short, large caliber barrel flared at the muzzle and frequently throughout the entire bore, it was used with shot and other projectiles of relevant quantity or caliber. Skip forward 400 years and now we have both single shot, double-barreled shotguns, semi-auto and fully automatic shotguns, but in this particular article, we will focus on those shotguns that fire semi-auto.
A semi–automatic shotgun is a shotgun that is able to fire a shell after every trigger pull, without needing to manually chamber another round. Many semi–automatic shotguns also provide an optional manual means of operation such as by pump action or a charging handle.
The Browning Auto-5 was the first mass-produced semi-automatic shotgun. Designed by John Browning in 1898 and patented in 1900, it was produced continually for almost 100 years by several makers with production ending in 1998.
The Browning Automatic 5, most often Auto-5 or simply A-5, is a recoil-operated semi-automatic shotgun designed by John Browning. It was the first successful semi-automatic shotgun design, and remained in production until 1998. The name of the shotgun designates that it is an autoloader with a capacity of five rounds, four in the magazine and one in the chamber. Remington Arms and Savage Arms sold variants called the Remington Model 11 and Savage Model 720 that were nearly identical but lacked the magazine cutoff found on the Browning.
In the video below, we will focus on five different makes of semi-auto shotguns.
H/T – Wikipedia