Browning A5 Sweet 16 Shotgun ReviewOct 14, 2021
Today we're taking a detailed and in-depth look at the semi-auto, inertia driven, Browning A5 Sweet 16! This is one classy shotgun from Browning. I haven't had a lot of experience with 16ga shotguns but this one was definitely worth spending the time with. I have previously hunted with the Sweet 16, but had never thought to try it out on the range! So come on out to the range with me and learn all about this 16 gauge A5 from Browning!
The full in depth review is on my YouTube Channel (Target Focused Life) but if you prefer to read, here's a quick breakdown on paper.
- This Browning Sweet 16 is going for about $1,789
- I was able to get it at REEDS SPORTS well below that (Check it out here)
- 16 gauge - Inertia operated
- 2 3/4" chamber
- 28" Barrell (26" available)
- 5lbs 13oz - Very light
- Length of Pull 14 1/4" Out of the Box - Adjustable with spacers
- Drop at comb 1 3/4" - Shim kits available
- Drop at Heel 2" - Shim kits available
- Drop at Comb is adjustable with shims
- Comes with 3 invector plus chokes
Ergonomics/Look & Feel
- This gun feel exceptionally well balanced in the hands
- Balance is way rear-ward but swings and mounts nicely
- Trigger guard is generously sized
- Pistol grip is very comfortable, solid to grab, but maybe a bit meatier than what I'm used to
- Forearm does not curve inward for finger grip - has very classy symmetrical look though
- Safety is rear-mounted
- Charging handle and other controls are not oversized - I believe this was an aesthetics decision to keep it classy
- Bolt release is very easy and textured nicely
- Loading port isn't milled out - probably harder to do on the smaller walls of a 16 gauge
- 5lbs 12.2oz (Average)
- Feels great with no travel!
- This trigger has a clean break!
Quality of Build
- I always look at the quality of the build relative to the price. Everything comes together as expected, very, very nicely
- Browning offers a generous 5 year 100,000 round warranty
- Nickle Teflon bolt - looks great and makes lubrication and cleaning easier on smoother surface
- Chrome plated chamber
- Turkish high gloss wood is very nice
- Overall phenomenal - not much else to say here!
Ease of Breakdown
- As expected this inertia gun came apart simple with minimal parts - hats off to Browning for keeping it easy
- Overall very easy, efficient, and smooth due to the very high quality materials
- Feels very good and manageable
- Also note that the gun is ultra light - the minor added recoil is a trade off I'd take any day for the carry weight of this Benelli
- I genuinely really enjoy how this gun is feeling
- Keep in mind these shells are decently hefty game loads - I was not expecting any hangs ups
- The first couple shots every segment would not cycle, which concerns me because I had just cleaned it and lubricated it
- From the hip this A5 struggled a bit
- Over the head also did not cleanly cycle
- The A5 worked great when shot quickly from the shoulder
- I believe that Browning's "Most reliable shotgun" claims have been proven wrong here
I find this evaluation valuable because it tests how all the moving parts really come together. From getting on target, having an appropriate trigger pull, recovering from the recoil, and cycling good enough to get back on target.
- The fastest time I could accomplish with the Browning A5 Sweet 16 today was a 1.25
- I'm frustrated with how much I struggled with this gun - It looks too good - I can't stay mad
- The biggest problem I had was with the trigger reset and cycle time. My muscle memory was assuming it'd shoot earlier than this A5 did - There's no pretravel, but I wasn't used to how much I had to pull it
- I also noticed the lighter front end giving me a bit more muzzle flip, but it generally swung and mounted super comfortably
- Doing this speed test actually gave me good insight as to where I, the operator can improve in regard to really getting gin tune with the gun before trying a whole lot of fast shooting
- At the end of the day this sweet 16 wasn't as reliable as I would have thought either. With that said, I still accomplished a very fast time so all is well
In summary, I really like this Browning Sweet 16. It looks amazing, but had trouble with cycling. With that said, I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you're looking for a very nice, classy looking 16 gauge.
Would you like to see a head-to-head comparison with another semiauto shotgun?
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