In addition to the Auto-5 made by Browning, Remington used the same design to make its Model 11 shotgun from 1911 through 1948. Browning ended production of the Auto-5 in 1998 with over 3 million made since its introduction in 1903.
Lovers of the Auto-5 can rejoice now as Browning has just announced they are reintroducing the Auto-5. However, it is not the same Auto-5 that your grandfather used in the duck blind. Browning has changed the long recoil action to a short recoil action that they are calling the Kinematic Drive System. According to The Firearm Blog, this short recoil system is very similar to Benelli's patented Inertia recoil system.
Alex Robinson from Outdoor Life has this review of the "new" Auto-5 which he and other gun writers had a chance to try earlier this fall.
Outdoor Life also has a picture essay on the Auto-5 here.
Browning has posted details on the new Auto-5 here. It will be available in both a traditional wood and a synthetic stocked version (black and camo).
GAUGE : 1 2 -- 2 3/4" to 3" chamber
RECEIVER Strong, lightweight aluminum alloy
BARREL Lightweight profile • Flat, ventilated rib
ACTION 3" chamber • Recoil operated Kinematic Drive is ultra-reliable and cycles a wide range of loads
STOCK Shim adjustable for length of pull, cast and drop
FEATURES Vector Pro™ lengthened forcing cone • Three Invector-DS™ choke tubes • Inflex II Technology recoil pad • Brass front bead sight • Ivory mid-bead sight • One ¼" stock spacer and one 1⁄2" stock spacer, plus lengthened screws for total adjustment of 3⁄4"
The shotgun will weigh between 7 lbs 3 0z. and 7 lbs. 7 oz. depending on the length of the barrel. Below is the Browning teaser announcement on the new Auto-5. MSRP will be range from $1,399 to $1,559 and delivery is expected in Spring 2012.
I have both a Remington 11 in 16 gauge and a Browning Sweet-16. Of the two, the Browning is the nicer shotgun in terms of fit and finish.
The Sweet-16 belonged to the Complementary Spouse's late father and is missing its buttstock. If anyone knows where I can find a replacement buttstock at a reasonable price, please let me know by e-mail (email@example.com) or in the comments.