Jeeze....OK (perhaps I should have shut my mouth). In my parts (everything seems to be regional for some reason), original 1897's in the condition that you describe are fetching a very fair price...Beretta 390's and A5's are not. They were even doing better when the cowboy cult was all of the rage, but, they are still in very high demand none the less.
JB, you got a good shooter and some trading fodder for $175 and cleanup time. That's a great deal in anyone's book. Enjoy the 390. Sell the A5 here for $176; buy a coffee for the extra buck and don't look back.
I'll tell you, P-master, when I read that "Best Auto" thread I couldn't believe how many votes the Browning A5 swept up. I've shot quite a few, just a few shots on the practice line, and I thought they were all terrible. I just couldn't see any appeal other than nostalgia and that last usually turns out to be a case of the grass being a lot greener before. Is there anybody here who actually shoots one at ATA trap? Or an 1897? Be honest now . . .
Neil, I didn't say that I liked to shoot them. But from a dependability view point, I've seen them with so darn much debris in the receiver that they would hardly close and still cycled. Twice I've witnessed one dropped in water and thus mud be fished out and they still worked. But I'll say again, I don't like shooting them, especially now...
Sidenote, Kent Evans shot his first trap targets with one.
DoubleAuto- Yes, there are some uses for shotguns that do not involve shooting trap, but they are clearly secondary. God intended for shotguns to be used for ATA events. All other casual uses are intended to prepare a shooter to enter ATA events. I do have a very open mind on this topic and my mind is closed.
Martin, Those old hump-backs are amazing. Years ago duck hunting, I complained to the fellow with me that my model 11 seemed to have an awful lot of kick to it. Being the observant genius that I am, I didn't notice that I was feeding it 3" mags. I don't know how the heck it was ejecting, but it got them out of there. LOL. Great memories of days gone by, some I should forget I guess. Have fun, one cement head to another. Bob