Rooster Review: Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen

40791ae6-2d86-4ba6-8aa5-964a2e7e5c2c After running hard for a week – not enough sleep, too much coffee, long miles behind the wheel and hard miles in the field – this pheasant hunter wants any advantage he can get.
 
The new Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen is tipping the scales in my favor at the end of this long Rooster Road Trip. While this 16 gauge shotgun has many specs worth checking out, the one that I now know by heart is its weight. At 5 lbs., 13 oz., this is the lightest gun I’ve ever carried in Pheasant Country. Not only are my shoulders not sore from carrying, but I’ve felt no recoil whatsoever.
 
A Rooster Road Trip goal of mine was to get a rooster flushed and shot over my English cocker spaniel pup, “Smidge.” We put the gun to about as tough a test as you get in October, hunting in wet, muddy conditions, which included trudging through sloughs and some good ‘ol cattail busting.
 
Roosters have a knack for taking flight just when you’ve about given up hope, and that’s what this bird did. Rising up and out over the edge of the cattails, this rooster curled ever so slightly back toward me, skirting the edge of range. With almost second nature, I shouldered the A5, swung out in front of the bird, squeezed the trigger and watched it fold. Smidge was able to dig around and nose the find, meaning the Sweet Sixteen will always be inextricably linked to this memory I’ll cherish forever.
 
This sweet spot offering – between a 12 gauge and 20 gauge – also helps fill a void that will satisfy many pheasant hunters. In talking with pheasant hunters at hotels, restaurants and in the field across South Dakota and Minnesota this week, this is the shotgun we were asked about and the one that had to be held.
 
“That’s a sweet little gun” was the response, every time. It’s quite a compliment to this shooter that’s little in weight and sweet in everything else. Happy hunting!
 
-Anthony Hauck, Rooster Road Trip 2016
 

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