First Look: Browning Citori 725 Field 20 Gauge O/U Shotgun
The new 20 gauge Browning 725 Citori Field gun has been given a very similar treatment to its bigger 12 gauge brother. It uses a lower profile receiver (gone is the traditional Browning under-bolt locking system) than the by now classic Citori, a lighter barrel set including the 20 gage version of Invector Double Seal choke tubes and an improved, mechanical trigger group. The gun is lighter, more responsive and the package is finished off with a graded walnut forend and butt stock with cut checkering and the latest Browning Inflex recoil pad. A selective single trigger, selective ejectors and ventilated rib are standard.
In 20 gauge, the 725 shaves over a pound away from the similarly configured 725 in 12 gauge and is roughly one quarter pound lighter than the 20 gauge Citori Lightning. It is also more than a quarter pound lighter than the 28 gauge and .410 bore Citori Lightnings. Despite the relatively heavy weight of the 28 Gauge Citori, I've always found it to be a bit of kicker. Perhaps part of it is because the classic Lightning smaller-bores came without a recoil pad. The 725 20 gauge is offered in 26 or 28 inch barrel lengths, while the ported / fiber optic bead / five choke Sporting version is offered with 28, 30 and 32 inch barrel sets at $3139.99 (2014 MSRP).
To say that I was favorably impressed with the 725 20 gauge would be an understatement. It was a fun gun to shoot, the most enjoyable shotgun of the 2014 SHOT Show. The triggers were excellent, felt recoil was essentially imperceptible (with target loads) and wherever I looked, the bird broke. I have no idea when these will actually be generally available, though I would guess around May, 2014. You can expect a detailed review as soon as I get my hands on a production gun.
Copyright 2014 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.