Browning 725 Citori Field 20 Gauge Part Two

As it turns out, the new Citori 725 20 gauge rates as the best hunting 20 gauge O/U Browning has ever made. The triggers are spectacularly good, breaking at 3 lbs., 11 ounces, it is far lighter (6 lbs., 9.5 ounces as tested) than the classic Citori offerings, and softer shooting as well. Even though an approximately 6-1/2 lb. gun is a fun gun to carry, with 7/8 oz. target loads you can shoot it all day.

It is an extremely good-looking gun as well, essentially my idea of what an O/U should look like, with a good grade of walnut and generally good wood to metal fit. In this gun, the 20 gauge version of the “Invector Double Seal” choke tubes makes its debut.

Part of the appeal of the DS choke tube barrels is that they are far lighter and more responsive than standard Citori barrels. The longer DS tube gets rid of the barrel bulge at the muzzle, and the DS tubes do not shoot loose. They also shooter cleaner than conventional tubes.

The problem with the 12 gauge DS tubes is that they are horribly mis-marked and do not perform as promised or marked in the Improved Cylinder to Improved Modified area: redundant patterning shows this. That problem appears to have been addressed in the 20 gauge DS chokes.

Only three chokes are supplied with the 725 20 gauge field, but all three (IC, MOD, FULL) throw patterns in line with their markings. The constrictions on the DS 20 gauge tubes are far heavier than the 12 gauge DS attempt, running .007 and .015 inches for IC/MOD based on the upper barrel bore, and it is no great surprise that constriction works. In 20 gauge, the IC tube has 700% of the 12 gauge constriction, and the Mod in 20 gauge has fully double the constriction of the DS 12 gauge. In fact, the 20 gauge Invector DS uses more constriction than the old 20 gauge standard Invector: a twenty standard Invector used .023 inch for a "Full" pattern, but the new Invector DS uses more: .029 inch.

Although additional choke tubes aren't going to be available according to Browning until approximately May this year, the pattern performance appears to be no longer the frustrating, puzzling issue that it is in the 12 gauge, and that's a good thing.

Up until now, my favorite Browning twenty gauge was the Cynergy. The 28 inch Citori 725 weighs about the same, is just as soft of a shooter, but is far better looking and has dramatically better triggers. There really isn't much to niggle about here, except that I do think O/U shotguns should all come from the factory with a minimum of five choke tubes. In 2010, the MSRP on the Cynergy Field was $2659 and is currently at $2849.99. Here, four years later, the new Citori 725 lists at $2469.99, something no one will object to.


Though not remotely the most expensive O/U I've tested, the 725 Citori 20 gauge is one of the most pleasurable: it is fun, comfortable, and easy to shoot. Browning has done a terrific job with this model and deserves congratulations for an exceptional product. It is quite easily one of the best shotguns of 2014.

Copyright 2014 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.


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