June 25, 2008

Browning Citori XS Sporting 12 Gauge

This gun is considered a classic over-and-under that is similar to the popular Model 425, which has been discontinued, and the current production Model 525 Sporting. They are all made in Japan with similar frames and locking systems that use lugs in the bottom of the receiver to help reduce recoil.

The tapered locking bolt, recessed into the bottom of the receiver, also allows the bolt to set deeper through extended usage to keep the system tight as a drum. With the locking lugs underneath the receiver, the recoil is transferred through the bottom of the action, rather than the top, and reduces muzzle jump. That is a feature we appreciate.

Weighing in at a slightly heavy 8.25 pounds, this was the first 32-inch-barrel shotgun handled by some of our test-team members. To a person, they liked the heft and feel of the Browning, particularly in the way it pointed and then glided through targets.

The overall handling ability, smooth function and great trigger earned the Browning our top grade. Most, but not all, shooters will prefer extended chokes, but we didn't mark down for that. The accessory kit with the Browning included three standard internal chokes, a good choke wrench, a variety of light pipes for the front sight and three triggers. The trigger trio and adjustable settings were well appreciated by our crew and greatly enhanced the ability to change the length of pull to fit different shooters.

Drop at the comb was 1.5 inches, and drop at the heel of was 2.25 inches, fitting our team in an acceptable manner. The adjustable length of pull, created by moving the trigger forward or backward, was a well-received feature of the Browning, in addition to the three different styles of gold triggers. The LOP range was 15 inches down to 14.5 inches — receiving high marks on our score cards.

We were also very impressed with the trigger pull of the Browning. The top barrel broke at 4 pounds and the bottom pull was 4.25 pounds. Both pulls were very crisp, and we consider them some of the best factory triggers we have encountered.

Both the Browning and the Remington featured palm swells on the grip for right-handed shooters. Since none of our team members was a lefty, this feature was appreciated by everyone in our group. A palm swell allows for a firm, yet comfortable grip with the trigger hand — a plus for any shooter planning to spend a lot of time on the range.

The locking lug system of the Browning, featuring lugs that fit into the bottom of the receiver, is a tight system that also helps direct recoil in a manner that reduces barrel jump.

We liked the inclusion of several different colors for the HiViz Pro-Comp front sight (white, red and chartreuse) provided as part of the accessory package, but the offering of three different styles of triggers was our favorite feature.

Adjusting, removing and reinstalling the triggers was very simple and was a customizing feature that found favor with each member of our test group. During our trip to the patterning board, the Browning produced a nearly uniform 50-50 spread at 30 yards, with half of the hits above the center and half below. We were impressed with the solid pattern that also produced solid hits on clays.

The only downside to the Browning was the lack of extended chokes, although several after-market versions are available in addition to extended chokes marketed by Browning.

As for handling ability and target-busting ability, we found no fault in the Browning.

Comments (2)

I have 4 Browning Citori over and unders and find them to be exactly as you describe.

Posted by: ROBERT S | June 27, 2008 8:05 PM    Report this comment

I too have had the pleasure of firing a Browning Citori and agree it is a joy to shoot!

Posted by: escopeta | June 26, 2008 9:52 PM    Report this comment

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