September 2007

Three 20-Gauges Duke It Out On the Sporting Clays Field

Though all three get better-than-average marks, the Browning Cynergy Classic Sporting earns the highest grade from our shooting team—but even it was short some accessories.

Serious sub-gauge clay-bird shooters have two choices available to them when it comes to guns. They can either use tube inserts in their main 12-gauge gun, or they can pick a separate firearm. Tubes certainly have distinct advantages—cost and familiar handling characteristics to name two. But many of us want a separate gun, so we wanted to see if any of today’s sub-gauge sporting clays firearms were up to the task.

We pitted three 20-gauge over/unders that were similar in many ways, but particularly in weight—all of them coming in at exactly 6.5 pounds. In the lineup were a $2950 Beretta 687 Silver Pigeon II Sporting No. J687435 with 30-inch barrels; a $3850 Caesar Guerini Magnus Sporting with 30-inch barrels, and a Browning Cynergy Classic Sporting No. 013245726, $3235, with 32-inch barrels.

We patterned the guns at 40 yards on the National Target Company’s shotgun patterning target (all proved accurately regulated). Also, we used a Shooter’s Ridge Steady Rest on Midway USA’s MTM portable shooting bench for point-of-impact tests. Our team employed an RCBS trigger-pull gauge provided by Midway USA to measure trigger pulls.

Here’s how the three guns stacked up in these static tests and on the sporting clays and skeet fields:

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