The menu for clay shooters and hunters looking to pick up a new over-and-under shotgun can range from plain meat-and-potatoes to chateaubriand. Gun Tests took a look at the over-and-under arena and the Browning Cynergy, a radical departure from the Citori models. The shotgun caught the eye of shooters and shotgun enthusiasts across the country because of its new design and internal mechanical innovations in 2004.
Here’s what they found:
Browning Cynergy Sporting 12 Ga. No. 013231427, $2,690
To put our test shotgun through its paces on the sporting clays course, our test ammunition included Remington Premier STS Low Recoil 2.75-inch, 2.5 dram shells with 1 1/8 ounce of No. 8 shot with a muzzle velocity of 1,100 feet per second; Remington Premier STS Low Recoil 2.75-inch, 3.0 dram shells with 1 1/8 ounce of No. 7 1/2 shot with a muzzle velocity of 1,200 fps; and Estate Super Sport Competition Target Load 2.75-inch, 2.75 dram shells with 1 ounce of No. 8 shot with a muzzle velocity of 1,180 fps.
This gun is made in Japan and is distributed by Browning USA. It caused quite a few double takes when it was taken out of the box.
With its stock that slopes forward at the comb and features an Inflex recoil pad, plus the low-profile receiver, this was a bold new step for the company founded by John M. Browning.
Although our test gun did have an unusual feel when first put to your shoulder, minor adjustments by the shooter quickly allowed for target-busting performance. Unfortunately, a drawback to the system is that installation of an after-market recoil reducer, a Jones Adjuster or even shortening the stock to fit a youngster or small shooter would be very difficult.
The Browning test gun was 47.0 inches in overall length, with a 30-inch factory-ported barrel and a length of pull of 14.5 inches.
Weighing 7.75 pounds, the shotgun was easy to handle, and the new-style recoil pad performed very well. The trigger pull was 5.25 pounds for the bottom barrel and 6 pounds for the top, and, as Browning advertises, produced a very crisp and fast operation.
An examination by our gunsmith confirmed that the mechanical trigger system is more similar to a rifle than a shotgun. The Reverse Striker design is an interesting innovation that reduces both lock time and overtravel. However, our gunsmith did express his concerns about the durability of the system. He felt the additional stress points could pose a problem with potential metal failure.
The drop at the comb was 1.5 inches, with the drop at the heel of 2.4 inches. Length of pull was 14.5 inches, although three pad lengths are available that can alter the LOP by one-half inch increments and a quarter-inch spacer is included with the shotgun. Additional pads are available from Browning for about $35. These adjustable features are a big plus for the Cynergy.
Gun fit for our test group was very good with the pad already on the test gun, so additional adjustments were unnecessary.
Also adding to the Cynergys performance on the clay target field were the back-bored and ported barrels. Both recoil and muzzle jump were noticeably less than the other test guns and the glide factor (moving through targets at various speeds) was very pleasing.
With its 8-11 millimeter tapered rib, topped with a white bead middle sight and chartreuse HiViz Pro-Comp front sight, the pointing ability of the Cynergy earned high marks from our test group.
There were no malfunctions during any of the testing, and most of the testers were hesitant to stop shooting this fine firearm because of its handling ability.
Gun Tests Recommends: Our Pick. There is no question about the excellent handling ability and overall performance of this fine firearm.