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Old October 30, 2008, 11:13 AM   #1
Waterengineer
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Has anyone shot the new Browning 625

Who and seen or shot the new Browning 626? What are the differences bewteen it and the 525?

Why did Browning feel compelled to come out with another shotgun? It doesn't seem like it was that long ago they came out with the Cynergy.

I can't seem to find one in my area. The catalog and website don't seem to have that much information.

Reviews, comments thoughts appreciated.

Thanks - Craig
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Old October 30, 2008, 12:13 PM   #2
johnbt
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I glanced at a sporting clays model I think it was. I got as far as the porting on the barrels and handed it back.

I just don't know if they'll sell at $2500 to $2800.

Here's the blurb if you haven't seen it...

"Browning 625 Citori Shotguns are the pinnacle of Citori performance and beauty. Performance is improved with the addition of the all new Vector Pro extended forcing cones that are designed to improve ballistic performance, and a modified trigger offers a lighter, crisper pull. All new wood checkering and handsome new receiver engraving patterns ably match tradtion with modern flair. The Browning Citori is a proven winner and the new Browning 625 Citori is the next generation designed to help shooters meet their shooting goals."
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Old October 30, 2008, 12:33 PM   #3
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I have seen the 625 in some shops locally / but I have not fired one. In my area there seems to be quite a few of the 625's around / and I think I even saw one in Sportsman's Warehouse recently which is a big chain out here as well as a couple of small shops - but we have one shop in the area that is a gold dealer or whatever they call it - so he gets most everything as soon as its available.

As near as I can tell, with one exception ( vs the 525 ), most of the changes are cosmetic - where the engraving is different on the receiver, the 625 comes with Diana grade extended chokes vs Midas grade on 525, the checkering on the pistol grip and the forend on the 625 is unique where it almost has ribs within the pattern / Browning claims to have done something different in the way they lengthened the forcing cones and as near as I can tell that's the only difference.

I bought one of the first 525 sporting models in my area / oil finish stock, 30" barrels - it was a beautiful gun, but it had way to much drop at the comb and heel for me ( and I got sucked in by the looks of it, it was probably 1998 or so ). Because it had so much drop, it pushed the flesh in my face up against my cheek bone - and beat the daylights out of me... so about 2 years ago, I refinished it and sold it.

I think the Browning 425 was on the market from 94-97 - and I don't recall why it didn't last long / then the 525 came out with some stock changes, new engraving, etc ( and some of us went to it like a moth to a flame ..) / now the 625 models are out but they have not dropped all of the 525 series either.

In the Citori lineup of guns - there were always a lot of models / but in the last 15 years they have brought out the 425/525 series ( I think there was a 325 too ) / the XS and XS Special series / the GTS series / along with many new versions of the old standby models - the XS Skeet and XT Trap as well ....the gold versions, with gra-coil, etc - and probably a few that came and went when I wasn't looking closely.

4 or 5 years ago - they developed the Cynergy lineup / as an alternative to the Citori lineup and at last count I think they have 15 or so versions of the Cynergy as well now. I think its a marketing dept run amuck ....

Browning makes great guns, in my opinion. Browning is my primary target shotgun / the XS Skeet series - I have 6 of them now in 12, 20, 28 and .410 / the XT Trap - I have 3 of those now - and both the XS and XT models are great guns. It took me awhile to figure out that the gun that fit me the best was a paralell comb gun ( so the 525, 625, most of the Cynergy series, etc ) just aren't on my shopping list. I still have a variety of BPS models and a couple of the original Citori field models from the 80's ...with angled combs / but some of them I've put custom stocks on, comb pads, etc.

I don't have any reason to doubt mechanically the 625 series will be just fine. Dimensionally, I think its almost identical to the 525 series with the cosmetic changes. The Diana extended chokes are good chokes. My 525 had inertia triggers ( as do all my other Browning O/U's ) / I don't know if the 625 has mechanical triggers or not - but in my view, that is only a factor if you want to go to full length tube sets for sub-gagues - and Briley or Kolar can swap those out for you when you have the tube sets made up.

Its the holidays - buy yourself another shotgun - and give us a field test report ...( we're pulling for you ).

As a note, I wouldn't buy a new shotgun that isn't ported in 12 or 20ga / unported barrels are fine in 28ga and .410 . Porting does not reduce recoil - but it definitely keeps the barrel down to make acquiring the 2nd or 3rd target that much easier. I don't think there is a downside to a ported barrel on a 12 or 20ga.

Last edited by BigJimP; October 30, 2008 at 01:12 PM.
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Old October 30, 2008, 04:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
BigJimP:
Porting does not reduce recoil - but it definitely keeps the barrel down to make acquiring the 2nd or 3rd target that much easier. I don't think there is a downside to a ported barrel on a 12 or 20ga.
Finally!!!
Here's a topic where Big Jim and I don't have congruent opinions. We were starting to wonder if one of us was going nuts!...

As he said, while porting doesn't reduce recoil, it does tame muzzle jump. May I add: It may not help your shoulder; but, with less lift, ports can ease a sore cheek a little.

There is a minor downside to ported barrels, but something few will encounter. Big Jim shoots his 4 gauges of Skeet with four different guns and I shoot mine with old school tubed O/U's. So, he's probably not seen this:
For those who've not been around a tubed gun, you start with a O/U 12-ga and a specialty shop, like Briley, custom fits 3 pairs of tubes that fit inside your 12-ga barrels. They let you shoot 4 gauges from the same gun. The advantage is uniformity, and a set of tubes costs less than 3 more guns. You simply tap the tight-fitting tubes in and out of the 12-ga barrels.
When the 12-ga barrels have been fired, you have to clean them before you insert the tubes. This isn't usually a problem because there's is plenty of time between regular events at a Skeet match.
At the end of a typical match, ties are broken by shoot-offs. They are consecutive with little time between them. It's not uncommon to quickly clean your barrels while changing tubes between different gauge shoot-offs. This is when ports can be a problem. During the match, the ports can accumulated a lot of crud (plastic from the wads). Then, at shoot-off time, the stubborn crud starts breaking loose preventing tube changes. My usual quick swipes with a fuzzy stick have little luck with port crud. If you've wondered why port cleaning punches are in the specialty catalogs, now you know -- ports can be hard to clean.
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Old October 30, 2008, 06:49 PM   #5
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Yes, we do Zippy ....but its ok man....( I knew it would come to this someday )...

Carry a couple of cotton pipe cleaners - and you can clean the ports on a shotgun barrel very quickly - you don't need one of those crud tools ....

Yes, I do use 4 guns - and you're right, it would be rare when I would be in more than one shootoff .... I understand you have to clean a gun between setting up your tubes (so you would have to clean the ports on the 12ga barrel - to put in a set of 20ga tubes after 4 or 5 boxes ..). But I clean my 12ga before I put it away anyway / and then I grab my 20ga ... so I think its a wash on time probably - and like you said there is time anyway between gague events / so a little more elbow grease on those ports and you'll be all set Zippy .....with some pipe cleaners. You should be ashamed to shoot a half clean gun man ......

Come on now Zippy... I hang around with you Perazzi and Krieghoff guys - with tube sets, your hammers, the 85 lb gun cases, all that cool stuff ...

Seriously though, Zippy is right - and there is a downside to shooting 4 guns - unless you can weight match them all the same ( and mine are close, but not perfect ). The system that is really the way to go if money is no object ( for a serious Skeet Shooter like you )- is a gun with a 12ga barrel - and then buy a 2nd carrier barrel to install the tube sets in for 20, 28,
and .410 so the weight of the carrier barrel and the tube sets ( which are about 10 oz as I recall ) will match and swing identially the same as the 12 ga barrel. Of course a lot of you big time Skeet shooters just shoot that 20ga in 12ga events too ....and I'm not good enough for that either ... but then you wouldn't have to clean out those ports from shooting the 12ga either ...since you don't really need those extra pellets probably. By the way, if you come up here - we'll shoot for a pepsi - and I want at least 6 targets in a 100 round match from you just because you're carrying that fancy Perazzi on the field ...let alone the tubes, etc .... I'm getting old, have bad eyes, I'm having a hard time breaking 90 some days ....plus I have to shoot in the rain 10 months a year up here ...give me a break.
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Old October 30, 2008, 07:02 PM   #6
Scattergun Bob
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BigJim

It scares me to the bone when YOU say "if money is no object", so just how many of my 870 police guns do I have to sell to by a slick set up like you are talking about for my red label?

I knew it, all of them

My best, Bob
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Old October 31, 2008, 01:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
BigJimP: The system that is really the way to go if money is no object is a gun with a 12ga barrel - and then buy a 2nd carrier barrel to install the tube sets in for 20, 28, and .410 so the weight of the carrier barrel and the tube sets will match and swing identially the same as the 12 ga barrel.
You got it!
As I said earlier, I'm old school -- got my tubes before carrier barrel came into vogue. And, I got my barrels ported before they invented pipe cleaners.
Luckily, I like a heaver gun, so when the tubes are out a corresponding weight goes on the standard 12-ga barrels.
Good thing I don't want a new carrier set-up: You were right about money being no object. I just did a little surfing, and it seems Perazzi wants just under $4K for a extra barrel set and Kohlar wants $750 to convert it to a carrier barrel plus $1,400 to $1,800 for the tubes. Hal duPont's asking $15.6K for his standard Krieghoff K-80 Skeet with a carrier barrel and tubes (the carrier adds $3,725). Newbie Skeet shooters are going to need some deep pockets if they want carrier barrels.

Scattergun Bob, I don't know what Ruger gets for an extra barrel set, but Kohlar will make another $2K vanish very quickly (the little hammer's included) . Perhaps it's time to bump your 870 police gun prices.

Quote:
BigJimP: I'm getting old, have bad eyes, I'm having a hard time breaking 90 some days ....plus I have to shoot in the rain 10 months a year up here ...give me a break.
I smell a hustle!
I'm old and and have bad eyes, too.
AND, I'm half crippled from humping those 85 lb gun cases! Howz 'bout you spotting me 8 or 10 targets?
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Old October 31, 2008, 12:18 PM   #8
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Ok Zippy ( what you smell is just a pulp mill up wind, not me...) - we'll meet in the middle, I'll take 7 targets in the .410 ( since I think you said you had a AAA average in .410 one day ...) and 6 in 28ga, 5 in 20ga and 4 in 12ga ..( that should make us even / even though I might still be the underdog).

Ok, so the first liar has no credibility / and I don't doubt you're crippled carrying that 85 lb gun case around .....

Bob, I don't know what to tell you about the 870's .... but you love em, you won't ever sell them ...

Truth - I'm 58 ( still working like a dog 20 - 30 hours a week ), but I do have 20/350 vision - with a great new trick developing in my right eye ( double vision ) especially funny when a target blurs and splits into 3 or 4 as it crossed the field .... It makes finding the front sight on my handguns a little interesting too. DeCot Hy-Wyd helped me out with some new shooting glasses - my opthomolegist put a prism into my prescription in addition to the progressive bi-foculs / to try and cut down on the double vision problems. Its better / but still comes and goes.

I'm not a registered skeet shooter - but I did manage a 94 last tue with my 20ga - light was good, dry, no significant wind and I was seeing the targets ok ( but no 25's .. shot a pair of 23's and a pair of 24's ). But with this eye problem, that's about as good as I can do unless I'm shooting a 12ga and throwing a bucket of shot around out there...so 96's or 97's are rare for me these days ( and I've never shot 100 straight ). But I can still hold a 92 - 94 average in 12, 20 and 28ga most days / .410 gets a little more shaky - but its still fun to shoot). We have some crummy days in the winter -wind and rain - and if we shoot, I usually shoot the 12ga Benelli super sport as my rain gun ( its a good all around skeet, sporting, hunting gun ).

The problem with these new carrier barrel sets, and you know this Zippy - but for anyone else reading our lies ... you really need to have someone like Krieghoff, Kolar or Briley produce or machine the carrier barrel vs just buying a 2nd barrel - since they need to be bored out, so with the weight of the tubes, the carrier barrel and tubes, then match the weight of the 12ga barrel for the set. So you carry one receiver / a carrier barrel for the tubes / a 12ga barrel in your 85 lb Americase ( and your little hammer and chokes ).

Right now with the value of the dollar so screwed up / the Krieghoff is pretty unattractive - with some mid grade scroll work, an upgrade on the wood - a K-80, paralell comb, adj comb, will a full set of chokes and new tubes is closer to $ 30,000 ( with the 85 lb Americase and hammer thrown in). Honestly, to me, it makes Kolar more attractive being made in Wisconsin. Even though I don't shoot registered skeet or sporting clays much at all anymore - I may order a once in a lifetime gun for my 60th birthday / before I retire .... but we'll see. Even if I do buy that Kolar or Krieghoff / I'll probably still keep my set of Browning skeet guns - for the grandkids, maybe coach some youth groups, etc - but a full blown K-80 with a carrier barrel and set of tubes is a pretty sweet setup ( no disrespect to the Perazzi ..).

Take care guys ( but I still think you should be ashamed for shooting a half dirty gun Zippy ).

I was shooting handguns last nite / and I cleaned both of them and put them back into the safe this morning before coming into the office at 9:30 ...(no slacking off up here..).
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Old October 31, 2008, 04:59 PM   #9
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new citori trigger

Getting back on topic...
From my perspective, of limited experience with Citoris, the item that caught my eye was Browning's claim:
"The Citori 625 offers an improved single selective trigger design that's noticeably crisper than earlier models."
Back in the day, a Browning O/U was Belgian made. When the beautiful Japanese Citoris were introduced, they made the Belgian guns look like over-priced Plane Janes. Many folks joined the Browning ranks since the new Citoris offered a lot of bang for the buck.
Unfortunately, a nice trigger wasn't one of the Citori attributes. They pulled like the sear was made of rough sandpaper. Let's hope Browning's crisp trigger claim can be substantiated by the users. Several of my shooting boddies got early Citoris. They shot them for a several years, felt the poor triggers we hindering their progress, and traded up.
One exception was veteran All-American Skeet shooter, and prince among men, Grey Silva. He loved his Citori 4-barrel set and shot it until the end of his days. NSSA veterans were those aged 70+. Grey was the very first in the vet-class to shoot a 100-straight in a .410-bore event. And, he did it in 1991, with his Citori, the weekend before his 80th birthday!

Quote:
BigJimP:
"The problem with these new carrier barrel sets ... you really need to have someone like Krieghoff, Kolar or Briley produce or machine the carrier barrel vs just buying a 2nd barrel - since they need to be bored out, so with the weight of the tubes, the carrier barrel and tubes, then match the weight of the 12ga barrel for the set..."

It seems such a waste to take a perfectly good barrel and convert it to a carrier. Too bad there isn't more demand for carriers -- the price could come down. It makes much more sense to get a "partial" or "rough" carrier barrel without having to pay for all that chamber and bore finishing work that's going to wind up on some machine shop floor. Kohler adds $150 to a carrier conversion if they have to remove chrome -- how much extra did the chrome bores add in the first place? -- what a pitiful waste.

"Even if I do buy that Kolar or Krieghoff / I'll probably still keep my set of Browning skeet guns - for the grandkids, maybe coach some youth groups, etc - but a full blown K-80 with a carrier barrel and set of tubes is a pretty sweet setup."
You're right, after shooting your carrier set-up you'll not be interested in your other Skeet guns.

"but I still think you should be ashamed for shooting a half dirty gun Zippy"
It was just the ports that weren't pipe cleaner poked - far less than "half" a gun.
"I was shooting handguns last nite / and I cleaned both of them and put them back into the safe"
Attaboy.. but, in your corner of the world, won't an un-cleaned gun grow an inch of moss before you can get it home?

Last edited by zippy13; November 1, 2008 at 10:48 AM. Reason: CT4S (Can't type for s...)
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Old October 31, 2008, 06:01 PM   #10
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Ok, we have hijacked this topic enough .....with our bs ..( I apologize waterengineer, I stated the nonsense ..).

I disagree with Zippy13 on the Browning triggers:
I think the triggers on the Browning target guns these days are way better than serviceable. I particularly like the adjustability of the trigger / and the optional trigger pads they provide as part of their triple trigger system. The Browning triggers are not as good as a well tuned 1911 handgun trigger from a company like Wilson Combat ( but then hardly anything is ) / or a Krieghoff or Kolar shotgun ....but its by far one of the best triggers on a production gun out there on guns produced in the last 15 years or so, in my opinion.

I don't know if the trigger on the 625 is any different than the 525 / or its just marketing speak / but I think many of the Browning models still give you a lot of gun for the money / and WaterEngineer, if the 625 fits you, I don't think you'd be disappointed in the gun. It's a good looking gun / and I think fairly priced around $3,000 for the couple of guns I saw. Let us know if you pick one up please / we would appreciate a report on what you think / or if you get to testfire one that belongs to someone else.
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Old October 31, 2008, 09:15 PM   #11
Waterengineer
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BigJim:

No need for an appology. I am learning a lot through reading the banter back and forth between you and Zippy. As always, I learn alot from your posts.

Zippy, you are quite the knowledgeable guy too.

New information (to me) was brought to light regarding carrier barrel and tubes. Intuitively, I knew it was expensive and complicated. I also have understood the sense in having all the guns weigh the same but wow, the cost is nuts.

BigJim, you nailed it in your first post on this thread. I am looking for a new dedicated target gun.

Currently, I have my grandfather's Superposed from the early seventies that I use for a field gun. I may not retire it but I am going to let it "slow down a little."

I also have a Franchi with 28-inch barrels that I am now using as a range gun. It is time to upgrade that. And let it be my new field gun.

You are a huge advocate of a parallel, adjustable comb - as you commonly write in your posts.

Unfortunately for me, I have taken that to heart, having, during the last eight weeks or so shot a Supersport with raised comb, a Winnie Select with an adjustable, custom fit stock (that belongs to a guy at the range) and an "off the hook" (price wise) K-gun with a sheen I could see myself in.

I don't think the K-gun comes out of the closet too much - I was told it is over twenty years old, but it looked almost new. Anyway, I digress.

You seem to be an advocate of the Browning XS. When you speak about this gun I assume you mean the low post version because the high post would be too specialized, as skeet specific. I like to shoot some sporting clays too.

Like this (Low Post):

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...13&type_id=065


Instead of this (High Post):

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...13&type_id=175

Now if I could just find a 525 with an adjustable comb in a satin finish.........
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Old November 1, 2008, 11:28 AM   #12
zippy13
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Waterengineer
Pls C PM
Quote:
BigJimP:
I disagree with Zippy13 on the Browning triggers:
I think the triggers on the Browning target guns these days are way better than serviceable.
Unfortunately, my experiences with the early Citoris prejudiced me against subsequent models. I'm certain BigJim knows a good trigger from a bad one and wouldn't have amassed his Browning collection* because he likes gritty pulls. I'll have to put my prejudices aside, and try one of the newer Citoris.
*Browning collection: From his past postings, I suspect BigJim has sufficient Citoris to shoot Skeet with two different guns at each station: One for the high house target, one for the low, and four more for the doubles.
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Old November 1, 2008, 06:22 PM   #13
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WaterEngineer - the XS Special model you are talking about is a different gun but very similar to the model that I shoot, the XS Skeet. There are some differences in the models - finish, barrel length options - but I think all the XS Special ( high rib, standard rib ) etc all have paralell combs - as are the XS Skeet models. The XS Spl I believe is only available in 12ga / where XS Skeet is available in 12 or 20ga. The XS Skeet comes with flush mounted chokes / XS Spl has midas grade - some differences like that.

The XS Skeet model is not normally available in 28ga or .410 / but there are some out there /built on the 20ga receiver by Browning if a dealer ordered at least 50 of each / and I was lucky enough to pick up one of each to complete my 4 gun XS Skeet set ( 12,20, 28 and .410 )./

You have some nice guns - the reason I talk so much about the paralell comb idea / where the comb is paralell to the rib - is it fits so many people so well - and it makes the adj comb really make more sense - to raise or lower the point of impact.

I have more guns than I need - but I'll have to kill anybody that tells my wife.... But I have a couple of boys in their early 30's - and I'm kind of accumulating a few extra 12 ga's / a few extra S&W Revolvers / a few extra semi-auto handguns .... and in the next year or so I'll make up a nice present for each of the boys ( then I might consider the Kolar - carrier barrel and tubes, etc ). But no matter what - I'll hang onto the XS Skeet models because I help out with teaching new shooters - plus my own grandkids still coming up ( I have 9 now, from 2 - 16 ).

If you find a 525 with an adj comb - it doesn't make it a paralell comb - it just raises or lowers the comb - but the comb still has an incline ( so if you move up or back on the comb even 1/4" it still changes your point of impact - so it makes no sense to me.
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Old November 2, 2008, 02:27 PM   #14
Waterengineer
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Jim:

Thanks for the clarification. But you did not address the high post low post question in my previous email.

Zippy:

PM answered

Thanks - Craig
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Old November 3, 2008, 01:13 PM   #15
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Sorry, I think the low post is probably a little more versatile / but its not a clear cut go one way or the other. I think in general - if you wanted to shoot the gun for Trap, other than just casually, the high post might give you a little more adjustment for POI on the high side ( so you could get to the 70% high / 30% low pattern vs 60/40 or 50/50 which I like to shoot on Skeet, Sporing and in my hunting guns. I like a high Trap gun - 70/30 but that's partly why I go to a dedicated Trap gun - like the Browning XT 32" ( and its heavier as well ).

A note:

Briley will make a carrier barrel, from your supplied barrel, for $ 500. I'm guessing a new barrel for an O/U is $750 - $1,000. The installation of the light weight tube sets ( and it includes 4 or 5 chokes per set) is $ 1,750. There will be some additional charges to fit the extra barrel to the receiver, probably under $ 500 / shooting both barrels for POI is $ 175 - and an Americase to ship it all back in is probably $ 500 - so you're talking about $4,000 plus the original cost of the gun you are looking at - say $3,000 - so you're into it for about $7,000 - but you will have a very good setup.

Like Zippy said, a new Krieghoff k-80, plain, no scroll work is around $ 10K / DuPont's guns I think he said were around $ 15K (but they have some upgrades typically) - and if you get creative on the scroll pattern and wood upgrades ( $ 20 - $ 35K) is probably what you would pay for a really nice new K-80 ( depending on what the dollar is doing ). I think Kolar, on new guns, right now is probably 15 - 20 % less than Krieghoff ( or $ 16K - $30 K probably ) - and I think the cost of Kolar doing the carrier barrel, etc vs Briley is almost identical to Briley, maybe a little more expensive.

The 4 Browning XS Skeet models that I shoot ( 12, 20, 28, .410 ) - today will cost you about $14,000 for all 4 guns - including 4 hard cases, and 4 sets of extended chokes ( I carry 2 skeet, 2 Imp Cyc, 2 Mod, 1 ImpMod, 1 Full) choke for each gun. But I kind of like having 4 guns - when I go to the carolina's shooting quail, I like taking the 28ga ... or whatever. I also use them as training guns for the grandkids - and handing a 12 year old a
$ 3,000 Browning O/U is one thing - handing them a custom, carrier barrel equipped competition gun, like a K-80, at $ 30K is another thing ....
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Old November 3, 2008, 01:46 PM   #16
Waterengineer
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Thanks

BigJim:

As always you offer cogent, freely given information, in a well reasoned way.

No one ever said clay targets were a cheap sport, and you confirmed that once again.

You have also confirmed my supposition that the high post gun will shoot to the high side. That made sense to me, intuitively, just thinking through the geometry because I am an engineer.

I did somewhat beat you to the punch. I wrote Browning an email early today asking for some details regarding several models, including the hi/lo question. I will post responses once I get an answer.

Fortunately, one of my homes is close to one of the country's premier smooth bore shops, Dewing's in Palm Beach. They area a wealth of information and really nice guys, I would recomend them to anyone. Albeit I find they are more Italian gun guys that American gun guys. Believe me I am at the very bottom end of their clientele on a price per gun basis.

I did have one question on another but related topic. In an earlier post you commented that all of your guns were "close" in weight. Can you expond on that. The only way I can see that would be even possible would be with a barrel/tube set.

Anyway, again, I will post Browning's response to questions, when recieved.
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Old November 3, 2008, 06:11 PM   #17
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Having a good local shop to help you is always a plus. I think one of the measures of a good shop - is if they take care of you now / maybe for modest issues / you will probably go back to them down the road when you want something really special done or ordered.

As a rule, I don't think there is anything wrong with the Italian guns / Beretta, Benelli, Perazzi, etc / but I do think some of the german guns like Blaser or Krieghoff will give them a serious run. The new Blasers are getting a lot of attention - part of the Sig group - and the 2 or 3 guns I have seen were real impressive ( more in the Perazzi price area ) - quite a bit less than Kolar or Krieghoff. Blaser has been in the target gun market now for about 3 years and I think they're maturing real well.

I was educated as an Engineer too / although I never pusued it as a profession / so I understand the way you think ( ain't it great ...) and it drives my wife ( who is my business partner, a little nuts ...). She's a marketing type .../drives me nuts some days too ...

Weight issues:

The idea is regardless of what gague you shoot - the overall weight, the balance point, the weight between your hands, length of barrels .... is all the same so whether you shoot a 20ga, 28ga or .410 - the gun comes up to your face the same, rib looks the same, balance between your hands feels the same, the gun follows thru the same, triggers feel the same ...

Browning XS Skeet O/U is available in 12 and 20ga - then on special order they made up some guns ( and still do for big dealers that can afford to order 100 guns at a time ) on the 20ga receiver, some 28ga and .410's. Mine all happen to be 30" barrels ( 20ga, 28ga and .410 ). So in theory, they should all have the same length of pull, same overall length, same weight, same forend, same swing characteristics. In reality - the receivers are all identical / and the barrels are all close / ribs are a little different - but close. The stocks on the 28ga and .410 did not come with the adj comb - but I got lucky and they fit just right with a 50/50 pattern ( which is ok for me). Now to get the 20ga, 28ga and .410 ( which are all about 7 1/2 lb guns ) to feel a little more like the 12ga version I have ( at about 8 1/2 lbs ) I added a little weight inside the stock / and I put a little lead sheet tape into the forend. My idea was to increase the total weight / but distribute it between my hands so I didn't screw up the balance of the gun - and keep the added weight invisible from the outside.

You can put a mercury recoil reducer in the stock ( 10 oz ) but then the butt is really heavy / not balanced between your hands. You can hang weights off of the barrel - but I think thats ugly. You could order a custom stock ( and have stockmaker rout a cavity in forend / fill it with whatever you want ( but that's a $3,000 option ).....

I've done the same thing on my Benelli super sport semi-auto - its a really light gun at about 7 1/2 lbs / and because its light / even though its a 30" barrel on a semi-auto ( so its about 2" longer overall, than an O/U with a 30" barrel ) I needed more weight to balance it out / so it felt more like my O/U's. The real issue for me - and I'm a pretty big guy at 6'5", 290# and fairly long arms - is if a gun is too light (under 8 1/2 lbs or so) I have a tendancy to yank it short on my follow-thru / rather than keep a nice even tempo. A gun around 8 1/2 lbs for Skeet, Sporting Clays and hunting helps me keep my follow thru as I complete the shot.

Hope that explains better was I was talking about. If you can't find lead tape / lead in sheets these days ... it would be easy to melt up some / put it on an adhesive backing up something / using wheel weights, fishing weights or whatever you have laying around...
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Old November 3, 2008, 09:27 PM   #18
zippy13
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Glad to hear you have access to a place like Dewing's. Some additional food for thought...

BigJimP describes two ways to shoot 4-gun Skeet: The very popular tubed O/U with carrier barrel and four, closely matched, separate guns. Your concern about maintaining equal weight favors the tube method. These are not the only ways to shoot 4-gun Skeet.

We've already discussed a tubed O/U without a carrier barrel. This method often incorporates some supplemental weight when the tubes are removed. This option may seem more appropriate when the cost of the tubes and carrier barrel exceed the cost of the gun.

Instead of BigJim's four matched guns, some chose to shoot a four-barrel set -- one receiver with 4 barrels. The popularity of four-barrel sets has waned, over the years, to a point where they are no longer commonly available nor popular in competition. As with four matched guns, with a four-barrel set, the view down the .410 barrel's rib is different from the 12's -- which is bothersome to some folks.

Growing in popularity is shooting a tubed O/U in the .410-bore, 28-ga, and 20-ga events and switching to an auto-loader in the 12-ga events. This contradicts the uniform gun school of thought, but is supported by higher scores. Your tubed carrier barrel gun may be as physically uniform as possible when going from the .410-bore to the 12-ga events (the same stock, same trigger, same rib, etc.); however, the felt recoil is far from uniform. Many Skeet shooters feel the recoil difference between the .410-bore and the 12-ga is so significant that it overshadows the whole matched gun argument. In reality, the "matched gun" behaves as a different gun when factoring in the 12-ga recoil. In their heads, they segregate Skeet into two games; 12-ga and everything else. A low recoil auto-loader is selected for the big-gun events and the tubed gun for everything else. With this method you're shooting two different guns instead of four, and it's been a successful option for many shooters.
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Old November 4, 2008, 01:48 PM   #19
BigJimP
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Join Date: February 23, 2005
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Zippy makes a good point - and it would give you an identical feeling gun ( with a 12ga with tubes for 20, 28 and .410 ) - and do something else with the 12ga event / or shoot the 20ga in the 12 ga event, especially if you have a lot of confidence in your 20ga(and like Zippy says, less recoil probably).

Remember most of this is for folks that want to get serious about competing in registered Skeet tournaments. If all you want to do is go out to your local club and have some fun, shoot seriously, but don't quit your day job ....its good not to lose sight of what you want to do. For me, shooting registered Skeet isn't important - its more about hanging out with my buddies, shooting the best we can ( for a coke, or a nickel ...) or anything that makes you focus a little bit more and bragging rights for the week. I shoot with a guy every week - shoots a tubed K-80, never shoots a 12ga - and averages easily 96+ regardless of what gague he is shooting. I shoot to a 92 -94 average most weeks, once in a great while a little better - but I will beat him once in a while, at least in one line, but it really doesn't matter - what matters is do we have a good breakfast to start our day, we have a few laughs and we both shoot the best we can.

Honestly, he would tell you any gun without a parallel comb is probably a bad buy - just because your POI will change when you shoot in the winter with a coat on / in the summer with a T-shirt - and it means your face will be in a different spot on the comb in the

He coaches me up / and has raised my averages a lot - and as much as he likes his K-80, he will tell you its the way to go if you want o get serious about competition, and he competed at the national level for 20+ years and thinks thetubed K-80 helped him win some tournaments - but he will tell you to shoot any gun you can afford as long as it fits - nothing else matters.

He agrees with me that the Browning parallell comb guns are a very good buy - and a versatile gun / but the most important thing on shotguns is fit - fancy wood,tubes, etc are all secondary. But part of this process of picking a new gun is to understand your options - so you don't buy 4 guns before you get the one you really find fits you. Most gun shops typically know little or nothing about proper gun fit - its really sad.

He would tell you for 99.9 % of shooters out there - a gun without a parallel comb in not a good buy. So be real careful before you buy the 525 or 625 ( with no parallel comb ).
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