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Old October 14, 2009, 08:12 PM   #1
mlk3454
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Citori White Hunter for Ruger Red Label O/U's

I am looking to pick up my first O/U shotgun this fall and need a few opinions. I will use it from upland bird hunting to clays and am looking to spend to $1500. That being said, I have tried doing some research on O/U guns and two have stuck out that fall within my price range as guns that can take many thousands of rounds without many issues. The Citori Hunter and Ruger Red Label I can get at Gander Mtn (cheapest place around me) for $1149 and $899.

What are the pro's and cons of each of these guns and which way would you lean? Thanks for your help!

~Matt
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Old October 14, 2009, 08:30 PM   #2
Waterengineer
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I beleive you will find the record on the Red Label hit or miss, pun fully intended, and literal.

Some are fine and some have safety, firing pin, or lock up issues. With that said I know two guys that love then and won't have anything else. Each of their guns are live bird guns (carry guns).

The Red Label was not intended for the clay tracks. For casual shooting it will be fine but the Citori would be better (of the two listed).

The Citori Hunter is also not a clay games gun but will make a better cross over gun than the RL.

I am sure BigJim, will chime in soon and give the full indoctrination on Browning - always informed and straight advice.

Your budget of $1,500 is very reasonable and will work for a really nice cross over gun.

One last point, shotguns are about fit more than say a rifle. So you will want to work on fit. The gun needs to look where you look, no matter what you end up with.

OK, I lied, one more last point. It would be helpful to know if you are looking more for a hunting arm or a clay gun. They are two different animals.
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Old October 14, 2009, 09:35 PM   #3
oneounceload
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OK, I'll beat BigJim.....I had a Ruger, in 28, but it was representative, and i was sorely disappointed.....I own Brownings, have had a Citori field....(sold to make way for others, NOT because the gun had issues)

SOOOOOOOO, long story short, I would go with the Citori over the Ruger, ESPECIALLY if a lot of clays are involved
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Old October 14, 2009, 09:49 PM   #4
abuyalos
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I definitely recommend the Browning. I have 3 myself, and the reliability is unbeatable. I may, however, look at all Browning's options before I settle on the Hunter. There are better clays guns that you can easily bird hunt with. Maybe even look gently used for an XS variation or a 525.
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Old October 14, 2009, 09:57 PM   #5
Waterengineer
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Ding, Ding, Ding....we have a winner.

Browning.

What I didn't say above is I own lots of companies shotguns: some of which are still around some not.......but my unfailing Brownings include:

1. My Grandfather's Superposed (now largely retired but brought out for Pheasants when I go back home.)

2. Fixed comb XS

3. 525

4. BT-99 (which for this discussion doesn't count)

The point is the Brownings won't disappoint and parts are readily available and in my opinion alway (at least for my lifetime) will be.

If you are down to deciding between those two do the Browning
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Old October 14, 2009, 10:23 PM   #6
jmr40
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I can't add much except to say my experience is the same as the previous posters. My brother owned a Ruger for a while. I shot it some and we both liked it. We don't shoot a lot of clays so it would have probably served my brother well as a hunting gun, but he traded it off for something else.
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Old October 14, 2009, 10:53 PM   #7
Jeremiah/Az
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I have a Ruger Red Label & several Browning Citoris. As has been said, the Browning will stand up better for clays & a lot of shooting. The triggers on the Brownings are much better too. My Ruger (bought new) has a very sloppy trigger that gunsmiths won't touch. They all say to send it back to Ruger.
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Old October 15, 2009, 05:18 AM   #8
mlk3454
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Thanks for all the quick replies! I didn't expect with my late post to get anything. Did Bigjim respond yet? As for use I would say it would be more casual clay shooting and more bird directed...if this helps with the advice. The used gun market around here is hit or miss and I didn't see much of anything in a condition I was comfortable with.
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Old October 15, 2009, 01:15 PM   #9
BigJimP
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These guys are giving me too much credit / but I am a big supporter of Browning shotguns ( and I have several, so I am biased - but the reason I prefer the Browning is "fit" - and how it fits me personally).

I think the Browning is a much stronger and better made gun than the Ruger.

In general, Beretta and Browning both give you a lot of gun for the money / but they are very different when it comes to stock dimensions, weight, size of the grip, etc. Browning and Beretta make some very nice guns / but picking a shotgun is not about looks - its about fit. I would consider the Ruger in the next tier of guns below Browning and Beretta / and some are fine and some aren't. In terms of resale value - you will always get more out of a Browning or a Beretta than a Ruger on the used market.

As an example the Citori Lightning 28" 12ga - I bought new in 1988 for around $ 700 / even used now - with thousands of shells thru it, is easily worth $1,000 today.

The length of pull, drop at comb, drop at heel are probably the biggest issues - and unless you really know what your personal stock dimensions are - you can't tell by holding them in a retail store.

The Citori lineup has about 25 different models now - some like the 625 have a lot of drop at the comb and the heel / some like the Lightning a little less / some like the XS Skeet or XS Special - have combs that are parallel to the rib. The gun that will fit the most people, because its adjustable, is a gun with a parallel and adjustable comb insert ( like the XS Skeet ). The XS Skeet model, is my primary gun for Skeet, Sporting Clays and for bird hunting. I prefer it with a 30" barrel and around 8 1/2 lbs - but that gun is in the $ 2,750 price range now / so out of the range you want to spend - unless you find a good used one around.

Fit is the issue - because your eye is the rear sight - so as you mount the gun / you want the gun to hit where you look. You also want the gun to recoil under your cheek bone / not into the cheek bone .. Guns with a lot of drop at the comb - have a tendancy to smack shooters in the cheek bones - it hurts ....(that is my problem with the 525 and 625 series, too much drop at comb - so they beat me up).

Brownings website does not list stock dimensions on the Hunter / but I suspect its similar to the White Lightning. If, when you pattern the gun, you find it shoots a little high or a little low - you can put adjustable "jones pads" on the butt for drop, cast and length of pull / or adhesive pads on the comb to change the angle where you mount the gun.

If you buy the Ruger - it may or may not give you some trouble / it may be fine... If you buy the Browning - I'm confident it'll give you trouble free usage for 10,000 shells ....if you take care of it. Both guns - will need to be "fit" to you - after you take them to the pattern board / but you and a buddy can do that / unless you're the one percent that the Browning Hunter fits right out of the box ...and you might be...

Good luck / and no matter what - have fun with your search and selection .
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Old October 15, 2009, 04:05 PM   #10
mlk3454
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Thanks for all the help!
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Old October 15, 2009, 05:06 PM   #11
Jart
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I don't have the experience of many here but I'll second what Big Jim said regarding fit.

I've had a couple health issues that had the pleasant side effect of me losing 35 pounds. The Browning works much better with its more or less straight stock. When I'm a bit more, shall we say, "cherubic" the Beretta fits better (noticeable cast-off in the beast - totally unusable for southpaws).

I have no Citoris - somehow or other I wound up with two Cynergies but my mama always said I marched to the tune of a different orchestra. The Cynergies seem more lithe to me and were priced about the same. I've even warmed up to the 20 Ga "classic sporting" despite the colander that Browning deposited on the muzzle end of both barrels. That's saying a lot as I detest porting but somehow still like the firearm.
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Old October 16, 2009, 12:19 PM   #12
sourdough44
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I have handeled both & much prefer the Citori over the Ruger red label. I have 2 Citoris. I like the 26" for all around use.
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Old October 16, 2009, 03:10 PM   #13
BigJimP
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Just remember when someone says they " like their Citori " - there are 27 different models ....... which model are they talking about / what do they like it for ...etc..

I like the XS Skeet model Citori, 30" barrels, at about 8 1/2 lbs ( with the adjustable comb ) for all around shooting. I like that one model so much - I have purchased separate guns in 12, 20, 28ga and .410 ....( the 20, 28ga and .410 are all on the 20ga receiver ).

I like the Citroi XT Trap - 32" barrels at about 10 lbs for Trap only ...

There are a number of Citori's that I don't like ( like the 625 / because it has too much drop at the comb and heel ). I have a Citori Lightning 12ga and a 20ga / both 28" barrels - both around 7 1/2 lbs - and as I've learned more about various shotguns / I no longer like that model ( and they have too much drop at comb and heel for me / as they did when they were new, although I didn't realize it at the time ).

I also like the Citori BT-100 - as a single barrel Trap Gun / but I like the XT Trap O/U Citori better ......

So my point is, its all relative .....and to some extent to my style of shooting, my build, etc.

But I have friends that love the Citori 525's, XS Specials, Lightning's, BT 99's, even one that shoots an XT Trap ( with 30" barrels for Skeet and sporting clays )... and as one of my buddies says, the XT is a great Trap gun - but it swings like a "big ole sewer pipe" for a game like Skeet ...
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