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Old May 10, 2013, 12:02 AM   #1
stew1818
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Browning Citori xs skeet

I am looking at getting my first over and under shotgun. I shoot skeet 90% of the time and then a little trap and 5-stand. I am looking at getting a Browning Citori xs skeet and was wondering if anyone had any opinions. I can get the skeet gun for about $2800 and dont want to spend more for a gun. Can you help.

Thank you and God Bless
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Old May 10, 2013, 04:50 AM   #2
Slugo
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excellent choice for both skeet and sporting clays. Get the 30" model...
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Old May 10, 2013, 07:43 AM   #3
BigD_in_FL
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You'll want to PM BigJimP if he doesn't chime in - he does EXACTLY what you are and he uses nothing but those guns.

I have an Ultra XS in 20 that is fun for small gauge sporting, along with another Browning for my main sporting gun. Good guns all around IF they fit you.

The two main "B" guns - Beretta and Browning have different stock dimensions - typically if one fits you decently enough, the other won't, so try both if you can
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:29 PM   #4
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Citori XS Skeet is an excellent all around shotgun ....especially if you buy it with the adjustable comb. Its a gun, I think, that will Fit 99.999% of the shooters out there ( with the adj comb).

I favor it in 30" barrels ...regardless of the gague ...( and I have them in all 4 gagues / although in Browning catalog its only available in 12ga or 20ga --- Browning made a lot of them on the 20ga receiver in 28ga and .410 ).

Its a well made, well balanced gun ....easily a 1 Million shell gun with no issues if you take care of it. I have well over 500,000 thru my 12ga and 20ga versions with not a single issue ( spring, firing pin...nothing )...

Its a great all around gun .....Skeet, Sporting clays, 5 Stand and live birds...it doesn't shoot high enough for me - to use it as a primary gun for Trap ( so I go to a Citori XT Trap in 32" barrels at about 10 lbs for Trap ) ....but its just fine for casual Trap shooting.

My XS Skeet models ( bought them new in about 2001 )
http://thefiringline.com/forums/atta...1&d=1339792349

My XT's ...( both 32" barrels ...12ga ) one with a Gra Coil on it...

http://thefiringline.com/forums/atta...3&d=1339792349
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and if you don't like it for some reason ...down the road, they are incredibly easy to sell ...if you take care of it.
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Citori XS Skeet model is not cheap ....but its also not a Perazzi, Blaser, Kolar or Krieghoff either......yet that model of the Citori specifically gives you an awful lot of gun for the money ....and its a gun that should easily last thru 3 or more generations if you take care of it.

Last edited by BigJimP; May 10, 2013 at 02:39 PM.
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:48 PM   #5
stew1818
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If it is my first skeet gun alot of folks are telling me to go with a 20 gauge instead of a 12. Any thoughts on this? Thanks
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:57 PM   #6
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Depends on what you want to shoot...

Look at the specs on the 12ga vs the 20ga....20ga is about 1 lb lighter.../ other than that.....the specs on the 12ga vs 20ga are identical I believe ( both only available in 28" or 30" barrels, both only available in 2 3/4" chambers, etc....

Cost of 12ga and 20ga shells are almost identical ...for retail.
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A lot of us shoot 7/8 oz shells even in a 12ga ...we reload / keep the cost of shot down. 7/8oz is the common load in a 20ga...

But for a "do everything load" ...I go with the 12ga and 1oz of 8's at about 1225 fps ....especially for Sporting Clays and 5 Stand ( I will carry 4 or 5 boxes of 1 oz 8's ...a box of 9's ...and a few shells in 7 1/2's...) ...for a 100 target shoot on sporting clays course... for those occasional targets where I want something other than the 1oz 8's ....but even for skeet practice ( and I shot a 95 on Tue - with 1 oz 8's - pair of 25's, a 23 and a 22 )....and 9's wouldn't have given me the other 5 targets ( they were my fault / not the load / or the gun ). For an old guy ...95's are a pretty good day ....

7/8 oz out of a 20ga at 1200 fps -- hits just as hard as 7/8 oz out of a 12ga...../ no real difference balistically. If you shoot competition ...you can shoot a 20ga gun in a 12ga event..( but that probably doesn't matter to you). You can "tube" a 12ga ( Briley mfg ) for 20ga, etc....
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If it was my first O/U .....I'd go with the 12ga...more versatility in terms of shells ( go up to 1 1/8 oz if you want / 1 oz / down to 7/8 oz or 3/4 oz )...and there are more "retail" shells in 12ga out there...in terms of variety.

But if the 20ga felt better to you ...go with that. ( but I think the forend on the 12ga and the 20ga are identical / the receiver is smaller on the 20ga ...) but balance on my 12ga and 20ga are identical ....but the 20ga is lighter ( and I add weight to my 20ga - by putting 8 oz in the forend and 8 oz inside the stock ) so it feels like my 12ga ....and I do the same thing with my 28ga and .410 versions...

but it doesn't matter what feels better to me ....its what feels better to you. If you're consistently in the 20's ...you know how to shoot ...so transitioning to either gun is going to be easy for you.

Its mental ....but on the sporting clays course...I'd want a 1 oz shell ( and I don't know if you can buy a 1oz 20ga shell in 2 3/4" or not )...but for skeet it won't matter.

Last edited by Vanya; May 11, 2013 at 05:23 PM. Reason: answered same question in merged thread
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Old May 10, 2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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IF you are going to find yourself soon shooting in competition, then you want the 12. You can always load the 12 down to 20, but when the targets count for something, the 12 rules the roost. Another advantage is you can also get sub gauge tubes if you decide to shoot all four bore sizes
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Old May 11, 2013, 05:16 AM   #8
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just the idea of a 20g 30" XS Skeet gives me goose bumps!!
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Old May 11, 2013, 08:16 AM   #9
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I think BigJim in spot on. I have a Browning 425 Sporting Clays in.12 ga. If you're going to get heavy into skeet, I'd bet you'll end up getting tubes for it. I also shoot a 1oz. #8 mainly for skeet, but I also use the same load when I shoot trap. I don't shoot much sporting clays and when I do it's 5 stand and use the same load. Although I'm not a big trap shooter, I don't really know anyone who shoots .20ga in trap, but I'm not around a lot of trap shooters. I guess what I'm trying to say is that IMO, go with a .12ga and then you would not be limited to any one game. And I'm a BIG fan of Browning Citori, my daughter has an XS Sporting and loves it. One of the guys I shoot with has the XS Skeet and is very happy with it. We've both put thousands of rounds thru our guns and neither has ever had a problem. I don't think you can go wrong with one.
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Old May 11, 2013, 03:22 PM   #10
stew1818
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Ive almost made a decision :) One more question

I am so close to making a decision but this new guy needs a little more help.


Here are the facts so far:

1. I am buying a Browning Citori XS skeet gun

2. I have shot both the 12 and the 20 and like the feel of the 20 better (but still like the 12)

3. I have been shooting skeet for a little less than a year with a semi- auto

4. When I tested both the 12 and the 20 out today on the skeet range I was able to get a score of
22 with both guns.

Can someone tell me how much of a disadvantage I am shooting the 20 over the 12. Is the spread of the shot that much different? If I liked the 20 better could I get different choke tubes to put me at more of a level playing field with the 12?

Please keep is simple I am just trying to educate myself and make a good $2800 decision.

Thanks for your help and God Bless
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Old May 11, 2013, 03:32 PM   #11
Virginian-in-LA
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Looking at the top skeet scores differences between the two, you do not need a 12. I'd go with a 20.
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Old May 11, 2013, 03:56 PM   #12
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like you need another 20ga Slugo ....geez man....
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Old May 11, 2013, 04:13 PM   #13
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It isn't the spread of the shot - .005 is the same for both, and at 21 yards, not that big of a deal.....except with a 20 you are pretty much limited to a 7/8oz load, while with a 12, you can go from a 7/8 to 1-1/8 and still be legal.

Personally, if I was about to get into it heavy enough with volumes of shooting, I would get the 12 and shoot 7/8oz loads - the added weight of a pound or more will become evident in the recoil and recoil-induced fatigue areas
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Old May 11, 2013, 04:42 PM   #14
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With a Skeet Choke ....Shooting 7/8 oz in a 20ga ...will give you the same effective 30" pattern as shooting 7/8 oz in a 20ga.. Shooting a ( with a skeet choke) 7/8 oz in a 20ga will give you the same effective 30" pattern as 1 oz in a 12ga...etc..../ so you're understanding of a 12ga having an inherently bigger pattern is flawed.

Pattern size is a function of the choke you use ..not the gague.

Density in the pattern goes up - if you shoot more shot...so if you shoot 7/8 oz of shot there are less pellets in the pattern than if you shoot a 1 oz load.

So some shooters do a little better with a 12ga and 1 oz or 1 1/8 oz of shot than they will do with a 20ga and 7/8 oz of shot ...but it isn't because the pattern is bigger / its because there are more pellets in the pattern ( so the outer edges of the pattern might get you an extra bird here and there when you essentially miss with a 12ga).
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But in Skeet/ if Skeet was your only game ....a lot of shooters, shoot just as well with a 20ga as they do a 12ga.
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It comes down to which gun suits you better.
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But unless you're a real serious competition shooter ( and it doesn't sound like you are ...versatility is the issue here )...and for a first gun, that's why some of us are recommending a 12ga ....and then add the same model in a 20ga down the road if you want a stand alone 20ga shotgun.

In 5 Stand, Sporting Clays and Trap ...a 12ga is a better all around gague because you can easily go to 1 oz or 1 1/8 oz loads ....and that is not easy to do in a 20ga ( especially one with a 2 3/4" chamber ( you can't shoot 3" 20ga shells in the Citori XS Skeet model ).

The extra weight in the 12ga Citori XS Skeet - reduces recoil ...and over time ( like a 4 day tournament ) that's a big deal.
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Down the road with the 12ga version ...you can go to full length "tubes" like Briley Mfg tubes if you want - and then you can shoot 20ga, 28ga and .410 in just one gun. There are pros and cons to "tube sets" ( not choke tubes ) full length sub gague Tube Sets...but that's another discussion.
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Scores in the 22 range are not bad...but they aren't competitive in any tournament either..( in 12ga, 20ga, 28ga or .410 ).....not even at a local club level ! ...let alone by region, state, etc...where 10% or more of the field will run 100 straight in Skeet competitions.

My hunch is you'll reach your potential sooner ( with more 100's straight ..in a 12ga as a new shooter than you will with a 20ga / and have a gun that's more versatile).
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Old May 11, 2013, 05:00 PM   #15
stew1818
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BigJimP

Thank you for your reply and explanation - It was very well said and easy to follow.

I found someone at the club today that has a xs skeet 20 gauge with adj comb in 30" barrel that has less than 8k rounds through it. He is willing to let it go for $1800. I might just do that and next year buy a 12. Still not sure but am close to a decision. Thanks so much for your time and help
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Old May 11, 2013, 05:19 PM   #16
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Merged three threads.
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Old May 11, 2013, 09:33 PM   #17
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BJP, I had the pleasure of shooting a 20 gauge XS Skeet. One of the best 20's out there. Much nicer and easier to shoot than the 12...
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Old May 12, 2013, 06:51 AM   #18
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My XS Ultra - which is the sporting version at 7.25# - is a lot of fun to shoot as well; however, when it comes time for registered targets, the 12 comes out to play
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Old May 12, 2013, 01:19 PM   #19
stew1818
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IT IS FINISHED!!!!!!!

I have purchesed a Browning Citori XS skeet with adjustable comb 20 gauge, 30" barrel. It also came with multiple aftermarket Briley tubes. It was slightly used and I got a great price. Thank you for all the advise and I am sure I will buy a 12 gauge soon

To all the moms out there - HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!!


Over and Out
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Old May 12, 2013, 01:24 PM   #20
BigJimP
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Congratulations .,..and good luck in your shooting.
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Old May 21, 2013, 11:00 AM   #21
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Congratulations on your Browning XS skeet. I have this exact combination and have also owed Beretta 682 for skeet. The two have slightly different stock configurations. The Browning fit me right out of the box with no problem. Typically they come with 13 3/8 LOP which can be adjusted with moving the trigger and 1 3/4 drop at the comb if not adjusted with the same configuration at the heel. The Beretta has a little more drop at the comb and my site plane was low requiring placing a 1/8 inch pad on the stock. The Beretta sits lower than the Browning. Matter fact the Browning 725 is in my opinion is their equivalent to Beretta. The Beretta I thought had less kick. It seemed to push back rather than upward. My Browning has a raised ventilated rib which I really like. The Beretta is more flat and wider.

I use the 20 gauge because my skeet scores do not differ between 12/20 and being lighter fatigue does not set in as quickly. In a 100 degree day shooting all four gauges can take its toll. That also means less reloading equipment and supplies and shot and powder last longer. In factory ammunition you can find better deals with the 12. Some guys I know reload the 12 with 7/8 oz load but never could understand that because it cannot be used in the 20 gauge event, however, the 20 can be used in the 12 gauge event.

The only advantage I can see with the 12 is that Briley offers companion tubes which can be purchased without fitting and you can order the 20, 28 and 410 at your leisure to keep costs down. The 20 gauge is only offered for the 410 because the tubes are really thin from 20 to 28 and have to be custom fit. Having the tubes with your shotgun is a great plus. Barrel length is personal preference. I use 28 inch and I know top shooters like Todd Bender use 32 inch but that guy is big and strong. The trigger on the Browning was to me a little heavier than the Beretta but both are reliable and durable.

And if you trade both have good resale value.
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