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Old January 12, 2009, 04:21 AM   #1
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Browning Experts Chime In - BigJim, Zippy......?

I found a Browning 425, 20 gauge w/ 30-inch tubes that I thing is from 1995 or 1996. I'd say it is grade three because of the wood. The engraving on the receiver is nothing special.

After doing internet research and talking to a few loca "experts" I still have questions.

1. Is the 20 gauge made on its own size frame or is it the same frame as the 12 guage?

2. What is your understanding of the technical diferences between it an the 525? I understand the main difference is in the trigger set. What do you know, what is your understanding?

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Old January 12, 2009, 11:18 AM   #2
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Thanks for thinking of me, Waterengineer, but I've never owned a Browning. I've opined that early Citories I've shot didn't have what I think of as a target quality trigger. BigJimP, and the other Browning boys may be able help you.

You mentioned, "The engraving on the receiver is nothing special." That seems common to some upgraded Brownings of 20+ years ago: a lot of surface shine and automated scratchings.
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Old January 12, 2009, 01:49 PM   #3
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I can just answer to the frame size - Browning made two sizes - one for 12 and one for all of the other gauges
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Old January 12, 2009, 02:23 PM   #4
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You're taxing my memory a lot ... but in general,

Browning Citori lineup of guns started in the early 1970's ( 1973 or 1974 come to mind ). In about 1993, I think they brought out the Citori 325 but only made it for a couple of years so I'll say 93 - 94 / Citori 425 came out around 1995 and lasted until about 2000 / then Citori 525 from 2001 - 2008 / now the Citori 625 is on the market. My dates are partly guesses - so don't take them as gospel please.

None of these Citori models ( 325, 425, 525 or 625 ) were parallel comb guns. Each new generation of the line / seemed to change the specs on drop at comb and drop at heel / sometimes they even changed within the model run from year to year. This was all during the time that Sporting Clays was really getting started - Browning was marketing this lineup of guns to Sporting Clays shooters vs hunters. General consensus at the time was you needed a gun for Sporting with a lot of drop / you should shoot low gun vs pre-mounted gun ... There was also a lot of talk of barrel length ( 30", 32", etc ) - back boring barrels, lighter barrels, Invector Plus chokes, Extended chokes ... So some of the differences in the 4 models of Citori's above was marketing driven, some engineering driven.

The 425 was very well received. Lots of shooters spoke highly of the gun and liked it. I think at the time, it was one of the few guns you could get with 30" production barrels. The 425 had the traditional Browning verathane finish on it. The 425 has less drop at the comb and heel than the 525 series ( the increase in drop on the 525 caused a lot of fit issues ).

The 525 started their Oil finish series. The 525 series was the first machine engraved production gun in the Browning lineup so it attacted a lot of attention for the money ( I bought a 525 in 2001 ? ) / I really liked the way it looked - but it beat the living daylights out of me because of too much drop .... I refinished and sold it in 2005 ? Browning touted the 525 as having back bored barrels and lighter barrels than the 425 as I recall. There was probably a difference in the rib as well. The 525 had Invector Plus chokes / I don't remember what the 425 had - but they are easy to check ( if they're short, their the older Invector ).

I do not know for sure - but in almost all cases - the Browning 20ga receiver is different from the 12ga receiver ( then they build the 28ga and .410 in the same model, on the 20ga receiver ). Typically you will see the gun at about a pound lighter in a 20ga than in a 12ga. In the gun you are looking at / because of the weight difference in the 12 and 20ga / a lot of guys would take a 20ga gun, add the tubes that added almost a pound, shoot the 20ga in both 12ga and 20ga events, then use tubes in 28ga and .410. You didn't say what kind of tubes are in the gun / but there have been a lot of changes in tubes / improvements in materials, ejectors, etc from both Briley and Kolar. In a 20ga gun / 28ga tubes are very thin - by necessity in order to fit. You have to check the tubes very carefully, to make sure there are no cracks developing in the tubes.

425 is not a bad gun / depending on price of course. But it may have a lot more drop than you need. These days more Sporting Clays shooters have gone to parallel comb guns / like Trap shooters ... but we've been down that path before. To my knowledge, there is no reason not to buy a Citori 425 model, if it fits you.

The 525 had an adjustable trigger ( 3 positions , you could move it to ) and it came with 3 different trigger pads / and I don't recall if the 425 had the adj trigger or not. The 525 Oil finish was not durable / and it soaked up a lot of water if you shot in heavy rain ( making the finish look real muddy ..). The 425 did not have this problem.
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Old January 12, 2009, 05:46 PM   #5
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One of the first sporting clays shotguns was Browning's GTI - I still have mine.....when I got it over 15 years ago, it was just as the 325 was coming out....after a few years came the 425, then the 525, now the they make improvements and manufacturing refinements, they change model numbers
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