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Old November 1, 2012, 10:16 PM   #1
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First Shotgun

Hi All,

I'm 21 and I've done a decent amount of shooting in my life. I have only shot my dad's guns, Remington 870 both 12 and 16 gauge. I have done mostly trap shooting with some skeet experience. I am about to graduate college and my dad wants to get me a gun that I can have for a long time and begin to shoot more with. I want to get into shooting more and expand my experiences. I have been looking a lot at Browning and some at Beretta. I have heard that field guns are not made to run as many rounds through as sporting trap or skeet guns and that weight and barrel length make a big difference. My price point is $2500. A couple I have been looking at are variations of the Citori like the trap xt and variations of the cynergy. I'm looking for something that will be great for mostly trap and some skeet in the short run but won't be too difficult to use in other applications in the future. Any recommendations that you have on models, brands, barrel length, weight or anything else I should be aware of would be really helpful.

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Old November 1, 2012, 10:18 PM   #2
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Also, I forgot to mention that I am looking primarily at O/U but is there any advantage to going with a semi-auto instead?
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Old November 2, 2012, 01:38 AM   #3
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BigJimP will surely be along and school you on Browning Citoris. I have 40+ years on you but also wanted a gun for skeet and trap. Shooting a dedicated Trap gun for skeet doesn't work as well as shooting a dedicated skeet gun for trap.

$2500 may be just a little light for a Citori XT or XS. I know I paid about $2,800 for my XS about a year ago ($150 less if you consider a deal I got for opening a Bass Pro account). That is without an adjustable comb. There were some better deals out there on the net but I wanted to have the dealer available if there was a problem. You might be able to swing a deal in this economy for $2500. One problem was that it was very difficult to find a gun in stock and I had to get Bass Pro to put in a special order. (At the time there was a shipment due in from Japan, but 7 of 10 were presold when I contacted Bass Pro. I got number 9 and they acted quickly.)

Depending on your build, you may want to add an adjustable pad (with or without an adjustable comb). The pad, I think but may be wrong, that an AP would allow the XS to be set up more like a Monte Carlo stock (like on the XT). II have a slightly long neck that makes it very difficuilt for me to get down and stay down on the comb, unless I slide the stock up so high that the heel is nearly three inches above my shoulder.

Whatever you get, shoot it first for fit.
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Old November 2, 2012, 01:43 AM   #4
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The main advantage of which I know is that a semi is softer shooting than any fixed breech gun, albeit a pump or a break open action (sxs or o/u). They are also tend to be a bit less costly. I was tempted to get one when I got the Citori XS, but I didn't want to have to pick up the hulls. I reload. I also think it more than rude when someone shoots a semi without a shell catcher and I didn't want a shell catcher.
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Old November 2, 2012, 04:29 AM   #5
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Finding the right one can be a journey...but its a fun one. Good luck!
12 Gauge Fury!
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Old November 2, 2012, 12:18 PM   #6
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A gun that will fit 99.9% of shooters a gun that has a parallel comb( parallel to the rib)....and if you buy it with an adjustable comb - its the best of all worlds - in terms of "Fit" it hits where you look.

Browning makes over 30 models of the Citori.../ and I prefer it over the Cynergy. The Cynergy to me - in the throat of the grip are / feels narrow to me, more like a Beretta feel. Barrel to receiver connection on Cynergy and Citori are different....the Citori has proven itself for many yrs with a massive bolt...but the Cynergy has been around long enough that we know its solid as well.

My preference for Trap is a longer and heavier gun. So in the Citori XT Trap - I go with 32" barrels and a gun that is around 10lbs. In Trap there is less left to right barrel movement than in Skeet and a heavier and longer gun is an advantage in Trap. I like the XT over the single barrel Trap gun options, like the BT-99, because you can use the XT for singles, doubles, and continental Trap...where the break open single barrel guns like the BT-99 are one shot only - and a "one trick pony". Not bad guns...just specific.

My preference for general shooting ..Skeet, Sporting - or any bird hunting the Citori XS Skeet with adj comb in a 30" and in a 12ga. Its a little shorter, a little more nimble - a little better for harder left to right or right to left Skeet and Sporting ...and I like that gun at around 8lbs.

If I could only have one O/U - it would be the Citori XS Skeet with adj comb and 30" barrels in a 12ga. With screw in chokes - you can make that gun work just fine for casual Trap shooting - and really well at all the other games. But a buddy just priced one in my area last week...$ 2,990 plus in my area, out the door that's about $3,300.

If a Browning Citori "Fits" you ...then you will probably find most of the Beretta models do not fit you. Berettas in general - are a little slimmer in the grip area, they tend to be a little lighter...( they're solid guns) ...but the Browning Citori's "Fit" me better. But if you were to look at a gun that is comparable to the Citori XS Skeet model...I'd look at the Beretta DT-10. I don't know what the street price on them is right now ...but they're probably in the same general area as the XS Skeet.

Most all of the Citori models ( 625's, 725's, Lightning, etc ...are all angled comb guns )...and "Fit" is the issue. Can you make them "Fit" or will they Fit you ? For me - all of them have too much drop at the comb .../ even if they have the adj comb insert - the angle doesn't change on the comb - so I would have to re-stock the gun ( which can cost at least $1,000 ) or put some kind of an ugly comb pad on the gun. The comb pads work ( kind of like a comb scope pad - that levels out the comb on a high powered rifle)..but they're ugly stick on things.

I'm not a big semi-auto fan....only one choke / which is ok for Skeet or Trap ...not so good for Sporting all the time. But a gun like the Benelli Super Sport, with comfort tech stock, in 12ga, 30" barrel - new retail is about $2,000 and they're a very nice gun. Its certainly a gun you'll have for a long time....but its not the classic feel and weight of an Over Under. I have them in 12ga and 20ga ...and I use them as my "travel"guns or "adverse weather" guns....where I don't want to give a $4K gun to an airline ...or get a lot off water or snow on a nice walnut stock.

Browning and Beretta have long set the standard on Over Unders....and something in one line or the other ...will meet your needs. They will both give you the most gun for your money, in my opinion.

Browning and Beretta are not the top of the line O/U's step up probably goes to Perazzi and Blaser - and then Kolar and Krieghoff. The Blaser is attracting a lot of attention - for competition shooters...and are very nice guns...but in general to play in that market you're up around $5K + ....Kolar and Krieghoff are $15K plus....

Drop me a note if you find a used gun / I own a lot of Brownings - and I'm pretty familiar with their Citori line over the last 25 yrs. In the Cynergy line of guns...there are 1 or 2 parallel comb guns as well. If you look at a synthetc stock ....the adjustable combs move up and down - but not left and right (like the wood ones do ) be careful if you're looking at a synthetic Cynergy like the sporting model....

Now one of our buddies on really like the new 725 series -- Slugo --- and it seems to fit him really well. What Fits me ...may not Fit you ...but when it comes to angled comb guns...Fits is tough to determine --- where parallel comb guns, will fit 99.9% of shooters ( summer and winter ) ...because comb is you move up or back on comb - the point of impact does not change. So you can shoot in a T shirt in summer and 2 coats in winter....and gun still Fits. On an angled comb gun you move up or back ..the muzzle goes up or down..changing the point of impact big time.

Last edited by BigJimP; November 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM.
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Old November 2, 2012, 03:24 PM   #7
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BigJim,pretty much nailed it. Whatever you buy, make sure your not looking down on the rib. It's a much easier process to add a cheek pad or adj comb than lower the stock.
I'm one of those guys that can't shoot guns with parallel combs for the most part. It's just my facial bone structure.

I would buy a skeet or sporting gun, before I bought a trap gun. That's just my opinion.

BTW, a Browning field gun will last every bit as long as a sporting gun. The sporting guns just tend to get used a whole lot more than field models. All of the Citori's are built on the same receiver. {in 12ga anyway}
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Old November 3, 2012, 08:46 PM   #8
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I like a gun with some 'heft' and a raised rib. Try to handle a Weatherby or SKB before you decide. An online seller with lots of shotguns to choose from is Jacqua's. Can you try shooting some borrowed guns at a local club?
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