Browning Citori For Sporting Clays

Dear Technoid:

I have enjoyed reading your forum since I started shooting last year but I could use some guidance. I’m thinking of buying a used O/U shotgun for trap & sporting clays. I’m looking at a 12 ga Browning Citori (Pigeon) Sporting Clays 30″ or a 12 ga Browning Lightning Sporting Clays Ed 30″. What is your opinion of these guns?



Dear Doug,

Generally, the Japanese Miroku-made Browning Citoris are good guns for the money. If I had to guess, I’d say that they were the most popular O/U used in American sporting clays. My personal problem with Citoris has always been the weight of their barrels. I shoot sporting mostly with a low gun and find that the weight forward bias of many Citori competition guns not to work well for me personally. I like a more neutrally balanced gun. Obviously, seeing how popular they are, I’m heavily outvoted on this issue.

The new 725 series Citoris do have slightly lighter barrels, but with the older models that you are looking at, I would also select a 30″ gun as you have done. That will save a couple of ounces right up front where it really counts. Again, I want to emphasize that barrel weight, length and gun balance are very personal things. There isn’t a right or wrong. It’s more of a blondes, brunettes and redheads deal. You pick what you like and don’t worry what others do.

As to the two models you mention, since the metal and actions are pretty much the same, it again comes down to personal taste. There isn’t a right or wrong. I can’t tell you how many shooters who were shooting the “wrong” gun have beaten me like a cheap drum at sporting. Many who shoot pre-mounted prefer a raised rib, thinking that it might give them a better sight picture. As a low gun shooter, I prefer a flat rib. Your call. I also prefer a more open pistol grip as I find that one that is too vertical forces me to shoot with my right elbow low to keep my wrist comfortable. On crossers, I like to get my elbows up to more easily maintain a level swing. The guns you mention offer the choice of high/low rib and vertical/relaxed grip. Again, your call.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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