Alloy Citori Feather Durability

Dear Mr. Buck,

I have shot skeet all my life with Browning over and unders, first the Superposed and now the Citori Lightening. To make matters worse, I use a 26 inch barrel because that is what I have always done. The final blow is that I use 12 gauge.

At my gun club, I am told that this is all wrong and I would agree that such advice is correct based on the current trends. However, I enjoy myself very much and my scores are such that the thought of changing anything would not bring improvement in that regard.

Now the problem: I have arthritis in my arms and would like to shoot a lighter gun. I am considering ordering one of the new Browning Citori Feather combos which has a 28 and 20 gauge barrel set. These are 27 inch barrels which, for my bizarre taste, should be fine. The weight of the gun seems to be 6 lbs. with both barrels though I am skeptical as I cannot believe both weight the same. They will be close, however.

The question is the following: do you think that a gun with an aluminum alloy receiver such as the Citori Feather can stand up to the rigors of skeet shooting? I probably shoot 10 rounds a week so we are talking about 10,000 to 15,000 shells per year. I know that is not much for target shooters but that is what I do. I would appreciate your advise as this set seems to me to be perfect for my requirements.

Thank you for any suggestions and help you can give me.

Kindest regards,


P.S. You wrote back to my Son about choke tube interchangeability and he was very pleased to receive your answer and to see his letter on the web. Thank you very much for doing that for him. I appreciated it very much.

Dear Richard,

I haven’t personally seen any high mileage Browning Citori Feathers. That’s probably because they are

1) new, and

2) used a bit more by hunters than target shooters.

Personally, for your particular purposes and requirements, I wouldn’t hesitate to get one. The weight savings will allow you to enjoy shooting. I don’t really see how the alloy receiver will noticeably shorten the life of the gun.

The Feather retains the all steel hinge pin and uses a titanium breech strip on the standing breech. The barrel’s monobloc remains steel. The locking tongue remains steel, so the lockup is steel on steel. I guess that there is the possibility of a slight lateral erosion of the cheeks of the monobloc against the alloy sides of the receiver, but that really isn’t a major force in the Browning design. I don’t think it’s a concern. In short, I think that a Feather will outlast you and me, just as those steel Citoris will. When the Feather does wear, I’m sure that it will wear in the usual area (locking tongue) and can be snugged up as easily as Brownings have been tightened up for seventy years.

Firearms with alloy receivers are nothing new and if they are properly designed there is no loss in reliability. I have an alloy receiver Beretta 303 gas gun which is far, far more durable than the steel receiver Remington 1100s I used to shoot. I don’t just mean that the internal parts are more durable. I mean that the alloy receiver is more durable. It’s all in the design. Beretta also makes a very successful alloy receiver O/U, the “Ultralight”. It’s too light for serious target shooting though. Krieghoff makes a model with an alloy receiver (which changes the weight and feel of that gun from a dump truck to a bus). They have proven quite durable.

Why the 20/28 set? You know you are just going to shoot the 28.

As to shooting an old 26″ barreled Belgian Superposed, you’re such a stick-in-the-mud that I’ll bet you still prefer your hand made Randall knife to a punch press Spyderco and single malt to papaya vodka. I’ll stack the B25 Superposed up against any O/U ever made anywhere. I’ve owned or done a review on just about every brand and type of O/U made. The Superposed has always been my paradigm. I’ll use mine as canes before I sell them.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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