One Man’s Choice

Dear Technoid:

Great site and great column and answers. In spite of your O/U bashing, I love my Ultra. It came down to a 425 or an Ultra about a year ago and the 425 just didn’t come up right for me. Short arms, short stature, etc. I did try a gas gun here a few weeks ago on the skeet field and found myself distracted by the sound of the action cycling. It may be a fantasy, but I think I found myself waiting for the round to load.

I went back to the Ultra in the middle of the round. One thing about Browning operating manuals that really bug me is the lack of anything substantial in them about the gun. There is no specific manual for the Ultra, and the standard Citori manual is pretty blah.

Regarding recoil, the Ultra at 8+ pounds does reduce felt recoil and I am not bothered by it even after 250 rounds. To each their own I guess. Keep up the great work. I hope to meet you some day.


Dear Bill,

Glad that you enjoy the site. Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate O/Us. Actually, I own more O/Us than gas guns. I like my O/Us a whole ton. It is just that I personally shoot the gas guns better on clay targets. In the field, it is different. Gas guns or pumps for waterfowl, where the third shot can really matter, O/Us for longer, open field shooting and the SxS for the shorter stuff like grouse and quail. If you believe in the adage “Beware of the man who shoots one gun”, then you sure don’t have to worry about me.

You are completely correct in selecting the Ultra if that is the gun that felt best to you. “Feel” is vitally important when selecting a shotgun. If a gun is ugly, you can spray paint it. If a gun kicks too much, you can shoot lighter bullets. If a gun breaks all the time, you can shovel parts into it. BUT, if a gun doesn’t feel right to you, you will never, ever shoot it well. There it is. That’s the truth.

As to the factory manuals- none of them are any good. The factories don’t want you messing around inside your gun. From vast experience, they know that they will look a lot better in court (and appear less often) if all work is done by an “authorized dealer”. Of course, they aren’t paying the bill, you are.

Your comment about the “noise” that a gas gun makes compared to an O/U is well taken. I am always surprised by the large number of O/U shooters that make this comment. I guess that it all depends on attitude. You hear a clunking, grinding sound that indicates impending failure. I hear a sweet little voice saying “Ain’t gonna whack you, Boss.” Trust me, recoil is cumulative. After 25 years of 25,000 rounds per year you will know what I mean. I just don’t know how the high volume trap shooters do it.

Any and all of the Japanese Brownings are well made guns. There isn’t a bad one in the lot. You just pick the configuration that you like and start shooting. At 250 shells a day, two days a week, you have a few years before the recoil catches up and you hear that gas gun sing a different tune.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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