If you’re still shooting that beloved Browning over/under you’ve owned since college, be prepared to have your socks knocked off with the company’s new 20-Gauge 725 Sporting.
Although still a member of the fabled Citori family introduced in 1973, the 20-gauge 725 Sporting marks a departure from classic Browning over/unders characterized by broad beaver tail forends, bulky receivers and labored handling. To paraphrase that Oldsmobile meme, the 20-gauge 725 is “not your father’s Browning.”
The company will tell you that the Citori 725 family, introduced in 2012 with a 12 gauge, is an evolution of John M. Browning’s legendary B25 Superposed. We would argue that the Citori 725 — the 20-gauge Sporting in particular — is more of a quantum leap. The Browning 20-gauge 725 Sporting packages graceful handling and a seamless finish into an over/under that surpasses Italian shotguns costing twice the price.
So what’s the rub? If you’re a devotee of engraved false sideplates you probably won’t be convinced to purchase the Citori 725 20-gauge Sporting. The receiver is matte silver nitride with a delicate, bracelet cable chain pattern. Its subtlety and tone appear somewhat monotonous against the eye-catching Grade III/IV oil-finished, black walnut with its closed-radius pistol grip and palm swell.