O/U Help -- Browning Citori 725 or Beretta Silver Pigeon?

I'm in the market for a new shotgun. I really want something for this upcoming dove season and the 2013 quail season. I already have a Remington 870, my Grandad's Winchester model 12 pump, and my dad gave me his Remington 1100. All great guns that I love to shoot, but I want to take the next step in my collection.

My deer rifle is a Browning and I absolutely love it! So, in a way, I’m partial to Browning, but I’m open to a Beretta’s, too. There is a $250 difference between the two, but I don't mind spending more on a brand I prefer.

My dad bought a Silver Pigeon last year and really likes it, but in the back of my mind I think about how one day (god I hope many-many-many years from now!) I will inherit his Beretta o/u and I really don't want 2 of the same shotguns. So, if I go with the Browning, I won’t have to worry about that.

What’s y’alls take on these guns? Anyone have them? Thanks for the help!!

The 725 is $2,199

The Silver Pigeon is $1,949
my advice is try to shoot them both and see which one sets up best for you. I love shooting silver pigeons, but I'm also a Browning guy.
thanks maroon
Ya, I might call a few places here in Fort Worth or the DFW area and see if I can fire a few shots. Not a bad idea.

I have shouldered them both and they both "feel" good to me...but what do I know? This is my first o/u purchase
A Browning 725 is one of my dream guns, so that gets my vote.
Sounds like you've already made up your mind.

You need to find which one fits you the best, and each firearm is different. I personally prefer the Silver Pigeon line over the Citori, but I would gladly shoot either.
Both are great guns. I have a Silver Pigeon and love it. Most Brownings don't fit me very well. In my experience there is a significant difference in how the two fit (either should be able to be fitted to you, but off the rack Beretta fits me better than Browning). Go with what fits you and you like. Sounds like you are pretty set on the Browning already...can't go wrong with either.

On a related subject, I'd be interested in others' observations regarding maintenance/repairs. I spend a lot of time around shotguns and shooting. My perception is that Brownings are much easier to get parts for than Berettas, but that Berettas tend to not need parts/repairs as often. My comments are strictly related to over/unders.
Franchi Legacy and save the money for some sporting clays and instruction so you can get really good with it.
I have the 725 and love it.

I have a beretta 686s that I've had since '94. It shoots great, has killed a lot of birds, and hasn't needed any repairs so far.
I have a Citori 725 Sporting and a SIlver Pigeon III Sporting. If I had to part with one, it would be the Pigeon. The 725 is better balanced, swings like a dream, better trigger, and I really like the palm swell. I could live without the ported barrels.

[This message has been edited by dba fido (edited 1/25/2014 11:25p).]
+1 on the Silver Pigeons. I grew up a die hard Browning guy. Browning A bolt 30.06, Browning high-power 9mm as well as a 1911 guy, and a 20 ga field grade Citori. Picked up a 28 ga. Beretta Silver Pigeon for a dove shoot in Argentina 4-5 years ago and now I've got a matching trio, 28, 12 and 20. A few of my sporting clays buddies love the Citori's. They are both great guns. Some of the Citori guys say you have to maintain the non-blued parts of the action pretty regularly with oil when it's hot in the summer and you're sweating or they will develop rust spots quickly - faster than other O/U actions. Not sure if this is true or not but a few of the guys swear they develop rust spots faster. I don't see how that is possible though. Probably just poor gun care.

If you can, try to shoot them both and see which you like better. My opinion is to go with the SP's though. Not sure what you're use is going to be (all around shooting, wingshooting, or a specific clays sport), but i'd suggest you get at least 28 inch barrels, and likely 30 inch. A lot of sporting clays guys will even go with 32 inch barrels. The balance is better with longer barrels - learned that from a shooting instructor in Houston named Gil Ash. All of my SP's are 30 inches and I absolutely love the way they handle. If you really get into shooting, find a qualified instructor, get a gun fit, and have your gun fitted for you. It will make a huge difference in your percentages and recoil. PM me if you've got any other questions.
The only misfires I ever saw in a pigeon ring were "Italian" shotguns.
Never saw a Browning have a mechanical malfuntion, and tha was alot of shooting.
You probably would not go wrong with either. I am a Browning Citori guy myself. My Citori is 20 years old. Probably over 4000 rounds through it. Still just as tight as the day I got it. No doubt, it will make a great shotgun for the next generation in my family as well.
My 325 is 17 yrs old and way over 5000 rds.... never a misfire.
Thanks guys for all the responses!

Shorty-I’m with ya man. I don't think anyone could go wrong with either brand. Kind of like the whole Chevy/Ford argument. Some swear by different makes, but at the end of the day, you get what you like and want. For me, it’s a citori, but I’m trying to find reasons to possibly look at the Beretta.

Cool_Hand-Have you ever had issues with rust (like others mentioned)? I was told that the SP had a nickel finish and I think the 725 is stainless. I’m big on taking care of all my guns and treating ever firearm like it’s a $2,000 setup

Gruene-Fido –Thanks for your $.02. When you say “nicer”, are you referring to the appearance or the performance? I know that higher grades offer a prettier gun, but how does it shoot compared to your citori? Oh and were you in D2? I’m a former F2 Fox.

Dr Boogs-This will be mainly for dove and quail. I do some clay shooting, but never competitively (well we do bet each other a case of beer or two….) For mainly birds, would you still suggest the 28” or 30”?
Nicer = Prettier scroll work and higher grade wood. Functionally the sporting pigeons have better chokes, tapered ribs, manual safety, and weigh slightly more
This is basically how I see this argument:

Do you prefer a blonde?

or a brunette?

Tell you what, you buy 'em both, try 'em out and I'll buy the one you don't like for 2/3 of what you gave for it. ...I mean it's used at that point, right? But I'd gladly take sloppy seconds on this one.

ok, got it

Sean....sloppy seconds aren't always that bad, right?!?!
I have a Browning 725, and I love it. Then again, I have a Browning Maxus, and a Browning Gold Hunter, so I'm admittedly biased. I paid quite a bit more than $2199 for it, and I got it on gunbroker and it was the best price around at the time.
Just checked the link to Cabela's and I feel much better. I have the sporting 30" barrel and paid less. I was starting to feel like I was had.
For KB, I'd be happy to take sloppy 222s. I love me some KB. (and Marissa Miller too...)
I have a browning Citori 625 Feather 12GA and i freaking love it, got it for graduation a couple summers back. It shoots like a dream, if i had pictures i would post but i dare not bring that gun to Cstat it would kill me to have it stolen .
I shoot Briwnung deer rifle and Beretta Silver Pidgeon for birds. Kicks like a mule compared to the other guns you have but I love that gun.

I own a Browning Citori field model, a 20 gauge O/U with 28" barrels that I use for pheasant, grouse, dove, and quail. I like it a lot, though I have a side by side 20 ga. by AYA that I like even better.

I had a Beretta Silver Pigeon for four years. Sweet handling gun. But I hated the safety -- it is TOO low profile for my personal preference. I sold the BSP last year.

For some people, the BSP's safety is not an issue.

"I'm in the market for a new shotgun."

I'm ALWAYS in the market for a new shotgun (let's face it, there are SOME advantages to being divorced, fellers), even if it is a used shotgun.

I bought a brand new 12 ga O/U Winchester with 28" barrels this week at Reed's in Walker, Minnesota.

Even though it is a 12 ga., I bought it for a carry gun. It is heavier than my AYA 20, but it weighs less than my Ruger O/U 20 gauge with 28" barrels.
I guess I didn't pay enough attention to each of the safetys, but I'll look at them next time I around Cabela's

thanks again guy for all the advice
just as an FYI,


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