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GUNS Magazine February 2013 Digital Edition - Page 8
The Browning 725 Look what they’ve done to the Citori! b Holt Bodinson rowning’s new model 725 is not your father’s Citori. Introduced in 1972, the Citori is certainly one of the world’s most successful O/U designs, but like all good designs, it was time for a facelift. Having aged through a series of model changes starting with the model 325 and advancing through models 425, 525 and 625, the Citori has worn many faces with many designations and price points, ranging from plain field-grade hunting models through 4-barrel, Grade VI skeet sets. a superposed it’s not, but the new model 725 is certainly challenging browning’s oldest and most famous shotgun model. In some respects, it’s even better. Browning played it very close-tothe-chest with the redesign. It was really a tightly kept state secret until the unveiling this year. I imagine sitting down with a CAD program and beginning to redesign the flagship O/U in the Browning line was either a challenge or a moment of trepidation for the design engineer assigned to the task. The end result is a remarkable transformation of a 40-year-old design. The most significant change in the new Citori is a completely new receiver profile. The Citori was never known Holt, steamer and browning’s model 725 patiently await opening day. the model 725 (above) is defined by its low-profile receiver. even the top line of the standing breech is more sculptured and streamlined. the side panels of the sliver-nitride-coated receiver (below) support stylish hunting scenes. for having a low-profile receiver. It does now. The height of the receiver has been reduced by 1/8" and the top of the standing breech slimmed down and reduced in profile accordingly. An 1/8" doesn’t seem like much of a change, but when mated with the slimmer barrel profile of the new Citori, it changes the whole dynamic of the gun. Subtle changes to a shotgun can have dramatic results. Changes like adding a single layer of moleskin to the comb or lengthening or reducing the length of the stock by fractions of an inch or adding drop or cast-off by bending the stock or adding a ventilated rib can radically affect the way in which a gun handles and performs for its owner. The result of giving the Citori a lower profile is that the Model 725 feels lighter and achieves that much sought after balance and weight distribution between the hands we often describe in a shotgun as being “lively.” The shallow frame of the new 725 also facilitates that ideal handsin-line, hand-to-barrel relationship so important to accurate and intuitive shotgunning. While Browning uses a monobloc hinge in their Cynergy model to achieve the lowest-profile receiver in the industry, the Model 725 achieves a lower profile while keeping the fullwidth hinge pin and tapered locking lug of the original Citori design justifiably famous for its strength and longevity. Tapering the locking lug allows the lug to compensate for wear 8 W W W. G U N S M AG A Z I N E . C O M • F E B R UA RY 2 0 1 3