Gun Review: Browning 725

Family ties. The gun in front is a 1930s Superposed with double triggers. The 725 bears many similar features. The main aesthetic differences are the depth of the action, the shape of the toplever, and the finish. Browning has produced quality over/unders for 80 years, so there’s no need to make dramatic changes.

Family ties. The gun in front is a 1930s Superposed with double triggers. The 725 bears many similar features. The main aesthetic differences are the depth of the action, the shape of the toplever, and the finish. Browning has produced quality over/unders for 80 years, so there’s no need to make dramatic changes.

In addition, Browning incorporated its new FireLite trigger into the design of the 725. This is truly an evolutionary step forward for the Citori line. The quality of triggers in centerfire rifles has improved vastly over the last decade, but very few companies boast that they offer light, crisp, clean triggers in their shotguns.

The new FireLite system breaks at under four pounds, for both trigger pulls, without any creep, and the new Browning trigger is as good or better than anything short of high-end competition shotguns. It may go unnoticed by the casual shooter, but experienced shotgunners will appreciate the new trigger.

The other major alteration to the 725 has to do with the depth of the action. Since John Browning’s original Superposed version, Browning guns have had deep actions, due in part to large, full-length hinge pins.

The fore-end of the 725 might be called a semi-schnabel style. It’s comfortable and allows the shooter to point the gun well. This pointing ability is aided by gun’s excellent balance.

The fore-end of the 725 might be called a semi-schnabel style. It’s comfortable and allows the shooter to point the gun well. This pointing ability is aided by gun’s excellent balance.

The design was robust and durable, but many shooters preferred the sleeker, thinner, Italian guns like those of Beretta and Fausti, with their low-profile boxlock actions.

The 725 was Browning’s first attempt to narrow the storied action, and even though the company shaved less than 3/16-inch from the vertical depth of the 725 by reducing the size of the hinge pin, it looks much sleeker.

The pistol grip contour has changed slightly, too, and is now canted rearward. The result is a gun that feels livelier and more connected to the shooter. The overall look of the gun is less paunchy than with previous models.

Other styling changes are far more subtle, but, to the Citori purist, these changes will immediately stand out. First, the action release lever on the top of the gun is radically different that the model that has been standard on Browning Citori guns since production began.

Citoris have traditionally had a more rounded knob on their top levers than other shotguns, but the new 725 has a longer knob that stretches farther along the tang and is vertically shorter than traditional lever knobs. It’s a minor detail, yes, but the Browning fans I shot with recognized it immediately.

Browning has never tried to make its Citori guns look gaudy or radical. You won’t find any faux-gold game birds on the action, and scrolling has been kept to an austere but classy minimum.

The new 725 Field bears traditional game scene engravings on each side of the receiver; a duck adorns the right side and a pheasant can be seen on the left. The engraving is very good quality. Likewise, the oil-finished grade II/III walnut stock is nicely figured, and the dark wood stands in sharp contrast to the silver nitride receiver.

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