Gunboards Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, folks.

I’ve decided that our new Weimaraner pup will be a fine bird dog (pheasant and waterfowl) and would like to take him out in the field next year (after he goes to doggie summer camp next year to learn how to become a proper huntin’ dawg). I’ve decided this is as good a reason as any to buy a new shotgun. I’m 95% certain I want an O/U shotgun; 5% certain I want a semi-auto. I do not want a pump action – I’ve got an 870 that I’ve had for a few years, but haven’t ever shot because… honestly… I hate pump-action guns. (I got the 870 for $100 NIB from a friend who won it in an raffle – he hates guns, I don’t, so it worked out.) ANY-HOOOO… for the moment I’m thinking only about 12 gauge O/Us. Any recommendations for a good field gun? I’ve looked at the following online so far:

Browning 725- expensive (~$2K-$3K, depending upon version), but I like all the options available and the 3” chamber for waterfowl loads, 7.1-7.8 pounds depending upon version (should be light enough for carrying around all day?)

Winchester 101– fair price (~$1200 or less on sale), 3” chamber, 28” barrel, 7.2 pounds, FN quality

Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon – pricey (~$2K), similar options to Browning 725, 3” chamber, typical Beretta reputation for quality

Browning Citori Waterfowl Edition– fair price (~$1200), 3 ½” chamber, 28” barrel, but on the heavy side at 8.1 pounds (but would reduce felt recoil when shooting heavier loads)

Browning Citori Cabela’s 50th Anniv Ed– expensive ($2200 on sale), 28” barrel, wicked light (~6.5 pounds), but limited to 2 ¾” chamber

At the moment I keep going back to the Winchester 101… but since I’ve not handled any O/Us yet I’m absolutely keeping an open mind.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

Thanks, all!

~ Greg ~
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
2,427 Posts
As you are planning on using this as a field gun have you looked at the Russian Baikal shotguns? I never gave them much thought then I had a chance to pick up a Remington Spartan which is made by Baikal in Russia, for $250. They list for a little under $600. I just couldn’t pass it up. Not at that price. Screw in chokes, 3” chambers, single selective trigger and can be set to eject the empties or just extract them. Does it impress the snobs on the skeet field? No. But then I don’t really care about them. It handles well and I really like it.

Do I like it as much as my Belgium made Browning Superposed? Oh hell no! But if I’m going to be out pushing through brush looking for rabbits or sitting in the rain waiting for some ducks I know which gun I’m going to have with me.
 

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
36,346 Posts
Remington dropped the Spartan in 2009 because of warranty issues. Stoeger has problems, Mossberg's turkish imports have also had problems but may have been fixed by now. A couple of Turkish brands, Yildiz, Hugli (CZ sells them) seem OK.
But there are a LOT of shotguns out there. I learned to shoot on a side by side and do not feel comfortable with an O/U or pump (except for deer hunting), but you'll never find me spending the prices you quote on a shotgun.

I'd try a used gun, maybe an SKB or Miroku (Charles Daly, etc..) or maybe CZ, Ruger Red Label or Lanber first. You can get an excellent quality but not fancy gun for $400 to $1,000. Check the posts at Shotgun World first to see what brands are reliable. No need for a new gun until you have hunted with an O/U a while and really know what you want. Lots of times there's teething problems with a new gun, and fitting problems unless you are very lucky and its a good fit, and you do not want to go through that with a brand new gun. I can tolerate most variances from a perfect fit except for pull. I have to cut down the buttstock on every gun I use and really wouldn't want to do that on a new gun, and don't like the looks of the various adjustable stock schemes.

Just remember a lot of shotguns are sold by snob appeal, not practicality, and you'll be OK.

http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/index.php
 

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
No need for a new gun until you have hunted with an O/U a while and really know what you want...
Just remember a lot of shotguns are sold by snob appeal, not practicality, and you'll be OK.
Well... is there ever really a need for a new gun? ;) I mean, I do have a perfectly good 870 I could use, were it not for the fact that I really don't care for pump actions. I've also got a couple of Saiga 12 builds (though I doubt the S17 with the 8" barrel would be good for birds... unless I was clearing a chicken coop). I'm drawn more to the idea of a new gun simply because I like knowing that every ding, dent, scratch, and wear mark was put there by me - each one is a reminder of a trip before, etc. Of course, I do also collect milsurps and other vintage guns, so I suppose if I found a really nice old shotgun I could possibly be talked into something like that. But I would likely not go the route of a more modern used gun.

I had heard other good reports about the CZ guns, so I'll be sure to check those out, too. I've done some reading on the Red Labels, too; I'm not a fan of getting a discontinued gun, but it sure seems like folks love those guns. I might go that route if I could find on NIB.

Thanks for the link to that site, too!

Cheers,

~ Greg ~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Ruger Red Label is a solid gun at not too bad a price.
 

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Stoeger - another Turkish made gun? Any idea how they compare to the CZ offerings? I've heard mixed reviews of the Turkish guns, but CZ seems to be higher end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Made in Brazil if memory serves, tho ones I have examined (drooled over) seemed quite well done for the price. At about 1/2 the prices you originally quoted it would seemingly be a good field gun.
 

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
48,760 Posts
Rugers i had two ONE fixed skeet skeet ///one English grip 4 # Briley tubes the rest Ruger's......very good guns hit average # 22 out of 25 #.....
but stock design lets them kick hard...a day at the skeet / trap range is punishing!

i now have Charles Daley Italian O/U fixed chokes model with side plate locks...(they are made in Turkey now and are still very good with better local wood..).
and early import 1970's was new.. Italian.... Gambia side plate locks O / U fixed chokes .....both 12's.....

there are many Turkish build guns o/u in the $ 500 to $ 700 whole sale that are excellent.....but dollar for dollar the CZ's are very progressive some made in turkey i believe too?
 

·
Silver Bullet member
Joined
·
36,346 Posts
Made in Brazil if memory serves, tho ones I have examined (drooled over) seemed quite well done for the price. At about 1/2 the prices you originally quoted it would seemingly be a good field gun.
Yes, still made in Brazil. But there seem to be more complaints about it than other guns in the same price class relating to a number of issues.

The Ruger Red Label was dropped because the production price got too high. I remember a lot of people being nuts about it, but trying to find one was tough, maybe because Ruger seems to have lost money on every one they sold!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,496 Posts
You have a year to scour the pawn shops and gun shows to handle as many as you can. When you find one that feels right at the right price, new or used, buy it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
A- Birds over a good dog + B- Ducks from a blind are two different animals and require two different guns. I hunted all kinds of birds for about 30 yrs /with a 20 ga. Superposed lightning, chocked skeet 1&2. Good dog and good shooter,that's all you need. Ducks= 12 ga. full or IM./ or both in a O/U.
 

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Was at Cabela’s over the weekend and checked out a few different O/Us – Citori 725 Field, Winchester 101 Field, CZ Upland, Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon, and the Stoeger Condor. All were 12 gauge since their inventory was pretty limited in that regard – the only other gauge they had was a 28 gauge Citori. Hated it. Felt like a Red Rider BB gun. All of them I checked out had 28” barrels and all were pretty similar in weight. The Citori 725 Field was the best fit for me – the comb made for a perfect cheek weld and it seemed like a natural pointer. The stock length was perfect, too. The Beretta 686 was pretty close, but for a few dollars more I would take the Citori 725 based on looks alone. The other three were miles apart from those two. The Winchester 101 looked niced enough (fit and finish were solid), but the stock was a little too long and didn't feel like same natural pointer as the Citori. The Stoeger felt a lot like the Winchester - somewhat indistinguishable from one another in my hands. The CZ was easily my least favorite of the bunch. It didn't have the same even balance of the Citori or Beretta, the stock was the least comfortable off all I tried, and the finishing was so plain and elementary is was somewhat painful. Now, I know that a pheasant isn't going to care how pretty a gun is when it gets killed, but... still...


For now the Citori 725 Field and the Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon are at the top of my list. There are a few others I want to look at before making the final call. Plus, since I won’t be using the gun this year I want to hold off a bit to see if anyone’s having any sales later this year after the seasons are all wrapped up. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a new shotgun under the tree! :)

~ Greg ~
 

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I stopped at a large Scheel's store yesterday - they're a much bigger store than the Cabela's in my area, so I had a ton of new and used guns to take a look at. Here's what I looked at yesterday:

Citori Lighting and White Lightning - older Citori models, just felt heavier with boxier forearms and receivers compared to the Citori 725.
Ruger Red Label - reminded me of the Winnie 101 in terms of appearance, but considerably heavier than any other gun I tried. Felt like I was holding a Garand.
Beretta 686 White Onyx and 686 White Pigeon - well made, nice balance, easy to swing around, but cheek weld wasn’t as automatic as the Citori 725
Caesar Guerini guns Magnus and Maxum - definitely gorgeous and obviously well made, but I didn’t think they were worth 2-3x more than the Citori 725

They had a few other lower end O/Us that reminded me of the CZ. I think they must have been Turkish guns, though I don't remember. Tristar may have been the importer? Not sure. I just recall seeing a factory name that looked familiar (but not Huglu). Those guns were reasonably priced, but the stocks didn't seem quite as refined and the overall appearance was pretty drab.

So, at this point I had tried a couple of dozen guns from 8 or 9 makers. I even tried a few SxS guns to see how those felt, but after having spent the last couple of decades sighting over a single barrel, my brain pretty much went on the fritz when sighting down two barrels like that. Seems awkward as hell. The O/U definitely seemed more natural to me.

I weighed the pros/cons of each, but ultimately decided on the 28" Browning Citori 725 Field. I tried two different examples (one at Cabela’s and the other at Scheel’s) and both felt like they were made specifically for my hands, shoulder, and cheek. Pointing the 725 Field was very natural to me, the balance in my hands was perfect and the LOP was spot-on. Even the safety/barrel selector was perfectly situated for my thumb. The mechanical triggers are really sweet - nice easy pull, crisp break, easy letoff. Definitely feels like a match trigger set. I can't actually think of anything I don't like about the gun. It wasn't the least expensive gun out there, but it wasn't the most expensive one I looked at, either. (Some of the higher end Citori 725s and Beretta 686s were another $1-1.5K and those fancy Italian Caesar Guerini pieces were another $2-$4K. Ack!) It was a little spendy, but I've no reason to expect that this gun won't last forever (or for at least the rest of my lifetime and hopefully those of my kids and grandkids someday).

The weather this weekend is supposed to be decent enough - mid 30s and sunshine - so I'll likely head out to the gun club to see about downing some clay pigeons. I'll take the little pup along, too, just to get him a little more accustomed to gun fire.

Thanks again for all the input, folks! Everything everyone added definitely helped me make the right decision. I can't believe this is my first ever Browning. Seems like it's a bit overdue. (Need to get an old Highpower next. :) )

Cheers,

~ Greg ~
 

·
Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
Joined
·
93,671 Posts
Ah - what clothes were you wearing? My early (mid-1930s) Superposed is a bit short in LOP in summer clothing, perfect (for me) with a light jacket (fall shoot, eh?) and a bit long in cold weather with thicker gear to stay warm. I used to wear a vest with a quilted pad in hot weather so i could stay reasonably cool and still have the gun fit right.
 

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Ah - what clothes were you wearing? My early (mid-1930s) Superposed is a bit short in LOP in summer clothing, perfect (for me) with a light jacket (fall shoot, eh?) and a bit long in cold weather with thicker gear to stay warm. I used to wear a vest with a quilted pad in hot weather so i could stay reasonably cool and still have the gun fit right.
When I tried it out on Saturday I was wearing my winter parka. (We had a bit of snow/ice storm that day.) When I tried it out yesterday I was wearing a fleece jacket. I had thought about that, too, and wanted to make sure it was good to go with different jackets/coats. :)

~ Greg ~
 

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Discussion Starter #18

·
Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
Joined
·
93,671 Posts
When I tried it out on Saturday I was wearing my winter parka. (We had a bit of snow/ice storm that day.) When I tried it out yesterday I was wearing a fleece jacket. I had thought about that, too, and wanted to make sure it was good to go with different jackets/coats. :)

~ Greg ~
That is good - I've seen people forget about that (the clothing factor) and wind up unhappy.
Since I didn't take the Browning to the duck blind (it has 26" tube choked IC/IC), being a bit long for heavy clothing wasn't a problem.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top