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 Post subject: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:52 pm 
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I am looking to upgrade from my entry level O/U to a decent, mid range 12ga O/U and have more questions than answers right now. 90% of the time I am on the sporting clays range unless I am visiting a friends club and stuck with 5 stand or skeet.

I have a 2 part question.

Part 1: I see a lot of positive reviews about both the Beretta SP series and the Browning Citori series shotguns. The new Browning 725 advertises a mechanical trigger which has peeked my interest? What are the benefits to a mechanical trigger over the trigger systems found in the Beretta 68x's?? Is it smoother, more reliable? Less, or more parts?? It seems like Beretta has a large following and I am strongly contemplating a new 686 White Onyx or a 687 SP II. I have shot both and both feel fine to me, but I can't decide what I want. And now the mechanical trigger of that 725 has my interest but I don't know if that would really make a difference in the feel. Has anyone compared the three?

Also, which has the least recoil?

Part 2: This is likely the wrong forum for this question but it coincides with part 1.. As I mentioned I spend a lot of time on the sporting clay range. I can't get enough of it actually. Just this weekend I told my wife if she ever needed to serve me divorce papers, just mail them to the range. There is so much in the world of clay shooting I do not understand yet.

Like chokes and barrel length for example. As I mentioned, I am looking to purchase a new gun and it would make sense to purchase for the type of shooting I do the most. What would be the proper type of choke to use for sporting clays?? Not brand, but size. (F,M,LM...etc and what do they really mean. I understand the spread pattern changes, but does that really make that much of a difference over lets say, aiming properly??). Also, what barrel length would I be looking for?? I am 6'3 and have a long wing span.

Say you had full reign to put together a gun for me with a price tag under $3500. Knowing what version of the sport I prefer, what would you do??

Thanks for the help!


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:59 pm 
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This is what I would do since you asked :D Get the SP-1 Sporting with 32" bbls. get 2 extended Mod chokes and 1 LM(your choice as to brand) use the rest for lessons and shells YMMV

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:24 pm 
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I recently bought a 625 browning sporting with 32's and the adjustable stock after looking at Berettas and CGs, trying to stay below that 3.5 K range. I was lucky enough to shoot all three of the guns before buying and it's a personal choice as the browning fit the best. IMHO the brownings are a little under-rated, they are well designed and manufactured, the machining on mine is flawless, its truly well made, yes, better than the comparable Berettas and CGs. Another factor was the dependability,, almost everyone I know has at least one for clays and they seem to be trouble free. On the down side I am not a big fan of ported barrels.

I have to admit that I am extremely happy the gun but am savings for that new Kolar,, what a beauty!! and US made to boot..

Happy Shooting and Best of Luck


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:27 pm 
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32 inch barrels
8.5 lbs (at least)
2 skeet , 2 LM and 2 IM chokes......why these you ask :?:

95+% of the top sporting clays shooters who use O/U's use 32 in barrels. 4 % use 34 in barrels and 1% use something else. 32's are a great barrel length to allow you to swing , but to still smooth out your swing.

8.5 lbs --at least--to soak up the recoil of a 3 event day. I have 2 SC's guns...one is 8 lbs 13 ozs and the other is 9 lbs.

the chokes are designed for close , medium and far and to KISS (Keep It Simple , Stupid).....Another good combination is 2 skeets and 2 Mods.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:44 pm 
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I will add two things:
First, most folks either shoot a Browning or Beretta well. Few like both. Beretta is a lower receiver and the Browning ( even the 725 "new" low receiver, is deeper than a Beretta/CG/B. Rizzini) and that does affect handing. So try both and see what works.
The new mechanical trigger would in theory be better for sub gage tubes. ( and yes Beretta triggers can be converted by a gunsmith to mechanical if needed)

Back to Browning triggers! Yes I've owned several. For many years Browning triggers have more over travel ( how far the trigger moves after the sear releases the hammer)than the others. ( Beretta/CG/B. Rizzini) If you don't release the "OLD" Browning triggers, guys under a little stress of the shot, have been know to "trap the trigger". That is, they didn't fully release the trigger and the second shot didn't fire until they tried again. That is easier to do with a Browning than the "others." Notice Browning have "improved" their triggers on not only the 725,( now mechanical) but that was a selling point on the 625. And when I tried a 625 they were indeed "improved", but still more travel than the others mentioned here! So it seems Browning recognize their need to improve the triggers!

CG/ and B. Rizzini have some of the best triggers without regards to price. ( I can say that having owned and shot Browning/Berettas/ B. Rizzini/ and a K80!)
Beretta triggers can with a little good gunsmithing be brought up to very acceptable standards.
I have not tried a 725 yet so I cannot comment on if this latest improvement has helped Browning. But that is a little background on why Browning "advertises" improved triggers!

I would add that with your $3500 limit there are some very fine up level guns you might look at used!


Last edited by unplugged on Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:04 pm 
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Thanks for the replies guys. Keep em' coming.

I like that idea of getting the SP 1 and a nice set of chokes. Is it possible to go through a sporting clay course with just one set of chokes? Or do you have to change them out based on one particular stations design? If you can go through a course with one set of chokes what would you choose. I'm typically really accurate at 40+ yards and have more misses with targets inside 20 yards. Makes sense right? :). As I am still a new (I do take lessons when I can) I am still learning how to lead a target. When they are father out I can track and focus better.

FYI- right now I am shooting with fixed factory chokes. Looking at them closely, I think they are open. I don't see any taper.


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:16 pm 
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I own 37 shotguns and the one with the worst trigger by far is the mechanical trigger on my Browning Cynergy. Great gun in other respects, but that trigger is simply awful.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:44 pm 
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Lifeline Actual wrote:
Is it possible to go through a sporting clay course with just one set of chokes?


I just use L/M and MOD in a O/U a lot of folks I know just use MOD top and bottom bbl.Since all courses are different it's hard to say what would be best for you.

Lifeline Actual wrote:
Or do you have to change them out based on one particular stations design?


That's for you to decide

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:50 pm 
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Starting with the choke question you most certainly can shoot an entire course without changing chokes. I've been doing it for years - as have most people I know - and indeed so do most that I see around. Choke twiddling is like porting; quite the thing once but not so much now. Like many registered shooters I've settled on M/M in my O/Us and I don't change them for any presentation. This article explains exactly why it works so well: http://www.shootingtimes.com/2010/09/23 ... ds_201002/

I may be wrong but I don't think anyone's got hands on the 725 yet. Here in the UK, Citoris are not a popular choice for sporting clays. The Miroku branded versions are better suited to the task and rightly quite popular. Of the mid range guns, Berettas are by far the most popular choice, particularly amongst competition shooters.

Mechanical triggers? Handy perhaps if you want to use sub gauge tubes, other than that what's the point?

Sera's advice about weight is very sensible.... but....finding a Beretta 686/687 sporter that weighs more than 8lbs will be quite a challenge and frankly, I'd doubt that the 725 weighs more than about 8lbs 3oz. If recoil is an issue you'd need to consider options like butt pad changes etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:25 pm 
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I agree with what Sera said. As far as what brand, I think it's a toss-up at the $3000 level between Beretta or Browning. Get whichever gun you think looks good and feels good. The person who said Berettas and Brownings fit differently is correct...usually Brownings fit taller people better than Berettas. The next step up from the B guns are Caesar Guerini, Blaser and Zoli. Those are in the $4500-$7500 range, depending on options.

Be careful with the opinions on chokes. Really good shooters don't change much because they leave tight chokes in all the time. That is fine for them, but may not be applicable to someone in the early stages of learning (or me).

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:46 am 
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You can't generalize about Berettas as there is the 68X series and then the DT and SO type frames. The two frame types are entirely different, and neither is like a Browning design either. The 68X frames are sleek, light and nimble while the DT/SO frames are bulkier with the cross bolt locking system (Kersten type, I believe) The DT/SO framed guns tend to be more expensive than the 68X frames. Many professional competitors tend to gravitate toward the DT/SO type gun for a variety of reasons; perhaps because it is so robust. It is also my personal preference. There are used DT-10s out there in very good shape for reasonable prices as used gun, particularly in this economy. You might check them out too before you make a decision.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:00 pm 
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I'm one of those "taller fellows" that the Brownings fit very well. I shoot both Brownings (prefer the XS Sporting and XS Skeet) and Beretta's (SP's).

Personally I lean to the Browning's a bit.

Here's a good review of the 725:

http://randywakeman.com/BrowningCitori725_12GaugeOU%20Shotgun.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:30 pm 
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I have never shot a 725. Few people have even seen one yet, to say nothing of shooting one. Wakeman's review is of a 26" field gun, not the Sporting version. I suspect the 725 is, as Randy says, far better in the hands than previous Citoris. This is about as much of a compliment as when your boss says, "Hey! You finally showed up to work on time." But for all I know, or anyone else knows, the 725 Sporting might be great. A few things bug me about Brownings, like their bulky crud-catching receiver design (break one down and compare it with a Beretta). The 725, despite ad claims of being "low-profile", uses the same design with very slight differences in dimensions. But if a gun feels just right to you, you can deal with some quirks (as people have done with the Beretta 391 autos for Clays).

WRT the 686/7, I like Berettas, and this season I think every bird I've brought home was shot with a 686 field gun of one sort or other, and I have no complaints. But I still don't love the 686/7 Sporting guns in 12 Gauge. They have different barrel sets from their field brethren, and while they're okay, they're not "Oh wow!" The subgauges feel good (true also of some of the Browning models that I dislike in 12).

The 686 Sporting guns may represent the best new $1900 O/U for Sporting Clays -- not a crowded field these days, unfortunately. However, I would not buy a 687 Sporting in 12 Gauge. The SP II is only a few hundred bucks shy of the 682, which is Beretta's Competition 680 series gun, and night-and-day different in the hands. The 682 Gold E has noticeable ergo touches like a palm swell and an adjustable trigger, but most importantly it has a different barrel set that feels very good to me. For my money, I'll skip the 12 Gauge Silver Pigeon II Sporting and go to the 682 Gold E Sporting 32". Or rather, that's what I did do.

Again, it's hard to truly compare a -- supposedly completely redesigned -- gun that came out last month, with one that's been around for many years.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:31 pm 
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Lifeline, notice that I prefaced my comments about Brownings and Berettas by talking about those in the $3000 range. If you start looking at the DT-10's and the SO Berettas, you will be looking at some really nice shotguns. I don't think any in decent shape can be had in the $3000 range, but if you find one, definitely jump on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:44 pm 
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WML, I've seen recently a DT-10 or two in the $3500 range; sporting models. No SO guns though at that price range. In this economy, I have seen many many bargains that otherwise would not exist in a normal economy. There are bargains out there, but as you advised, act quickly because they will not be there very long.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:02 am 
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casonet wrote:
WML, I've seen recently a DT-10 or two in the $3500 range; sporting models.

Okay, but it's no secret that earlier DT10s had some issues suspected as being metallurgical rather the mechanical and therefore expensive to rectify. If I were seriously buying a used DT10, I'd never pay less than half the new price unless I knew the full history.

DT10s are great guns but are there any bargains? Maybe, but it's also a case of Caveat Emptor.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:58 am 
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Lifeline Actual wrote:
I have shot both and both feel fine to me, but I can't decide what I want.


That's what it is going to come down to, you have to decide. If you are spending "90% of your time" on the sporting clays course, then you are in a very good position to evaluate and decide on your own. Shoot them and try them for yourself. There is no better way.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:39 am 
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The DT-10 problems were pretty much limited to early guns that had improper heat treatment on trigger sears. The result was that the guns would double fire which is very un-nerving. I had one of these guns with that problem. I dropped out the trigger group and sent it to Richard Cole who replaced the sears for about $200 and end of problem. The extent and magnitude of this problem, I feel, has been way overblown.

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:53 am 
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Neither. Get a Cynergy Sporting in 30" or 32".

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 Post subject: Re: Beretta 686/687 vs. Browning 725
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:37 pm 
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RPRNY wrote:
Neither. Get a Cynergy Sporting in 30" or 32".

Oops! Almost spilled my coffee.....

This thread was getting a bit serious so a little levity was very welcome.

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