October 21, 2011
Is the New 725 the Best Citori Ever?
By Phil Bourjaily
There was a second new gun introduced at the Browning gathering where I saw the new A5 back in Septmber: the Citori 725.
Like some of you, I have mixed feelings about the new Browning A5. I like Browning semiautos and have a kneejerk fondness for the humpback receiver. On the other hand, I already own a Benelli Montefeltro and am not exactly sure why I need a Browning inertia gun, too. However, I have no mixed feelings at all about the 725. I just want one.
I have always liked Citoris, and after I saw them being made I liked them even more. A huge amount of skilled hand work goes into every one. That said, the Citori in a 12 gauge has always had a very high profile receiver and has weighed a ton – over 8 pounds in a field gun -- which is one reason I don’t own one.
The new 725 is more than just another Citori with some cosmetic changes. It has a receiver profile that has been scaled down by a few millimeters, mostly by paring some steel off the bottom of the receiver. It has much slimmer barrel contours, too, making it noticeably lighter and better handling. Browning lists the weight at 7 pounds, 6 ounces in a 28-inch barreled 12 gauge, a good 12 ounces less than the listed weight of a standard 12 gauge Citori. I haven’t had a chance to weigh a 725 yet but I shot them at pheasants, doves and targets and they were the liveliest Citoris I have ever shot.
Also, the 725 has a new mechanical trigger in place of the old inertia trigger (mechanical triggers automatically switch from one barrel to other while inertia triggers are reset by recoil). The trigger pull is crisper, and I have always preferred mechanical triggers because sometimes my very light reloads don’t generate enough recoil to reset inertia triggers.
The 725 is a very good looking Citori, too, with a silvered receiver and nicely done duck and pheasant scenes and a gloss oil finish on the wood in place of those awful urethane finishes that show the slightest ding as a white scar. The 725 is a winner and it lists for $2,469 in a field gun and $3,139 in a target version.