Opinions on Browning Citori and 20 vs. 28ga?


November 13, 2010, 04:41 PM
I shoot trap somewhat regularly (and sporting clays and skeet occasionally), and will be going on a couple of quail hunting trips over the next few months. I currently have a couple of 12ga shotguns that I use for trap (Benelli Cordoba and a CZ O/U I bought used, both are 28" 12ga).

I recently had an opportunity to purchase a 20ga Citori Lightning with a 28" barrel NIB for $999, so I ordered it. It appears this is a pretty good price, as they seem to go for ~$1500 on GB and Budsgunshop. I actually wanted the White Lightning, but they didn't have it in stock in the 20ga (the only differences are cosmetic I believe, the Lightning is all blued).

Well, when I inquired about the White Lightning, I was told they DO have it in stock in both 12ga and 28ga (price was $1250 IIRC).

That got me thinking ... maybe I should go ahead and get the 28 as well. Hell, it's tempting to get all three and sell the 12 on gunbroker (or keep it and sell my Benelli).

On one hand, I wasn't really planning on buying 2 new guns this week. On the other hand, I've got the money and it seems this is a very good price for a gun shotgun.

What are everyone's thought's on both the Citori and the usefulness of the 28ga in general? Am I going to regret passing up this deal, or am in mistaken in the pricing and it isn't as good a deal as I think it is?

Just to clarify, this isn't a "20ga vs. 28ga" thread in the sense that I'm not trying to decide on one vs. the other - I've already committed to buying the 20. I'm just trying to decide if I should get a 28 to go with it.

Thoughts/comments/opinions appreciated.

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Dave McCracken
November 13, 2010, 05:04 PM
Do you reload? If so, loading up some 3/4 oz 20 gauge stuff can reveal whether or not the 28 is for you.

November 13, 2010, 05:33 PM
I don't reload currently, but plan to start at somepoint. I realize that w/ a 28ga, ammo choices and prices make reloading a big plus.

I'd like to try some light loads in the 20ga first, but I haven't received the 20 yet and I doubt I'll be able to get this price on the 28 for long.

November 13, 2010, 06:50 PM
My 20 Guage Lightning Citori is the gun that goes with me for Roosters (3" #6 plated) , Quail ( Light 2 3/4" 8s), and Grouse (2 3/4 heavy field # 7.5) and if I had to have one hunting shottie.....
I had a 28 for a while and while it is like a light 20 and even faster, the shells are a hassle and it lacks the 20 versatility.

November 13, 2010, 07:50 PM

I wouldn't get a 28 gauge Citori and here's why...

The frame size is the same as the 20 gauge, in fact the 28 gauge is actually heavier than the 20. I had a 28 gauge Citori sold it, bought a 20 gauge White Lightning, and haven't looked back.

If I had the jack to buy 2, I'd check out the grade IV Citori in 20 gauge. I'm a sucker for nice wood.

November 13, 2010, 08:19 PM
IF the 28 is built on the 20 frame, (as I believe the Browning is), then IMO, it is a waste of time....the purpose of the 28 for hunting is that the gun is typically a 1/2 to 1 pound lighter than a 20......if it isn't, then you're spending a lot on ammo for no apparent benefit

November 15, 2010, 12:57 PM
Out of curiosity, what 28 gauge would you guys recommend, either o/u or side by side?

November 15, 2010, 01:26 PM
687 baby frame Beretta if you want a real 28 Gauge in a scaled, low-profile receiver. Prices go up from there, if you want a light, scaled 28 in a quality gun.

I have yet to buy a 28, though I have a growing rack of 20s and I really do like them. Most cheap 28s weigh more than their 20 Gauge cousins for the reasons given. That includes the entry-level Berettas (which I really like in 12 and 20), and Citoris across the board, in all trims.

Personally, I'm no fan of the Citori's design, either, but they are durable. I no longer own any Browning break-actions, and have no plans to get any in the future, despite having my eyes open for O/Us most of the time. That said, the 20 Gauge Citori frame is a lot trimmer and lighter than its brick-like 12 Gauge cousin, though still a tad on the heavy side for a field gun. I'd get it with 20 Gauge barrels in it, if I ever got one. There are lots of fish in the sea, as your dad told you... :)

November 15, 2010, 03:15 PM
AB - correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Beretta has some models on 20 gauge frames and some on scaled 28 frames.

OP - An AyA 28 will be sub-6 pounds and they have several models. While pricey for new compared to the Brownings, used ones can be found for comparable cost.

If you prefer a gun around 6 or a little over, AND you start to reload, you can drop 20 gauge loads to the 28's level (3/4 oz) easily enough.

The 28 is a great bore for most upland hunting and many Sporting shooters love it for small bore competition, as it seems to pattern well in most guns of decent quality

November 15, 2010, 04:44 PM
Yes. The lower-priced Berettas share 20 Gauge frames. AFAIK you have to go to a 687 Silver Pigeon to get a scaled "baby" frame, and then you have to get a 28 Gauge gun, NOT a 20/28 combo. I should have been specific: you have to make sure you're buying a "baby frame" if that's what you want. A guy on Shotgun World was selling a beautiful combo baby frame 28/.410 687 SP V, but I don't have the cash and he changed his mind. He had a financial crisis that he found another way out of, and that's not a gun you sell if you don't have to. :)

Note that my Beretta 20 Gauge O/Us are both just over 6 lbs., and my old Ithaca SKB SxS is right at 6 lbs. in 20 Gauge. The 28 really makes the most sense in a heavier Skeet gun where you can handload and shoot without any recoil, or in a really light, tiny field gun. In between these two ends of the spectrum, the real difference between 20 and 28 is minimal. And some people don't like shooting <6 lb. guns, because they just prefer the feel of something with a bit of heft. It's really personal.

November 15, 2010, 05:06 PM
You have an SKB 20 right around 6#?????.Deee-yam, I haven't seen one under 7. Makes them great for sporting, too heavy for hunting

November 15, 2010, 05:32 PM
There's a couple of of other alternatives you might want to check out if you got to have a 28...

CDNN has the Browning 525 "feather" for $1399 in 28 gauge. Basically this is a Citori with an aluminum receiver and nicer wood. The frame size is the same, but it's much lighter than the steel frame Citori.

Ruger also makes their Red Label on a true 28 gauge frame. There is definitely a love/hate relationship with Red Labels on this forum. I've never owned one, but a guy at my club uses one for recreational skeet and likes it.

A couple of years ago I went through a "28 gauge phase" and bought 3 28's (Citori, Remington 1100 Sporting, Remington Wingmaster). I've still got the 1100 and 870, but don't reload, so while I'll occasionally use them for a preserve hunt or a round or two of skeet, I shoot my 20's and 12's a bunch more. This year, my "go to" gun for preserve hunting in Missouri/Illinois will be a White Lightning in 20 gauge.

I want ot emphasize I've never owned a Citori "feather" or a Ruger in 28, so I can't personally recommend them, but if I were looking to buy a 28 O/U I would check out both of these guns.

November 15, 2010, 06:25 PM
The 28 I had BTW was a Browning BPS, which was small and light but not much more than a 20 Ithaca 37!

November 15, 2010, 06:33 PM
The 28ga lives because its used in skeet competitions. Other wise it would have went the way of the 16ga. The 28 breaks clays same as a 20 on the skeet field with skeet loads. If someone loaded the gun for you, hard to tell the difference on shooting. But drop in a 3" 20ga shell, then you have something.

November 15, 2010, 07:38 PM
Ruger also makes their Red Label on a true 28 gauge frame.

True. And it's a round receiver, which has a certain cachet in the shotgun world -- deservedly so as far as I'm concerned. It has great geometry, too. However, it's still heavier than Beretta 20s and for reasons I don't understand, Ruger doesn't offer it with a straight grip and engraving on the same gun (nitpicking, to be sure, but that's the configuration I'd want, even though I ordinarily don't care about engraving that much).

November 15, 2010, 07:43 PM
You have an SKB 20 right around 6#?????

6 lb. 1/8 oz.:)

Ithaca SKB 100 with fixed IC/M 25" barrels. Of course it weighs a couple more ounces when it's loaded.:D

November 15, 2010, 09:55 PM
Nice AB.....SKB always did make nice guns.

As to the Ruger..my opinion has been stated before - it SHOULD be a great gun.....I wanted mine to be a great gun......seems to be hit or miss as to whether folks like them and got a good one

November 16, 2010, 08:40 AM
For the most part, unless you shoot competition, there are few rational reasons to own a 28 ga as a 20 ga is more versatile. All the previous comments are valid.

That said, I am partial to the 28 ga. As a child, I shot my first pheasant with my Dad's Parker 28 ga and won my first skeet class in 28 ga with a tubed Citori. I like Citoris as well.

I enjoy shooting the 28 ga.

I would get the 28 ga. When I bought my 12 ga Citori it was part of an estate sale where there was Grade III Citori Skeet model in each gauge. I wish I could have had the cash to buy at least the 28 ga as well if not all four. Oh well!

But I enjoy shooting skeet with the 410 as well.

Good luck with your choice.

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