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 Post subject: Citori questions
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:44 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:14 pm
Posts: 6
I've been looking for a new 20 gauge ou and today I handled a Citori white lightening at an Academy store. I liked the fit and feel but the wood was not impressive. I don't expect a lot from Browning lower end guns, but the wood was porous and showed no grain. It was also pretty dark. Is this the norm for Citoris or should I keep looking for one with a little nicer wood?
The second issue was the barrel lever. It was very stiff and seemed to catch at some point before engaging. Is this something that will smooth out with time, or will it be a problem?
Are there other brands in the $2000 range I should look at?
The gun will be used for dove and upland birds, and some duck hunting.
Any help is appreciated.




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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:24 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 5:24 pm
Posts: 32
Just my .02; I have three Browning Citoris; two 12's and a 20, as well as BPS and A-5's. Browning tends to have a better grade of wood than many other manufacturers, IMO. I have noticed over the last several years that Browning stocks have been moving to somewhat darker in finish...they use primarily American black walnut. I have also noticed a lot of variation in color and quality. Go on Gunbroker or another auction site and look at a similar guns' pictures...you will see a wide variance in figure and grain. Before you write off Browning, suggest looking around. You will eventually find a nicer one. If you have held the exact model you want, and feel that it fits, you could order online and based upon the pics, get yourself more of what you are looking for. Be sure if you order online, that the picture with the listing is the gun being sold, however. It's not always the case. If they can't provide exact pictures of the exact gun you are buying, move on.

Regarding the opening lever, they do tend to be pretty stiff at first. A few hundred rounds usually loosens them up a bit; this is a good thing, that it's tight to start with. Same with the fore end lever, don't force it on a new gun. I have found that if I squeeze the fore end to the barrels a bit, the fore end lever is much easier to close on a new gun when assembling.

Regarding other brands; besides Beretta, I hear good things about the CZ guns. But this is a Browning forum, and I'm almost exclusively a Browning/Winchester guy, so I may not be the best advice on this... There are some good forums on Facebook to get opinions as well. And you know what they say about opinions... 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:11 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:14 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks, you are correct, it's probably not the smartest thing to ask for opinions on other brands in a Browning forum. I do prefer Browning and will probably buy one, just been a while since l purchased a new gun and I was a little disappointed in the quality of wood. Good suggestion to look for other models on-line, thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:49 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:25 am
Posts: 91
You can also ask the store if they have more than one in stock and to look at the wood on the others. Kind of doubt Academy has a bunch of Citoris in stock but it's worth a shot at any retailer.


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:47 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:08 pm
Posts: 1787
Location: Minnesota
The Beretta 686 and 687 are in my opinion comparable to the Citori. I have some of both, Citori and Beretta.
The wood on both of those brands is pretty plain, unless you buy the higher grade guns.


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:10 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:36 pm
Posts: 1628
Location: Northeast Ohio
If you are not dead set on new vs. used, your field of choices as far as wood will increase if you additionally consider used guns. Very gently used Citoris should not be rare (although 20's are less common than 12's) in the market place. Pretty good wood on Citoris was not uncommon, even (especially?) decades ago when some used guns now on the market were manufactured. You could save several hundred dollars toward shells, targets, decoys, waders, licenses, or even premium after hunt beer!

You mentioned the White Lightning which is a great gun, but you may want to look at a 20 ga. CSX or CX. They are a great value and I have seen some really nice wood on them even though they lean towards the entry level among current Brownings. The wood on several that I've seen looks better than average for many guns in that price range.


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:07 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:19 am
Posts: 193
I recently purchased a new White Lightning on the net trough GunBroker. I have an affinity for Brownings: a 20 gauge 725, 12 gauge Skeet 725, 16 gauge Gran Lightning, 12 gauge new A5, and SA-22 all grace my gun cabinet. The products are solid, dependable, and recognized world-wide. They fit me as if they were built for my frame and stance. The lever and opening/closing process has always been tight at first, but in time all have been broken in perfectly. The new White Lightning's wood is very average, yet strong, never any signs of weaknesses (which really matters anyway). The round knob makes up for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:48 am 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:22 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Central Texas
+1 Grouse gunner. Have a buddy that goes to gun shops and has them show all the guns in the type he wants that they have in their inventory until he locates one with the best wood. Academy is a good store but other shops may have better selection. I usually but the used guns getting better prices and better wood.


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 6:01 pm
Posts: 6741
I tend to like the older Citoris better than the new ones. I have managed to purchase 2 that are quite nice looking. But it took a while. I have been looking a Beretta SP's with the idea of maybe purchasing a new one. But the base model has very plain wood almost all the time and the finish is not appealing to me either.


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:20 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 7358
Location: NE Oklahoma
buzp wrote:
I've been looking for a new 20 gauge ou and today I handled a Citori white lightening at an Academy store. I liked the fit and feel but the wood was not impressive. I don't expect a lot from Browning lower end guns, but the wood was porous and showed no grain. It was also pretty dark. Is this the norm for Citoris or should I keep looking for one with a little nicer wood?
The second issue was the barrel lever. It was very stiff and seemed to catch at some point before engaging. Is this something that will smooth out with time, or will it be a problem?
Are there other brands in the $2000 range I should look at?
The gun will be used for dove and upland birds, and some duck hunting.
Any help is appreciated.

I am a Browning fan, having owned many over the years and still have three in the safe. Of all the Citori's I have owned the Lightning is my least favorite. I just hate that Prince of Wales grip. As to the example you handled...... there are way to many good, used Lightnings on the market to spend money on a new one. You'll almost certainly be able to find one with wood that pleases you, too.
I'd bet that stiffness you noted on opening the gun is really caused by the lug on the barrel that the forearm latch catches. A bit of judicious filing on that lug will make a very noticeable difference in how easily the gun opens.


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:09 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:31 pm
Posts: 2422
They're the bottom of the line and most have very plain wood. Look around long enough and you can find one with decent figured wood.

New models have a basic no pores filled oil finish. Again bottom of the line gun with just enough finish for a hunting model. I think the bowling ball finish was much better, but most don't share my thoughts.

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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:33 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:40 am
Posts: 45
I agree that that the so called bowling ball finish is nicer. Not a fan of the flat oil finish.


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:43 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:11 pm
Posts: 1019
The one advantage to the oil finish that it is easier to keep looking " good" , however that is a relative term. just don't go too early with the clitori's you may want to avoid the type 1's.


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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:55 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:24 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Boston, Ma. USA
I’ve got a Citori White Lightning 20g w/ 28” bbl. I love it. It’s my go to gun, and about to be my only gun. According to Browning, at least when the WL was listed on their website, it had grade II/III wood, which shouldn’t look terrible. But,....gun to gun there will be variations, so keep looking. I lucked out, and have very nice wood on my gun. I’m currently shopping for a 28g version, and possibly even May seek out a 12g CXS White w/32” bbl as a dedicated sporting clays gun.

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 Post subject: Re: Citori questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:38 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:07 pm
Posts: 16
I’m a Browning Citori Junky. I have 5 currently after giving my first one to my brother. I still have a 1998 Grade 3 Superlight 12ga. , a 1981 Grade 5 Sporter Sideplates 20ga (bought new in box 37 years old....sweet and my new go to gun) , 1997 Citori 425 Grade 6 Golden Clay’s, 1986 Grade 6 Citori .410 bought new in box used at age 28, and a 2010 Grade 6 Citori Heritage 20ga. special edition. Every one sweet and everyone perfect to my eye. Greet wood on all. The japenese built a perfect gun in the Citori line. High finish, good wood, tight fit, built like a tank. I have several Berettas that don’t compare in any way.
Never felt the need to go to Belgiums.
Buy the older Grade 3s, 5s and 6s used. Great great guns.




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