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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Browning 16ga citori grade 1, 26 inch barrels,invector chokes,early 80's production - excellent condition - $1200


Ruger 12ga sporting clays 30 inch, 3 inch chambers, ruger choke tubes - very good condition - $1100

PM for pictures - and any additional info

Thanks

John M
 

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I believe John's Citori is actually from the LATE 80s ('87-'89). I have a Citori Lightning (round knobbed pistol grip) from that same era and it is an absolutely wonderful, lightweight hunting gun. I'd tell you about it, but this 2007 post from 16ga.com pretty much says it all:

-Gary


"1987 was the year Browning answered the market's growing request for the reintroduction of the Sweet 16 A5 autoloader. Originals were fetching outlandish prices on the used market. They and some of the older Remington 1148 16 autoloaders were the only 16 ga autos built on a small frame. All the others were the usual 16 on 12 ga frame guns that were thrown on the market to appease and to sell 16 ga ammo. Most were over 7-1/2 pounds if wearing the now popular ribbed barrel.

Browning saw a chance for a coue. As an afterthought, they also offered the Citori 16 gauge in the catalog. Both guns were to be limited runs that would be offered until the original lot sold out. If demand was high enough, the A5 would be retained or brought back periodically.

Well, things did not work out as Browning had hoped. Much of the gun press of the day had already been predicting the eminent death of the 16ga shotgun. They snubbed the Japanese made A5 Sweet Sixteen, because it was not made in Belgium, it was not finished exactly like the originals, and because, with its ribbed barrel with choke tubes, it was a tad more muzzle heavy than any of the plain barreled originals. Lack of interest among the gun press did not help spark interest in the gun buying public so sales were slow for the A5. The higher prices did not help either.

Browning also failed to smartly advertise the 16 ga Citori to boot. So the first three years worth of 16 ga guns sold like "cold cakes". Browning ended up dumping the last of the Citori 16 ga. guns as specials and did not profit nearly as much as expected. They decided to not have anymore made and the guns were dropped from the catlog after 1990. I actually passed up a deal for two 1989 guns new in box for $700 each in 1994. Talk about 20/20 hind sight. that was a real boneheaded lack of movement on my part in retrospect.

Time has proven the Miroku made A5 Sweet Sixteen was unfairly handled by the gun press. Now the Japanese made models actually bring higher prices on the used market than the originals. They are better machined and are more reliable if that is possible for any A5. Plus, folks began to recognize the advantage of choke tubes. The nice wood on many of them is also a plus.

Because Browning had failed to market the Citori guns well, they too languished on the special and used racks for much of the first half of the last decade. Browning did not originally elaborate on the guns' finer points like being a 16 built on a modified 20 ga frame and weighing far less than the average 16 ga shotgun being made then. the 16 ga Citori was even lighter than a comparable 20 ga Citori. They even stupidly misidentified the first year's issue as standard hunting models when the guns were actually Lightnings. It seems Browning marketing strategy was more focused on the A5. The 16 ga Citori was more of a trial balloon. when the new A5 fizzled, they lost interest in the Citori as well.

Most folks simply assumed the Citori 16 ga guns were just another 16 built on a 12 ga frame, yawned, and bought a 20. I was one of them. Had I been paying closer attention, I'd have been shooting one far earlier than I finally did and for a lot less money to boot. Its a good thing for me I woke up before the prices started really climbing like a rocket after 2000.

What saved the 16 ga Citori from the dust bin of gun history was the folks who actually had bought the guns and shot them. Most of the smarter ones soon realized just how unique and special these particular 16 ga Lightnings were. They carried far easier than a comparable 12 ga upland gun. they were hell for stout and could digest loads that would wreck an autoloader's funtioning. They hit far harder and at further ranges that any 20 if fed the right loads. They were about the lightest and most effective O/U 16 on the planet, and were far stronger and better built than any of their contemporary doubles vertical or sideways for the purpose of wacking pheasant at 12 ga ranges with similar loads. Word spread amongst the more savvy upland hunters and folks began snapping them up at bargain basement prices. The buzz was now on. Bill Hicks Inc. saw a good thing, contacted Browning, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The 1987 guns are all well made. Machining, fit and finish is excellent for the most part. The wood on the average Grade I pre-2000 is better than that on many Grade I Citori models of today. Most have good barrels. However, check them carefully, because they were made by the pre- 1994 method and design before Miroku totally overcame the problems of high heat brazing. Some might have slightly out of kilter barrels. I've never seen any in 16 gauge, but I've seen some other pre-1994 guns with problematic barrels and have even owned a few.

New or used, if price is not out of line with the present market, I'd say you would do well to buy the gun. I own several pre-1994 guns. They all handle and shoot as well as any of the newer ones and sport some pleasing wood to boot. Mine all work for me. I was just lucky enough to be a tad ahead of the curve when I bought mine. ... and no, mine are not for sale, nor will the asking price reflect the old prices if and when they do go up for grabs. I only stay dumb for just so long."
 
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