Browning Cynergy shotgun
So what’s this? Is it a stylish gun designed and built to suit the sophisticated tastes of the 21st century shooter, or something Mr Spock might stash aboard the Starship Enterprise, just in case his phaser goes on the blink and those Klingons get stroppy again?
Fortunately for Browning, since the Cynergy was launched in the UK, most UK shooters seem to have gone for the first definition – but there’s still no doubt this gun breaks the mould, both in looks and the way in which it operates.
It is probably the most different break-action shotgun to be launched in the past 100 years. In many ways it can claim to be more radical in design than John Moses Browning’s immortal B25 born more than 80 years ago and still going strong – the gun that set the yardstick for the modern over-under.
Mechanically it is like nothing else, as we shall discover.
Who makes it?
The Cynergy is built for Browning by Miroku in Japan. The Miroku factory is in the city of Nangoku, in Japan’s Kochi prefecture on the island of Shikoku. They started building sporting arms in 1893, and their long association with Browning began with negotiations in 1965. For many years, as well as making guns under their own name, they have built all of the more affordable Browning over-unders. They also make machine tools and automotive parts.
How adaptable is it?
We think most people will buy the Cynergy as a clay-busting gun, but the weight and stock dimensions of the Sporter versions make them adaptable enough for field use.
How does it work?
In a nutshell, it works in a novel and totally fascinating way. There isn’t another gun quite like it anywhere in the world at the moment. Some have some of the features, but nothing else has all of them.
The action block, machined from a solid steel forging, is one of the shortest in the business, and the first visible difference is the jointing seems to be back to front, with the concave curve in the block itself and the convex curve on the fore-end iron. Stub pins are built into the fore-end iron, but the gun does not truly hinge on these. They form a convenient rearward latch for the fore-end iron when the gun is assembled, and the barrels actually hinge on quarter-circle cut-outs in the action walls which engage with similarly-shaped projections in the barrel monobloc. This feature provides huge load-bearing areas compared to pins of any kind, and makes for incredibly strong jointing with little chance of ever shooting loose.
The top lever is very slim and low in profile. Cocking rods run along the action floor, and are forced backwards by cams in the fore-end iron when the gun is opened. Browning call this new system ‘Monolock’.
Inside the mechanism, the arrangement for firing the gun is novel, too. There are no hammers, the coil mainsprings acting directly on the firing pins via levers. The sears work directly on to these levers, which means the gun has an incredibly fast lock time. Browning claim just 1.8 milliseconds from trigger release to cartridge ignition, which really is fast. The single, selective trigger is transferred to the second barrel mechanically rather than by recoil, but a recoil mechanism is there to prevent a double discharge.
Barrel selector is in the usual place, built into the safety thumbpiece.
The bolt on this gun is a U-shaped component, with prongs coming forward through the breech face to mate with bites in the back of the barrel monobloc level with the centre line of the bottom barrel. There are no barrel lumps, as such, at all.
The single-piece ejectors, which are tripped when the gun reaches the fully open position, are powered directly by coil springs which run between the barrel tubes forward of the monobloc. With the fore-end fitted, these springs rub behind polymer shrouds.
Typical of a dedicated competition gun, the exterior of the action bears little engraving – a simple logo and the word Cynergy on each side in gold, and the Browning logo, again in gold, on the top lever.
- Built on Miroku’s now-familiar monobloc system.
- The top rib, supported on angled pillars, is slightly ramped and tapers from 11mm at the breech to 8mm at the muzzle.
- Side ribs are ventilated.
- Bores are internally chromed.
- Chambers are three-inch (76mm), and the tubes carry steel shot proof.
- Tubes are over-bored, with an internal diameter of 0.736 in compared to the old British standard of 0.729in. This reduces recoil and tends to improve patterning, too.
- Long Browning Invector Plus choke tubes, now re-named Diamond chokes, are fitted. These protrude from the muzzles,
and are colour-coded for easy identification.
- Barrel sets of 28, 30 and 32 inches are available.
- When the Cynergy first came on to the British market the stock was as radical as the rest of the gun. It had what’s known as a ‘hog’s back’ comb of rounded profile – a style sometimes seen on continental rifles. The idea of this is, on recoil, the stock moves away from the shooters cheek, avoiding stinging and possible bruising. The gun also had a soft rubber recoil pad, in the style you see in the pictures on these pages.
- When Sporting Gun tested an early version, the magazine took the unusual step of also asking five experienced clay shooters for their impressions, and by and large they didn’t like the stock much. Consensus was it seemed to shoot a bit high, despite a 1.1/2 inch drop at comb, and that the recoil pad snagged on clothing.
- Browning have now addressed this problem, and their Pro Sport and Pro Trap models are fitted with stocks of conventional profile, with normal recoil pads.
- There is also a stock with an adjustable comb available, at extra cost, and a version called the Black Ice with a synthetic stock.
- The original stock remains available on a number of models, for those who like it.
Weight of the sporter is about 7.3/4 lb.
What the tester thought
Sporting Gun tested the Cynergy in August 2004. It scored 9 out of 10 for build quality and styling, 7 for handling (a criticism which, with the new stocks, is no longer valid), and 8 for value for money. Plus points were noted as the styling, the trigger mechanism, the action layout, and the price. Lows concentrated on that original stock – the comb height and the recoil pad: “We think the makers have dropped on a winner,” was one favourable comment.
The Pro Sport is about £2,100.
Serious contenders are the Beretta 682 Gold E, and the Browning Ultra or XS.
From all Browning dealers.
All the different models and specifications are listed on www.browningint.com which also carries a list of dealers throughout UK and world-wide.
UK SALES: 01235 514550