The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

The Browning 20-bore B525 Game One Light reviewed

Brimming with quality, this superb lightweight Browning over- and-under is tailor-made for walked-up days, says Matt Hunt

B525 Game Light

B525 Game One Light

Overall Rating: 92%

Manufacturer: Browning

Price as reviewed: £2,059

Gun reviews at this time of year are usually written with positive thoughts of the coming game shooting season. With COVID-19 restrictions behind us, we were all hoping for a return to normality this year.

Unfortunately, this is not going to be the case. Avian influenza has devastated the French game farming regions of Vendée and Loire-Atlantique. The knock-on effect on the UK shooting industry is going to be sizeable, with poor availability of imported eggs causing many shoots to scale back or cancel days.

Our sport is in a period of change and it’s fascinating to note the return of lightweight guns in the inventories of all the major brands. Marauding with gun and dog, shooting a mixed bag of fur, feather and fowl for the pot is an immense privilege. It’s also how our sport started and could be its future.

B525 Game Light

The gun is proofed for use with high-pressure steel shot

A lightweight gun, for me, always starts with the barrels being side-by-side, but with modern materials and engineering methods both Beretta and Browning have succeeded in making an alternative with the barrels the ‘wrong’ way — over-and-under.

The B525 Game One Light in 20-bore is the latest gun of this type from Browning. Weighing 2.9kg, with 30in barrels, it’s comfortable and practical for marauding with.

The barrels are essentially the same as those that feature on the standard-weight gun, and are fitted with an Invector Plus multichoke system, 15.7mm bore and 3in chamber. The gun is proofed for use with high-pressure steel shot and stamped with a CIP fleur-de-lis mark. As you would expect, the finish to the barrels externally and internally is first-class. The only noticeable weight reduction in the barrels is the removal of the mid rib under the fore-end.

The vast majority of the weight reduction is in the action body. Made from a high-strength aluminium that is given additional durability by fitting steel inserts in the face of the gun, this material reduces the weight by nearly 200g. I often have concerns over durability with this type of action when the use of steel has been compromised, but there doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about with a design of this type.

The stock appears to be the same as the standard gun in every way and is secured with a steel stock bolt to the action and fitted with an Inflex recoil pad. The shape and profile of the stock, and the pistol grip, is first-class and, in my opinion, market leading. The wood is of good quality, with a deep chestnut brown back colour that perfectly matches to the fore-end.

The finish to the whole Browning range is a class above its competitors and this gun is no different. Straight from the box, the gun looks superb. The subtle game-scene engraving suits it perfectly.

B525 Game One Light – in detail

  • Manufacturer Browning
  • Model B525 Game One Light
  • Calibre 20-bore
  • Barrels 30in
  • Chamber 3in (76mm)
  • Chokes Multichoke (Invector Plus)
  • Rib 6mm vented
  • Grip Pistol
  • Weight 2.9kg
  • Importer ISB Brands
  • Price £2,059
B525 Game Light

The additional barrel weight makes it precise and rewarding to shoot


First, the B525 Game One Light was very easy and pleasant to carry over my arm. Over the course of a two-hour walk, I didn’t feel any fatigue from its weight. As a gun to walk with, though, I would like to have had the automatic safety catch fitted. The parts for this are supplied in the box of bits. Ask nicely and your dealer will fit them for you.

The initial bite on the top lever was very stiff and made the gun difficult to open. This is a common issue and easily resolved by polishing the back of the barrel loop to ease fore-end pressure. It improves with use, but can be frustrating. As you close the gun, the lock-up is solid, with a quality feel. The safety catch is operated with a positive click into and out of the fire position.

The B525 shoulders exceptionally well. The stock length is 14¾in as standard and can be adjusted by changing the pads, with a maximum length of 15in and minimum of 143/8 in. The trigger pulls are on the heavy side, not unusual for a Browning, but very precise and crisp, and did not detract from taking a fast shot.

The gun is very barrel heavy, a characteristic of most Brownings, but it has a positive effect on the gun’s handling. Lightweight guns can be fast and difficult to control, but not this one. The additional barrel weight made it precise and rewarding to shoot even the fastest of targets.

Shooting a 28g game cartridge, recoil was modest, despite its weight, and lighter loads could be shot in high volume very comfortably. Overall, the gun is exceptional to shoot and would certainly make a great companion on a walked-up day, although still not a replacement for a side-by-side when marauding the countryside.

At £300 more than the standard B525, it is great value and not overpriced. (Read our archive review of the Browning B525 Light Classic shotgun.)

  • Action and barrels Aluminium isn’t ideal, but design is excellent 18/20
  • Handling The point of balance made it very precise 19/20
  • Trigger Slightly heavy, but it is a Browning 18/20
  • Stock Exceptional, suited to every size and shape 19/20
  • Value Sold at a premium, but very good value 18/20
  • Overall score Exceptional lightweight over-and-under 92/100