Browning B525 shotgun
The successor to the B425 shotgun. Bruce Potts takes a close look.
Browning B525 Shotgun
Pros: Features which sportsmen will appreciate
Price as reviewed: £1,470
In 2003 Browning brought out the B525 and at the time it represented the latest phase in the development of the company’s Miroku-built models. The gun had some subtle yet key refinements which improved it and set it apart from what had come before.
Available in huge range of styles and grades
The B525 was initially introduced in game versions – or hunting as Browning would call it. But now the Browning B525 is now available in a huge range of styles and grades to appeal to sporting and trap enthusiasts as well.
Game versions of the B525 are available in a variety of grades up to the gold-inlaid Ultimate, and in a lightweight version which weighs a little over 6¼lb as well. There are fixed and multichoke versions of all models, and some 20-bore versions.
Made by Miroku
The Browning B525 is built by Miroku who began building sporting arms in 1893 and in 1965 they began their long relationship with Browning. As well as making guns under the Miroku name, they have built all of the more affordable Browning over-unders.
How adaptable is it?
Most shooters would pick the correct version of the Browning B525 for their favourite form of shooting. The relatively light weight of the game version might make it a bit tiring in terms of recoil to shoot all day on the clay ground. For the most adaptable gun for the shooter who likes to do a bit of everything, pick one of the sporters – most of which weigh a bit under 7¾lb.
How does it work?
Like all break-action Brownings except the new Cynergy, this gun has a relatively deep action body, and employs a full-width cross pin for jointing. This feature, which follows the design principle laid down by John Moses Browning when he drew up the immortal B25 more than 80 years ago, sets Brownings and their sister Mirokus apart from most other guns on the world market today. Engineering purists may claim, in theory at least, the lock-up is not as strong as some of the low-profile alternatives, but this seems to be disproved by the fact that it has stood the test of time. The guns have a good reputation for long life and not shooting loose.
Neatly stacked features
Inside the action all of the gun’s features are neatly stacked, one atop the other. At the very bottom, just above the trigger blade, is the full-width bolt, which runs along the action floor to engage with a bite in the barrel lumps when the gun is closed. Above the bolt lay the pivots for the hammers, which are powered by coil springs running on guide rods. As the hammers fall they drive forward rods which operate the ejector mechanism when the gun is opened.
The ejector mechanism is built into the fore end iron, and consists of two spring-powered hammers or kickers which are released when the gun is in the fully-open position, to operate two-piece ejectors running in dovetail channels in the barrel flats. Although more complicated than the majority of ejector mechanisms fitted to low-profile actions it works well.
Sears are suspended from the top strap, and are lifted in turn by the single, selective trigger. The barrel selector is built into the safety thumbpiece.
No automatic safety
The Browning B525 does not have an automatic safety operating every time the gun is opened, probably because auto safeties are discouraged in America, Browning’s biggest market. However it’s an unusual omission in a game gun. The B525 has crisper trigger pulls and a more sculptured look to the action frame, compared with the B425. The engraving is elegant, with attractive game scenes.
- Monobloc barrel set has 3in chambers and will handle steel loads but not super-magnums.
- Tubes are internally chromed
- Tubes more corrosion resistant and cleanable
- Invector choke tubes in stainless steel.
- Game versions have 6mm parallel, ventilated ribs.
- Ribs on sporters are 10mm, 13mm on trap versions.
- Fixed chokes or Briley tubes on trap versions
– Good and superb on the higher grades
– Cheque pattern on pistol grips for maximum grip and comfort.
– Stock lengths and drops similar to other Browning and Miroku models.
– On featured gun stock length 14.3/4 in, with drops of 1.1/2 and 2.3/4 in at comb and heel respectively.
The game model shown weighs 7.1/4lb.
The tester’s opinion
The Browning B525 game model was reviewed by Sporting Gun in July 2003 after it was announced on the market. It achieved a score of straight eights – 8 out of 10 for build quality, handling, styling and value for money. Also noted and applauded were easy-clean internally chromed barrels, traditional Browning reliability and a large choice of specifications.
The tester commented: “Overall this is a very good range of guns from Browning; well thought-out and with some features which sportsmen will appreciate. One nice touch is the game range has been magnum proofed to give maximum versatility, even with steel loads.”
What to expect to pay
Prices start at £1,470 for the B525 game model.
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