Browning XS Pro

Brilliant Gun

Simon's latest shooter. Out for the first time at Sporting Targets in June.. Very proudly showed us all his box of 6 chokes with another two in the gun.. what he's going to do with that lot, no one knows. It is also supplied with what looks like a dentists tool kit with loads of bits and pieces Otherwise not got much feedback, but as it's a Browning, we can already state with profound confidence that it is a brilliant gun. 

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Cos he's such a decent sort, Simon has gone to the trouble of recording his thoughts below on buying his XS Pro, most enlightening.

 

Why I chose this gun:

This is only the second shotgun I have owned and to be honest I had no intention of buying it. This is how it happened. I borrowed a demo 2020 Browning 725s as I was convinced this was the gun I wanted having seen it at the British Shooting Show in Feb prior to it's release in the UK. After about 2 or 3 stands of shooting I became less convinced. Can't say specifically what it was but it just didn't feel right for me. I put this down to the 32 inch barrels compared to the 28 inch barrels I had shot with for the last 15 years. I concluded that this was something I would get used to and decided to ignore my inner shooter. So off Robin and I went to Rugby gun shop to buy one. They had one right there on the rack. I examined it, practice mounted it, examined it again and felt nothing. No "special feeling", no desire, I can't explain it better than that. So at this point I got Terry (very helpful and knowledgeable man by the way) to hand me a variety of guns (so many I can't even remember what they were), all very nice and shiny. Terry then handed me the Xs Pro. I instinctively put it to my shoulder and it felt just right. I did it again and it came up just perfect. I admired it's beautiful wood, it's attractive and understated engraving and of course all the things you can adjust on it and decided I wanted it. All I can say is it just felt like it was the gun for me. A feeling that I could not ignore. So I had to have it.

 

Shooting with it:

First time out (next day after buying it of course!) I couldn't hit a bl**dy thing. I blame this all on Terry from Rugby gun shop! When buying the gun I had explained how my left eye was very dominant and that I had to shut it once I had acquired the target. He told me that most people with this issue fit a TruGlo Glo Dot Pro series fibre optic sight and that fixes the issue. I of course negotiated a free one with the sale of the gun and fitted it as soon as I got the gun home. Put simply it completely messed up my sighting and target acquisition as all I could focus on was this bright green dot on the end of my barrel.

Second time out I removed the Glo Dot and reverted back to my old left eye shut method and all of sudden I was hitting the clays. I love the way the gun feels. It feels lighter than my 425 even with the longer barrels and the balance is just perfect for me. Given that it has so many ways you can adjust the feel of the gun I of course had to have a little play. First thing I did was to raise the adjustable stock to see what effect that had. Not good! I was consistently shooting over the top and had to place the bead about a foot under the clay each time to hit anything so that was soon adjusted back. I then adjusted the trigger forward about 5mm to fit my trigger finger more comfortably.

I have now shot 2 or three times with it's current setup and my kill rate is on par with my 425 so I am happy with the expectation that after a few more days out I will be able to improve as I get more used to the gun.

 

What next:

There are two things I would like to do. As Dave has mentioned earlier I have 8 very nice looking Titanium extended chokes that I want to understand more about how much they each change the shot pattern. I haven't changed the chokes in my 425 in my 15 years ownership so feel this is an itch I am just going to have to scratch. I plan to arrange a day at a local ground shooting at pattern plates with the different chokes to see for myself what effect they each have with my usual cartridge. Secondly with the barrel and stock weights I have the option to change the balance of the gun. I don't know enough about the science behind this but again just want to have a play around and see what difference any adjustments make.

 

So far I love this gun and am really looking forward to a long, happy and rewarding relationship with it.

Tech spec

  • Calibre: 12-bore

  • Barrels: 32in Back Bored

  • Chokes: INV+ TITANIUM Extended: Cylinder-¼-½-¾-Light Full-Full-Full-X Full

  • Top rib: Tapered 13mm-10mm

  • Barrel finish: Blued

  • Action frame: Engraved steel

  • Wood grade: Grade 4 Turkish Walnut

  • Wood: Oil finish

  • Stock style: Adjustable

  • Drop at comb: 24mm-38mm

  • Drop at heel: 38mm-54mm

  • Forearm: Trap style

  • Weight: 3.7kg-8lb 2½oz

  • Notes: Kit Pro Fit balancer, 2 spare pads, 2 spare triggers, VCI sock, choke key, gun lock

  • Options: Length of pull with the 3 different pads: 367mm(147/16in), 375mm(14¾in), 380mm (1415/16in) Drop at comb: 5/16in to 1½in 
Drop at heel: 1½in