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Beginner - 28" Browning 325 for clays

  • 15-12-2021 11:31am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,228 ✭✭✭


    Hello everybody..

    Jeez, I don't think i've been around here in years.. since I had/and sold my air rifle.

    Anyhow, i'm looking at getting back into some form of shooting now, and after a visit to the local clay club, i've decided that will be a nice hobby to try out.

    A local dealer has offered me a Browning "325" which I believe to be a B325 model. It has a 28" barrel also. Seems in quite good nick, not sure of grade.

    Just wondering would that be a decent gun for starting off with clays? He also had a "Ultra XS", which wasn't in as good a condition, and with a 30" barrel, but same price.

    I am aware that I will be paying a lot more than I need to, to get into the sport at €1500!! I held a few cheaper guns such as Yildiz etc.. While I believe they are great guns etc, I felt the browning was a bit weightier and had a more solid and satisfying mechanics. I also believe that if looked after, I can move the Browning on if I ever want, quite easily.

    Would there much in between the two Brownings mentioned above? The dealer has said the Ultra is pretty much top of the range Browning, and the dealer actually owned and used it for years to win competitions etc!

    Thanks in advance for any responses.



Comments

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 1,422 Mod ✭✭✭✭otmmyboy2


    Yikes, 1500!

    If you are set on the two Brownings above I'd opt for the Ultra XS, provided it is still in good working order. I say the working order part since the XS, if it was used by the dealer and used for years in comps it will have gone through a lot of shells, so might not be in the best working order. Cosmetics are one thing, but you don't want anything loose that shouldn't be 😉

    The 325 is an older model, which while a good gun does seem to lack some of the features of the XS, at least from my looking.

    You are right too, Brownings do tend to hold their value well, as evidenced by the prices of the above.


    Mind you, personally I would opt for a cheaper gun if you are trying out clay shooting.

    IE a used Beretta or similar for €6-900, or an even cheaper Turkish shotgun which still has the necessities for clays(adjustable chokes, etc) + the difference in cost put into shells and runs at the clay club and you'll likely have a better time than starting off with a 1.5k gun.

    Just my .02 since I went down the latter path and was pretty content with the choice in retrospect.

    Never forget, the end goal is zero firearms of any type.

    S.I. No. 187/1972 - Firearms (Temporary Custody) Order - Firearms seized

    S.I. No. 21/2008 - Firearms (Restricted Firearms and Ammunition) Order 2008 - Firearm types restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 - Firearms banned & grandfathered

    S.I. No. 420/2019 - Magazine ban, ammo storage & transport restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023 - 2023 Firearm Ban (retroactive to 8 years prior)



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 28,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cass


    Welcoe back.

    I'm not a fan of Browning for one reason, fitment. They never come up right for me. I'm always down the side. Other than that they're a nice gun and well made.

    For the money you say I'd imagine the gun is up there in terms of grade as an older gun with higher grade is the same price as a newer gun with a lower grade wood. Iirc the B325 is a game gun so might be lighter than a sporting, and definitely than a full trap, gun so if clays are you're thing be mindful of the difference even a pound and a bit can make in a days shooting.

    Have you shouldered the gun yet? How is it? Are you nicely along the rib with no fiddling to adjust sight picture because regardless of the cost/quality if the gun does not fit you right you'll either spend a long time missing until you get used to it or develop poor technique to compensate for it.

    I'd also agree with @otmmyboy2 regarding a "middle ground" gun. You don't need to go cheap, but the likes of Bettinsoli and even some Berettas can be gotten for the same budget new (1,250 - 1,500) and most for that budget second hand. Some are even cheaper still.

    I've no affiliation to otmmmyboy2 (and I don't know the chap) but if you want something cheaper, but in my view as good a gun, look at his advert for an example of whats available. I have the exact same gun and its my second one. They are owned by Beretta so the pedigree is there, they're a sporting gun so a little heavier than a game gun and perfect for clays and I went for mine because without paying Beretta money I had one of the few other brands that fits me perfectly. Chokes and other accessories from Beretta fit it so parts are not an issue.

    Only using the above as an example of what can be gotten for less money, without compromising on quality because its always, to me, a bad idea to recommend to someone starting off to fo high in terms of cost for a gun because if they don't like the sport its a big investment to be sitting on. Same advice I give guys getting into FTR shooting, don't go custom from the off. Start low, see if you like it, then upgrade (although rifle shooting is much more expensive than shotgunning, its the same principle).

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - Photo thread: Hardware - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads - Upcoming Events - RFDs by County

    If you see a problem post use the report post function. Click on the three dots on the post, select "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.

    Moderators - Cass otmmyboy2 , CatMod - Shamboc , Admins - Beasty , mickeroo



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,385 ✭✭✭Rosahane


    I had a 325 Sporter and now have upgraded to a Synergy because of the adjustable stock. I'm with Cass on the fitment. If it fits go for it. It will pretty much hold its value unlike a new Turkish gun.

    Try mounting it with your eyes closed and if your eye placement if good when you open your eyes it's probably OK for you. Browning have a straighter stock than Beretta and you will find one or the other better. If the stock is too short you can easily add a pad.

    (Edit) the 28 inch barrel is preferable and will handle better if you're a shorter person!



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,228 ✭✭✭techguy


    Thanks guys for all the input - much appreciated.

    Long story short, I would buy the gun from @otmmyboy2 in a flash as it appears to tick all boxes for a starter. However, I do feel the need to buy from the local dealer I have been dealing with, for a number of reasons I won't go into here.


    While he does have the €1.5k options available.. I am not sure about the choke situation. I believe that some 325s didn't have chokes. And this one doesn't come with them, so I would need to buy them extra which would cost a few hundred, I am guessing. So in that case, for the gun alone, you are looking towards €2k... which admittedly is a lot, but could be seen as cash in the bank, in a sense.

    The dealer does have some Yildiz new and also another one he showed me for about €1k which came with a case and chokes.. I think. It feels like that is the one to go for.

    I have put together a simple shopping list, with budget in mind and it seems this is what I have come up with..

    Some other thoughts running through my head...

    1. I will be heading back to the UK mid next year some point and will likely get another setup over there, if I like the hobby.. so it's a question of how much I want to spend overall.
    2. Smart money is on the Browning 325 as its price should remain largely static and can give me back what I paid for it any time.. unlike a cheaper non prestigious brand. That said. Are there fees associated with selling. I mean, I can't just stick on Donedeal. It would need to go through a dealer, how much would that typically cost?
    3. A further thought.. if I am only trying out the hobby and may not like it (I am pretty sure I will).. if I can afford it, doesn't the Browning 325 just make sense? I mean if I hate the hobby I can sell the gun back to somebody else and get out without a big loss?




  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 28,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cass


    Just to be very clear, I'm not suggesting for a minute to buy the gu I linked to. There are only three shotguns for sale (surprisingly) with the other two being a semi-auto and a full trap gun with a reflective price tag (almsot 4k).

    To be honest going from a Browning 325 (possibly grade 5) to a Yildiz is the equivalent of comtemplating the choice between a Merc and Dacia. Both do the same job but are on different scales in terms of history, quality and resale value. Just an observation.

    You don't know the name of the other brand? Is it new or second hand?

    Brand name doesn't matter from the point of "working". IOW even a cheap shotgun will still shoot and as I said above I'd recommend getting into a sport as cost effectively (as opposed to cheaply) as possible for a number of reasons such as change of mind, change in circumstances, etc.

    I said above about fit and this should be the overriding factor and I cannot stress enough the importance of this. I once made the choice of a Beretta 682 over a DT10 because the 682 was such a better fit. Price wise the 682 was a little over 3k while the DT10 was over 5K (I was going to spoil myself so money wasn't the issue) however fitment and usability was more important than being able to "show off" a DT10 I bought than I couldn't hit spit with.

    Two things to wrap up.

    Go for what fits you, what you are comfortable paying for and while its a consideration re-sale should not be a factor in your choice as it may lead you down a path towards a shotgun that is not right for you.

    Finally don't forget the cost of the license in your math. €80.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - Photo thread: Hardware - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads - Upcoming Events - RFDs by County

    If you see a problem post use the report post function. Click on the three dots on the post, select "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.

    Moderators - Cass otmmyboy2 , CatMod - Shamboc , Admins - Beasty , mickeroo



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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 1,422 Mod ✭✭✭✭otmmyboy2


    I wasn't going to link my ad(tooting one's own horn and all that), but my take on your points:

    1 - Rather than 2 setups, why not just bring your gun with you?

    UK shotgun cert and you are golden.

    2 - True, but does depend on the market at the time and, just a thought, if the lead ban does progress further is the 325 steel shot proofed? If not and the worst does happen then that would seriously hurt the resale value. Beyond that for fees for reselling it talk to your dealer if you are planning on using them again and they'll give you a good idea.

    Mine usually just charges for the storage while it is in the shop since he knows I go to him for the majority of my ammunition/shooting sundry needs so he's happy with that arrangement.

    Alternatively sell it on boards, post up an ad, agree a deposit or similar for the firearm with the buyer, give them a note of sale with the serial, make, model, etc and once they have applied and got a licence for it then exchange it for the balance of the firearm. No charges involved that way.

    3 - True once more, but again does depend on the market at the time so you could well be waiting for someone to buy it for a while, particularly if they do want the more feature rich firearms or newer but less desirable brands for as much(Turkish mostly, you can get a lovely Benelli nicknamed the Turknelli for dirt cheap compared to the real deal). So while that strategy can work it may not work on your time schedule(you decide by March that the hobby isn't for you, stick your gun ad up, wait 3 more months for it to sell and have to head to the UK gun unsold while waiting for a buyer, or hand it into a dealer to sell on your behalf, for whatever fees that incurs. Alternatively bring it with you to the UK and sell it there, but because of the way bigger and less captive market than Irish firearms sales you will be hard pressed to get near your money back.

    Current 325s for sale on one(hacked recently, so buyer beware, UK gun sales site - https://www.guntrader.uk/Guns-For-Sale/results/1220-fc2f-eb0d-1429

    Only one that comes close comes in at €1168, but the average over the 4(not including the stunning grade 6 @£2650!) is ~€1000.

    Something to be aware of if you do go down that route.


    The Yildiz you mentioned for ~1k seems a lot more promising(assuming that it again is in good working order, no deep rust, etc) and includes chokes(and a key presumably) and case seems like a much more sensible option than 1.5-2k for gun alone.

    But then again I do err on the side of cheap(but workable) gun and the balance in ammo & range time, so take that for what you will 😉

    Post edited by otmmyboy2 on

    Never forget, the end goal is zero firearms of any type.

    S.I. No. 187/1972 - Firearms (Temporary Custody) Order - Firearms seized

    S.I. No. 21/2008 - Firearms (Restricted Firearms and Ammunition) Order 2008 - Firearm types restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 - Firearms banned & grandfathered

    S.I. No. 420/2019 - Magazine ban, ammo storage & transport restricted

    Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023 - 2023 Firearm Ban (retroactive to 8 years prior)



  • Registered Users Posts: 516 ✭✭✭BattleCorp1



    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    You left out €198,697,690,769,025,702,730,923,723,225 for ammo. 😀😀😀



  • Registered Users Posts: 396 ✭✭useurowname


    €1500 for a second hand 325 fixed choke is very steep. The newer version b525 which comes multi Choke is about €2100, and if your coming with cash I’d be expecting a bit off that. Fixed choke guns are loosing their value big time owing to lead ban as they (and particularly browning) are choked too tight for steel. So that gun, I wouldn’t go near it. Has to be better deals out there.



  • Registered Users Posts: 551 ✭✭✭JP22


    Gave up clay shooting myself about fifteen years ago (body can’t take 12g pounding all day anymore) so don’t know what’s in/out currently in guns.

    FWIW, I started years ago with a Lanber, great gun back then. Several years later I moved up to an SKB 600 series and finally a Browning Synergy. I always found Browning (any Browning - as Cass said) hard to pick due to fit, couldn’t get me head down enough or possible the rib was not high enough. The Synergy was the best fit, not perfect by any means, adequate for me just about. I miss the SKB, beautiful finish, took a quarter inch of the comb (pure trap gun so very high comb anyway) and it fitted like a glove, I really miss it that shotgun. My last was a Remington 1187 Premier Trap Semi Auto, mad heavy for long day rough shooting but super for sporting clays.

    As you said, “you’re a beginner” or “you’re getting back into the game”, after being away for some years. Things have changed re makes/models/prices; don’t ignore second hand if in good condition. There is a lead ban on the way, check barrel/choke proofing, plenty of options (new kids on the block) now available, don’t take first offer just because of make/model or a belief that it’s the “in thing” or it’s an xxxx and will hold its value. Few firearms actually increase in value, it largely depends on manufacture/make/model/numbers produced and availability/rarity.

    Lets call a spade a spade, some folk are gun snobs (no offence intended upon yourself), just speaking me mind, some wouldn’t buy Japanese/Italian/Spanish/Turkish/etc……., do a google, lots of modern firearms and optics are made in Japan and other countries with company in-house staff and QC, final assembly and QC is in home country.

    Go to a clay club/range, see what’s being used, talk to the shooters, most if not all chaps will let you shoot a few shots from theirs once they see you’re serious, interested and a buyer.

    If the B325 is your holy grail, go back to seller again and again, and again, if he really wants to move it and he knows you want it, don't cave in, use your cash to your advantage. In some countries it’s an insult not to bargain, in Ireland you have to be tough and bargain.

    Do research, try before you buy (if you can), as they say - buy once, and cry once.

    Best of luck with your purchase, keep safe.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,228 ✭✭✭techguy


    Hi Guys,

    Apologies for the slow responses.. I have a lot going on here and haven't had to time to properly digest and interact on forums at the minute...

    Anyway, as I said, before I kind of wanted/needed to deal with the dealer in question, and I also wasn't buying new.. so I was kind of at the peril of what was in stock.

    There wasn't a massive amount of used stuff in the 600-800ish range. Only a handful of €200 odd game guns, that were very basic and tired looking. While I wasn't hung up on brands/prestige to start off, I certainly didn't want something looking old and tired.

    So.. in the end, I just opted for the Ultra XS that he had, for €1500 - sounds crazy, but to be honest after doing some research it has some decent features and is a good gun. He said it should have no problem shooting steel etc.. While it's more money than I had intended spending, I am happy with it because it has adjustable comb and recoil pad, I think.

    When I google Ultra XS.. I seem to get loads of "Pro" results. I think my one is the "Ultra XS Sporting" as it says "Ultra XS" on the action and not "XS Pro"..

    I am happy with the purchase overall, and the dealer will be able to facilitate me in various and get me going with clays immediately, which is a positive.

    I should be able to get some pictures in due course.



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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 28,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cass


    He said it should have no problem shooting steel etc..

    Just check the barrels, it'll be stamped if it does shoot steel. ALways makes me laugh when a dealer says "should be". As an RFD they should know the products they are selling or at the very least know how to check and answer.

    Apologies if that sounds snotty, its not intended as such and definitely not directed at you. Bit of a bee in my bonnet over the years at RFDs giving "sure it'll be grand" advice and being utterly wrong.

    Congrats anyway on your purcahse. As long as you're happy with it that is all that matters.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information - Photo thread: Hardware - Ranges by County - Hunting Laws/Important threads - Upcoming Events - RFDs by County

    If you see a problem post use the report post function. Click on the three dots on the post, select "FLAG" & let a Moderator deal with it.

    Moderators - Cass otmmyboy2 , CatMod - Shamboc , Admins - Beasty , mickeroo



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,228 ✭✭✭techguy


    Hello all..

    So I visited my gun at the weekend as not yet sorted licence. Here are some bad pics.

    Turns out it's an Ultra XSH, whatever that means. It seems quite difficult to get accurate info in on this gun, but I believe it is a trap model.




  • Registered Users Posts: 100 ✭✭17hmr1


    Is it the gun you paid for originally or were you sold a different gun or are you just having second thoughts on it.It looks well used from pictures but that could just be camera angles.Dealer selling you it should be able to give you some info on it if they're anyway decent.

    Too late now but there's a beretta trap gun in the for sale section that looks mint for under 1k so sometimes being too loyal to a dealer is not always a good thing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 551 ✭✭✭JP22


    Looking at the staining on the action/ejectors, it may have had some use or a lack of maintenance/cleaning.

    Here you go, some info I found.

    Online info says XS-H, the H means it is a trap model, higher rib.


    https://www.guntrader.uk/guns/shotguns/browning/over-under/12-gauge/ultra-xsh-211130102635827



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,228 ✭✭✭techguy


    Hi guys,


    Yes that Beretta looks fairly clean alright.

    Tell me about it.... (loyalty) I hate doing business in my small home town for this reason. I have been checking out prices of this model in the UK used market.

    It's not lost on me that I would have gotten a better deal elsewhere, but it is what it is. Let's not get hung up on it guys, i'm usually pretty sharp for deals, but we have all had our arms twisted at least once in life.

    The up side is I will at least be able to enjoy restoring it and tidying it up, which I get great enjoyment out of doing things.



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