The Browning® Citori® CXS White 20/28 Gauge Combo Over/Under Shotgun features lightweight profile barrels and a crossover design with a 50/50 point of impact, optimized for clays, skeet, and field shooting. This combo includes 20 and 28-gauge ported barrels featuring wide, floating ventilated top and side ribs for enhanced cooling, and ivory front and mid bead sights for intuitive target acquisition. Midas grade extended Invector-Plus choke tubes minimize shot deformation and maximize pattern uniformity, while the steel receiver features a silver nitrate finish with the CXS logo. The Fire Lite mechanical trigger system offers a consistently light and crisp trigger pull and internal hammer ejectors promise reliable, quick shell extraction. The Grade II American walnut stock boasts a beautiful gloss finish, 18-LPI checkering for an improved grip, and Browning’s Inflex Technology recoil pad for reduced felt recoil and improved control. The Browning Citori CXS White Over/Under Shotgun comes with a hard case, 3 choke tubes (F,M,IC), a T-wrench, Pro Vector extended forcing cones, and the iconic Triple Trigger System. Browning Citori CXS White
Review: Browning Citori CXS Over-Under
The over-under is the shotgun of choice for many discriminating target and field shooters. While many firms produce over-unders, few have the long-term legacy of those from Browning, which began with the Superposed. It was the last gun designed by the iconic John M. Browning and was patented in the United States in 1926. Production began at the Fabrique Nationale factory in Herstal, Belgium, in 1930, and the gun became available here in 1931. Browning Citori CXS White
The popularity of Browning over-unders grew, but so did production costs, and in 1973 Browning introduced a new over-under called the Citori that is made by Miroku in Kochi, Japan. Miroku is a well-respected firm that has been making firearms since 1893. The Citori was more affordable than the Superposed and elegant and innovative in its own right. The gun has been offered in more than 70 different configurations and has been in continuous production to this day.
In about 2000, Browning debuted a version of the Citori called the XS in trap and sporting models. One of the newest iterations is yet another variant called the CXS. The “C” stands for “crossover,” meaning that the shooter can use the gun for several shooting disciplines, such as sporting clays, skeet, and bird hunting. Since skeet and sporting clays simulate hunting shots, the CXS is probably the most versatile version of the CX line. It’s offered in 12 and 20 gauges.
The Latest Citori
The CXS is beautifully fitted and finished. The receiver is steel, highly polished and brightly blued. The action is a traditional boxlock that “wears in, not out.” As the action wears slightly, the tapered locking bolt engages a tiny bit farther into a matching mortise under the barrels so the action will remain as tight as new after decades of use. The barrels pivot on a full-length hinge pin—no trunnions here.
Both 12- and 20-gauge models have 3-inch chambers, and the barrels have a lightweight profile. They are finished in a highly polished blue and have a flat, ventilated rib that is 0.502 inch wide over the chambers, tapering to 0.392 inch near the muzzles. The rib has perpendicular striations on its sides and tiny longitudinal grooves in between. It’s like looking down a straight railroad track, and the effect really directs the shooter’s eye to the target. There are ivory mid and front bead sights. The lightweight rib floats on posts on the top barrel, and the barrels have ventilated side ribs. This reduces weight and also allows for faster barrel cooling when addressing legions of clay targets or doing battle with a raft of Argentinean doves. Browning Citori CXS White
Like all Citori shotguns, the CXS has a full-length hinge pin. The receiver is milled from a solid block of steel. The action has a large, slightly tapered locking plate that engages a mortise below the barrels. As the plate wears slightly with use, it locks into the mortise a bit farther, and the gun’s lockup remains as tight as new.
The CXS chambers are chrome plated and have Browning’s Vector Pro lengthened forcing cones. At the other end of the barrels, the Invector Plus choke tubes are the extended Midas versions, with classy-looking gold rings at their ends and large, clear letters identifying the tube’s choke. The CXS comes with Improved Cylinder, Modified, and Full.
The CXS has what Browning calls the “Triple Trigger” system. The gold-plated shoe is 0.350 inch wide, has a checkered surface, and has three positions of adjustment to change the length of pull (LOP). A hex wrench is provided for adjustment, if necessary, and additional shoes are available. As received, the LOP on my test gun was 14.75 inches.
The trigger is an inertia type, so the recoil from firing the first barrel sets the trigger to fire the other barrel. If the first barrel doesn’t fire, just pull the safety back to the “On” position, then return to “Off” to fire the other barrel. The trigger pulls on the gun were about as good as it gets on a shotgun. The pull for the lower barrel averaged 5 pounds, 4 ounces, and it averaged 5 pounds, 7 ounces for the upper.
Of course, the CXS’s safety button is also the barrel selector—to the right to fire the under barrel first, to the left to fire the upper barrel first. The safety is manual. Browning Citori CXS White
The CXS’s stock is crafted of Grade II American black walnut. Of course, all stocks vary, and while the wood on my test gun has considerable figure, there are not many swirls and only a few dark streaks, but there’s plenty of grain structure. There is a slight Wundhammer palmswell on the right side of the pistol grip that really helps maintain a consistent grip, and the buttstock is fitted with a very effective 0.5-inch Browning Inflex Recoil pad.
The forearm has a tastefully restrained schnabel, not the garish, exaggerated hooks found on some arms. The forearm latch is a Deeley-type lever in the center of the forearm. The buttstock and forearm have extensive 18 lines-per-inch checkering, and the pattern is well executed.
On the Range & In the Field
I shot the CXS at clay pigeons, and it seemed to hit just a little bit above the front bead, which was about perfect because it provided a good view of the target and allowed me to adjust my swing and/or lead as needed. The clays were thrown from a Champion WheelyBird trap, and the CXS really crushed them.
The CXS is billed as perfect for hunting, so it was appropriate that I ply it on some feathered test subjects. The Flying Feathers Shooting Preserve near Golden City, Missouri, is a short distance from my home base and is run by my friends Bruce and Marsha Lilienkamp. Flying Feathers has quail, chukars, ring-necked pheasants, plenty of well-trained pointers, and knowledgeable guides to keep everything running smoothly. The place is perfect for what I call a “simulated hunt.” The cover is harvested cropland and grassy waterways over hill and dale. It’s a lot like “real hunting,” except that you know there is game there. Browning Citori CXS White
I used Federal Premium’s 20-gauge Wing-Shok Pheasants Forever load with 1 ounce of copper–plated #7½ shot on the three species of birds, and it did a fine job on them all. I own two other Citori shotguns, so I am pretty well aquatinted with their virtues, and using the new CXS was like hunting with an old friend. By noon, I had my birds. I ended up with four quail, four chukars, and three pheasants. The CXS was just right. Browning Citori CXS White
Overall, on the range and in the field, the new CXS performed as billed. It handled great, swung smoothly, and never malfunctioned. The ejectors chucked empties out with authority, and the trigger pulls were excellent. Weighing in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces, it was a delight to carry, yet it didn’t kick my hat off. I think the Citori CXS is a versatile and specialized evolution of the classic Browning over-under.
MANUFACTURER: Browning Arms, browning.com
BARREL: 30 in.
OVERALL LENGTH: 47.5 in.
WEIGHT, EMPTY: 7.13 lbs.
LENGTH OF PULL: 14.75 in.
FINISH: Bright blued steel, high-gloss wood
SIGHTS: Ivory mid and front beads
TRIGGER: 5.25-lb. pull upper barrel, 5.5-lb. pull lower barrel
SAFETY: Tang mounted
Review: Browning Citori CXS
Combining a hunting gun and target gun is pretty straightforward. Incorporate features that will please both, right? Well, building a crossover shotgun that people will actually want to use for both activities is a completely different story.
The Browning Citori CXS (, Browning.com) is one sleek-looking shotgun that fits the bill—a versatile firearm that is both useful in the field and suitable for skeet shooting or sporting clays.
I had the chance to try out the Citori CXS last year on a prairie chicken hunt in South Dakota, and also for a few rounds of sporting clays. I was impressed by the consistently smooth-handling CXS, switching easily from prairie chickens to clay birds without skipping a beat. Browning Citori CXS White
Some Citori History
Since 1973, the Browning Citori has been one of the most popular over/under shotguns in existence—winning countless fans. Manufactured in Japan by Miroku Corporation, a company that has been making firearms for over a century, the factory churns out over 100 Citori shotguns per day, with some of the manufacturing process still performed by hand. These days, there’s about 70 different Citori flavors for just about every sporting purpose—skeet, trap, sporting clays, waterfowl and upland hunting included.
The CXS is the latest in the CX crossover line. Browning extended the line to include two new models: the CXT which is primarily for trapshooters, and the CXS which is geared more toward skeet and sporting clays enthusiasts—specifically, ditching the ported barrel from the CX. Browning Citori CXS White
Since this is a Browning, we know there’s a focus on function over form, design-wise—but simply put—the CXS is one pretty-looking shotgun. The Grade II American black walnut furniture is quite handsome. When paired with the polished blue receiver it looks downright elegant. Even the choke tubes add to the classy look of the CXS—with gold rings on their ends and clear letters, which makes identifying them easy.
The CXS barrels are designed for a 50/50 pattern distribution, which is ideal for the majority of clay target and wingshooters. A 6 o’clock hold will have a pattern center to print in the middle of the target.
The 28-inch vent-rib barrels have a lightweight profile. With a gorgeous, polished blue finish, the flat ventilated rib is .502-inch wide over the chambers, tapering slightly toward the muzzles. The lightweight rib is floated on posts over the top barrel, and Browning’s goal of lightening the overall weight of the gun is on display with the ventilated side ribs, among other things. The ventilating side ribs help cool down hot barrels during extended clay shooting sessions, or for when multiple flocks of birds necessitates rapid shooting. This is an effective way to please both the hunting and sporting clays camps. Browning Citori CXS White
The 3-inch chambers are chrome-plated, and the barrels include Browning’s Vector Pro lengthened forcing cones, which smooth the pellets’ transition into restriction which reduces deformation—ultimately resulting in more uniform patterns.
The trigger has a dignified gold plate finish, which telegraphs the fact this isn’t an ordinary shotgun trigger. Instead, it’s Browning’s adjustable “Triple Trigger” system. It’s adjustable for LOP (as delivered, LOP was 14.75 inches) over three different positions. The shoe is .350-inch wide, with a tactile, checkered surface. Citori hammers have a dual-cocking system. The trigger is an inertia-type, and there’s no glass-break feel from it shooting from either barrel. The upper barrel does have a slightly higher trigger pull weight, but hardly more than an ounce or two. I didn’t notice too much of a difference.
The Bottom Line
After firing several hundred rounds, there’s no doubt the CXS is a real bargain for shooters seeking a combination shotgun—especially younger hunters, that may not have the funds to purchase a dedicated hunting gun when they also compete in sports like skeet or sporting clays. Kudos to Browning for recognizing the facts: there’s more kids pulling triggers in shotgun sports than other competitive shooting sports. By bringing the versatile, affordable Citori CX family (including the CXS) to the table—shotguns ideal for the U.S. College/H.S. Clay Target League, Scholastic Clay Target Program, Amateur Trapshooting Association competition and more—Browning is helping to grow the next generation of hunters and competitive shotgun shooters. Browning Citori CXS White
The Citori action actually improves as it wears. After some use, the tapered locking bolt will engage slightly farther into the matching mortise under the barrels, resulting in the action staying nice and tight for a lifetime of shooting enjoyment.
Like everything else in life, there is a compromise, however. While the heft of the CXS is welcome for mitigating recoil when shooting skeet or sporting clays in competition—the additional weight isn’t exactly ideal for an upland hunting gun. I experienced this firsthand (see sidebar), but it didn’t really bother me too much, as I’m not a complainer. But, as outdoor author Jeff Johnston points out in his review of the CXS in sister publication American Hunter magazine, “It’s right at home in a duck blind where hunters don’t walk all day and flight paths are more predictable.”
The CXS is a great-handling, smooth-shooting scattergun that performed admirably no matter what we threw at it. A specialized Browning over/under, the Citori CXS will certainly please shooters looking for a dual-purpose shotgun they can use during hunting season and for competing in sporting clays or skeet shooting the rest of the year. Simply point, and shoot.
The Elusive Prairie Chicken
“You have to lead them about from here to the TV.” That’s what writer Brad Fenson told me after our first day prairie chicken hunting in South Dakota, while extending his arms as far as he could with the intense look that only a seasoned hunter trying to teach a novice can make. That day, I missed nearly every bird that I had a shot at. My lone chicken that day was taken near dusk on the edge of a cornfield, where hunting partner Nate Robinson of Winchester Ammo and I slowly crept through the tall, weathered stalks toward a hay bale to conceal ourselves. But, instead of making it to the hay bale, a flock of about 10 prairie chickens exploded about 20 feet in front of us. The close range made it easy for your narrator to finally drop a bird. Rarely are there more memorable moments in the wide-open spaces of the Great Plains.
We were hunting with Traxx, a hunting outfitter ran by Quenton “Q” McEntee and his lovely wife, Toni. Based near Gregory, SD, the couple run a top-notch upland hunting operation on their ranch of 33,000 acres. The property includes a nice lodge with full kitchen and room to board about 20 or so hunters. Toni is an outstanding cook, with an arsenal of soup recipes that are guaranteed to warm your body at lunchtime when it is freezing cold and snowing in westriver South Dakota in mid-October. Additionally, we had Benny Spies in tow, of the eponymous Gun It with Benny Spies TV show. Spies is one of the funniest wingshooters around. Browning Citori CXS White
After the first day I had better luck, taking Brad Fenson’s advice to heart. I managed to meet my bird limit each day, but I did end up discovering one Achilles heel for the Browning CXS. For extended upland hunting, the slightly-over 7.5-pound weight of the gun—while excellent for dissipating recoil—can wear you down. I learned this while lugging the CXS through rugged terrain on miles-long “death marches” (those marches were fun, by the way, Q). Overall, though, I was very happy with the performance of the CXS—both in the field and on the range.