Beretta or Browning? Ian Hodge compares the Silver Pigeon and B525

They are the mid-priced BMW and Audi of shotguns – solid, reliable, good value, and they’ll go on for ever. The Beretta Silver Pigeon and Browning 525 are the biggest selling shotguns in Ian Hodge’s gunshop in the West Country. But which one is right for you?

There’s just £2 difference in price between the two guns in Ian’s shop, so that won’t help you decide. They both cost a little under £1,700. Both are well made, reliable and shoot well. They are great all-rounders for clays, game or rough shooting.

In the end it comes down to personal preference, says Ian, and a big part of that is handling. “The Browning is a little bit chunkier to hold. Some people prefer that, while others like the sleeker and fractionally lighter Beretta,” he explains.

Looks can be important too. The Beretta has scroll engraving, while the Browning has game birds engraved on the action sides. Other guns in the shop have gold embellishments, which some customers prefer.

Ian reckons the best way is to pop into the shop and see which feels right for you. “It’s what you’re comfortable with. I’m always straight with people. I won’t sell them a gun just because I want to make a sale. I want them to end up with the gun that’s right for them. It’s a good job we’re all different,” Ian adds.

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