Which do you buy? World Champion Amy Easeman uses a B725 (Sporter Black Edition) for all her clayshooting and pheasant shooting. World Champion Sam Green uses a B525 (Ultra XS Pro) for all his clay and game shooting. Both guns clearly work.
The B525 is the classic ‘school gun’ you will be lent at a clay ground if you turn up without your own. Compare the B725 with the B525 for quarry type and, if you are a pheasant shooter who likes shooting clays, you are more likely to buy a B525. If you are a clay shooter who enjoys shooting pheasants, it’s the B725. We discovered that through our 2020 Fieldtester survey. More about that further down this article.
Let’s drill down the differences between them. First, study the genealogy. Your starting point is the Browning B25, says Lionel Neuville, head of shotguns at Browning. First manufactured by the Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal in 1925 (later called Browning after the inventor of its most iconic guns), the B25 is the world’s first over-and-under shotgun. You can find out more about its history at JohnMBrowningCollection.com
Browning doesn’t rest on its laurels. The B525 is the fifth generation of the B25. Now available in a variety of models for all kinds of shooting disciplines, the gun offers improved balance. It is Browning’s core platform. You choose it if you want something more traditional.
Browning launched the B725 at the start of 2010s. Browning’s idea was to produce a shotgun with a lower receiver, and another shift in balance. It has a mechanical trigger system and comes with Invector DS Chokes, a thin-wall choke. You choose it if you like a gun that’s a bit more techie.
Who buys them? Lots of people, it turns out. Both guns are in our shotgun survey top 5. We had 3,500 responses to our Fieldtester survey in March 2020. Of these 1,300 gun owners listed more than 100 shotgun brands they own, and 184 shotgun models.
The B525 is the second most popular shotgun owned by Fieldsports Channel viewers, behind the Beretta Silver Pigeon. The B725 is the fourth most popular shotgun, behind the Beretta 686 and ahead of the Beretta 687.
Around three-quarters of our viewers are Browning or Beretta owners, and they give their guns similar scores for reliability. Browning owners reckon they get significantly better value for money than Beretta owners.
Between the B725 and B525, our owners score the B525 more highly for value for money and looks, but the B727 wins for reliability and fit.
Finally, it is worth giving the other Bs a hero’s mention. Often looked down on by B525 and B725 owners, the B325 comes ninth in our survey and the B425 comes 15th, just ahead of their granddaddy, the B25 at 16th.
Here are two films offering a more in-depth look at two B525 and B725 models:
B525 Liberty Light
B725 Pro Trap High Rib