Perfect for Style and Reliability in the Duck Marsh
Editor's note: This is a guest blog from Realtree.com waterfowl contributor James Buice.
I tend to find a gun and stick to it. Call me a romantic or a sentimentalist, but I usually develop a strong bond or at least an affinity for my shotguns. I find a gun I like and settle into a long relationship.
So, when I broke things off with my old Browning A-5 for a sexy little Italian number with sleek lines and slimmer profile, I felt a little guilty. For two seasons I wielded that modern marvel of engineering, cursing it most of the way as it proved time and again to be not much more than a pricy single-shot. I thought of the A-5 but had become accustomed to the nimble handling of the modern autoloader. The search began, and after much lament and making myself a near permanent fixture at the local gun store, I took a new gun home.
As a lover of double guns, the classic American and Spanish double being my weak point, I never found a double to fit my waterfowl needs. I'm rough on guns during the season. They get muddy, stocks get banged around and one inevitably gets dropped in the water. Although a Super Fox or Winchester 21 will always be in my heart of hearts, I needed to lean more to the practical instead of nostalgic. Reliability and the ability to withstand the rigors of muddy duck haunts fell just behind finding a gun that fit my shooting style. But the Browning Cynergy seemed to check all the boxes, with a synthetic stock I could tailor to my shooting style, a durable low-profile receiver and locking mechanism, and the reliability I've come to expect from Browning doubles. The Cynergy is chambered for 3- and 3.5-inch shells and, with 30-inch barrels, comes in at about 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Now, before that makes you wince, remember, you're not carrying a waterfowl gun long distances, and the weight helps you follow through on shots. At first, I viewed the overmolded rubber inserts on the grip and forearm as an eyesore, but they proved to be a welcome addition when I was forced to shoot with heavy gloves or when the gun was wet from rain or being dropped in the water by cold, clumsy hands.
On the sporting clays course, the Cynergy performs as well as my dedicated clays gun. But as they say, it's the Indian, not the arrow, so take from that what you will. I can say the Cynergy is very well balanced and handles as nimbly as a shotgun wielding 30-inch tubes can, but it's still faster on target than my old A-5, and every time I pull the trigger, it goes bang. This past season, while hunting a particularly muddy slough, five hunters, including me, stood ready at dawn to intercept the hordes of ducks scouted a day before. A half-hour after shooting light, four guns, all autoloaders, were down and could not be forced to fire more than one round because of the cold, dirty conditions. My Cynergy kept plugging along and was loaned out more than a few times so others could fill their limits. Nothing beats reliability in the field, and the Cynergy Waterfowl continues to do that without fail.