Winchester Model 101 Ultimate Field Over/Under Shotgun




A Bass Pro Exclusive!Winchester Model 101 Ultimate Field Over/Under Shotgun–

The Winchester® Model 101 Ultimate Field is a fast-handling, smooth-swinging over/under shotgun, made in Belgium to traditional Model 101 dimensions. At the heart of the 101 is a low-profile steel receiver that enhances quick and instinctive shooting needed for upland hunting. With the low-profile receiver, recoil occurs in-line, directly back, reducing muzzle jump for faster follow-up shots. A Pachmayr® Decelerator® recoil pad absorbs recoil also aiding in getting off rapid second shots, while reducing shooter fatigue so you can stay alert and ready to instantly shoulder the gun again when another bird flushes. The Model 101 uses the field proven Invector-Plus™ interchangeable choke tube system that works hand-in-hand with .742 back-bored barrels to reduce shot deformation and promote uniform shot patterns to consistently down birds. Hard, chrome-plated chambers and bores provide surfaces that are highly resistant to wear and corrosion, and clean easily. The Winchester Model 101 Ultimate Field Over/Under Shotgun comes with a finely finished walnut stock and fore-end with 20 lines-per-inch cut checkering that looks elegant and provides a non-slip grip. All metal components are machined to exact tolerances, and wood-to-metal fit is extremely tight. Comes with 3 Invector-Plus choke tubes (F, M, IC).

Made in Belgium to traditional Model 101 dimensions
Low-profile steel receiver
Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad
Invector-Plus choke tubes
Back-bored barrels
Chrome plated chambers and bores
Checkered walnut stock and fore-end
Comes with 3 choke tubes
Winchester Select 101 a worthy successor for a legend


May the Purple Hull Society will forgive this bit of heresy, but I’ve found a 12-gauge that’s a 16–gauge at heart.

The slogan among 16-gauge fans is that the 16 hits like a 12 and carries like a 20. That’s a compelling sales point until you find a 12-gauge that’s lighter than most 20-gauges, with recoil comparable to a 20-gauge.

The Winchester Select 101 has those attributes.

The Select 101 is the modern incarnation of Winchester’s legendary and beloved 101, which was made in Japan by Olin Kodensha from 1963-87. It was available in 12-, 20- and 28-gauge in many different configurations, including field grade, Pigeon Grade and Diamond Grade. The Kodensha guns are excellent, but they are also heavy, and they have a reputation for formidable recoil.

In the early 2000s, Winchester reintroduced a new line of over/under shotguns made in Belgium by Fabrique Nationale, which also made the highly esteemed Belgian Browning Auto-5, as well as the first and finest over/under of them all, the Browning Superposed.

By then, however, Browning’s Miroku-built Citori and Beretta had captured the over/under market. Winchester’s new offerings never caught on despite their excellent quality. One reason for their unpopularity was their quirky styling, especially the textured grip surfaces that replaced traditional checkering.

Gradually and quietly, Winchester rebranded its over/under as Select Model 101. It also reverted the styling closer to the original 101, but not quite. It’s actually closer to the Superposed.

I held a Winchester Select 101 at a local sporting goods store, and I was intrigued. I loved how it hefted, pointed and swung. The price was good for the retail chain’s branded version, but I didn’t like the wood’s muddy finish and the assymetric engraving of game scenes on the receiver. Winchester Model 101 Ultimate Field Over/Under Shotgun

With a diligent search I found a standard field grade with the features I wanted for about $100 less. The retro high gloss wood and metal finishes accentuate highly figured burled walnut. The deep engraving on the receiver combines the scrolled style of the old 101 and the Superposed. A White Line Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad adds a 1960s-style touch, as well. The checkering contains 20 lines per inch, and all of the diamond points are sharp and shiny.

The length of pull is 14 1/4 inches, which is about right for me. The stock configuration aligns my eye instantly with the end of the barrel.

Get this. With its 26-inch barrels, the Winchester Select 101 weighs only 6 pounds, 12 ounces. With 28-inch barrels, it’s only 7 pounds.

A Browning Citori Lightning, in comparison, weighs 8 pounds, 2 ounces. Beretta’s 686 Silver Pigeon I is advertised at 6-8, but it costs about $1,100-$1,200 more. Having once owned a Beretta 686 Onyx, I assure you that it’s not a thousand dollars better than the 101. In fact, I don’t believe it’s one dollar better.

The Winchester points and swings nicely, but its light weight increases felt recoil.

It is chambered for 2 3/4- and 3-inch shells, but to align with the 16-gauge comparison, I test fired 2 3/4-inch target loads that are comparable to standard 16-gauge field loads. They were Estate 1-ounce with No. 7 1/2 lead and 1 1/8-ounce 7 1/2 Remington Premier STS Light Target.

Against a mere T-shirt, the Winchester Select 101 was sharp on the shoulder. A padded shirt or vest would dampen it. Also, I naturally anticipate and brace for recoil when shooting at a stationary target. I don’t feel recoil when I shoot at live birds.

As primarily an upland gun, the 101 is not appropriate for 3-inch magnum loads. I have semiautomatic shotguns that are better suited for magnum firepower, and they’re also better suited for the types of hunting where I want magnum firepower.

The Winchester 101 Select is threaded for Invector Plus choke tubes, and it comes with three in Full, Modified and Improved Cylinder. The tubes are available in many constrictions, so you can adapt the 101 to conform to most any shooting situation. Winchester Model 101 Ultimate Field Over/Under Shotgun

Because of its weight, the Winchester Select 101 certainly carries a lot easier than any current production 16-gauge over/under or side-by-side. Even with its twin barrels, it’s still lighter than my Browning Auto-5 Sweet 16, which weighs a tad more than 7 pounds.

I still enjoy shooting my Sweet 16 more than any other shotgun, but this Winchester 101 is mighty sweet in its own right, and I look forward to giving it plenty of work.

The Winchester 101 Field – Initial Thoughts


It’s been a long time coming. I have been looking at over/under shotguns for quite a long time, all the while, pinching pennies and biding my time. In that several year period, I had too much time to gawk, lust, fondle and sometimes even shoot different guns. I finally pulled the trigger (pun intended) on the new Winchester 101 Field and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Several friends asked the question, “Why the new Winchester 101 Field?”

I thought that was a pretty good question, and although I plan on writing a more extensive review somewhere down the road to help others who are looking at the Winchester 101, here are some of the reasons that led me to my decision to buy the Winchester 101 Field Over/Under Shotgun.

Preface – My needs

I am under no illusion that every hunter is the same and even more specifically that everyone looking to buy an over/under shotgun is the same. I am a pretty normal guy who likes to get out, walk around, and find quail. Often times, the terrain that I am in can be pretty brutal on my body and on my gun. I wanted a hearty, stout field gun, that looked nice, built like a rock, and at the end of the day, I would not have to baby. Now please don’t get me wrong, spending this kind of money on anything, means that I am going to take care of it, but I like to use my hunting and fishing equipment, not just look at it. My price range was in that $800-1,200 which put me in the position of buying a lower-mid range “new” gun or buying a higher quality used gun. You can easily get a payday loan for benefits on $1,000 or more and while the payment can take around 3 days or so to get delivered to you, some providers even offer the express payment option so that you can get the payment within one single day.

Here are some of the things that stood out to me and ultimate pushed me to the Winchester 101 Field Over/Under Shotgun:

1. Made by FN – The new Winchester 101 shotguns are being made in Belgium. FN Hertal has a history of high quality gun manufacturing since the late 1800s.

2. Quality walnut stock and forend – Although their are finer pieces out there, the Winchester 101 is definitely the finest gun in my safe.

3. Interchangeable chokes – I liked the idea of interchangeable chokes, ready to go out of the box.

4. It fit me – I’m not a qualified gun fitter. Neither was the guy behind the counter. Having said that, I mounted a bunch of shotguns up to my shoulder with my eyes closed and opened my eyes. On the Winchester 101 when I opened my eyes, I was consistantly looking down the vent at the bead on the end. Again, not a professional, but I felt comfortable with the gun and the fit. Winchester Model 101 Ultimate Field Over/Under Shotgun

5. Price – My price range was in that $800-1,200 which put me in the position of buying a lower-mid range “new” gun or buying a higher quality used gun. I felt like the FN built Winchester split the difference. The FN name and reputation is extremely strong while the “new” 101 hasn’t picked up that Browning price tag yet.

6. 12 gauge – I like hunting, but I also like to eat. In my opinion, the 12 gauge is a better gauge for me because I feel like I bag more birds. It also has unlimited possibilities for other quarry. Ammunition is also readily available

7. Overall weight- At 7.2 pounds, the Winchester is not the lightest shotgun on the market. In my case though, I was already toting my 870 which is about the same weight. I hemmed and hawed about finding something in 20 gauge, just so it would be lighter. I eventually grew a pair and decided I could mange to carry 7 pounds around.

After a couple times out for dove and several rounds of clays, I really feel like I made the right decision. The Winchester 101 Field is a beautiful gun with a solid feel to it. I’m looking forward to quail season and really putting it to the test.


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