View Full Version : Winchester 101

March 24, 2009, 09:02 PM
My dad has 2 winchester 101 shotguns. One is a 12 gauge magnum, not sure which magnum and the other is a 12 gauge skeet gun. My dad offered to give me the skeet gun when I told him that I was interested in beginning skeet shooting. However, my uncle recommend that I try to get the 12 gauge magnum since it does not have an open choke, and because its more versatile due to the choke tubes? Does it have interchangeable choke tubes? I'm not really into shot guns but I think these 101s are very nice. As far as condition, both are beautiful. The 101s are from the 1970s I believe. Does anyone not recommend having a 101? I'm open to suggestion. Ideally I'd like 1 all around shot gun for skeet, trap and hunting.

March 26, 2009, 11:47 AM
No one here has a model 101? Unreal

March 26, 2009, 12:13 PM
My 101 has fixed choke barrels. I never use it. Only shot it a couple of times since I bought it 30 years ago. I got it at a pawn shop for $125. The pawnbroker didn't know guns. I haggled him down from $200. The 101 has a great reputation and it handles fine. I have other guns that I like better. The SKB, for example.

March 26, 2009, 12:22 PM
I have one that I pamper probably too much. :) The 101 is a great shotgun, finely made, and, because it's an older Winchester, it will appreciate in value. They were, and are, realitively expensive and that's why responses aren't coming out of the woodwork. Choke tubes make any shotgun more versatile. A fixed-choke skeet gun is pretty specialized. I'd go for the magnum if it has choke tubes.

March 26, 2009, 12:34 PM
I haven't seen a Win 101 around in at least 15 years - and no, I don't own one.

I think the only rap on the 101 was it tended to break ejectors - or ejector springs .... I've heard talk that the metallurgy wasn't quite up to long term "target" gun usage. I don't think Winchester ever dominated the skeet ranks - but there were a number of them around in the 60's and 70's.

In terms of the 12ga magnum, to my knowledge that just means its chambered in 3" - so you can shoot 2 3/4" or 3" shells. These days virtually everybody shoots 2 3/4" shells for clay target games.

You didn't say what the gun was choked ( but if its choked full ) meaning it was probably intended as a Trap gun - then it won't be much use for Skeet. You'll have to look at the barrel to know whether it has screw in chokes or not. I don't recall when Winchester started putting screw in chokes in their guns - but it was probably in the 1980's. So virtually all of the 101's were fixed chokes / and I don't recall seeing any with screw in chokes - but a lot of them could have been sent to a gunsmith and had screw in chokes put in / or had full length sub-gague tubes added to the gun.

Briley Mfg started in the mid 70's - so it was possible you dad sent that gun to them to have it fit for chokes - and Briley has been one of the big innovators on barrel work since they started.

The gun you describe as a Skeet gun - is probably also fixed chokes - and it may be a shorter barrel length than the other gun. 24 or 26" barrels were common on "skeet guns" in those days.

In terms of which gun would be best for you / look at the overall length, configuration of the stock. If they have an angled stock - one or the other may not fit you without some adjustments or by putting a comb pad on it. If one of them has a Monte Carlo comb on it - meaning its parallel to the rib - then choose that gun. If it doesn't have screw in chokes in it / shoot it as is - or send it to Briley to be fit for screw in chokes.

These days for Skeet - many of us shoot O/U's with parallel adjustable combs - and 30" barrels. All of my guns are fit for screw in chokes - so I can use one gun for Skeet, Sporting Clays or even hunting. In your dad's day - he had a Duck gun, a Pheasant gun, a Trap gun, a Skeet gun - etc and they were all fixed chokes, and had different barrel lengths to optomize what he wanted for that bird or for clays. Today things are a lot different / and sub-gague tubes are also common - which is a way to make a 12ga into a 20ga, 28ga or .410 . Briley and Kolar are the 2 dominant makers of full length "tubes" - and then of course in the end of the "tubes" - you have a screw in choke. For all of my guns - I have 8 chokes 2 Skeet, 2 Improved Cyclinder, 2 Modified, 1 Improved Modified, 1 Full - so they will do everything ( and I have the same for my 12ga, 20ga, 28ga and my .410 ).

Hope that helps a little.

Maybe someone else will chime in - that has shot a 101 .

March 26, 2009, 01:36 PM
The Winchester 101 12 gauge magnum is a 3" magnum. You can shoot either 2-3/4" or 3" magnums in it. 3-1/2" magnums did not exist when that gun was made, they are relatively new. It is most likely a field grade gun as I have seen very few Win 101 Trap models (the Trap models had a very wide rib), and they were chambered for 2-3/4" shells.

Although the Win 101 is a fine shotgun, I would not use it for regular Trap or Skeet shooting. Parts for original 101s are no longer available, and regular league shooting will put 100 or 200 rounds a week through the gun.

I am not sure why your uncle would recommend the field gun for shooting Skeet, since it is probably choked Full/Imp Mod, pretty tight for shooting Skeet. The Skeet gun is probably choked Skeet/Skeet, pretty much ideal for shooting Skeet (which is why they called it a Skeet model).

August 23, 2009, 10:21 PM
i shoot an older 101 for skeet every week shoots great kicks a little harder than some of the others but breaks the birds just as good. it makes a good skeet gun and would also recommend a browning citori

August 23, 2009, 11:24 PM
If it is a true 101 skeet gun then that would be my choice of the two. Most of the earlier guns did not have tubes. I have a 101 skeet and as mentioned it does kick to a great extent. I have had this shotgun for quite a number of years and have never had a problem with it. But as mentioned, I do not shoot it anymore for value reasons.

August 23, 2009, 11:52 PM
I have a Winchester 101 in 20 gauge. It is a skeet gun with non-removable chokes. Great little gun.

September 6, 2009, 09:31 PM
i have a 101 trap gun 3 barrel set that my father used in the early seventies to shoot and win several trap meets,,,the only problem he ever had was he melted the rib off of the gun in what ended up tobe a 200rd shoot off

September 6, 2009, 09:49 PM
Like Oldrum said if it is a true skeet 101 that is a one. I'm assuming it has 26-inch barrels?

The recoil can be tamed.

September 7, 2009, 04:20 PM
I had W-101 Skeet guns for years. I purchased a 12-ga new in 1968, it had 26-in barrels and fixed chokes. I shot it well enough to get classified NSSA AA, but not into the winners circle. There wasn't enough wood on the stock to fit me correctly and it had a habit of beating me up from time-to-time. In 1972 or '73, I got a W-101 Skeet in .410-bore with 28-in fixed choke barrels. It was a very pretty little gun with fantastic wood, but like its big brother it was too light to swing smoothly and my scores suffered accordingly.

September 11, 2009, 09:29 PM
I have a 101 2 3/4 in 20 ga skeet 28" barrels, 2 beads, fixed chokes, mech. trigger, excell for bird hunting or clay targets. would never sell or trade.