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 Post subject: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm
Posts: 933
Location: South east Colorado, Aggieland Texas
Well, I just bought a new FN built 101. I was in the market for a high quality O/U, and was looking at Beretta and Browning. Well the Beretta's do not fit me well, and kick like a mule. (no doubt in part because they do not fit) The only Browning that really felt right was the 625 field, which sells for north of $2000. I just could not bring myself to spent that kind of cash on a shotgun.
So, off I went to Sportsmans warehouse to check out the 101. The guys behind the gun counter said the 101 is now their best selling O/U buy a good margin. In fact, two of them owned one. OK, long story short, the 101 fit like a dream, and just screams quality. I know quality is hard to describe to someone else, but when you drive a Lexus, you just know its a lot better car than a Kia. Same with the 101. The fit and finish are first rate. I would compare it to Beretta fit and finish. In fact, the balance and handling of the gun feel a lot like a Beretta. Very light and "lively" barrels, and a super smooth swing.
Now, none of this is real supprising, since it looks like FN copied a lot of the Beretta's action. The reciever is very low profile, and has the same locking lugs the Beretta has. The stock even has a very Beretta like finish on it. They just changed the shape of it to make it look like a Winchester 101. OK, I'm going to cut this review into smaller chunks, because I'm an older guy who does not type well, so I'm going to post this, with more to come, including Pics. So stay tuned.

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:22 am 
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You have potentially one of the most bang for the buck guns available. Nothing at all wrong with the 101

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm
Posts: 933
Location: South east Colorado, Aggieland Texas
Part 2- the pictures. (hope this works)
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Note the Beretta style lock-up system in pic one, and the low profile barrel set.

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:41 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm
Posts: 933
Location: South east Colorado, Aggieland Texas
Part 3-
The reason I am writing this is because I could not find much info on this gun when I went looking, so I hope this helps someone else. I had questions, and here are the best answers I can come up with at this time.
Does it kick like an old 101? NO! (thank goodness) they have used all of the new tricks to reduce recoil like oversize bores, long forcing cones, low profile reciever, a well designed stock, and a pretty good recoil pad. This gun has very soft recoil for a field weight gun.
How much does it weigh? My gun weighs 7lbs 1/2oz.
Is this the same as the Select 101? I think yes, and they have just dropped the Select name.
How much does it cost? I got mine on sale at Sportsmans warehouse for $999. SW is only in the west.
Anything I don't like? So far the only thing is, it only comes with 3 choke tubes (invector plus) in IC, MOD, and Full. I would like to see it come with more, but it is suposed to be a field gun.

So if anyone has any more questions, just ask. I will take the gun to the range this weekend and run it hard, and see how it works out.

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:16 am
Posts: 1168
Location: Mi.
Your Win. also has a locking lug that fits into the bottom of the receiver not found on a Beretta. Also has a adj. screw in the forend to adj. the tightness of the forend iron to receiver. Best bang for your buck. If you ever take the stock off it looks like a watch inside !!! Over 30,000 rds on mine and never a problem. Love that gun.
Da


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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:07 pm
Posts: 1528
Location: Westchester Co, NY
Beemanjohn wrote:
Part 3-
The reason I am writing this is because I could not find much info on this gun when I went looking, so I hope this helps someone else. I had questions, and here are the best answers I can come up with at this time.
Does it kick like an old 101? NO! (thank goodness) they have used all of the new tricks to reduce recoil like oversize bores, long forcing cones, low profile reciever, a well designed stock, and a pretty good recoil pad. This gun has very soft recoil for a field weight gun.
How much does it weigh? My gun weighs 7lbs 1/2oz.


Great news. These guns have finally started to get a lot more attention and the barrels have been very positively commented on. The news on recoil is potentially the most important part of your review as the "old" 101's propensity to kick hard matched with the light weight and field designation of these "new" FN 101s has perpetuated (I myself have said "but I understand their recoil remains harsh") the view that these are kickers. It's certainly a good looking gun and looks like The Gun to fill the O/U niche between the B Guns and CZ, although Lanber is also in that space.

Congratulations and keep up the review as you get more into ownership.

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:16 am
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Location: Mi.
The Win. is as well built as any B gun and please don't put them even in the same class as a CZ or Lanber. I own a Lanber 2097 and it is a good gun but no were near the quilty of the Win. If they were getting the full price for the Win. would it be a better gun???
Dave


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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm
Posts: 933
Location: South east Colorado, Aggieland Texas
I too own a Lanber 2097. It is a good gun for the price it sells for on CDNN, but David is right, it is not in the same league as the 101. The Lanber drives me nuts. It has a pretty good size gap under the locking lug in the action. I reload with red dot powder which burns real dirty. I have to remove the stock fairly often to clean the unburnt powder from the action, because if it gets a couple flakes under the trigger, it will not fire the second barrel. It allways happens at the worst time possible. (if you use red dot you know what I mean about it getting in places it shoul not)

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:16 pm 
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The FN 101 should draw a crowd??????

tks
reed

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:19 am 
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My brother in law owns a 101 made by Winchester (made in Japan) which he purchased way back in the early 70s. Its a great little 20 ga gun and I believe it has fixed chokes, but not sure. I shot that gun once a long time ago and dearly loved it. I never noticed any abnormal recoil with that gun. My brother in law does not shoot the gun at all and probably hasn't even looked at it in years. Been trying to get him to "give" it to me so at least it would have a home where it was appreciated. I even offered money for it, but he refuses to let it go. I'll keep trying......

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm
Posts: 933
Location: South east Colorado, Aggieland Texas
I never owned an old 101, but every time the subject comes up, recoil is one of the first things they talk about. So I was a little concerned about the new one, and could not find much information about it. The one box of hot trap loads I put through the gun is not a very good test, but I'll do it right this weekend. If my sholder is not sore after 100 straight, it's all good.

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:08 pm
Posts: 448
Location: St. Louis, MO
BJ,

I routinely shoot up to 100 rounds (1 oz loads) a day through my Select Platinum Sporting with no issues in terms of recoil. With 30" barrels, my gun weighs exactly 7.5 pounds.

If you stick with 1oz or 7/8oz for target shooting, I think you'll be fine.


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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm
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Location: South east Colorado, Aggieland Texas
Yea, I have heard the sporting guns have a mild recoil, but no one has tested the field gun that I could find. I will shoot everything I can through it so anyone else looking at one will know what to expect.

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm
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Location: South east Colorado, Aggieland Texas
Shot a full round of sporting clays today. First impression was right. The recoil on the 101 is as light as you could ever hope for in a 7lb field gun. Now its not as light as a 8 1/2 lb sporting gun, but it is very reasonable. (BTW the 101 is a real shooter!)

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:11 pm
Posts: 296
Beemanjohn wrote:
Part 3

.......So if anyone has any more questions, just ask. I will take the gun to the range this weekend and run it hard, and see how it works out.


What length are your barrels ??


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 Post subject: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:31 pm
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I'm also tired of hearing about the recoil problem from the old timers. I have a select 101 from CDNN and it is identical to yours and is an awesome gun. I will pass it down some day.


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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm
Posts: 933
Location: South east Colorado, Aggieland Texas
Mine has 28" barrels. I have had it on the sporting clays field twice, and the skeet field 3 times since my last report, and the more I shoot the gun the better I like it. A friend on mine was at the skeet range on sunday (he is a gunsmith) and he said the fit of the wood to metal on my shotgun was mabee the best he had ever seen. (he shoots a Citori 4 barrel set) There were a bunch of Browning guns in the rack along with two Berettas, and I can truly say the 101 looked better than some of them, and as good as all of them. (discounting the ingraving on the silver pidgeon) There was not one guy who was not impressed with the 101. (I don't shoot with snobs) I'm sure some of them will end up owning one.

Now, bring on the 20 gauge!!

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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:59 pm
Posts: 79
Good review, thanks for taking the time to post it along with updates. Has me looking at these.


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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:51 am
Posts: 1
Beemanjohn,

I'm really glad you posted this. I'm on a pretty tight budget (police officer) but I wanted a nice shotgun that wouldn't break the bank. I've been researching lots of shotguns in the 1k range and I've kept coming back to the 101 Field. I'm a huge fan of FN and their Belgian products so last night I took the plunge and ordered a 101 from CDNN. I asked my salesman what he thought about the wood on these and if the guns actually had "FN Made in Belgium" stamped on them. He said the wood was nice (he didn't sound overly impressed) and said he'd open one of the shotguns to check. When he opened the box the first thing he said was "Wow, this one does have really nice wood!" After confirming the "Made in Belgium" stamp I told him to go ahead and ship me the one he was looking at. I can hardly wait.

I'll try to post pictures when it gets here.

-Jason


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 Post subject: Re: FN Winchester 101 field review
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:11 pm
Posts: 296
Beemanjohn wrote:
Mine has 28" barrels. I have had it on the sporting clays field twice, and the skeet field 3 times since my last report, and the more I shoot the gun the better I like it. A friend on mine was at the skeet range on sunday (he is a gunsmith) and he said the fit of the wood to metal on my shotgun was mabee the best he had ever seen. (he shoots a Citori 4 barrel set) There were a bunch of Browning guns in the rack along with two Berettas, and I can truly say the 101 looked better than some of them, and as good as all of them. (discounting the ingraving on the silver pidgeon) There was not one guy who was not impressed with the 101. (I don't shoot with snobs) I'm sure some of them will end up owning one.

Now, bring on the 20 gauge!!


Thanks for the reply. I had planned to buy an automatic 12 gauge this year but it seems to me that all of the new automatics, regardless of brand, have some issues I'm just not willing to put up with plus they are ugly as hell. So I'm considering this 101. My only question now which length barrel. All the photos of the wood on these field grade 101's looks a lot better than comparable Brownings.


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