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 Post subject: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:33 pm 
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I've been wanting an O/U for a while, but procrastinating due to cost. While procrastinating, I have bought all kinds of firearms that I don't shoot a lot, and it occurs to me that shotgun is what I like best. I shoot trap and sporting clays. Tried skeet a couple times but not into it (yet). Would love to hunt but I live in a large metropolitan area and not a lot of choices nearby. My trusty Mossberg 500 has served me well so far, but I'm pretty sure I can hit more on the second shot with an O/U!

Contemplating a Winchester 101. I have one friend who has one and it seems to fit me well out of the box. I don't have a lot of experience with O/U's but it seems at least equal to the Brownings I have shot. Apparently made in Belgium by FN at the same factory where Brownings are made.

Bass Pro / Cabela's has the field grade for $1100, and you can usually get discount gift cards to bring the price down even more. Sport model is $1500 and gets you extended choke tubes and 30 inch barrels vs 28 on the Field. I figure I can add extended chokes later if I feel the need and I am happy with 28 inch barrel - it seems the fashion for long vs short goes back and forth, but I have been shooting 28 inch and think it's enough.

Reviews I have seen for the WInchester 101 are generally very good. Some complaints about cracked forends and slow warranty service.

I am almost ready to "pull the trigger" on the 101 and I would like to hear from those with experience with them, good or bad.




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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:29 am
Posts: 417
Location: Port St Lucie FL
If you like the Winchester and have no plans to hunt I would go for the sporting gun rather than the field version, believe you will find stock dimensions are different and that will help with clay target sports. 28" barrels are fine on pumps and semi autos due to the long receiver, you will want 30" or more if you switch to an over under. Good luck and have fun whatever you decide. {hs#


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:45 am 
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Location: Acton, CA
I had an FN SC1, same gun except for the wood, the SC1 has a laminated wood stock.
The forend cracked in less than a year, sent it in for warranty service. Well, they had it for a year and couldn't correct the issue, they bought it back.
I really liked the gun, shot it better than any other gun I've ever owned. I wish they could have corrected the issue, it would have saved me a lot of $$$ looking for a replacement.

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"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:35 pm 
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ceh383 wrote:
I had an FN SC1, same gun except for the wood, the SC1 has a laminated wood stock.
The forend cracked in less than a year, sent it in for warranty service. Well, they had it for a year and couldn't correct the issue, they bought it back.
I really liked the gun, shot it better than any other gun I've ever owned. I wish they could have corrected the issue, it would have saved me a lot of $$$ looking for a replacement.


That's very interesting, ceh383! As I mentioned in my original post, the only real complaints I saw about the Winchester 101 were about the forend cracking. On you FN, with laminated furniture, I would think that would be less likely since laminated should be stronger and more stable than solid walnut. There must be something with the design causing this.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:20 pm 
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FoundFather wrote:
That's very interesting, ceh383! As I mentioned in my original post, the only real complaints I saw about the Winchester 101 were about the forend cracking. On you FN, with laminated furniture, I would think that would be less likely since laminated should be stronger and more stable than solid walnut. There must be something with the design causing this.


It cracked along the glue between layers of wood. At first they told me they thought it was the stock maker skimping on costs, they went to another maker but the problem persisted. They then told me they are trying a redesign of the latch, that didn't work either. I do think they got something wrong with the design.

After months of not hearing anything from them, I called, they offered to buy back the gun for what I paid for it. I sent them a copy of the receipt, a couple weeks later I had a check. It's a shame, I really liked the gun.

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"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:24 pm 
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ceh383 wrote:
I do think they got something wrong with the design.

After months of not hearing anything from them, I called, they offered to buy back the gun for what I paid for it. I sent them a copy of the receipt, a couple weeks later I had a check. It's a shame, I really liked the gun.


That seems to be right. There are not a high percentage of reports of cracked forends, but it is definitely a recurring theme. Still, they make good on the warranty so I am inclined to take a chance. Everyone says your first over/under won't be your last, so maybe I will learn about what I like and don't like for the next gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:24 pm 
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ceh383 wrote:
I do think they got something wrong with the design.

After months of not hearing anything from them, I called, they offered to buy back the gun for what I paid for it. I sent them a copy of the receipt, a couple weeks later I had a check. It's a shame, I really liked the gun.


That seems to be right. There are not a high percentage of reports of cracked forends, but it is definitely a recurring theme. Still, they make good on the warranty so I am inclined to take a chance. Everyone says your first over/under won't be your last, so maybe I will learn about what I like and don't like for the next gun.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:29 pm 
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FoundFather wrote:
There are not a high percentage of reports of cracked forends, but it is definitely a recurring theme

Perhaps not with the 101, but several years ago there were many with the SC1.
I know several SC1 owners, all but 1 have cracked. Most of those have fiber-glassed that portion of the forend, and are still doing well.
If I knew now what I didn't know then, I'd still be shooting the SC1.

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"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:16 am 
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ceh383 wrote:
FoundFather wrote:
There are not a high percentage of reports of cracked forends, but it is definitely a recurring theme

Perhaps not with the 101, but several years ago there were many with the SC1.
I know several SC1 owners, all but 1 have cracked. Most of those have fiber-glassed that portion of the forend, and are still doing well.
If I knew now what I didn't know then, I'd still be shooting the SC1.


Good to know ceh383. You post prompted me to search FN SC1 and it appears it was a very prevalent problem with those and led to the SC1 being discontinued.

As a point of comparison, on Bass Pro's website there are 33 reviews. 28 of them gave it a 5 out of 5. 2 out of 33 said the forend cracked on them and repair was slow, and both of them said they otherwise loved it. It seems the solid walnut forends hold up better than the laminate, which is kind of the opposite of what I would expect. Might be worth the risk.

Can you point me to any links or anything about fiber glassing the forend? Also, I wonder if Winchester/FN/whoever they are would sell you a spare forend just in case. Forewarned is forearmed, or something like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:36 pm 
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FoundFather wrote:
Can you point me to any links or anything about fiber glassing the forend? Also, I wonder if Winchester/FN/whoever they are would sell you a spare forend just in case. Forewarned is forearmed, or something like that.

I wish I could. There were a couple guys at one of the clubs that did it. One has since passed away, and I haven't seen the other in a couple years.

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"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:21 am 
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Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 11:27 am
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Location: Riverview, NB, Canada
The forend iron is adjustable on these guns, their is a little hex screw set inside the mechanisms the adjusts the tension on it to prevent this issue. I have both the field and the sporting, the field is my principal skeet gun and has around 7000 rounds through it so far without issue, The Sporting doesn't get used as much, it has around 2500 rounds through it.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:37 am 
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My shooting buddy bought a 101 and the forend cracked. Sent it back to Browning where it has now been for several months

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:31 pm 
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Maritime Storm wrote:
The forend iron is adjustable on these guns, their is a little hex screw set inside the mechanisms the adjusts the tension on it to prevent this issue.

If only it were that easy. If it were, I would have had my gun back in a few weeks/months. Well, this was not the case, after nearly a year they gave up and told me it was unfixable and bought it back.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:39 pm 
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Maritime Storm wrote:
The forend iron is adjustable on these guns, their is a little hex screw set inside the mechanisms the adjusts the tension on it to prevent this issue. I have both the field and the sporting, the field is my principal skeet gun and has around 7000 rounds through it so far without issue, The Sporting doesn't get used as much, it has around 2500 rounds through it.


Thanks Maritime Storm, good info! Can you tell me more about adjusting the screw? How many rounds between tightenings, how many turns? I read regarding the FN SC1, which is apparently the same action, that this screw was secured with blue loctite from the factory. I could see that being real tough to break loose with a small diameter hex key - you could break / bend a lot of hex keys before shifting it. Was your secured with loctite?

BTW, I "pulled the trigger" and ordered the 101!


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:35 am 
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Location: Riverview, NB, Canada
If you pull the forend off, you'll notice a small groove in the mechanism, deep inside their is a tiny hex screw, it takes very little to keep a little bit of tension on the action. I've adjusted mine once since I've owned it. All it does it take the slop out of the forend.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:39 pm 
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Maritime Storm wrote:
If you pull the forend off, you'll notice a small groove in the mechanism, deep inside their is a tiny hex screw, it takes very little to keep a little bit of tension on the action. I've adjusted mine once since I've owned it. All it does it take the slop out of the forend.


Thanks. So I take it yours did not have loctite you had to overcome to tighten it? Loctite would be a major hurdle to a small, delicate adjustment.

My 101 is "ready for pick-up!" Have to first get to Bass Pro, not that close, then wait in line to get an appointment to get in to gun counter (wha?!?! This is the Covid / riots / fear of new administration world we live in), then I have to start a ten day waiting period, after which I can go through the whole process again to actually take my shotgun home.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:11 am 
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Location: Riverview, NB, Canada
Mine pair didn't have any locktite on the screw.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 101 Field
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:04 pm
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Location: Denver, CO
Sorry, didn't see this post earlier. I bought a maple Win. 101 field in the late summer of 2018, planning to make that 7lb O/U my main pheasant hunting gun (fair weather) with my composite camo Win. Maxus as my fowl weather gun, both 12GA. I shot 50 1 oz shells at sporting clays the first time. The next time out when I went to shoot station 10, after 90 shells, I noticed before shooting that the forend had become loose. Low and behold, a chunk of maple about 1 inch square had broken out of the forend, just in front of the receiver. I walked back to station 9 and there was my chunk of wood.

I filled out the warranty paperwork and shipped it off the the warranty center in the St. Louis area. I think I shipped it to them in mid October and in February the sent me a complete new maple gun. I do frequently check to make sure the forend is tight. I used it all last hunting season (25 days) and will this season, too. I shoot just a little SC with it to tune up--just shot 100 yesterday. I think highly enough about it that I paid a stockfitter to lengthen the LOP 1/2 inch, change the pitch slightly (to match my Browning Citori) and fit a cushier recoil pad. It is a beautiful gun and I paid more to get the maple stock.

I think you will be very happy with it. If you plan to shoot many clays, plan to shop around for 1 oz or 7/8 oz loads, or reload them as I do. Your shoulder will appreciate it.
Tom




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