Lincoln Fair Elite shotgun: Lincoln shotguns were first developed and distributed through David Nickerson of Tathwell and over the years the guns have evolved to suit the needs and demands of British sportsmen.
Last year Nickersons were taken over by John Rothery Wholesale, a long established company that’s arguably the biggest supplier of accessories in the gun trade.
Another well known name acquired by Rothery some years ago was Parker-Hale of Birmingham. Remember them?
There can be few of us who haven’t bought cleaning equipment under the Parker Hale banner in our shooting careers.
Rothery, however, hasn’t distributed shotguns for some years so the acquisition of Nickersons has brought them back to this side of the business.
And they’ve marked their return with a new Lincoln over-under made by FAIR. The Elite has been designed for the UK game shooter with 28in multi choke barrels sporting 3in chambers and proofed to special steel shot standard.
The barrels have been fitted with a narrow ventilated top rib and treated to a lovely deep gloss blacking process. Initially the gun is available in 12 and 20-bore versions but the distributors do have plans to add both a 16 and 28-bore to the range in the not so distant future.
And I’m told these smaller bore guns will be built on suitably sized actions in the process. That’s good news because small bore barrels hooked up to large sized actions invariably look out of place.
The action frame on this gun is very solid and has raised side panels and a full covering of engraving that comprises game birds inlayed in gold – partridge on the left side, pheasant on the right and a woodcock on the bottom.
There’s a decent covering of engraving over the rest of the action frame and the top lever has been pierced as a decorative feature.
As you’d expect with a field gun this one has been correctly fitted with an automatic return safety catch, which also incorporates the barrel selector button.
This gun’s mechanism is the same as other models in the Lincoln range with the hammers hinging at the bottom of the trigger plate with the sears suspended from the top strap. Coil mainsprings are held captive on adjustable rods to govern rebound and the ejector kickers are also powered by coil springs.
The stock and fore-end have been treated to a special finish to give the wood’s grain an improved and enhanced look. This is all well and good but the drawback is that the finish is only skin-deep.
Called FX wood, the stock and fore-end are walnut but the grain is then enhanced by laser treatment to create a very highly figured wood with a natural look.
There is an indication of the enhanced FX finish in the finely cut chequering on the pistol grip. This has been done in a basket weave style with a thicker line every 4-5 lines. It has obviously been machine or laser cut, but in spite of that it does look good.
Will it fit? Stock length is 14.3/4in with suitable drops at comb and heel of 1.1/2in and 2.3/8 in respectively.
The stock is very slightly cast for the right-handed shooter and overall weight is 7 lb 6oz.
The gun comes in an ABS travel case with a set of chokes and a key.
The Elite has a good solid feel to it, balances nicely and points extremely well – just what you want in a field gun.
Whichever way you look at it the gun represents very good value.
Although it’s intended for the field, I think it will make a good all-rounder for many shooters.
Build Quality 20/25
Value for money 22/25
TOTAL SCORE: 82/100
IMPORTER: John Rothery, Bedford Road, Petersfield, Hants GU32 3XA.
Telephone: 01730 268011