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Winchester Select shotgun review

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Winchester Select shotgun review.

The first Winchester Select shotgun to hit the gun shelves was the Supreme – mechanically the same as everything that’s followed since, but a gun that carried more weight and came with a chunkier feel.

It wasn’t to everyone’s liking.

In part, the first Select helped address this issue of bulk, but it wasn’t the complete answer. So how does this latest version from Winchester shape up?

The makers, to their credit, have taken the matter in hand and come up with a gun that is much slimmer in the pistol grip and fore-end than any of its predecessors.

The gun is now far better balanced and is much more responsive in the hands.

“The improved balance makes it handle and point very quickly.”

The action frame was always quite wide on earlier guns but with each successive new model Winchester has managed to slim down the action and reduce the gun’s overall weight.

It now tips the scales at approximately 7.1/2lb. Some might say this is a tad too light for a Sporter but it proved pleasant to shoot with and stable under recoil.

“My feeling is this gun will make a good all-rounder for the man who wants to shoot pigeons and game as well as clays.”

Winchester has stayed faithful to its silver-coloured action frame, but the makers have smartened things up with a new pattern of engraving – bold scroll work etched into the metal via a new technique of laser cutting.

It is then highlighted with a black finish that really stands out within the scroll work – an effect that reminds me of high quality Italian engraving.

Mechanically this gun incorporates a number of design features more commonly associated with Beretta, in particular the way it’s jointed with the barrels hinging on stub pins or trunnions, and the lock-up being achieved with a U-bolt.

Cocking and ejector work also owes much to the Beretta idea, but the trigger mechanism is based very closely on the Browning principle – as, too, are the barrels which have been over-bored and fitted with Invector Plus multichokes

The 30in barrels on the test gun sported 3in chambers and a neat 10mm ventilated top rib that had been cross hatched to reduce glare. It carries a white foresight and mid-sight. The side ribs have also been ventilated to both help cool the barrels and also bring about a reduction in weight.

Barrel blacking has been done to a very high standard. There is nothing fancy about the woodwork but it does exhibit a little bit of figure for a gun of this price.

“Best of all, it has been oil finished which gives a quality look and also helps to make the gun easier to hold.”

Fore-end is a gentle Schnabel shape which fits the hand well and carries a traditionally shaped chequer pattern that’s easy on the eye – and the hands. Length of pull is 14.1/2in and the stock is finished with a recoil pad carrying a hard heel to help prevent snagging when the gun is mounted.

The stock is quite low in the comb with drops of 1.3/4in and 2.1/2in at comb and heel respectively. Cast is straight at heel with a slight right hand bias at the toe. The lower comb probably makes the gun worth a look for left hand shooters.

JASON’S VERDICT:

Overall this is a very well made gun and offers exceptional value for money. The best features of both the Beretta and Browning designs have been brought together extremely well in this latest Winchester.

In my view I don’t think there’s a gun on the market in this price bracket that’s as well built as the Select.

PRICE:

£921 RRP

UK SALES: 01235 514550