What's the verdict?

Q: I have been offered a Nikko over-and-under shotgun in a private sale. It looks good, but I can find no references to the manufacturer. What do you know about them?

A: Nikko shotguns were made in Japan, and are no longer in production. The last guns came into the UK during the early 1980s.

The most familiar model was the 5000, which came in field, trap and skeet configurations. As far as we are aware there was no sporter.

Ejector fault

The guns were quite well made and handled well, but the fault was, with long use, the ejectors could become splayed outwards to the point they eventually over-rode the cartridge heads. You can risk bending them back, but if you break one you are saddled with the cost of a gunsmith making a one-off.

At best, this gun is going to be around 30 years old, and with a gun no longer in production there is an obvious spares problem. If anything breaks, you would have to be prepared to pay to have a one-off part made. If you are still tempted to buy, I suggest you get it thoroughly checked by a gunsmith before you part with any cash.

After having a scout around online it seems that there are plenty of Nikko shotguns about to buy if you’re interested.

Looking at various forums, reports seem to be positive from owners. Patrick on Shotgunworld.com commented:

“Nikkos are great guns. I have several – a Nikko Model 612, 812, NTG, and Shadow Skeet. A friend just bought a 20 gauge Model 5000 – it’s beautiful and he loves it. Nikko was in partnership with Winchester for a while (I also have a Japanese Winchester 101), so I’m sure some parts are interchangeable. Nikko also makes a Golden Eagle that was also made for Winchester. One thing Nikko did while in partnership with Winchester is that they kept the best wood for Nikkos instead of Winchester. I agree with Gary that they are great guns – and generally undervalued in the US due to a lack of knowledge. Japan makes great guns – their culture encourages craftsmanship and quality. Hang on to your Nikko – you’ll be glad you did.”