Shane Robinson goes back to the future and tests the new Lincoln Vogue 20-bore game gun based on the special edition gun of the 1980s
Based on a limited edition shotgun with the same name from the early 1980s, the new version of the Lincoln Vogue over-and-under game gun is placed in the sub-£1,000 sector of the market. But what sets it apart from competitors?
Lincolns have been built by F.A.I.R. (Fabbrica Armi Isodoro Rizzini) since 1971. The company prides itself on its quality engineering, selection of materials and stylish Italian design, so this will help put the Vogue on many shooters’ wish lists.
In the 1980s the original Lincoln Vogue was built as a limited edition “Deluxe” gun. Now it has been brought back with a few updates, one of these being the action. The new and improved Vogue is now based on the Lincoln Premier Gold action, which is the successor to the original No2 action. The Gold’s action uses a form of modified trigger-plate layout, often referred to as “boxlock”. The triggers, hammers and mainsprings work off the trigger-plate, but the sears hang off the top strap. It’s a tried and tested action, which bodes well for the gun’s longevity.
Internally, all the engineered pieces within the action are nicely blacked and finished well, with no sharp edges or incorrect burring that I could see. The engine turning on the sides of the barrels around the action pins is always a nice touch. As a buyer it can be an invaluable wear indicator should anybody be looking to sell one on with the standard: “I’ve only put three boxes of cartridges through it. Honest guvnor!” I also like the fact that the calibre and chamber size are stamped on the side of the barrel, so it can be easily seen when the gun is broken.
Available in 12-bore or 20-bore with barrel lengths of 28in, 30in or 32in, I was given the 20-bore 28in to take on test by importer John Rothery.
Nice sleek lines
The Vogue is a light and pointable piece of kit with nice sleek lines solidly built around the Deluxe Gold action, fine pitched laser chequering and some really subtle scroll engraving on the black action. The gold embossed partridge, duck and woodcock give it a classy finish without being gaudy.
From a distance you might think you are looking at a Beretta Silver Pigeon 5, but paying less than half the price. With prices starting from £899 it makes for a sensibly priced gun, especially as you get a case, chokes and key as standard. The gun also comes with a full three-year warranty, which gives you peace of mind.
There was no cast on the stock, which means left-handed shooters like me aren’t disadvantaged. It mounted sweetly to the cheek without any head movement at all and my eye-line vertically and horizontally was spot on. The Lincoln handled the farmers hog roast clay layout really well and I tested it on a small range of cartridges, starting with 21g Eley Lights, which would be perfect for a young-gun’s load because it gave minimal recoil.
I followed up with some standard 28g Bornaghi, which were a little more feisty but still very workable. I finished with some hard-hitting RC SIPE 30g 5s, which is what I’d be using on shooting days. I can honestly say it handled all loads admirably and was not in the least uncomfortable at any time.
Taking the Vogue straight out of the case I shot a respectable 15 out of 20 from the left shoulder. The gun was duly handed over to an interested on-looker who shot 16/20 out of the right shoulder, which pretty much sold the gun!
The barrels come with 3in chambers and are steel-proofed, this allows your options to really open up on a gun that’s as at home in a pigeon hide as it is on a pheasant drive or on a flightpond. As with most modern shotguns, the chrome-lined bore and chamber helps to extend the life of the barrels for those of us out there who aren’t so keen on keeping the cleaning regime up to speed.
I found the timber a little plain, but then again I have to remind myself regularly that I am very privileged to be able to work with lots of high grade timber. But the entire price of the gun would be the same as jumping from grade 4 wood to grade 5 on a Sauer rifle.
The stock has the standard 20mm drop on the comb from 37mm to 57mm, the butt plate was thin, hard plastic, which I prefer to be rubber because it doesn’t catch on clothing when you shoulder it. In a crowded marketplace full of 3in steel-proofed ambidextrous guns for less than £1,000, the Lincoln Vogue stood out on looks and handling.
The final score
Build quality 8/10
Value for money 8/10
Weight: 6lb 4oz
Overall length: 45.5in
Barrel length: 2in
Length of pull: 14.25in
Chokes: Multi, standard set of five
Rib width: 8mm
Drop to comb: 37mm to 57mm
Heel to toe: 120mm
Stock cast: Nil
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Stands out for looks and handling