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Winchester Diamond Grade trap gun: quality, reputation and desirability

Charles Smith-Jones takes a look at the Winchester Diamond Grade trap gun and likes what he sees

Winchester Diamond Grade Trap,

Winchester Diamond Grade trap gun

Manufacturer: Winchester

Price as reviewed: £700

Origins of the Winchester Diamond Grade trap gun

The 101 Winchester Game gun is an example of one of many models produced by the prolific Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The wide range of guns based on the Winchester 101 frame was produced in the Olin-Kodensha factory in Japan.

Winchester Diamond Grade grap gun

Winchester Diamond Grade grap gun


Production of the Winchester Diamond Grade trap gun started around 1983, so sits among the later models turned out in the Japanese plant. Winchester guns, irrespective of their provenance, come with a reputation for quality, sound manufacturing and reliability. The Diamond Grade Trap gun is no exception. It was highly respected among clay shooters when first introduced and is still a popular choice today, even though it has been superseded by more modern offerings.

As a gun specifically aimed at the clay shooting market, this model will feel noticeably heavier than those intended for field shooting, but nevertheless handles effortlessly. Guns leaving the factory either came with fairly tight fixed chokes or with proprietary Winchoke flush-fitting multichokes. If preferred, after-market extended chokes can be sourced easily enough. Although many of the lighter 101-based guns often had a tendency towards more noticeable recoil, this will not be the case here. If recoil is an issue, it will almost inevitably be a result of poor gun fit.

Aesthetically, this is an attractive gun which was well respected and much sought after in its time. All had single selective and adjustable gold-plated triggers, and the combined safety catch and barrel selector is mounted in the usual position on the upper tang. Some came with an adjustable comb as an optional extra. Although owners may have subsequently altered the specification to their own preferences, the original barrels were dual beaded. The high-stepped rib marks it out as a trap gun, as does the generously proportioned fore-end. The two screws in the trigger tang of the example illustrated, whose 30in barrel is at the shorter end of those produced, mark it out as coming from the earlier end of the production run.

Winchester shotgun part

Always inspect shotguns used for competitions carefully


Overall, the woodwork is grained attractively with a fluted Monte Carlo comb. Both the pistol grip and fore-end are finely chequered, the latter coming in a beavertail configuration and with finger grooves in the upper flanks.

The receiver is white metal and, although the engraving may be variable around a theme of scroll and rosette motifs, the flanks and base feature distinctive diamond shapes as a centrepiece. The one on the underside also includes the words ‘Diamond Grade’ just to underline the model as well as a black diamond insert on the grip butt.

If you are fortunate, the gun may be offered with its original hard luggage case and chokes, and possibly even the second barrel it may have originally been supplied with. There was even a single-barrelled version. In some cases, the upper barrel of an over-and-under might be fitted with a fixed choke with only the lower one being changeable.

As a mark of their quality, reputation and desirability, Diamond Grade trap guns can still command respectable second-hand prices despite their age, and they retain a loyal following. As with all shotguns that have been used for competition shooting, it always pays to inspect one carefully before committing as it may have had many thousands of cartridges through it, but there are plenty of sound examples with many years of service left in them out there. You certainly won’t look out of place on the clay lines, and may well draw envious glances.

fore-end on Winchester Diamond grade trap gun

The fore-end is proportioned generously

Tech specs

  • Configuration Over-and-under
  • Action Boxlock
  • Choke Multichoke
  • Chamber 2¾in
  • Barrel length 30–34in
  • Ejector/non-ejector Ejector
  • Safety catch Manual
  • Weight (12 bore) Around 8lb
  • Available in calibres 12-bore
  • Cost new N/A
  • Cost used From £700 to £800 for a well-maintained gun


Diamond Grade trap guns can still command respectable second-hand prices despite their age, and they retain a loyal following