I know a skeet shooter who uses a 101. He shoots competitively and figures he has put about 400,000 rounds thru it over the past 30+ years. I can't say he is gentle with the thing. I've picked it up a couple of times expecting to hold a wreck, but it's tight - no slop anywhere. Here's the good part. Looking ahead a bit, he saw a good deal on a Kreighoff about 15 years ago and bought it with the intention of switching over as soon as the 101 wore out. It's still in the case.
Yeah, they're known as a cheek slapper, especially if they don't fit you properly, but 101s are fairly durable. They don't open "stiff" for as long as a Browning but that doesn'r mean they're not tough or that they're sloppy. I know of one made in Kodensha that had a zillion rounds thru it and was still in good shape. Like any break-open gun it needs to be kept properly lubed and treated right. Lack of lube and slamming them shut will ruin any break-open gun. The bluing on 101s seems to wear off more easily than Brownings or Berettas, especially on the two square edges along the bottom of the receiver.
The 101 was and is still a great gun---We had a champ--E Doore I think thats how you spell his name That's all he used---Saw him drag it on the cement if it didn't do good that day---He shot it so much you'd think it'd fall apart but it just kept on [email protected]
I have registered over 200,000 in the 3 disciplines, all with a 101. I have 2 Pigeon grades both 32 inch, one with pull triggers for doubles the other has release triggers. They, or at least mine, break firing pins! No big deal, I carry extras with all the tools necessary to change one, they are easy to replace. I started registered shooting with a 28" field grade that my grandson now uses for hunting. I still have my Dad's old 97 in the safe along with a model 61, guess I just like Winchesters!
Since Winchester doesn't make a hand gun, I carry a S&W model 36! LOL
Have to go with the consensus - awesome guns mechanically, and they don't kick that hard. I have probably 100,000 rounds through my un-single, and other than the springs, no problems. Let's see - how much do I like them? I have 5 trap, 2 combo, skeet (w/tubes), Flyer, and 20 gauge and sporting model (5500). Says it all.
BTW - Send me the address contact info on the Combo - I'll buy it.
Here is my 2 cents again on the subject about the Winchester 101's kicking/slaping you in the face. About 5 yrs ago at the PA state shoot, I left the line after the 200 singles event bleeding. It was hot the humidity was high and the day was sticky. I had just recently had the adjustable butt plate system installed. I didn't quite have it adjusted right and my LOP was to short. If the gun fits you correctly it doesn't kick/slap you. After that day things were adjusted and no more hurting of the face. The only thing I have ever had done was the locking block built back up and refitted to the barrel. Simple fix for loose barrel. Firing pins do break. The pigeon has been shot alot.
I used a diamond grade unsingle for trap a couple of years. Broke targets like it had a purpose and slapped the heck out of my cheek. I bought left handed wood for it and still couldn't get over the slap. I traded mine for a ljutic centenial ?sp grade and still have that gun. I liked the looks of the gun and it's heft just couldn't get it to stop slapping my cheek. I broke my best scores with it. Dan
Bought one straight from Japan in 1969 and shot it for ten years without a single malfunction. Bought a matching skeet and shot it several years without a single malfunction. Never noticed a bad kick problem. Wish I still had both guns! Jack
Bought a Diamond Grade trap combo 34-30" in 1989, just retired it last April 10
after some 40,000+ rounds through that gun, the only part that ever broke was an ejector hammer. Durable?? I`d say,,Again ANY gun that does`nt fit is going to slap you, breakemall ML.
The Diamond Grades were "big bore" guns, unlike the older and beautifully engraved 101's. Consequently, they didn't kick if they fit you. Pretty durable, as well. The older guns were tightly bored and did kick like a mule.
Recoil is stock not fitting you, simple, long forcing cone can help but the action and barrel have the same recoil as any Citori. Look at a Citori and a Diamond grade, virtually same dimensions, it the stock, set it to fit you and recoil is the same pound for pound.They are great guns.
If the gun kicks to hard for you then either the wood you have on the gun don't fit you or you are recoil sensitive.
I have Diamond trap and a Pegion trap. I don't know how many rounds I have shot thru these guns and the only problem I had was the cocking hammer on the diamond grade broke. The part was made from powdered cast metal. If one breaks for you take the part to a machinest and have one made from bar stock of 4440 steel have it hardened. Good for life. Bill