& Harris - Gun
Reviews - Archive - Winchester Supreme
17 April, 2001
is probably the best known name in the gun trade, in fact, it could
be rightly called a household name. Even if your only experience of
the name is of western films on TV, then you’ve probably seen John
Wayne bag a few with his.
rifle shooters Winchester have had a presence on the market since
those early western times, though in this country they are far
better known for their range of shotguns; most notably the 101
range. Unfortunately this range of guns was relatively short lived,
that being from the early 70’s to the late mid 80’s. But while
they were around they certainly made an impact, something that has
transformed over the years to almost cult status amongst those that
really appreciated them for what they were.
recently in an attempt to revive the Winchester marque with the ill
fated 1001, which was made in Italy and eventually withdrawn from
then there has been no Winchester shotgun for which there is likely
to be the greatest demand; namely an OU.
that is about to change dramatically with the launch of the new
model; the Supreme.
the 101 range the supreme has quite an act to follow, but things
have altered considerably at a corporate level as in the days of the
101 range Winchester were an independent company that employed the
services of a company called Kodensha in Japan to produce the 101
series of guns. Unfortunately they went out of business in around
1987. Not long after that Winchester themselves became vulnerable
and were taken over by Browning.
initial attempted revival of a Winchester OU was made in conjunction
with one of the Italian gun manufacturers and so as with the
Winchester / Kodensha alliance there was the potential for a loss of
control by the senior company, and for different reasons and
possibly an element of bad luck again this happened.
this time Browning own Winchester and they are using their own
manufacturing plant to produce the gun in Belgium. And right from
first appearances it can be seen that a great deal of thought and
work has gone into the development of this gun. In fact
Browning-Winchester have never produced a gun like it.
based on proven design principles I believe it is the most exciting
new gun that I have seen for some time, simply because it is that; a
completely new gun.
essence I suppose this gun is largely the best bits from a
combination of a Browning, a Beretta and a Winchester 101. I may not
be thanked for stating so but that is the simple truth of it .
However because of that the gun certainly on the face of it should
be reliable and strong. This gun has been built to a price; one that
offers exceptional value for money, but absolutely no compromise has
been made in build quality of this gun.
heart of any gun is its action. And up until now all guns Produced
by the Belgian Plant have had full width front cross pins on which
the barrels hinge. With the Supreme the more common European method
of jointing on stub pins or trunnions held on the action wall is
used. This make the action shallower, less bulky and ultimately
locking is inspired by Beretta’s system of a u type bolt that from
the outside appears as 2 pins that lock into corresponding holes on
the breech face of the barrels.
cocking levers are independent for each side of the gun and link up
with firing system that is in the classic browning Winchester mould.
The hammers are powered by coil spring that are captive on their
guide rods, so making the hammers rebounding thus reducing striker
sears pivot down from the top of the action frame. And are in turn
picked up by a selector rod and inertia block. The selection of
barrels is determined by the safe which moves through
a gate as the browning Miroku system. And the second shot is
picked up by the inertia of the first shot.
action is finished quite plainly with no engraving with the
exception of the decal Supreme sporting on each side, and underneath
it has the same with the Winchester name and what looks like a cow
pat engraved above it. Actually it is a semi broken clay, but to me
clays engraved on guns never looks right - without exception!
all the lack of engraving the action looks very well thanks to so
thoughtful detonating or carving of its fences and sides.
trigger is adjustable and is a smooth comfortable shape, but
curiously only appears to be adjustable for two positions.
safe is quite big and comfortable and moves very well with definite
travel through the gate. Though I did find it perhaps a little too
close to the back of the top lever when in the fire position; this
though is only noticeable when pulling the safe back as there is a
tendency to get your thumb that bit further onto the safe. Then
again I do have bigger thumbs than most.
barrels are built on the now virtually standard mono-block system,
but this in it self is a departure for it is seldom seen coming out
mono- block joint is very good and perhaps better finished than many
that come out of Italy. The top rib tapers in width from the breech
face out to the mono-block then is a uniform 10 mm to the muzzle.
The lightly matted top rib is obviously ventilated though the side
ribs are not. And the side ribs are open to just beyond the forend
loop; presumably to keep the weight down.
diameters are 18.8mm so what could be termed over-bored and finished
to a very good standard. One feature worthy of note is that an
abutment has been added to the bottom of the mono-block at the
breech end, this locates in a corresponding slot in the bottom of
the action and will strengthen the lock up of the action when
closed. The chambers are 2 ¾ “ and the barrels are fitted with
invector plus chokes. And swell at the muzzle has been kept to a
minimum to preserve looks.
are directly spring loaded and work on the same principle as the
Beretta. They have a look of great strength about them and more
interestingly have good surface area around the rim of the cartridge
so they should eject well.
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