Winchester 101 or Browning Citori?


August 30, 2009, 07:42 PM
I'm thinking ahead- like about 6-7 months ahead, when my tax return check is in hand. Although I fear it may not be big enough to get either one.

A man can dream right?

I like the Brownings- Lightnings, Gran Lightnings, Classics. The ones with the rounded knob grip.

But I like the 101's also. And I've read, that the current production 101's are the best ever.

I've owned a couple through the years. A good spanish one (12 ga), and a Ted Williams (20 ga). I liked them both.

What say you, which offers the best bang for the buck- cost, build, balance?

20 or 12 ga?

Shooting skeet on occasion and doves when the season's in would be the use.

If you enjoyed reading about "Winchester 101 or Browning Citori?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 31, 2009, 11:51 AM
Since Winchester and Browning are owned by the same company (FN) they should be very close in fit, finish, quality, and handling.

August 31, 2009, 12:01 PM
They seem to be.

There is a good several hundred dollars in difference though.

August 31, 2009, 12:13 PM
The new 101s are only available in 12, so that would be a factor to consider.

August 31, 2009, 12:22 PM
Yeah, I know.

I could deal with a 12 ga.

I'm sure there is a good selection on the used market, of various gauges. But I'm thinking new. It's been over 10 years since I actually bought a new shotgun.

Anyone actually using a new 101 out there?

August 31, 2009, 10:23 PM
Years ago shot skeet with a Winchester 101 20 ga. They are available on the used market for about $850-$1000. The 20 is on a significantly smaller frame than the 12, so the recoil is similar. Both receivers are much closer to a Citori (ArmedBear's "cinder block":p) in size than a Beretta.

Loved the gun, but had to put an adjustable butt pad to get the drop at comb right. I find the Citori to be the same. The Beretta 682/686 both fit me better...personal preference, but this is key for anyone.

Yes the NIB 101's are 12ga only and are now made by FN (belgium) not Nikko (Japanese) as they were for many years. The Citoris are still made by Miroku (Japan).

Bass Pro in Dallas had 101 field grade on sale for less than $1100 brand new last week. You'll never find a new Citori (or Beretta 680 series) anywhere near that, so I think the new 101 might be a lesser gun. It would be harder to resell I am sure.

August 31, 2009, 10:36 PM
At a dog hunt test on Saturday, I shot with a guy who had an old 101. Ordinarily, he uses it for skeet, not field shooting.

It weighs around 9 lbs. Not a mistake. 9 lbs. Great for shooting a few hundred rounds of skeet, not so great for lugging around in the field.

The 20 scales WAY down, as nody says. Winchester has also trimmed down the weight, if not the size, of the new 101 -- by a LOT. Still, it's a 12.

Some people find that the big Superposed-based receivers with the locking lug under the barrels fit them. I don't.

If you want the same gun for cheap, look for an older Miroku, Charles Daly Miroku, etc.

If you want the Prince of Wales grip, you pretty much have to get the Brownings you mentioned. The 12 Gauges are HEAVY, too, even now. I'd get a 20, but that's me. I don't like those big 12s at all.:)

September 1, 2009, 05:42 AM
I've actually looked at the 28's and 410's as well.

I might be more flexable than I realized.

Part of what caught my eye about the 101's was the (so called) lowered reciever. I'd have to handle one before I could really make any kind of decision. Other than the Ted Williams 20 I used to have, I've only handled 8 or 10 101's. I've handled a few dozen Citori's.

There are a few, just a few, of the 101's out there (older) with the round knob. They look pretty spiffy. They carry a good cost as well.

I think most all of the older Japan guns look good, have good fit and finish. I've seen some of the older Daly guns from time to time. Usually at a fair price.

September 1, 2009, 11:34 AM
You might also check out the used grade 1 Superposeds - nice Belgian Brownings from $750 up to about $1,500 or so. Watch out for salt wood, otherwise, some are great deals

September 5, 2009, 06:48 PM
Well, I think I've narrowed it down...

Citori Lightning 20 ga, 26" VR barrel. :D The 20's just feel better, lighter, and point better for me.


Winchester puts out a 20 ga 101 between now and tax refund time. Then I'll have to narrow it down again. :uhoh:

September 5, 2009, 10:04 PM
IMO the Citori is a completely different shotgun in 20 Gauge than it is in 12.

The design is such that the receiver's size and weight are dramatically different in 12 and 20.

The Lightning in 12 is very tall, with a very low front hand position and an overall weight over 8 lbs.

The 20, on the other hand, is about 6 1/2 lbs., much sleeker, and feels "just right" to me.

The difference between them is FAR more dramatic than the difference between, say, a 12 and a 20 Gauge Beretta.

September 5, 2009, 10:32 PM
There is no relation other than three digits between the new Win 101 made in Belgium and the old 101 made in Japan. Both very good guns. The new 101 is a bit svelter and very much like a Beretta's low profile receiver.

All good guns.

September 5, 2009, 11:42 PM
A BIT svelter?

I handled someone's vintage 101 the other day, with 26" barrels. It weighs 9 lbs. He considers it just the right medicine for competitive skeet, since it has almost no perceived recoil and swings really smooth. But the new Winchesters feel completely different.

September 5, 2009, 11:51 PM
Having shot many different brands, Winchester, Miroku, SKB, Weatherby,Beretta, etc., I admit to a a bias for the Superposed Lightning in 20, followed closely by the Citori in 12. I have a Citori Upland Hunter in 12 gauge, oil finish, straight grip with Invectors and 24" bbls. A joy to carry and shoot.

Hollywood Marine
September 6, 2009, 06:17 AM
Silly question to ask a model twelve devotee. Come to think of it, I once ran 74 straight at trap with a diamond grade 101. Go for the big red W I say. YMMV.

September 6, 2009, 06:44 AM
I actually made it a point to handle as many O/U's as I could yesterday. Everything below 12 ga felt much better. I even came across a Citori 12 with 26" bbls, that one felt good balance wise, but still a bit on the heavy side. The cheek weld wasn't quite right.

The 28's felt good also. I found a 410 that was a dream. But I think the 20 ga would give me more use for what I want to do.

There wasn't a 101, old or new to be found anywhere.

September 8, 2009, 07:50 PM

I purchased a Select Platinum Sporting back in late '07. I've owned several Citoris including a 20 gauge White Lightning I bought about 6 months ago. Just a couple of observations:

1) I think the quality of both guns are equal, but as stated previously,the Winchesters are only available in 12 gauge, so if you want a 20 you've effectively eliminated the now-produced Winchesters.

2) I like the Winchester so much it's become my "go to" gun for Trap, Skeet. and Sporting Clays. The Lightning and a couple of 28's I own, are used primarily for upland hunting.

3) IMO the problem with the Winchesters is not their quality, but how long they are going to be around. I love mine, but Winchester keeps tweaking and consolidating the line, which tells me they're not selling that well. The upside to that is you can get into a Winchester at a lower price than a Browning, and still own a shotgun of comparible quality.

Good luck in your choice...IMO you can't go wrong with either firearm.

September 8, 2009, 09:13 PM
ShowMe2, thanks for the info.

I can understand the not selling well part, going under didn't help them much in a crowded market.

I figure Winchester (FN) is in it for the long haul, they are bound to be bringing out a 20 sometime. The marketing and development boys just haven't gotten around to it.

And just as the Japanese built them at Kodensha and Miroku to spec, the Belgians will prob do the same. With prob the same level of quality as the Brownings.

September 10, 2009, 08:15 PM
Just adding my .02,
I purchased a new Winchester 101 during the Basspro sale a few weeks ago. I had been looking at the Brownings for a while but the fit of the Winchester was so nice (and the fact that it is was closer to my price point helped), after some serious thought I decided I couldn't pass it up. I've had it out 3 times with about 175 rounds through it shooting skeet and 5-stand. It has performed perfect (better than me), it locks up solid and you can feel the quality. It's made by FN in Belgium for Winchester and imported by Browning Arms, how can you go wrong. If you search on line, you can find these new for under $1,000 and that is a price hard to beat for the quality you get.

September 10, 2009, 08:27 PM
Thanks, Geep.

I would like to find one of the new ones to at least handle, but none to be found around here, that I've seen anywhere.

I'm always up for a road trip though. :D Charlotte is only a couple of hours.

Anyone in Charlotte NC seen any?

September 10, 2009, 09:09 PM
Not sure about now but weren't the Browning Citori's made in Japan by BC Miruko? The 101 was made there also but I forget now which manufacture.
I don't have a problem with BC Miruko I bought and still have a matched set 12 & 20 skeet guns in superior grade made 15,000 thru each one, hammer spring in the 12 and nothing in the 20. Bought them in Japan in 70 just about had to sell the farm each was like a $170 each and I got to pick the wood.

If you enjoyed reading about "Winchester 101 or Browning Citori?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!