Gunfight Friday: Miroku vs. Winchester 101
Today’s fight is between a pair of O/U bird guns, each made in Japan. When I was a kid in...
Today’s fight is between a pair of O/U bird guns, each made in Japan. When I was a kid in the 60s, “made in Japan” meant cheap, plastic junk and transistor radios, but in 1961, Winchester began making guns in Japan at the Olin Kodensha plant (which was torn down to make room for an auto factory in the 80s). In the mid-1960s, Browning partnered with Miroku*, at whose Japanese plant it still makes guns today. Both factories turned out excellent guns, especially in the 80s and 90s, when today’s contestants were manufactured.
Daniel M’s 101
This is my Winchester 101 Pigeon Grade Lightweight. This one has 27-inch barrels fitted with Winchokes, and it is one of the last of the breed. My wife bought it for me during the period before we were married (one of the things which sold me on her). It has been a tremendously versatile gun, which I’ve taken after small game, pigeons, quail, pheasant, duck, and pigs in the thick stuff, as well as on fox drives. I’ve also shot a bit of trap and quite a lot of sporting clays with it, and it won the odd prize too. It is one of my favorites.
This is my BC Miroku 20-gauge. If you looked at it and said, “That looks like a Browning Citori”, you’d be right, mostly. Miroku has made every Browning Citori since 1973, and this gun seems to share many traits with the Citori.
Since my youth, I always wanted a Citori, but, as a poor southern-Illinois kid of no means, I could never afford one. A few months back, I came across this gun in a shop in Colorado and saw the name Miroku. I knew it was a Browning variant of sorts and picked it up. It looks and feels like it has never been fired. Its serial number starts with NP, which, I think, means manufactured in 1998. It’s choked Modified and Full, and it seems a bit heavy for a 20, but it’s solidly made, like an anvil. Being heavy for a 20 gauge, it shoots very well, and I’ll likely use it this year in Kansas for pheasants and quail.
There are your choices. I’d be thrilled to own either one, personally. Vote and comment below, and keep the gun pictures coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Miroku also makes guns under its own name, and in the 70s, it made Charles Daly guns.
Which gun do you prefer?
Daniel M’s 101