SOLD FOR: $2625
Model: 23 XTR Pigeon Grade
Serial Number: PWK203179
Year of Manufacture: 1980-1986
Gauge: 20 Gauge, 3″ Shells
Action Type: Side by Side Top Break with Ejectors and Single Selective Trigger
Markings: The left side of the left barrel is marked “PIGEON GRADE – WINCHESTER – MODEL 23 XTR – 20 GAUGE 3″ – 76mm / NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A.”, the right of the right barrel is marked “MADE IN JAPAN” and the top of the rib is marked “PIGEON GRADE”. The left barrel flat is marked “5”, the right is marked “D”, “203179”, and “20-3” in oval. The bottom of the right barrel is marked with a “WP” proof and “IMP. CYLD.**** / WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL”, the bottom of the left barrel is marked “MOD.***” and with an ovalled “WP” proof. The top of the forend iron is marked “203179”. The right of the water table is marked “WP” in a circle, the top tang is marked with the serial number, the bottom of the receiver is marked with a pigeon and “WINCHESTER”. The receiver is scroll engraved.
Barrel Length: 26”, Vent-Rib
Choke: Left: Modified, Right: Improved Cylinder, Both Fixed
Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a white bead in a base at the front of the rib and a white alignment bead. The top of the rib is checkered to reduce glare.
Weight: 6 lb., 15.1 oz.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with a beavertail forend, round bottom pistol grip, straight comb, and black rubber Decelerator buttpad. The forend has a few minor compressions and there is some wear on the upper edges towards the rear. The buttstock has some light compressions and draglines, the most noticeable are on the right side. The buttstock has a couple of tiny marks into the finish. The checkering is mostly strong with a few little scrapes, they are on the left side of the pistol grip towards the bottom. There are no chips. The LOP measures 14 1/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttpad and 13 1/2″ to the wood. Drop at comb is approximately 1 3/8″, drop at heel 2 3/8″. The cast is about neutral. The buttpad has some light wear. The stocks rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Coin
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are bright. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. The barrels have faint wear from the forend, concealed when assembled. There are a couple of little rubs on the barrels that have lightly thinned the finish and little marks into the finish, most noticeable on the bottoms. The side of the left barrel has a small spot of discoloration about 3″ from the muzzle. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Fine Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly including the ejectors. The safety engages automatically on opening the action. The barrels lock up with no play to the receiver. The trigger is mechanical, not recoil-operated. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: With so many classic designs, the Winchester collector has many options but few are as beautiful as the Model 23 Pigeon Grade. The Model 23 is considered by many to be Winchester’s last great shotgun. This example is in Fine Plus condition with signs of very light, responsible use. Its beauty is matched by functionality, the engraved coin-finished receiver and beautiful walnut stocks paired with a mechanical single trigger and selective ejectors. This gun is truly a rare marriage of form and function. This is a beautiful shotgun that will be a nice addition to just about any collection for the collector and it should also be a joy to shoot. Please see our photos and good luck!