310 of 500 Winchester Model 23 Golden Quail 28 GA 25.5″ SxS Shotgun 1985
SOLD FOR: $5225
Model: 23 Golden Quail, 310 of 500
Serial Number: GQ-310E
Year of Manufacture: 1985
Gauge: 28 Gauge, 2 3/4? Shells
Action Type: Side by Side Top Break with Ejectors and Single Selective Trigger
Markings: The left side of the left barrel is marked “WINCHESTER Golden Quail – 28 GA – 2 3/4? – 70mm / EAST ALTON IL. U.S.A.”, the right of the right barrel is marked “MADE IN JAPAN” and the top of the rib is marked “Golden Quail”. The left barrel flat is marked “M”, “WP” in circle and “5”, the right is marked “I C”, “WP” in circle, “310”, and “28-2 3/4” in oval. The bottom of the right barrel is marked “WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL” and “QUAIL 1”, the bottom of the left barrel is marked “QUAIL 2”. The top of the forend iron is marked “310”. 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 “ONE OF 500 / GOLDEN QUAIL”. The receiver is scroll engraved surrounding quail and hunting dog scenes on the sides with an embossed quail head in gold on the bottom. The shotgun has scroll engraving.
Barrel Length: 25 1/2”
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 solid rib. The top of the rib is serrated in a wavy pattern to reduce glare.
Weight: 6 lb., 15.2 oz.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered select walnut with a beavertail forend, straight grip, straight comb, orange rubber Winchester buttpad. There are some tiny nicks and light draglines, most noticeable on the belly. There are scattered light handling marks. There are a few faint stains on the sides of the forearm at the rear. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14 1/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttpad and 13 7/8″ to the wood. Drop at comb is approximately 1 3/8?, drop at heel 2 1/4?. The cast is about neutral. The buttpad has some scattered light wear and has hardened slightly. 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. In this writer’s opinion, the bores rate 10/10.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. There are some scattered freckles of frost on the bottom of the barrel set. There is a small amount of very faint oxidation on the left barrel at the rear, near the markings. There are a few little scuffs that have lightly thinned the finish. There are some scattered light handling marks. There are standard operational marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in Fine-Excellent 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: This shotgun comes in a green Winchester case with red felt lining.
Our Assessment: With so many classic designs, the Winchester collector has many options but few are as rare or beautiful as the Model 23 Golden Quail series. Produced in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987, five hundred Golden Quail series guns each were made in 20 GA, 28 GA, 12 GA and .410, respectively. The Model 23 is considered by many to be Winchester’s last great shotgun. This example is in Fine-Excellent condition with signs of very light, responsible use and looks great. 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. Just one of five hundred 28 Gauge Model 23 Golden Quails made, this is not only a rare find for the dedicated collector, it should also be a joy to shoot. Please see our photos and good luck!