SOLD FOR: $2635
Model: 23 XTR Pigeon Grade
Serial Number: PWK010316E
Year of Manufacture: Ca. 1986-1987
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 3/4″ & 3? Shells
Action Type: Side by Side Top Break with Ejectors and Single Selective Trigger (Mechanical)
Markings: The left side of the left barrel is marked “PIGEON GRADE – WINCHESTER – MODEL 23 XTR – 12 GAUGE 3? – 76mm / 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 “WINCHESTER”. The right barrel flat is marked “010316” and “12-3” in oval. The bottom of the right barrel is marked “WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL”, the bottom of both barrels is marked “W/C” and a Winchester proof. The top of the forend iron is marked “010316”. 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 with the motif continuing on the lever, guard and exposed portion of the forend iron.
Barrel Length: 25.5″, Vent-Rib
Choke: The barrels are threaded to accept different chokes. Currently installed are Skeet and Modified. Also included are Full and Extra Full.
Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a white bead in a base at the front of the rib and a smaller white mid-bead. The top of the rib is checkered to reduce glare.
Weight: 6 lb., 15.7 oz.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with a beavertail forend, round bottom semi-pistol grip, straight comb, and black rubber Winchester buttpad. The stocks have some scattered minor compressions and faint scratches throughout the buttstock, and also a few on the forearm as well. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 14” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttpad. Drop at comb is approximately 1 1/2?, drop at heel 2 1/4?. The pad has minor wear. The stocks rate in about Very Good-Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Coin
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are bright. There is no erosion, just a bit of very faint fouling in each. In this writer’s opinion, the bores rate 10 out of 10.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. There are some minor spots of discoloration from oxidation at the front of the left barrel and a faint scratch midway. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in about 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: This shotgun comes in a Winchester carrying case with the previously mentioned additional chokes.
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, appearing to have spent more time in its included Winchester case than out. 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!