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Winchester Model 23 Shotgun History Serial Number



Winchester Model 23 Shotgun: A Collector's Guide to Serial Numbers and Variations




The Winchester Model 23 shotgun is a classic American firearm that was produced from 1978 to 1988. It was a double-barrel shotgun that came in various gauges and configurations. The Model 23 was designed to appeal to the upscale market of hunters and shooters who wanted a high-quality and elegant shotgun.




Winchester Model 23 Shotgun History Serial Number



One of the features that makes the Model 23 attractive to collectors is the serial number system. Unlike most other Winchester firearms, the Model 23 had a unique serial number for each gauge and variation. This means that you can easily identify the exact model and year of manufacture of your Model 23 shotgun by looking at the serial number.


How to Read the Serial Number of a Winchester Model 23 Shotgun




The serial number of a Winchester Model 23 shotgun is located on the bottom of the receiver, near the hinge pin. The serial number consists of two letters followed by four or five digits. The letters indicate the gauge and variation of the shotgun, while the digits indicate the production number within that series.


Here is a table that shows the meaning of the letters in the serial number:


LetterGaugeVariation


L12Standard Grade


M20Standard Grade


N28Standard Grade


P.410Standard Grade


X12XTR Grade


Y20XTR Grade


Zd>28/dXTR Grade


A.410/dXTR Grade


B12/20/28/.410/dPigeon Grade (four barrel set)


C12/20/28/.410/dCustom Grade (four barrel set)


D12/20/28/.410/dClassic Doubles (four barrel set)


E12/20/28/.410/dPigeon Grade XTR (four barrel set)


F12/20/28/.410/dCustom Grade XTR (four barrel set)


G12/20/28/.410/dDucks Unlimited (four barrel set)


H12/20/28/.410/dDucks Unlimited XTR (four barrel set)


J12/20/28/.410/dDucks Unlimited Custom (four barrel set)


K12/20/28/.410/dDucks Unlimited Custom XTR (four barrel set)


R12/20/28/.410/dPigeon Grade Field (four barrel set)


S12/20/28/.410/dPigeon Grade Field XTR (four barrel set)


T12/20/28/.410/dPigeon Grade Field Custom (four barrel set)


V12/20/28/.410/dPigeon Grade Field Custom XTR (four barrel set)


ON/A/dLimited


The History of the Winchester Model 23 Shotgun




The Winchester Model 23 shotgun was inspired by the legendary Winchester Model 21, which was a custom-made double-barrel shotgun that was introduced in 1931 and discontinued in 1960. The Model 21 was considered one of the finest American shotguns ever made, but it was also very expensive and time-consuming to produce. The Model 21 was mostly hand-fitted and engraved, and each gun was made to order according to the customer's specifications.


The Winchester Model 23 shotgun was an attempt to create a more affordable and mass-produced version of the Model 21, while still retaining its quality and elegance. The Model 23 was designed by Winchester engineers in collaboration with Olin-Kodensha, a Japanese company that had a reputation for making high-quality firearms. The Model 23 was manufactured in Japan and imported by Winchester to the US market.


The Model 23 shotgun was well received by the American public, especially by hunters and clay target shooters who appreciated its balance, handling, and reliability. The Model 23 was also praised for its attractive appearance, featuring a silver-gray receiver with scroll engraving, blued barrels with a ventilated rib, and a checkered walnut stock and forend. The Model 23 also had some modern features, such as a single selective trigger, automatic ejectors, and interchangeable choke tubes.


The Model 23 shotgun was offered in six standard grades: Standard, XTR, Pigeon, Custom, Classic Doubles, and Heavy Duck. The Standard grade was the basic model with plain engraving and no checkering on the stock. The XTR grade had more elaborate engraving and checkering on the stock. The Pigeon grade had even more engraving and a higher grade of walnut for the stock. The Custom grade had custom engraving and wood selected by the customer. The Classic Doubles grade had a special frame design that resembled the Model 21. The Heavy Duck grade had a reinforced frame and barrels for shooting heavy loads.


In addition to the standard grades, the Model 23 shotgun was also available in some special editions and commemorative models. Some of these were: Pigeon Grade XTR, Custom Grade XTR, Ducks Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited XTR, Ducks Unlimited Custom, Ducks Unlimited Custom XTR, Golden Quail, Grand Canadian, Limited Editions (1984-1987), and Four Barrel Sets (Pigeon Grade Field, Pigeon Grade Field XTR, Pigeon Grade Field Custom, Pigeon Grade Field Custom XTR).


The Winchester Model 23 shotgun was discontinued in 1988, after about 62,000 guns were produced. The reason for its discontinuation was mainly due to the rising costs of production and importation, which made the gun less competitive in the market. The Model 23 was replaced by the Model 101 over/under shotgun, which was also made by Olin-Kodensha in Japan.


How to Care for Your Winchester Model 23 Shotgun




If you own a Winchester Model 23 shotgun, you have a valuable piece of American firearm history that deserves proper care and maintenance. Here are some tips on how to keep your Model 23 shotgun in good condition:


  • Clean your gun after every use. Use a soft cloth or a bore snake to wipe down the exterior metal parts and remove any dirt or moisture. Use a cleaning rod and patches to clean the bore and chambers with a solvent and oil. Use a brush or cotton swab to clean the action and ejectors with solvent and oil.



  • Store your gun in a dry and cool place. Avoid extreme temperatures and humidity that can cause rust or corrosion. Use a gun case or a gun sock to protect your gun from dust and scratches.



  • Check your gun for any signs of wear or damage before every use. Inspect the barrels for any bulges or cracks. Check the action for any loose screws or parts. Check the trigger for any malfunctions or creep. Check the safety for proper operation.



  • Use only quality ammunition that is suitable for your gun's gauge and chamber length. Do not use reloaded or damaged shells that can cause excessive pressure or misfires.



  • Have your gun serviced by a qualified gunsmith periodically or whenever you notice any problems with its performance or function.



By following these tips, you can ensure that your Winchester Model 23 shotgun will last for many years and generations to come.


The History of the Winchester Model 23 Shotgun




The Winchester Model 23 shotgun was inspired by the legendary Winchester Model 21, which was a custom-made double-barrel shotgun that was introduced in 1931 and discontinued in 1960. The Model 21 was considered one of the finest American shotguns ever made, but it was also very expensive and time-consuming to produce. The Model 21 was mostly hand-fitted and engraved, and each gun was made to order according to the customer's specifications.


The Winchester Model 23 shotgun was an attempt to create a more affordable and mass-produced version of the Model 21, while still retaining its quality and elegance. The Model 23 was designed by Winchester engineers in collaboration with Olin-Kodensha, a Japanese company that had a reputation for making high-quality firearms. The Model 23 was manufactured in Japan and imported by Winchester to the US market.


The Model 23 shotgun was well received by the American public, especially by hunters and clay target shooters who appreciated its balance, handling, and reliability. The Model 23 was also praised for its attractive appearance, featuring a silver-gray receiver with scroll engraving, blued barrels with a ventilated rib, and a checkered walnut stock and forend. The Model 23 also had some modern features, such as a single selective trigger, automatic ejectors, and interchangeable choke tubes.


The Model 23 shotgun was offered in six standard grades: Standard, XTR, Pigeon, Custom, Classic Doubles, and Heavy Duck. The Standard grade was the basic model with plain engraving and no checkering on the stock. The XTR grade had more elaborate engraving and checkering on the stock. The Pigeon grade had even more engraving and a higher grade of walnut for the stock. The Custom grade had custom engraving and wood selected by the customer. The Classic Doubles grade had a special frame design that resembled the Model 21. The Heavy Duck grade had a reinforced frame and barrels for shooting heavy loads.


In addition to the standard grades, the Model 23 shotgun was also available in some special editions and commemorative models. Some of these were: Pigeon Grade XTR, Custom Grade XTR, Ducks Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited XTR, Ducks Unlimited Custom, Ducks Unlimited Custom XTR, Golden Quail, Grand Canadian, Limited Editions (1984-1987), and Four Barrel Sets (Pigeon Grade Field, Pigeon Grade Field XTR, Pigeon Grade Field Custom, Pigeon Grade Field Custom XTR).


The Winchester Model 23 shotgun was discontinued in 1988, after about 62,000 guns were produced. The reason for its discontinuation was mainly due to the rising costs of production and importation, which made the gun less competitive in the market. The Model 23 was replaced by the Model 101 over/under shotgun, which was also made by Olin-Kodensha in Japan.


How to Care for Your Winchester Model 23 Shotgun




If you own a Winchester Model 23 shotgun, you have a valuable piece of American firearm history that deserves proper care and maintenance. Here are some tips on how to keep your Model 23 shotgun in good condition:


  • Clean your gun after every use. Use a soft cloth or a bore snake to wipe down the exterior metal parts and remove any dirt or moisture. Use a cleaning rod and patches to clean the bore and chambers with a solvent and oil. Use a brush or cotton swab to clean the action and ejectors with solvent and oil.



  • Store your gun in a dry and cool place. Avoid extreme temperatures and humidity that can cause rust or corrosion. Use a gun case or a gun sock to protect your gun from dust and scratches.



  • Check your gun for any signs of wear or damage before every use. Inspect the barrels for any bulges or cracks. Check the action for any loose screws or parts. Check the trigger for any malfunctions or creep. Check the safety for proper operation.



  • Use only quality ammunition that is suitable for your gun's gauge and chamber length. Do not use reloaded or damaged shells that can cause excessive pressure or misfires.



  • Have your gun serviced by a qualified gunsmith periodically or whenever you notice any problems with its performance or function.



By following these tips, you can ensure that your Winchester Model 23 shotgun will last for many years and generations to come.


Conclusion




The Winchester Model 23 shotgun is a remarkable firearm that combines the heritage and craftsmanship of the Winchester brand with the innovation and quality of the Japanese manufacturer. The Model 23 shotgun is a versatile and elegant gun that can be used for hunting, sport shooting, or collecting. The Model 23 shotgun also has a unique serial number system that allows you to identify the exact gauge and variation of your gun. The Model 23 shotgun is a rare and valuable gun that is no longer in production, but still in high demand by enthusiasts and collectors. If you are lucky enough to own a Winchester Model 23 shotgun, you should take good care of it and enjoy its beauty and performance. d282676c82


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