Happy Birthday, Ollie! (with Colonel Smoothbore)
By angelamontana

Posted: April 10, 2016

101iA couple of weeks ago we looked at some of the commemorative offerings celebrating the 200th birthday of Remington®. Another great American firearms manufacturer is also celebrating a special birthday this year. Good old Oliver Winchester’s gun company is 150 years young. To celebrate the 150th milestone Winchester® is offering some special guns; here’s a quick look.

101dFirst a Model 1866 “Yellow Boy.” This gun is chambered in .44-40 Winchester and comes with a 24 inch octagon barrel with a ladder style rear sight and a blade front sight emulating the original setup on Model 66s. It is stocked with right Grade VI/V walnut with an oil finish and a brass crescent shaped buttplate. MSRP is $3329.99101c

101f 101eNext a Model 1873 also chambered in the classic .44-40 Winchester, this lever action beauty comes with heavy engraving and gold embellishments on the silver nitride finished receiver sideplates, lifter, dust cover, crescent buttplate and forearm cap in the classic Ulrich style, including the Winchester 150th Anniversary logo and the WRA scroll trademark. The gun also features a 24 inch octagon barrel with gold engraving, a Marble Arms® tang mounted rear peep sight, a semi-buckhorn rear sight, and a Marble Arms® gold bead front sight. It is stocked in Grade V/VI black walnut. A very nice rendition of the American Classic lever gun that “won the West.” MSRP is $3329.99.

101h1894 1 (2)For many of us, our first rifle was a Model 94 chambered in .30-30 Win and Winchester® didn’t forget us. It is offering a really nice Model 1894 150th commemorative with oiled black walnut stocks, a 24 inch octagon barrel, adjustable rear semi-buckhorn sight with Marble Arms® gold bead front sight, and a heavily engraved silver nitride receiver. MSRP is $2669.99.

101aWinchester® gave consideration to those of us who love shotguns. A 150th commemorative Model 101 O/U smoothbore is available for scattergunners. This 7 pound over/ under is a 12 gauge with a 3 inch chamber, 101bInvector-Plus interchangeable chokes, Grade V/VI walnut stock and forearm with 24 lines/inch checkering, and a White Line Pachmayr Decelerator® recoil pad. The Model 101 is one of the best kept secrets in the shotgun world; I’ve shot 101s and find them to be really sweet swinging, balanced shooters. MSRP of the commemorative is a very reasonable $3069.99.

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70 3 (2)Finally, another of my all-time favorites, the Winchester® Model 70. The commemorative edition of the venerable Model 70 is a Super Grade. It has absolutely beautiful Grade V/VI black walnut stocks, black fore-end tip, recessed sling swivel studs, a controlled round feed action with a jeweled bolt and extractor like the pre-64 Model 70s, a steel trigger guard and one piece bottom metal. Jack O’Connor would be proud as this Model 70 is chambered in his favorite .270 Winchester with a 24 inch barrel. It truly is the “Rifleman’s Rifle.” MSRP is $2069.99.

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101jWhile I found the Remington® 200th birthday commemoratives to be very nice guns, the Winchester® 150th birthday guns will really knock you over with their beauty. I guarantee these guns will become collectors’ classics.

Be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore