Nikko Shotgun

Dear Technoid,

I recently acquired a Nikko O/U from my father. It is a Nikko 5000 – I in 2 3/4 12 gauge with the “Golden Eagle” emblem on the receiver. I know that Nikko has since either gone out of business or has simply dropped from the shotgun/firearm business.

If I recall correctly, when it was purchased, it was a very good deal as compared to the other O/U’s on the market at that time.

I recently had screw-in chokes (Briley) installed. The first time that I shot it was on sporting clays and hit about 50%. As a result of the pounding I took on my shoulder, I had a Kickeez pad installed as well.

What can you tell me about this gun, if anything? It handles pretty well and has a nice look to it, but I have never seen another on the ranges. Nor have I seen anything in print regarding this shotgun.


Dear Gary,

The Nikko is a nice gun. I’ve shot a bunch of Nikko “Golden Eagles” in the ’70s. There was one skeet gun that I used which had a particularly broad rib which took some getting used to. It was broader than even the Browning Broadway. Nikkos were made by Kodensha in Japan. As you remember, Winchester Model 101s were made by a joint venture company called Olin/Kodensha. The Nikkos and the 101s weren’t made side by side on the same assembly line, but they were quite similar, though not identical. The quality of construction is similar. Fjestad’s “Blue Book of Gun Values” has a particularly informative couple of pages on the history of Nikko and the Kodensha plant, but it is has little on the actual Nikko guns themselves.

If you consider your Nikko Golden Eagle to be a Winchester 101 by a different name, you won’t be too far from the truth. I’ve owned a bunch of 101s and always felt that they were the hardest kicking O/U ever made. The Nikkos aren’t far behind. The gold for those Nikko eagles on the side of the receiver may have come from dental fillings jarred loose. I do remember that the 101s were always shooting their ribs loose like the narrow ribbed Belgian Brownings, but that the Nikko’s great broad aircraft rib stayed put. That probably has more to do with rib width than anything else. Browning Broadways don’t shoot their ribs loose very easily, but the narrow ribbed field guns do. Not all the Nikkos had that broad rib.

I wish I remembered more about the guns, but it has been 20 years since I’ve fooled with them. Enjoy the gun and experiment with 7/8 oz loads.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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5 Responses to Nikko Shotgun

  1. Joel Smith says:

    The Nikko’s I saw and shot were the same as the Winchester 96’s. Same extractors, bolt face, etc. Just much finer. The stock dimensions were also the same as the 96. The 96 and the Nikko’s fit me like a glove.


  2. The extra-broad ‘Airflow’ top rib was made of aluminum alloy (presumably to keep weight down as due to immense size0: it was also ventilated in such a way it is like three thin layers of alloy to make up its height. Being aluminium it could not, of course, be soldered onto thje steel barrrels as most ribs are. It is free-floating by fitting onto posts with tenons at the front and then is PEGGED with spring type dowels at the breech end. Maybe that is why they stayed on when the soldered ones came off?


  3. wlee1953 says:

    I do know that once they got to building the Olin Winchester shot guns they Japanese modeled the Nikkos along the same lines but they did a beautiful engraving much better than they did the winchesters, they also took the best walnut that they recieved for the shotguns and gave the seconds to the Winchester lines, people said they ran them side by side , but the didn’t, they had the Nikkos shotgun building on the back side of their lot so the Winchester people wouldn’t snoop around. I own Three of them that I bought at a private auction and they are SWEET.


  4. alan8245 says:

    There are 3 models shown in the Nikko 1976 catalog. Nikko Golden Eagle I, Nikko Golden Eagle II and an exclusive top model that I don’t recall the name of. I have a Golden Eagle II and it is a superb piece of craftsmanship. Made in 1975/6, I was fortunate enough to buy one this year that had never been fired, complete with original hard case and keys. It is the 12 gauge 2 3/4″ version and shoots very well indeed. Barrels are 30″ with integral chokes, full and improved and chromed inside. Shoots very well, with really not much recoil. Usually shoot #7 1/2 1 ounce.
    Nikko made the Winchester 101 and probably a bit sneakily built a factory next door to build their own Nikko branded ones, using the same components as the 101, including German trigger mechanism and French walnut – except they used the best wood for their Nikko models and Winchester got second best!


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