Lincoln Prmier Gold
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- Last updated: 31/10/2019
Lincoln shotguns are imported by John Rothery Wholesale and have been on our gunshop shelves it seems for decades now. They have become the goto affordable shotgun for the beginner or shotgunner who wanted to get started in shotgun shooting. With the influx of the Turkish guns it is good to see that Lincoln can still offer good value and can hold their own.
The Lincoln range offers many differing models and calibres to suit a wide variety of shotgun chores from game, vermin or clays. I had both the 12g and 20g on test, and here the 20-gauge Premier Gold is a slim, lightweight game gun that is ideal not only for the novice but as a good all rounder for people on a budget and just want to shoot not brag.
The barrels are in my opinion very well made featuring the standard monobloc type arrangement with the barrel tubes discreetly sleeved to the monobloc and concealed by some engraved scroll work. The barrels are made from a special three steel alloy, Lincoln’s own mixture that produces a barrel that is machined and bored from a solid bar for uniformity. Also, the bores are chrome-lined for longevity and benefit from the smooth travel of the pellets down the barrels which results in potentially better patterns down range. You get a threeyear warranty on these guns so they are pretty confident of their abilities and the barrels are steel proofed also in the 12 and 20g versions only.
There is a choice also of fixed or multi choke or Techni choke system, which this gun is, and five choke tubes are supplied from cyl, ¼, ½, ¾ and full, they are flush fit which looks so much better than the extended variety you see these days.
The barrel length choice is 28-, 30- or 32-inches, I had the 28-inch lengths that I prefer, with a 3-inch chambering and they are. I have to say, very well blued in finish, although I would get rid of that blue Lincoln barrel sticker asap! Good for recognition on a gun rack, I guess.
The rib is a game-type thin 6mm and is serrated with a single slim gold bead at the muzzle end and the vented rib section has 12 equally sized holes to allow a degree of cooling and stop mirage. There is also some jewelled finish to the side of the monobloc and ejectors that looked well-made and ejected very well timed, see pics.
On the Premier range you have a dedicated action sizing to match the cartridge you are shooting i.e. 12 and 16g is one size and the 20g, 28g and 410 version is scaled down. This makes perfect sense to match the characteristics of each cartridge type and makes this 20g a sweet low-profiled model. You can also get this action will side plates.
The action is your typical box lock arrangement with removeable hinge pins for re-tightening if it should ever need it. You also have a full wide locking bolt capture in the base that locks the barrel lumps down nice and tight. This model was very tight and needed 10 shots to get it all flowing easily. Hammer action was of the non inertia type on this model i.e. each pull of the trigger operated each hammer strike.
The safety is automatic, as the top lever is bought across to open and you have the usual selective trigger/barrel arrangement set into the tang mounted safety unit. To the right and one dot showing means the bottom barrel shoots first and moved to the left and two dots showing means the top barrel will fire.
The whole action is brightly polished and has machinecut decoration which is consummate to this price range with details such as the flighting duck and partridges accented in gold as is the trigger.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the hard ABS case to reveal actually a pretty decent piece of walnut, compared to some guns in this price range. The walnut is typically tight grained for strength and still has a good degree of figure to it. The overall pattern is straight grained with some very nice dark figuring through it and fiddle back to the rear butt stock. It also has an oil finish, lightly rubbed to enhance the walnut beneath. So often we see a thick lacquer, good on Lincoln for doing it right.
Being a 20g, it is a slimline game gun type stock configuration with pronounced Schnabel type forend and large machine cut checkered panels to both sides, that’s actually grip. The butt stock has a slim pistol grip with no palm swells but a nice open rake to accommodate even the biggest or gloved hand.
The length of pull is reasonable at 14.25-inches and will suit a good degree of shooters, whilst the thin plastic buttplate is cheap it does make the overall appearance look better in my view. Recoil wise the 20g is mild so no need for a rubber recoil pad any way.
It’s a light and lively gun and capable of handling a wide variety of ammunition from light training or short-range vermin loads to mid range game or pigeon loads and even steel loads up to the ½ choke size.
As with any new gun it needs a few rounds through it to get it run-in, as it were, spring air guns, rifles and the like are all the same. The action is good and tight, and ejectors were very well-timed and energetic in use, and for me the pistol grip and trigger blade placement were perfect, all helping to just forget about the mechanics of the action and concentrate on your swing and lead.
I like a shorter barrel myself and 28-inches on this model seemed about right, and with the slim 6mm rib allowing a lot of clear view it was great for a spot of squirrel shooting amongst the branches.
Ammunition-wise I had light to heavy, of which the Lincoln really liked the Gamebore Super Competition which is really a subsonic or training load in a 70mm case and heavy 30-gram load with a fibre wad. Available only in No 5 shot, they are mild on the shoulder and in the Lincoln with the half choke I had a total of 204 pellet strikes at 30-yards distributed with 130 outer and 74 inner hits.
A good game load it liked was the Eley VIP, this had a loading of a fibre wad and 28-grams or either 5 or 6 shot sizes of which I used the No 6 load. Bit more noticeably recoil as expected but good patterns overall, 173 total No 6 pellet hits with 71 inner strikes and 102 pellets around the 30-inch diameter. Very evenly spread and a good all round 20-gauge game getter.
Another really good load was the Fiocchi Speed cartridge. This is a good-value and highperforming cartridge that is as good for clays as it is for pigeons. These have proven to be really good cartridges over the previous tests in other guns and with a No 7.5 shot size and 28-gram loading I had a total of 269 pellet strikes at 30-yards of which there were 154 pellets in the outer 30 inch regions and a superb 115 No 7.5 pellets in the inner 15-inch circle. A real hailstorm of shot.
For those wanting a European made gun at a good price, Lincoln continue to offer just that, with this little 20-gauge being a good example. Wood quality and handling were good and overall styling is still very appealing. In fact, it does everything you want from a shotgun –you can pay a lot more for a lot less.
Other models can be had in side-plated actions, blacked and gold game scenes, wildfowl models, which I fancy next and the fine-looking Lincoln Jubilee Prestige with colour cased harden action and Prince of Wales pistol grip.
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