Wingo shotshell

Has somebody a scan of a Winchester catalogue page talking about the Wingo shell (or a factory drawing of this round)?

Jean-Pierre - if you can supply an approximate time-frame for this loading, I will check my Winchester Catalogs. I don’t have them all, but I do have quite a number of them. Hopefully, it will not be in the 1930s where I have almost none. Right now, I just don’t have time to go thru all of them.

COTW lists it as being from the 1970’s, and my failing memory wants to limit it to the first half of that decade.

Wingo was “invented” by Winchester in the early 1970s. It was actually a “sport” conducted with a 20 caliber shotgun very similar to a shooting gallery at carnivals. I believe that the only facility that was constructed lasted less than a year.


While I was researching this for an hour or so, Ray provided the probable answer. A search of my library found nothing on the .22 Wingo Shotgun, evidently some sort of single-shot lever action firearm. No Winchester catalog I have from the 1970s or 1960s mentions either the gun or the ammunition. It is mentioned in the current edition of COTW, on page 504, but they don’t even show a picture of the round.

I was active in the Gun Industry in 1970, and while the name “Wingo” was known to me, I don’t recall ever seeing anything about the guns or ammunition. They certainly were not offered to us, and we were the biggest Winchester retail dealer in Northern California, I believe,

“American .22 Rimfire Boxes,” (The Sam Stillwell Collection), by Robert Buttweiler, shows a picture of the box on page 190. He does not date it. Bary Gracia’s book, “The .22” Rimfire Cartridge" shows the same box on page 17, and says that the system was introduced by Winchester in 1970. The Winchester commercial catalogs of 1969, 1970 and 1971 make no mention of gun or ammunition for “Wingo.”

Ray mentions it was more of a shooting facility, and this squares with the lack of information in the catalogs. It is probable that this system was never offered to the individual buyer, and therefore appears in no commercial catalogs. There was probably a brochure fore the gun, ammo and the range setup for running this enterprise offered by Winchester to prospecitve clients for the Wingo System, but I have never seen one. Gracia says “The firearms were available only at approved Wingo shooting centers. Made only by Winchester-Western and shortly discontinued, the brass case cartridges are loaded with 2.1 grains of ball powder and approximately 112 #12 shot to a M.V. of 950 f.p.s.”

Thiese entries and the lack of information contained in commercial Winchester catalogs of the era it is supposed to have been offered, put Ray Mekata and Barry Gracia’s book squarely in agreement with each other, and based on both men’s knowledge, I would say it tells the story!

If anyone has a brochure for this system, please consider a short article for the IAA Journal centered on the brochure. Now that the question has been asked, I think all of us would like to know more about this subject than we seem to.

Hi !
Thanks for the info.

I know this round was made for special target practice ranges in California.
Ray is right when he says that these ranges last about only one year.

But Wingo is not a 22 !
Dimensions of the cases are different.

They can be found in two different boxes : 30 rounds or 36 rounds.
One box is red on black, the other one black on red.

I have the round in my collection.
Because they are not described in catalogues, I am still looking for a Winchester factory drawing.


J-P is right, of course. These were referred to as “.20 Wingo Shot.” I suppose some of the .22 RF books show it because it is kind of unique, and so similar to a .22. Don’t know why else they would. Glad they did though - at least we had some information on it from those sources. If they left it for a book on “.20 RF” it would be the shortest story ever told, and never published.

I read somewhere (I know, I should have better files!) the reason for the choice of the .20 was to ensure no one could chamber a solid projectile .22 in the firearm. The specimens are certainly thin on the ground.

Here is a actual size scan of the Wingo box. The proper name for it is 5mm Wingo, not .20 Wingo. The headstamp was a large 'W". Unless I am confused with the Remington .310 Skeet, the 5mm Wingo was used to shot at minuature skeet targets about 2 inches in diameter. The targets were made of plastic with a pop out center section which could be replaced and reused. These were thrown into the air like clay pigeons, but at a much closer range.

Here is some more information on the 5mm Wingo. It is actually about the guns but does add more background.

Both of these descriptions are from an auction held by James D. Julia, Inc. of the Firearms Collection of Thomas K. Hutchinson, Tuesday Oct. 8th, 2002.

22 Shot. Special prototype made at Webley for Winchester with 22-1/2" vent rib bbl, having dbl. beads with long grasping groove beavertail forearm and pistol grip Monte Carlo stock with Webley black composition buttplate. The martini action is completely flat sided with loop finger lever and fixed trigger guard with loading cutout on the right side. Fixed through the forearm, similar to a magazine tube, is an electronic tether cable with activation button at the tip of the forearm. We believe this to be the only known existing prototype. It is in caliber 22 rather then the 5mm 20 Cal. which was used in the production models. Further indication of prototype status is the absence of “WINGO” on the sides of the receiver. Accompanied by a letter of provenance, production reports, test reports and other information articles and pamphlets. SN 22W3. CONDITION: Excellent. The bbls and cable tube retain 97-98% bright original blue. Receiver, most of its refinished blue and the wood is sound retaining most of its original varnish. Bright shiny bore. 4-46889 JR330 (1,000-5,000)

Cal. 5mm/20 Cal. Shot. Production Model, 1 of the approximately 40 produced for use in shooting galleries. Built with 22-1/8" vent rib bbl with dbl. beads having a magazine tube-like attachment under the bbl for the electronic cable tether. It has a long grasping groove forearm with electric control button in the tip and an uncheckered Monte Carlo stock with Webley black composition buttplate. The flat side receiver is marked on both sides “WINGO”. It has loop finger lever with solid trigger guard and loading cutout on the right side. The left side of the receiver has three drilled and tapped holes for a special Wingo scope mount. The chamber area of the bbl is marked on the left side with both Winchester and British proofs, the Winchester logo and “5MM”. This was likely one of the rifles used in the San Diego facility, the only Wingo range ever opened. Accompanied by a letter of provenance, production reports, test reports and other information articles and pamphlets. Also accompanied by two boxes of original Winchester 5mm Wingo shot shells. One carton contains five 30-round boxes and the other, five 36-round boxes. SN 22W6. CONDITION: Excellent. Bbl and tube retain about 98% bright original blue. Receiver, most of its reworked factory blue. The wood is sound and retains virtually all its original varnish with minor handling and use marks. Bright shiny bore. The ammunition is excellent. 4-46903 JR331 (1,000-5,000)

[quote=“jean-pierre”]Has somebody a scan of a Winchester catalogue page talking about the Wingo shell (or a factory drawing of this round)?

I just got in 10 boxes of Wingo and should have them on our web-sitre in a week or so.
I received 5 boxes of 36 count and 5 boxes of 30 count, both have different color patients.
The cartridges are : .977" or 24.84mm long, diameter at the base is .208"or 5.3mm , diameter at the top of the cartridge at the base of the crimp is.211" or 5.35mm, the rim diameter is .272" or 6.93mm rim,

The Wingo was use to shoot 4" ice balls indoors, as a new intercity skeet game. More information to follow with pictures of the firearms , cartridges and ammunition boxes.
Dave Call
A Call to Arms, LLC