POTD: Rare Winchester Wingo “Ice Palace” Single Shot Shotguns
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have one of those things that makes me really enjoy doing Photo of the Day. I never knew that this was a thing. These single-shot shotguns are Winchester Wingo “Ice Palace” Single Shot Shotguns. There were only ever around 20 of these made and for the oddest reason, you can think of. They were invented and used for an indoor shooting sport that involved ice balls and large rimfire proprietary shotshells. These lever action shotguns used a 5mm shotshell ( picture a much larger brass crimped 22 birdshot). A literal ice ball would be launched toward the shooter and they would have to shoot and shatter it. Sounds pretty terrifying, no wonder it did not work out.
“Wingo was an experimental indoor wing shooting event developed in the early 1970s by the Winchester-Western division of Olin Corp. the only Wingo facility built was in 1971 in San Diego, California and operated for less than a year. Wingo was a game where opposing teams would shoot at launched 4 inch diameter ice balls fired from five ports towards the firing team, the non-firing team could control which port the ball fired from, and even the speed of the ball up to a reported 30 MPH. The guns were tethered to the shooting bench and wired for an internal microphone that would register when it was fired (necessary for automated scoring). These guns are Martini style single shot lever actions firing a proprietary 5 mm shot shell. Both guns have the remains of the wire underneath the barrel, “WINGO” markings on both sides of the receiver and left side bases for the Winchester Kwik-Point scope for quick and easy target spotting. Smooth forearm and stock with serrated buttplate. It is estimated that less than 20 Wingo guns were manufactured.”
Lot 3251: Lot of Two Rare Winchester Wingo ‘Ice Palace’ Shotguns. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/71/3251/lot-of-two-rare-winchester-wingo-ice-palace-shotguns.