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Is anyone buying Winchester Model 21's

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Bushmaster1313, Sep 14, 2011.

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  1. Bushmaster1313

    Bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

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    I occaionally look at the Model 21's on Gunbroker but it seems they never sell.

    Where is the market for 21's and are they selling.

    Personally, I would rather buy five $1,000 guns than one Model 21.
     
  2. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    Nope.

    The M21 is a cult-item, and is only a mediocre shotgun. The people who like SxS have a LOT of choices in the 'ASK' range of M21.

    Any M21 that sells for anywhere close to the ask is going to be pretty unusual: small gauge, engraved, original & low mileage.

    They ARE hell-for-stout, and indestructible, with a very 'iffy' trigger.

    Bob
     
  3. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Cult, No. A much desired piece of American shotgun nostalgia...Yes! They are well built, but you have to know what you're looking for.

    32" trap barrels are a premium, 30" are next in line, and the price goes down from there. A standard "Duck" with 32's or 30's is not normally as valuable as a "trap". The "Duck" stocks are usually very short (13 3/4")and breech heavy due to the beefed up metal for the new 3" shells. A 32" Trap is a sweet swing'n gun, but light...especially barrel light. They are also flat shooters.

    Recoil can be substantial if fit is not absolute. Triggers are good for the era, but not comparable to today's upper level target guns.
     
  4. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion....I think most "plain" plain 21's are overpriced. The engraved, small gauge examples are priced according to supply and demand. I thought my 21 (a single selective trigger, ejector field model) had a pretty good trigger, but what the hell do I know...I just owned and shot it for 25 years.....
     
  5. Bushmaster1313

    Bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a good one for the duck blind.

    Do you think the dog slobber will clean up well?
     
  6. WS-1

    WS-1 Banned User Banned

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    Bush,

    The Winchester Model 21 is far and away the best American double barrel box lock shotgun ever built. Put a Model 21 Grand American beside the best Parker, Fox, Ithaca or Smith known and you will immediately see for yourself that the 21 is clearly superior.

    They had a good run as a trap gun but many more targets were taken with Model 12s than Model 21s. They were great bird guns, but no better than any body elses gun that the hunter got used to. They were expensive to repair and of all the good guns ever built, if they were messed up, they needed to be repaired by Winchester. If a buttstock needed to be replaced, having anybody but the Winchester shop replace it was a bad choice. The inletting of a 21 buttstock had to be perfect or the gun would have a tendency to double.

    I've owned a few good guns in my life and I loved them all. The hell of it is that a little 20ga. WS-1/WS-2 straight English stocked M-21 busted my cherry those many years ago, and I've never been able to forget her. Be careful.

    Kit
     
  7. Terry_Maiden

    Terry_Maiden TS Member

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    You have to be careful too of refurbished (or faked) guns being offered as high grade originals. Any gun that has significant collector interest (vs being used for shooting) is subject to this problem.
     
  8. WS-1

    WS-1 Banned User Banned

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    Terry,

    You are absolutely right. There is a brisk M-21 "forgery" business out there and you must be very careful if you are going to spend a lot of money. As most everybody knows, Winchester kept detailed records on their Model 21s but once a gun strays outside of the typical grading range, the devil shows up and he really is in the details.

    Most of the Winchester "in house" engravers have passed but Pauline Muerrle is still very active in Winchester circles. She studied under several of the modern masters and is abundantly capable of identifying forgeries.

    One last point:Winchester engravers were REALLY good. Birds in flight looked like birds in flight. Pointers looked like pointers right down to their droopy jowels. Setters looked like setters, not creatures from Japan. I might be wrong, but I don't think that a Winchester engraver ever cut a mountain scene. And why own a Model 21 that is anything but dead bone stock?
     
  9. Bushmaster1313

    Bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

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    This is not encouraging to a duffer like me.

    I also think there is a lot of forgery in military marked items.

    That said, I am highly confident that my Baker Elite was engraved by Rudolph Kornbrath:


    [​IMG]
     
  10. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Active Member

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    .

    Have a Model 21 with 32-inch barrels choked Full and Extra-Full with vent-rib and Monte Carlo stock.

    Works pretty well on the Trap range.

    Would like to find a similar 16 gauge.

    .
     
  11. WS-1

    WS-1 Banned User Banned

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    A little slack in the hip, but dang, ain't that a purdee tail?
     
  12. AWC

    AWC Member

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    They are far better than a mediocre shotgun. One of the best with a very good trigger.I would much rather have one good 21 20ga than five $2000.00 guns.I have put over 100k thru my 20 since I had it made in 1968.

    At our vintage side by side shoot this past sunday the high overall on 25 wobble, 25 handicap and 25 pr was won by a shooter using a 21 as was the runner up. In the small bore events [25 wobble]the 16ga was won with a 21 as was first and second in the 20ga.

    I put 21 critics in the same catigory as K80 critics.

    By the way there is no differance between a duck and a field other than chamber lenth and stock. Also 12 ga chambers are normally 2 5/8" even though they are marked 2 3/4".

    AWC
     
  13. jwells

    jwells Member

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    to say a model 21 is only a mediocre shotgun is a ludicrous statement. without a doubt it is the finest side by side ever made in america, and holds its own when compared to the fine european guns. like any other gun if it doesnt fit you it will kick. nothing gives me more pleasure than hunting with mine, knowing that i am carrying a piece of american history that will never be equaled.
     
  14. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    I would very much like to have a 28" Mod/IC Mod 21. However, the reasons I have not bought one are:

    They are currently way overpriced in my opinion

    As mentioned, Alot of them have been chopped up and you really need to know your stuff not to get a fubar'd gun


    Almost all of them have drop at comb so far that your cheek bones need to be at your jaw joint in order to be able see over the receiver, common with almost all older guns except some true pigeon guns (and perhaps some trap models).

    Just not where I'm going to spend that kind of money right now.
     
  15. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    32" Trap, engraved by Bill Mains. Not the greatest picture.
     
  16. wm rike

    wm rike Member

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    As to the original question, it seems to be a goofy market right now, with prices all over the place. I suspect that is due to some folks having a hard time selling the things, and some folks not having gotten the message yet. Most of what's out there can probably be had for about a thousand less than two or three years ago.

    As to the 21s qualities, the working surfaces are very well finished, but the rest of the gun is Rugeresque. Wood is almost always good to better. Reputation to the contrary, they are not boat anchors. The barrels are light and well struck, and the guns balance nicely, more than a little surprising for a gun that usually has the added weight of a BT forearm that needs to be offset by some additional weight in the butt. Most of the engraving up through the fifties was mediocre, definitely not in the league of a Parker (of any grade).

    If any of the above sounds negative, research the sales volumes on M21s when they first came out during the Depression. While all the other double manufacturers were on vacuum, Winchester was moving those things out the door. The shooting public was mightily impressed.
     
  17. bluedsteel

    bluedsteel Member

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    A very kind gentleman at a local club let me shoot his Model 21 on post 3 for five shots. His 21 had been restocked, but the rest of the gun appeared original. His also had a vent rib barrel, which was available as an option, as I understand it.

    The gun shot and handled beautifully. I have lusted for one ever since that experience of a few years ago. However, last time I checked, most nice 21's that I saw for sale were over $6,000 (and I am sure many go for much more). When you start spending over 6k, you have to think about all those nice used K80's and MX8's out there.

    In any event, I would sure like to shoot one again, and see if I felt the same about it.

    bluedsteel
     
  18. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    I'm not going to say what I have invested in my 21. I owned 3 and sold 2 to finance the project. When they bury me, my arms will be tightly wrapped around it.

    My son thinks that is bad idea!
     
  19. jlb

    jlb Member

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    One can gauge the interest in 21's by following the auction at

    http://jamesdjulia.com/firearms.asp#auctions

    They have a number of nice 21's in their upcoming auction.

    jlb
     
  20. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    bought mine as an unshootable wreck for $600 back in '78....paid Winchester $600 to rebuild it...restocked it to original dimensions, shot it until '06 and sold it for $2500....so it didn't owe me anything and I had the enjoyment of owning a classic....not a bad deal....
     
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