The Winchester M21: Uglier than a hairless dog and as balanced as a sledgehammer OR Marlboro-man handsome and eminently American. Whatever you think of these side-by-sides, one thing is for certain: collectors go crazy for the M21s.
Winchester’s Model 21 was first produced in 1931, and it was manufactured by them until 1993. In all, about 35,000 of them left the Winchester factory. Here’s one of them. This shotgun is on Gunauction.com now, and the listing ends onAugust 31, 2014 17:45:00 PT.
Winchester Model 21 “Custom Grade” Side-by-Side 12-gauge: It wears 28″ barrels, has 2-3/4″ chambers, and is choked Modified and Improved Cylinder (the choking is reverse of standard with the tighter constriction on the right barrel). The barrel has a raised solid matted rib with an ivory front bead and a silver metallic mid-bead. The frame features the Custom Grade style hand-cut scroll engraving and the gun has a gold plated single-selective trigger, automatic ejectors, and a non-automatic safety. The barrel and frame flats & breeching surfaces are factory engine turned and the rib panel is marked “Custom Built by Winchester”. The buttstock is of the pistol grip variety with steel grip cap and is fitted with a “Decelerator” pad (the original ventilated Winchester pad is included). The LOP measures 14-1/4″, just 1/8″ more than original. The forend is of the skeet beavertail configuration with ebony insert. The Model 21 was always a hand-built gun of the highest quality. When it comes to durability, strength, and ultimate reliability, the Model 21 stands peerless above all other American doubles.
Overall condition is quite good and this beautiful double retains nearly all of the original factory blue finish. I’d grade the finish at 98-99% with just a few minor handling marks. There is no rust or any pitting and all markings are sharp and crisp. The grade AA fancy walnut stocks feature very nice figure and are in generally very good shape. There are some handling marks, a couple of dents in the butt, and also a fine/tight crack running down from the upper tang. I believe this crack would be a fairly easy repair. The gold oval nameplate on the underside of the stock was originally factory engraved with initials but has been buffed to remove them. The mechanics are in perfect working order and the bores are excellent…mirror bright with no issues. It comes with a Cody/Factory Letter which confirms the configuration of the gun and indicates that it was shipped in 1973. Also included is a vintage Winchester takedown case which I believe was original to a Winchester Model 23.