Here’s an interesting Winchester M21. It’s up for auction now Gunauction.com at No Reserve and the listing ends May 10, 2015 @ 17:09:00 PT. I can’t imagine Winchester made many 16g 21s like this. Sixteens were never very popular, especially after the first World War, and by the time this gun was made 20 gauges were catching on as the preferred smallbore to own.
WINCHESTER ~ MODEL 21 SKEET…PRE-WAR SxS 26″ WS1/WS2 + 30″ F/F…SST, AE…Mfd 1937: NO RESERVE!! Here’s a nice, honest pre-war Model 21 Skeet grade 16-gauge with two sets of barrels. It left the factory in 1937 with the 26″ Skeet barrels choked WS-1 (right) and WS-2 (left). The 30″ barrels are choked Full & Full and were fitted at the factory a couple years after the gun was originally made. Both sets of barrels have 2-3/4″ chambers. The gun is factory fitted with a single-selective trigger, automatic ejectors, and a non-automatic safety. The gun features a pistol grip stock with checkered butt, and a beavertail forend. The LOP measures 14″; the Drop @ Comb is 1-9/16″; Drop @ Heel is 2-1/2″.
Overall condition is quite good and the gun retains most of the original factory finish. There are some normal handling marks, some finish wear to the bottom edges of the receiver, some thinning to the lower tang, and some finish wear to the rear of the Skeet barrels at the carry point. There is a tiny bit of very shallow pitting at the rear of the left skeet barrel (I need magnification to see it), but no significant deep pitting anywhere. I’d grade the original finish at about 90% on the receiver, about 90% on the skeet barrels, and about 95% on the full choke barrels. The stocks are in very good shape and are free of cracks, chips, or repairs. There are some normal handling marks, mostly to the left side and bottom of the butt. The checkering is all in good shape, not worn, and the stocks have never been sanded or refinished. This shotgun is in good mechanical condition with only one minor issue noted. When the right skeet barrel is fired by itself, the automatic ejector works more like an extractor and does not kick the shell clear (it makes the right sound, the shell just doesn’t eject). The left skeet ejector works fine and when both barrels have been fired, both shells are properly ejected. No issues with ejection on the full choke barrels. The single-selective trigger, and the safety both work properly. Bores are bright all the way around.
Included is a Cody Museum letter that verifies the configuration of the gun and that it was manufactured in 1937. The second page of the letter notes that the gun was returned to the factory in 1940 and the Full/Full barrels were tested. A very nice, very desirable Pre-War Winchester 21.
Normally, I’m not a big fan of these guns. Most of them are way overpriced. But this is just $3,799.99 – a lot of money, but not much when it comes to 21s. It also has 30″ barrels and double triggers. In my book, those are two more reasons to like it.
I don’t know a thing about Winchester Model 21s. Let me rephrase that. I know just enough about Winchester M21 to wonder if this 16 gauge with double triggers, 28″ barrels, and a straight grip is the real thing. I’ve seen all these features on other M21 double barrel shotguns, but I’ve never seen them all together on a sixteen.
The oddest looking this on this side-by-side is the stock. Even though the gun has a long triggerguard, I just can’t convince myself that the stock is original. So what do you think? If there are any M21 experts out there, let us know. Is this gun the real deal, or just another franken double trying to pass itself off as an American classic?
These guys have a few Winchester Model 21s and this 12 gauge Holland & Holland Royal Model de Luxe side by side shotgun that was made for the 1900 Paris Exhibition. This H&H may be a really nice gun. It has an original single trigger, beautiful engraving, and a lot of nice finish. The problem is that the barrels may have been cut from 30″ to 28″. Either way, it’s worth checking out.