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Winchester M21: What is the asterisk after the Serial Number?
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January 24, 2023 - 5:24 pm
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A good friend asked me if I knew what the asterisk after the guns serial number is for on the below pictured Model 21.

I don’t know, so asking our better informed forum members.

Wha da ya think?

And thanks for your thoughts.

Bill

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January 24, 2023 - 8:51 pm
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Just a guess, but It could be an inspectors mark to confirm that all numbers were checked to insure they matched before the gun was assembled.

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January 25, 2023 - 2:25 am
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I’d get a Cody letter on it and go from there.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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January 25, 2023 - 4:20 am
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Maverick said
I’d get a Cody letter on it and go from there.

Sincerely,

Maverick

  

That’s the plan.

I sent a note to Cody to see if they have that M21 in their books.

Haven’t heard back.

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January 25, 2023 - 5:25 pm
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jolly bill said

Maverick said

I’d get a Cody letter on it and go from there.

Sincerely,

Maverick

  

That’s the plan.

I sent a note to Cody to see if they have that M21 in their books.

Haven’t heard back.

  

Here’s the Reply from Cody:

Unfortunately, the records for your firearm no longer exist or are blank.  Model 21 records are incomplete.”

So, no help there.

So, the question still remains:  Any idea what the asterisk is for?

I was told by someone who I think may have it right:  It went back to Winchester for repair or ??

Any other thoughts?

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January 25, 2023 - 6:13 pm
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Bill,

My recommendation is to contact Pauline Muerrle. She (if anyone) will know the answer.

Bert

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January 25, 2023 - 6:43 pm
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Bert H. said
Bill,

My recommendation is to contact Pauline Muerrle. She (if anyone) will know the answer.

Bert

  

Excellent suggestion Bert.

That would be the way to go it looks like.

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January 25, 2023 - 6:50 pm
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She was my first thought too but I wasn’t sure.  I knew Bert would know.  I always have wondered how she and others have boxes of records in their personal collections?  That makes me hope someone will find some more hidden somewhere.  I’m not sure that Cody has digitized all the boxes they have?

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January 25, 2023 - 10:57 pm
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I would try Tony Galazan at Connecticut Shotgun. They have bought all the remaining stock of 21 parts and equipment, and still manufacture and repair them. That would be my 1st call.

Steve

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January 25, 2023 - 11:07 pm
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Chuck said
I always have wondered how she and others have boxes of records in their personal collections?  That makes me hope someone will find some more hidden somewhere.  I’m not sure that Cody has digitized all the boxes they have?

Not everything from the WRACo factory made it out to Cody Wyoming. I’ve heard all sorts of tall & short tales as to how and why this that and the other didn’t make it out there. Most of it boiled down to at some point in time someone told someone else to throw something away and it made it out to the trunk / back seat of their car instead the dumpster. And others went dumpster diving for goods thrown away. Then the upper management types, Henry Brewer and the like, took their work home and it stayed at home upon retirement.  And reportedly even more stuff made its way out before a building was being demolished. For example, I don’t know what I would do with a WRACo factory Manhole Cover, but I’m sure I’d find a spot for it. 

One interesting tid bit I figured out recently, is that not all of the drawings at Cody are the originals and are merely blueprints (copies) of originals.

For example, at Cody is this drawing detailing various parts of the single shot rifle. http://library.centerofthewest.org/digital/collection/WRAC/id/10413/rec/2

SSRifleSheetNo4658-CodyBluePrint.pngImage EnlargerIt is a blue print copy. I have the original felt paper drawing with pencil, red & black ink, and blue revision ink. I got it framed and hung it in my office.SingleShotDwg4658.jpgImage EnlargerYou can make out more detail on the original.

 

My understanding is that Cody is a long ways away from digitizing everything they have. I almost wonder if they ever will complete such a task.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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January 26, 2023 - 3:19 am
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I’ve heard and read stories similar to what Maverick related above. Seems to me many of the records in private hands are there because they would otherwise have been destroyed. I suspect some records may have found a home in Brownsboro, TX several decades ago but of course, that’s just speculation and we may never know.

But I agree, the folks at CSM seem to be very knowledgeable about 21’s new and old.

 

Mike

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January 26, 2023 - 4:27 am
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I’m a retired surveyor and noticed old plats (drawings) had the word “COMPARED” on the upper corner of these drawings. It occurred to me that there was no blue print or copy machines in the 1850-1860 time frame. The original drawing was returned to the owner after a draftsman made a hand drawn copy and then the draftsman probably had an assistant check it for accuracy and then mark it “COMPARED”. I have to assume there are originals out in the public domain. Don

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January 26, 2023 - 6:44 am
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86Win said
I’m a retired surveyor and noticed old plats (drawings) had the word “COMPARED” on the upper corner of these drawings. It occurred to me that there was no blue print or copy machines in the 1850-1860 time frame. The original drawing was returned to the owner after a draftsman made a hand drawn copy and then the draftsman probably had an assistant check it for accuracy and then mark it “COMPARED”. I have to assume there are originals out in the public domain. Don

The chemical blueprint process was invented in 1842.

Technically the drawing at Cody I mentioned above is actually a “Whiteprint”. The whiteprint process started being used in the early 1890s. Note the drawing is dated for 1895.

Whiteprint describes a document reproduction produced by using the diazo chemical process. It is also known as the blue-line process since the result is blue lines on a white background. 

Sincerely,

Maverick

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January 26, 2023 - 2:56 pm
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Maverick, I am obviously wrong in my time-frame. Our county was formed in Jan. 1836 and so documents I research were recorded without benefit of the methods you mention. Previously I had paid no attention to the dates of these documents. Don

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January 26, 2023 - 10:00 pm
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Update on what I’m finding out about the asterisk that follows the last digit of the serial number of that Win M21.

Cody has no record of the gun, so, no help there.

I contacted Tony Galazan of  CSMC, Tony doesn’t know what it might be for.

I sent a note to Pauline Muerrle to see if she has records of the gun and can create a letter.  Waiting for her reply.

If, and when, I find out anything, I will post it here.

Thanks for your help and suggestions.

Bill

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January 27, 2023 - 7:55 pm
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jolly bill said
Update on what I’m finding out about the asterisk that follows the last digit of the serial number of that Win M21.

Cody has no record of the gun, so, no help there.

I contacted Tony Galazan of  CSMC, Tony doesn’t know what it might be for.

I sent a note to Pauline Muerrle to see if she has records of the gun and can create a letter.  Waiting for her reply.

If, and when, I find out anything, I will post it here.

Thanks for your help and suggestions.

Bill

  

Pauline has no record for that gun and doesn’t know what the asterisk is for.

So, still a mystery.

Bill

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January 28, 2023 - 12:59 am
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Is it possible that 2 guns had the same no. so the 2nd one got the asterisk? Duplicate nos. is not unheard of.

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January 28, 2023 - 2:18 am
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86Win said
Is it possible that 2 guns had the same no. so the 2nd one got the asterisk? Duplicate nos. is not unheard of.

  

Yes, it is possible to have two guns of the same model to have the same serial number but typically what Winchester would do is add an “X” after the last digit of the serial number.

Pauline mentioned that and I think it’s been discussed on various forums here.

But, it is possible that Winchester did it that way on the M21’s.

Or, it might be something else but don’t know what.

Or?

Thank you for your input.

Jolly

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January 28, 2023 - 4:00 am
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I sincerely doubt that any Model 21 had a duplicate serial number. The Model 21 was not a mass produced “assembly line” gun. Each one of them was hand crafted and assembled in the Custom Shop. The assembly line guns did (quite frequently) have accidental duplicate serial numbers, and were marked with the “X” suffix. In my research surveys, I have documented close to (100) duplicated serial numbers.

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January 28, 2023 - 6:31 pm
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I think the best explanation is from a good friend, good gun mechanic and engraver – Jim DeMunck who early on suggested it was a repair mark put on by Winchester when a M21, or other, went back to Winchester.

Pauline did not have any record of the gun so that cannot be confirmed.

Bill

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