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March 31, 2024 - 2:42 pm
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New member. Question did they make a model 42 in a pigeon grade in the first year 1933 ?

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March 31, 2024 - 11:06 pm
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New member. Question did they make a model 42 in a pigeon grade in the first year 1933 ?


I’m no expert on either the Model 42 or Winchester pigeon grade shotguns. 

However, Pauline Muerrle, the last Winchester factory engraver and former pupil of Nick Kusmit, has written there were a very few, but always UNCATALOGUED, pigeon grade Model 42 guns made during the production life of the Model 42.

Also, she has written that, if a customer wanted to upgrade a 42 to pigeon grade and had the $$$, the Custom Shop would do it. 

Subject to being corrected by someone who knows better, the only possible records concerning an early pigeon grade Model 42 might be engraving logs or customer or dealer records of the sale or custom order.

You would certainly want to communicate with Ms. Muerrle, whose email address is publicly available on the Web. Or was. I don’t know whether she is still.active. While she was not employed by Winchester during the first year of the Model 42’s production, she probably has knowledge of what records now exist, if any. 

Just my own opinion but, i would not accept such a gun as a genuine, ultra-rare pigeon grade specimen unless its provenance can be supported by:

(1) careful examination by a knowledgeable collector to verify all aspects of the gun are consistent with known pigeon grade characteristics and execution quality; and

(2) some genuine documentation from the factory or the dealer who took the order and transmitted it to the factory,  or an order or invoice from the original owner, proving the gun was (a) delivered by the factory as a pigeon grade or (b) upgraded by the factory Custom Shop to a pigeon grade. 

Please remember Ms. Muerrle has said a genuine pigeon grade Model 42 is VERY rare.

The woods are deep, dark and full of tigers.


- Bill 


WACA # 65205; life member, NRA; member, TGCA; member, TSRA; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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April 1, 2024 - 12:40 am
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Welcome, Tommy. Ms Muerrle may be contacted at https://paulinemuerrle.com/ and she may be able to assist you in authenticating the 42 you’re interested in. I’m a Model 42 fan, by no means an expert. I’d venture to say that fake Pigeon Grade 42’s greatly outnumber the genuine articles.



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April 1, 2024 - 2:54 am
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Thank you so much for the info

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