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Seeking Model 21 information
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December 27, 2021 - 3:26 am
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I have a Standard Grade Model 21 which I believe was made in 1934. It was “rode hard and put away wet” by the previous owner, a beloved uncle, since 1947. It has no butt pad but appears to have a cork (?) insert. The butt is very finely molded and I know my uncle never modified or replaced it during his lifetime. The length of pull is approximately 14 1/4”.  There are no indications it ever had a butt pad and there are no screw holes evident. 
Could this be factory original? 

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December 27, 2021 - 3:51 am
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1934 catalog states 21 stocks would be made to customer’s specs without extra charge, if paid in advance, so this stupid British affectation (stocks without buttplates) probably is a factory job. There’s much to admire in British traditions, but not this, as the chips in the wood illustrate.

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December 27, 2021 - 4:06 am
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Thank you for the info. Any way I could find an image of that entry in the catalog? Just for my own records.

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December 27, 2021 - 12:20 pm
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That doesn’t look like the original Winchester butt stock.

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December 27, 2021 - 1:50 pm
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Orion Jim said
Thank you for the info. Any way I could find an image of that entry in the catalog? Just for my own records.  

Not much to it–just one sentence in “fine print.”  5 or 6 pages of 21s alone.

Here’s a repro catalog, but I don’t think it’s worth the price:

https://www.cornellpubs.com/old-guns/item_desc.php?item_id=2285

Does it have a Winchester-marked grip cap?  Logically, if you didn’t think your gun needed a butt-plate, why a grip cap?  Most British guns having the naked-butt affectation were straight-grip guns, so there would be no such inconsistency.

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December 27, 2021 - 2:25 pm
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To find out the whole truth you need to see about getting a Cody Letter.

https://centerofthewest.org/explore/firearms/firearms-records/winchester/

If Cody doesn’t have anything I’d then try Pauline.

https://paulinemuerrle.com/model-21/

 

Between these two sources you possibly can determine how your Model 21 was ordered from the factory.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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December 27, 2021 - 5:25 pm
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Since I’m a fan of the M21 checkered butt, I actual like your example as well! Not a fan of recoil pads, etc. hopefully yours checks out! Thanks for sharing!! 

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December 30, 2021 - 4:57 am
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foxfire said
Since I’m a fan of the M21 checkered butt, I actual like your example as well! Not a fan of recoil pads, etc. hopefully yours checks out! Thanks for sharing!!   

I agree. How is it choked, Jim? Looks like a skeet gun and clay bird guns in general lead a rough life. Early skeet shooters shot “low gun” and this stock would lend itself to that style of shooting. OTOH clay bird shooters modify stocks (and steel) at the drop of a hat so an inquiry to Cody would be a good idea. Quite often the inquiry details the stock measurements. I’d love to shoot a round of skeet with a 21 some day.

 

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December 30, 2021 - 12:06 pm
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Good call Mike on low-gun shooting. That butt would facilitate that. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if gun was factory original – as specially requested by the original owner. 

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December 31, 2021 - 3:06 am
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TXGunNut said

I agree. How is it choked, Jim? Looks like a skeet gun and clay bird guns in general lead a rough life. Early skeet shooters shot “low gun” and this stock would lend itself to that style of shooting. OTOH clay bird shooters modify stocks (and steel) at the drop of a hat so an inquiry to Cody would be a good idea. Quite often the inquiry details the stock measurements. I’d love to shoot a round of skeet with a 21 some day.

 

Mike  

Thirty inch barrels in modified and full choke. 

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December 31, 2021 - 3:11 am
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Maverick said
To find out the whole truth you need to see about getting a Cody Letter.

https://centerofthewest.org/explore/firearms/firearms-records/winchester/

If Cody doesn’t have anything I’d then try Pauline.

https://paulinemuerrle.com/model-21/

 

Between these two sources you possibly can determine how your Model 21 was ordered from the factory.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

Maverick said
To find out the whole truth you need to see about getting a Cody Letter.

https://centerofthewest.org/explore/firearms/firearms-records/winchester/

If Cody doesn’t have anything I’d then try Pauline.

https://paulinemuerrle.com/model-21/

 

Between these two sources you possibly can determine how your Model 21 was ordered from the factory.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

I will pursue obtaining a Cody letter. Knowledge is power…..especially if it favors your preconceived notions…..

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January 1, 2022 - 4:38 am
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Orion Jim said

Thirty inch barrels in modified and full choke.   

That shoots down my skeet gun theory, so to speak. I recently shot a round of skeet with a shotgun similarly choked; hits were dramatic. Misses were perplexing. I’d forgotten that I last used the gun on a sporting clays course. Next guess would be upland birds; pheasant maybe?

 

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January 1, 2022 - 2:46 pm
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Orion Jim said

  

I will pursue obtaining a Cody letter. Knowledge is power…..especially if it favors your preconceived notions…..  

 Wise choice!

 Back in the 90’s I collected Winchester shotguns. I bought a model 21 Custom Grade 28 ga serial number 16592. I ran the serial number threw Cody and could not believe all the information that they provided. Granted this was a special gun but I got targets, final inspection report, and repair orders dating back to 6-15-1940. I suddenly knew everything about my gun except who H. H. Bernard was.

 All 21’s are special, good luck. T/R

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January 1, 2022 - 4:13 pm
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I believe you’re right, TR. I’ve heard all 21’s were special order, the letters I’ve seen were very detailed. Haven’t seen targets but they were justifiably proud of their shotgun barrels. Pretty cool. 

 

Mike

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January 1, 2022 - 6:32 pm
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Mike,

Not “all” Model 21 shotguns were “special” order, but they were all built by the very talented folks who worked in the Custom Shop.

The records for the Model 21 for the most part are extremely detailed, and in most cases, there is a “Build” sheet for the gun. Years ago (when I used to work in the records office as a volunteer), the most difficult task was looking up and writing up a worksheet for Jesi to create a factory letter.

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January 4, 2022 - 11:34 pm
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Here is my reply from the C.F.M. Records Office;

 

“Thank you for contacting the Cody Firearms Museum Records Office.  We prepare factory letters on Winchester, Marlin and LC Smith, Ithaca, Savage Arms, and A.H. Fox. 

A factory letter is the official report of the information contained in the original company records which the Museum cares for. Unfortunately, the records for your firearm no longer exist or are blank.  Our Model 21 records are incomplete. 

Many books and articles have been written which could be helpful in learning general model information or you may wish to contact our curatorial staff for assistance.

Thank you, again, for your interest. Please let us know if you have any questions.”

 

I presume there is no other avenue to pursue in this matter? This is quite a letdown to be honest.

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January 4, 2022 - 11:58 pm
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Pauline Muerrle has a large collection of Model 21 factory records – Paulinemuerrle.com

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January 5, 2022 - 1:02 am
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Tedk said
Pauline Muerrle has a large collection of Model 21 factory records – Paulinemuerrle.com  

I’ll give that a try. Thank you!

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