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Winchester Model 37 "Beginner's Shotgun"
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October 14, 2022 - 1:58 pm
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George Madis mentioned in The Winchester Handbook that in 1958, Winchester introduced a, “beginners shotgun” in 20 gauge with a 26 inch barrel and a recoil bad.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one.

Here’s a page from the 1962 catalog:

https://i.imgur.com/gyetpK5.jpgImage Enlarger

How commonly encountered are these?  I have no idea on the production numbers but it seems production spanned at least four years.  Was there any other Model 37 manufactured with a recoil pad?

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Bo Rich
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October 23, 2022 - 1:36 pm
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I believe that the beginner’s Model was the only Model 37 with a factory recoil pad.  I don’t think that many were made.  I have only seen afew in 40 Plus years of collecting Winchesters.  I have found just because a Winchester is rarely found does not make it desirable, or costly.  Since no one replied to your post that kinda tells something!  I think they are neat guns.  With the shorter LOP, red dot safety, and 26 inch modified choke I think it is a pretty neat gun.  Maybe some day it will get the respect it deserves!

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October 23, 2022 - 3:32 pm
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Bo – 

Thanks for the response.  It’s interesting to know how rarely encountered these “Beginner’s” are – from the perspective of someone who has had his eye open for them for many years.  I know M37’s have a collector’s following. I noted this recent grouping sold pretty well:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/952524763

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Bo Rich
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October 23, 2022 - 8:54 pm
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That was a very nice group of Red Letters!  I’m sure that the 28 gauge took a large percentage of the price!  Some guns 

take along time to have a demand, and some guns may never have much interest.  I can remember when you could buy a 1887, or 1901 lever action shotgun for a song!  Also, the Pre 64 Model 94 was a dog which could of been bought for under $250.00 all day long.  Now, all three of these fine firarms are desirable, and have a strong market value.

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October 24, 2022 - 4:37 pm
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Steve,

 

I’ve picked up a few 37s through the decades. The first I brought home was a 20 gauge found at a yard sale for $40 (1995ish). 

-26” barrel

-modified choke

-13” lop

-red Winchester pad

 

it wasn’t until years later that I realized it was a less commonly found “beginner” variation. 

I had it in my head at one point to collect every sub variation of every chambering… but that hasn’t (yet) happened.

They are reliable, easy pointing shotguns. I lost count of the amount of game I’ve taken with this 37, but needless to say it’s been put to use.

https://i.imgur.com/EilzUXt.jpgImage Enlarger
https://i.imgur.com/JtBuU7a.jpgImage Enlargerhttps://i.imgur.com/i59xkFv.jpgImage Enlarger

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October 24, 2022 - 4:52 pm
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Although after looking at the advertisement above, it appears the pad was solid.

And after a quick web search, the handful of pics I’ve seen seem to only show solid pads… 

Anyone out there have one of these “beginners” with a perforated pad like mine?

It’s also quite possible my pad was swapped. 

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PistonJoe
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November 17, 2022 - 4:28 pm
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I got my first new shotgun in 1966. It is the model 37. It’s 16 gauge in choke barrel. It’s like new but I have never been able to find a serial number. Any advice?

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November 18, 2022 - 12:20 am
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Joe,

The Model 37 was not serialized. Winchester ceased production of it in late 1963, almost 5-full years before the Feds made it mandatory for all firearms to be serialized (the GCA or 1968).

Bert

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