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:
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?
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!
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:
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.
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).
-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.
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.
April 15, 2005