Winchester's Finest: The Model 21 by Ned Schwing

Cond: EXC overall

Front page has stamp and police card attached (see photo) but otherwise book is almost flawless.

359 pgs

From the Intro:

When Ned Schwing approached me about serving as technical adviser for this book, I gave him a very quick yes. The idea appealed to me, first because such a book was needed and second because I have always found the Winchester Model 21 intriguing. The Model 21 is one of the few Winchesters that collectors use as well as collect. Over the years I have collected many different guns but I keep coming back to the Model 21 and while there are a lot of good American and European doubles, I believe the Model 21 is the finest effort of them all. Although it was never really a production gun, the Model 21 has no equal for strength and serviceability. In my opinion, the single trigger is the best ever produced. The materials used in the frame and barrels have never been surpassed for strength and quality. Mechanically it approaches perfection. The gun seems to work forever.

There is a certain mystique surrounding the Model 21 and this has a lot to do with it's appeal. Target shooters as well as hunters seem to shoot it well. Because of it's "heft" it can handle the heavier American "high brass" loads with no problem. It does what a working gun is supposed to do: it keeps on shooting. I have found that Model 21 collectors look on the gun differently from collectors of other guns. Rather than leaving their prized Model 21s in a gun cabinet, they carry them into the hunting fields and out to the clay bird ranges where they get plenty of use. Interestingly enough this does not seem to affect the value of the gun if it is properly cared for. Even Model 21s that have been professionally refinished hold their value which does not seem to always be the case with other makes of doubles. The Model 21 owner is proud of his possession and wants to show it off by taking it out in the fields to display its rugged dependability. He has a pride of ownership brought on by a hundred years of Winchester quality and craftsmanship.

A lot of people overlook the fact that the Model 21 is a very attractive gun as well. It has the best looking ventilated rib of any double made, and the beavertail forearm is pleasing to the eye. While the long frame may not be the best looking one ever built, its design reduces recoil torque and allows the barrels to open less than any other double to eject the shells and reload. If I'm heading out on a hunting trip to some remote area and I need a shotgun that I'm sure I can rely on, I always take a Model 21...I know it won't let me down.

Don Criswell
Yorba Linda, California

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