Model: Model 21
Serial Number: 3086
Year of Manufacture: 1935
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 ¾” Shells
Action Type: Top Lever Break, Side by Side (SxS) Single Selective Trigger, Selective Ejectors
Markings: The 26” barrels are marked “WINCHESTER-12 GAUGE / 2 ¾ CHAM.” on the side of the left barrel. The underside of the left barrel is marked “WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL / WS-2, a Triangle, “(VP)” and “G”. The underside of the right barrel is marked “WS-1”, a Triangle, “(VP)” / “WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL” and “O” followed by an incomplete mark. The left barrel flat is marked with an “L” followed by an oval “WP” proof mark and “3086”. The right barrel flat is marked with an oval “WP” proof mark, “U.S.A. PAT. PENDING”, “S”, “1”, and “B”. There is an upside down “1” stamped over the “U.S.A.” and beneath “PENDING” there is a “G”. Beneath the ejectors, the rear face of the barrels is marked “511” and “O”. The 30” barrels are marked “WINCHESTER-12 GAUGE / 2 ¾ CHAM.” on the side of the left barrel. The underside of the left barrel is marked “WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL / FULL” and with an incomplete “O”. The underside of the right barrel is marked “IMP.-MOD. / WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL” and “O”. The left barrel flat is marked with an oval “WP” proof mark, “S” and “3086”. The right barrel flat is marked with an oval “WP” proof mark, “I”, “CY”, “S” and “G”. Beneath the ejectors, the rear face of the barrels is marked “602” and “Q”. The inside of the forearm hardware is marked “3086” and the inside of the forearm wood is marked “3086” followed by an “M”. The underside of the frame is marked “SKEET” and the upper tang is marked “3086”. The right side of the water table is marked “MADE IN U.S.A.” and “MODEL 21” over “WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / NEW HAVEN, CONN.” along with the oval “WP” proof mark. The left side of the water table is marked “U.S.A. PATENTS / 1785784 1797320 1816312 / 175765 1816313”.
Barrel Length: 26” and 30”
Choke: The 26” barrels are marked “WS-1” and “WS-2” with constrictions of about .010” and .016” respectively. The 30” barrels are marked “IMP.-MOD.” and “FULL” with constrictions of about .024” and .043” respectively.
Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a red Bradley bead front sight on each barrel set. The 26” barrels have a small white mid-rib bead and the 30” barrels have a small steel mid-rib bead.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are nicely figured walnut. The forearm is a checkered semi-beavertail with light handling and compression marks along with some very mildly flattened checkering on the sides. The butt stock has a checked straight wrist in the English style. The checkering shows more wear on the left side and there are more pronounced handling and compression marks scattered throughout the butt stock. There is also some thinning of the finish on the right side of the comb and the upper left side of the butt stock. There is a red, Winchester marked 1” rubber recoil pad that is still pliable but shows darkening and marks from use. The LOP measures 14” from the front of the trigger to the back of the recoil pad. The drop at the comb measures about 1 5/8” and the drop at the heel about 1 7/8”. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are bright in both barrel sets. There is no erosion, but there are some lengthwise markings visible, notably they are all closer to the chambers in both barrel sets.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 94% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows thinning, especially under the frame where the shotgun is held when broken open between skeet stations. There is finish loss on the trigger guard and lower tang from use. There is loss on the barrels from rubbing of the forearm and thinning at the muzzles. There are handling marks on the metal work, but no compression marks. Each of the barrel ribs has a small ding about mid-way on the right side. The screw heads are sharp, but some do show signs of use. The markings are clear except as discussed. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Very Good to Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The selective trigger and ejectors work properly as does the safety. We have not fired this shotgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The extra 30” barrel set as described above and a leather mutton leg case that is sized only for the skeet (26”) barrels. The case was made by Western Mfg. Company and may well date from the 1930s. The leather shows lots of character and history, but the case remains solid and with all its straps. The hinge on the cover is being held by one stitch, which may be a repair and the brass lock is present although no key is provided. The case is in Good Plus overall condition.
Our Assessment: The Winchester Model 21 was introduced in 1930 and according to “The Winchester Book” by George Madis, “can be considered as a collector’s item from the day it was made.” This two barrel set dates from 1935 and the shotgun’s frame is marked SKEET and comes with a skeet-1 and skeet-2 choked 26” barrel set that we’re imaging as the primary set along with an Improved Modified and Full choked 30” extra barrel set. This Model 21 was not a safe queen, but it was handled and maintained very well for the last 80 years. If you would like to own a truly collectable shotgun that is at home on the skeet fields and the game fields, this is a combination that would be hard to beat. It is modern enough to have a single selective trigger and selective ejectors and classic enough to have been made in the fifth year of production.