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Joined: Feb 2009
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Sidelock
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I recently acquired a Pre War Model 21.
1939 20 gauge, Skeet grade, 28" WS1/WS2,
90%+ original condition and a skosh more DAH than is typical on some Model 21's.
I shot it for the first time this past Saturday. 25 - 25 - 24, dropping high 5. It's a keeper.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

While still at the gun club with the help of a fellow shooter and a gauge we measured the chokes.
WS2, .610 bore with 12 points of constriction.
WS1, .610 bore with 2 points of constriction and then a flare of 28 points negative choke.
Shocking but vaguely familiar. Some one declared that someone had FU(KED with the choke.
Jack surmised that some mid century philistine with little or no regard for the sanctity of Winchester 21 barrels
had opened the right barrel trying to garner an extra clay at Skeet or some imagined advantage in the uplands.
I thought differently and uncharacteristically held my tongue. Yah, right.

That afternoon I contacted the best gunsmith west of the Atlantic and learned that this choke was pure Winchester.
Terminal flare well past Cylinder is what Winchester research developed for the ultimate 20 yard shot.

I searched the internet for a diagram depicting this proprietary choke but came up with nothing.
Does anyone have an image of a WS1 choke that shows this flare?
Thank you.

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Capt. E.C. Crossman would be a credible source Bob; “Skeet Gun Patterns” in August 1936 Hunting & Fishing
“Improved cylinder is the greatest degree to which a plain barrel should be opened, this being not less than .004”. The finest example of this at present is the Winchester No. 1 Skeet boring, which has about .004 choke at a point 3” from the muzzle. The muzzle section then becomes larger…until finally the barrel at the muzzle is about …0.750” instead of the normal 0.730” of the 12. This is a relieved muzzle or bell muzzle, originated by Ithaca years ago.”

Walt and Researcher have previously posted the Ithaca engineering drawing.

I didn't find it in the WRAC drawings
http://library.centerofthewest.org/digital/collection/WRAC/search/searchterm/winchester%20model%2021

I've got the 12g M21 barrel drawing, but it does not specify the chokes

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I have a Model 12 WS1 which flares .020 after the choke which is .006. But I have measured several others WS1 which went down to .003-4. I expect yours are original. Winchester guns of this era were surprisingly light choked. I have had full choked guns which only had .030 choke in them and they threw very tight patterns.

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Several of our makers in the 1930s and 40s provided chokes similar to Winchester's WS-1 on their skeet guns. The Remington Arms Co., Inc. SKEET chokes on the SPORTSMAN autoloaders, Model 31 pumps and Model 32 over/unders all have the flare. The "Skeet Cylinder" choke in the right barrel of Savage's Ansley H. Fox skeet guns have the flare. Ithaca Gun Co. had this drawing --

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

but neither of the Ithaca double skeet guns I have are so choked.

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Originally Posted by KY Jon
I have a Model 12 WS1 which flares .020 after the choke which is .006. But I have measured several others WS1 which went down to .003-4. I expect yours are original. Winchester guns of this era were surprisingly light choked. I have had full choked guns which only had .030 choke in them and they threw very tight patterns.

Mine is from 1947 and measures .008" before the flare. The point of maximum constriction is a good bit closer to the muzzle than 3" (Crossman) or 2 1/4" (Ithaca drawing). They do vary considerably.

Left is WS-2 and measures .015". I have no idea nor have I heard a satisfactory explanation as to why Winchester considered .015" applicable to the game of Skeet.

The gun is choked perfectly for doubles from 4. If all you shot was doubles from 4, you would have as they advertised "Your Gun for Skeet".

Since reaming on my original Model 21 seems unwise no matter how silly this "Skeet gun" is choked, I use a spreader in the left barrel for doubles everywhere except 4.

Beretta also uses the constriction/flare profile for their interchangeable chokes marked 'Skeet'.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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Beautiful gun by the way Bob. That is a real keeper. I think the tighter second barrel was more a carryover from field hunting times. If Skeet was designed to simulate real bird presentation then a tighter second choke seemed correct for the second bird. But in real life, the later you shoot the incoming second bird on 1,2,6&7 the closer it is, so tighter chokes are backwards to needs. But for real field shooting WS2 works well for many second shot needs.

Choke degrees are a favorite topic for some. One of my favorite doubles for jump shooting ducks was choked .010 and .020 with 6’s in lead shot. Dropped many a black duck and mallard slowly going up small guts in my marsh. A nice push pole with a duck bill end would quietly move a flat boat up the gut until you were coming around a bend with ducks sitting there as surprised as heck. Pity you can’t do that anymore. Lead shot was excellent for the job.

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Interesting. The two (12 ga) WS1 chokes I have are 7 and 9 points, and every WS2 choke I have ever miked has been more open, like for the second or incoming bird.

That flare after the choke can make for some wickedly thin and sharp muzzles.

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Originally Posted by Ithaca5E
Interesting. The two (12 ga) WS1 chokes I have are 7 and 9 points, and every WS2 choke I have ever miked has been more open, like for the second or incoming bird.

That flare after the choke can make for some wickedly thin and sharp muzzles.

WS-2 is a light modified from the factory. What you apparently have measured are chokes that have been altered.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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Quote
Mine is from 1947 and measures .008" before the flare. The point of maximum constriction is a good bit closer to the muzzle than 3" (Crossman) or 2 1/4" (Ithaca drawing). They do vary considerably.

Left is WS-2 and measures .015". I have no idea nor have I heard a satisfactory explanation as to why Winchester considered .015" applicable to the game of Skeet.

The gun is choked perfectly for doubles from 4. If all you shot was doubles from 4, you would have as they advertised "Your Gun for Skeet".

Since reaming on my original Model 21 seems unwise no matter how silly this "Skeet gun" is choked, I use a spreader in the left barrel for doubles everywhere except 4.

Beretta also uses the constriction/flare profile for their interchangeable chokes marked 'Skeet'.

My two Ithaca Skeet Guns have chokes that mic .009" right and .016" left (NID No. 4E 12-gauge) and .008" right and .014" left (Lefever A-Grade 20-gauge). Certainly way too tight for NSSA skeet. I think a Model 21 with WS-1 in both barrels would be the ticket for NSSA Skeet as shot today. The way skeet was shot back at the time these guns were made skeet was shot going around the eight stations shooting your singles, loading 1 shell at a time. From a 1933 DuPont Skeet Handbook --

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Then you went back to stations 1, 2. 6 & 7 and shot your doubles.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Back in my younger years while shooting NSSA competition I posted 100 straights in both 12- and 20-gauge with straight cylinder bore barrels.

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The old sequence is functionally no different, it's just slower as is 'one shell in the gun'.

How Light Modified ended up in so many guns marked 'Skeet' is still difficult to explain. The WS-2 was an unfortunate designation in my opinion.

I realize a Skeet Grade gun was available in any choke combination desired. My gun was built for 'stock' and is a very common configuration.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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