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Joined: Jan 2002
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Sidelock
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A friend of a friend has asked me to look at a 16 gauge tournament skeet. I'm not really interested in buying but I want to give the fellow an honest opinion on the guns desirability should he decide to sell. Besides originality and condition, what should I look for in this model? What barrel length, grip configuration etc? I'm not a 21 guy so I really don't know what to look for. Thanks.

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When the Model 21 Skeet Gun was introduced, 1932/33 it was offered in Tournament, Trap and Custom Built grades. By 1936, Winchester dropped the Tournament Grade, so beginning in 1936, the Model 21 Skeet Gun was offered in Standard, Trap and Custom Built grades. During 1939 the Trap Grade was dropped and replaced with the Model 21 Trap Gun (12-gauge only) leaving the Model 21 Skeet Gun in Standard Grade or Custom Built Grade for 1940 & 41. By 1946 the Custom Built Grade was renamed the DeLuxe Grade. Up through 1946 the catalog barrel length for the Model 21 Skeet Gun was 26-inch by the 1948 Winchester catalog the barrel length was upped to 28-inch. By the January 2, 1952, Winchester Catalog the DeLuxe was gone and the Custom Built Grade was back. Throughout its production run the Model 21 Skeet Gun it was offered with either a straight grip or a pistol grip. Pre-war rhe pistol grip was offered either with or without a cap. The butt was always checkered. A big drop in "collector" value if the bare wood checkered butt has been replaced with a recoil pad. The Skeet Gun always was standard with ejectors, single-selective trigger and beavertail forearm. The extra cost option of a ventilated rib first appears in the 1938 Winchester Catalog, after the Tournament Grade was gone.

Last edited by Researcher; 04/24/23 05:53 PM.
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Thanks Researcher. That's a big help.

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Joined: Feb 2002
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About 98% of Tournament Skeet grade 21s are equipped with 26" barrels. Among all 21 skeet guns, the 28" barrel is much preferred in today's market. Just a fact of life and you can't change the barrel length. As Researcher states, post 1948 guns were more likely to have 28" barrels.

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Joined: Dec 2001
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I recently added a 16 gauge Tournament Skeet (1935) to the stable. 26” straight/beavertail, checkered butt, 6lbs.11oz. It has some honest wear, but it’s in really good shape overall. It is extremely well balanced, and I took right off with it at a pretty challenging 5-stand, easy, easy shooter. That WS2 hit the far birds very hard with my 7/8 oz loads. I wouldn’t trade it for one with 28” barrels. This one is just right.

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I am fortunate to have a M21 12 ga Tournament 26" Skeet and also a set of 30" mod and full barrels which were added many years later. I love the gun.
Most Tournament grades were made in 12 gauge but there were also some 16's and 20's made. In my many years of collecting M21's I have seen only one Tournament grade field gun.
Thanks to Researcher for doing such a fine job of giving us the history of the M21 Skeet gun.

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After 34 years without a Model 21, in 2016 a 1953 vintage 12-gauge Model 21 Skeet Gun equipped the way I always imagined would be just right came my way -- 28-inch, ventilated rib barrels, full pistol grip and a recoil pad. Took many rounds before I got a straight with it. Then less than two years later a 1941 vintage 16-gauge, 26-inch plain barrel, capless full pistol grip checkered butt came my way and the first three rounds were straights!!

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Years ago, I bought a collection that included a great little Tournament 20 with 30" modified and full barrels and the not too coveted 26" WS1 and WS2 barrels. Fast forward and the President of The Jefferson Islands Club appeared at our gun club to shoot. It happens that my wonderful little 21 lettered to the founder of his club from back in the thirties. Long story short, the gun is gone, to a good home. I now only have family 21s, my dad's and my wife's, both 20 gauge skeet guns.

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I have been in the market lately for another 21. I have noticed that places like Jaquas,' Steve Barnett, Connecticut Shotgun and the likes want a little more for a 16 gauge- probably because of the gauge rarity, I assume.

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It is always odd how dealers want to pay less for double triggers or a 16 gauge double but then put a premium on them when they are selling the same gun. When selling its is called rare and when buying it is called odd and claimed to be harder to sell.

1 member likes this: Run With The Fox
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