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The life of my Winchester Model 21


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#1 fishnut

fishnut
  • Locationflemington, NJ
  • Home Range:EFGA

Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:10 PM

I have been meaning to post this for a while, First a huge thanks to Jessica Bennett of the Buffalo Bill Center Of The West/ Cody Firearms Museum and Robert Beach of Griffin & Howe.

 

Backstory- When I was 12 and got my hunting licenses my grandmother wanted to give me one of my grandfathers guns to hunt with. She opened her gun safe and told me to pick a gun I'd like (cool grandma, I know) I picked a 20g side by side (legally transferred to my dad) and took it to a gunsmith to be checked out. the front bead was chipped so I asked if he could put a new one on. He looked me and asked me if I knew anything about the gun. I knew nothing about guns and told him so, he laughed and told me that it was a valuable shotgun and he would not put a new sight on it because that was the original sight. He said it was in good working order other than the sight and that I should be careful with it if I take it hunting. I decided not to hunt with it but shot allot of clays with it over the years but It developed a small crack in the hand guard so it was retired to the safe. when I got my FID card I took legal possession of the shotgun. According to my grandmother the shotgun was my great grandfathers who was an avid small game hunter.

 

The search- A few years ago I inherited the rest of grandmas guns and began to learn as much of the history about each of them as I could. I pulled the Model 21 from the back of the safe one day. I had heard of the Cody museum so for my birthday my wife paid to get the info from the original build sheet if they had the info for my serial number which was a low one, #6263. To my surprise they did in fact have the build sheet, they printed all the info out on a really nice paper and sent it to me. This was great but it lead to more questions than it answered. My Great Grandfather, Art Hall of Bedminster NJ was not a wealthy man, just a painter and a baseball player, but it turns out that this Model 21 was made in 1933 and was a trap grade skeet gun and included all the factory measurements and specs for the gun. I wondered what great grandpa was doing with a shotgun like that back then, everything else was either hunting or military type guns. Another surprise to me was that the gun was made for by a company I've heard of but didn't know the history of, Abercrombie and Fitch of Madison ave NYC. Turns out they were like a high end LL Bean back in the day. So while researching Abercrombie and Fitch I learned that Griffin & Howe was involved with importing guns for the A&F store. I contacted Robert Beach of the archives and research dept  at Griffin & Howe, I figured it was a longshot but it couldn't hurt to ask if he could find any info about the gun for me. Well I hit the mother load of information, everything I was looking for and then some! I was sent a packet with all the info on the entire history of the gun. included was a 2 page story of the history of the gun printed on very nice Griffin & Howe letterhead, Any info from all 3 previous owners, photos of pages A&F inventory books pertaining to both sales of the gun, and a reproduction of the A&F catalog ad selling model 21's for 145 bucks in 1933.

 

The life of Winchester Model 21 #6263

1-Left Winchester Repeating arms on September 20, 1933. Received by Abercrombie & Fitch on Sept 20 1933 at a cost of $100.93

 

2-First sold to Frederick Wilson Ingalls a stock broker and resident of Pelham Manor Village in Westchester county NY on Sept 22 1933 for $145.30.

 

3-On 1/23/1937 the shotgun was brought into A&F by Chas J Wicks of Thornwood, Mt Pleasant Twp Westchester county NY to be sold on consignment. Chas was an employee of A&F in the gun dept during this time. It looks like the gun was sold privately from Mr. Ingalls to Mr. Wicks especially because they were residents of the same county. One could guess as to why a stock broker is selling off guns between 1933 and 1937.  

 

4-On 1/24/1937 the shotgun was bought by Dr. Augustus Smith Knight who was a Medical doctor and served as the medical director of the Metropolitan Life Insurance company for $100.00 with a payout to the consigner (Mr. Wicks) of $80.00. Dr. Knight was a resident of Manhattan NY and also had a farm in Bedminster NJ. This is where the A&F info stops but from knowing my family history I can take it from here

 

5-Art Hall (my great grandfather) was a painter in Bedminster NJ and he did all the painting at the Knight farm in Bedminster. Dr. Knight and Mr. Hall were also hunting buddy's. After Dr. Knight died on March 21, 1948, Art Hall still continued to help out Dr. Knights widow, Anita Knight with anything she needed around the farm. When I say anything I do mean anything, its family rumor that Anita Knight was Art Halls mistress. So it is my guess that Dr. Knight either gave Art Hall the gun as a payment or a gift or Anita Knight gave it to him as a gift or a "payment" LOL. When Art hall died his daughter Jane Luhmann (aka my grandmother) inherited the gun along with the rest of his collection. My grandfather Richard Luhmann was a hunter and gun guy so it was used by him until he died and then a few years later I was 12 and you know the rest.

 

So about the small crack in the hand guard. ill try and post pics later. its small but its there and its all the way through. what do you guys think should I have it repaired to stabilize it. I would really like to shoot it again but I don't have to its been a few years already and id rather not do something to the gun to devalue it just so I can shoot it. Hopefully my daughter my future grandkids can sell if for a good amount if they don't like to shoot. LOL.

 


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#2 fishnut

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  • Locationflemington, NJ
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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:19 PM

9de3191a1c381737a1bba95e0c26aad7.jpg factory sheet
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#3 fishnut

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:22 PM

f39745c76493a6c7d3ee2973689b2a12.jpg Ambercrombie & Fitch record
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#4 fishnut

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:24 PM

5c70b9efcdabdec7e9bff46bcfd0c6b8.jpg Ambercrombie & Fitch model 21 ad

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#5 T Bill

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  • LocationNW Warren County
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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:26 PM

Have it repaired or it may continue to crack.  Repaired stocks are common with old used firearms. Up to you to use or not.  Great history find.  In today's dollars that  $145.30 would be $2;624.12 .


“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” - Dr. Sigmund Freud

” … the right to defend one’s home and one’s person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law.” - Dr. Martin Luther King
"Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again; poor fools. And their grand-children are once more slaves." - D. H. Lawrence
Cogito, ergo sum armatus. I think, therefore I am armed


#6 fishnut

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:27 PM

d99275d34a7d2ad2d46cfccf5ccc2b37.jpg
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#7 fishnut

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:29 PM

11e6567d1308fc84b50e60f7c92d707f.jpg the Crack

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#8 jm1827

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    Son, fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:37 PM

Great find and great write up- thanks for sharing!


Joe

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#9 Zeke

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:42 PM

Pretty cool.
You prolly know the shotgun guru by you. Last I heard from a friend , he was pumping gas for income.

#10 Zeke

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:45 PM

Paul smith

#11 fishnut

fishnut
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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:48 PM

That's the stock DR right?

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#12 Krdshrk

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    Really needs to clean his guns...

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:49 PM

iYOXpB3.jpg


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This is gay.

I'm totally in.

 


#13 Zeke

Zeke
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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:54 PM

That's the stock DR right?

Standby. Let me see if I can get contact info. Worst case he's a pointer

#14 Zeke

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:59 PM

pm sent

#15 fishnut

fishnut
  • Locationflemington, NJ
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Posted 15 March 2017 - 03:33 PM

Thanks zeke. that's not who I was thinking of. I've had the stock doctor out of Warren nj recommended several times.

What's your plan for tomorrow
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It's our time to take back the power

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#16 oldguysrule649

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 03:39 PM

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it with us.
<p>Member: NRA, NJ2AS, SAF, and ANJRPC

#17 W2MC

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 04:02 PM

Wow.....just wow.....



#18 fishnut

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 04:03 PM

Thanks zeke.

What's your plan for tomorrow
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Are you a fighter or will you cower
It's our time to take back the power

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#19 Zeke

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 04:23 PM

No problem my friend

#20 GramGun79

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 05:30 PM

Ed Yanchok is the Stock Dr. 

He is located on Roseland ave in Warren Township. I lived there almost all my life and have heard many great things about him. Very big sporting clays circle! 

Good luck 


Anthony

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#21 fishnut

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  • Locationflemington, NJ
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Posted 15 March 2017 - 05:56 PM

^yup that's the guy I've heard about

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#22 Tunaman

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:58 AM

Some of them are worth into the 10's of thousands...and yours looks like a BEAUTY!



#23 fishnut

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  • Locationflemington, NJ
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Posted 17 March 2017 - 06:44 AM

Some of them are worth into the 10's of thousands...and yours looks like a BEAUTY!

Thanks, I found one for sale almost identical to mine except 28"barrels, made in 1935 and factory rebuilt. Asking price is 10k

What's your plan for tomorrow
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It's our time to take back the power

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#24 Purple Patrick

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    Formerly the poster knowm as ataimwolswol

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 06:49 AM

Don't leave me alone in your gun room. This might come home with me

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#25 fishnut

fishnut
  • Locationflemington, NJ
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Posted 17 March 2017 - 07:27 AM

Don't leave me alone in your gun room. This might come home with me

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I know where you live.

What's your plan for tomorrow
Are you a leader or will you follow
Are you a fighter or will you cower
It's our time to take back the power

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