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Old March 19, 2010, 11:13 PM   #1
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Winchester Model 37A 12 GA Time Machine

I took an old single-shot shotgun that had belonged to my Dad out of the gun cabinet tonight for inspection and light cleaning. As soon as I held it, it brought back memories of days gone by.

This old break-down 12 GA was nothing special, but it is just about the only thing I have that belonged to my Dad. It was actually a pretty nice looking gun in it's day, and was chambered for 2 1/4 - 3" shells with a 30" full choke barrell. I would think this gun has pretty good reach with the right ammo. I have never fired it. Inside the barrell it still has a nice shine with no signs of wear or pitting.

Although it doesn't have much material value, I will treasure it and probably pass it on to my son so he will have something that was his Grandfather's. Guns and old knives seem to retain some of the spirit of their previous owners in some way, and they are to be treasured and enjoyed as regular reminders of those that have gone on before.

(Wow - I was getting really sentimental this evening).
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Old March 20, 2010, 12:00 AM   #2
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The Winchester 37 was a fine old shotgun. One of the very best single-shots ever made, IMO.

Last edited by TxGun; March 20, 2010 at 12:29 AM.
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Old March 20, 2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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Some guns are like that,especially those used and loved by folks we love.

The 37 was/is one of the better singles. Go shoot it.....
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Old March 21, 2010, 03:31 AM   #4
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Is it an original 37 or a later, Canadian-made 37A?
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Old March 21, 2010, 10:29 AM   #5
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His post says it is a 37A.
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Old March 21, 2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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Yes, it is a 37A. I really didn't know that much about these guns until I read some of the historical info posted by more knowledable people here. Although maybe not meeting the standards of the classic model 37, it was still a pretty hansome shotgun in it's own right. Especially as compared to many other single shots guns marketed for "reasonable" prices.

Even today, in the condition it is in, (which is pretty good) it is a hansome & elegant shotgun design. It seems to handle easily and is lightweight - compared to modern pumps or autos. I could see walking through the country with a gun like this. Since I am not really a hunter, I doubt if I will do that. I would rather shoot animals with a camera than a firearm. That has been my nature since I came of age but I think each individual should make their own choices about hunting. I don't see where they cut many corners on this model gun. Some high quality walnut would have improved the stock, but the maple that was used was very utilitarian and the stain process made it look pretty good.

Comparing the weight to my recently acquired NEF Partner 12 ga Pump - makes the 37A feel very light indeed.

I agree with some others that there was a certain purity and sportsmanship using the old single shot designs that may be somewhat lacking in the highly efficient designs of modern autos and pumps. I know as a young adult in the 50's growing up in East Texas, there were a lot more single shots in use than there were more expensive designs. Even relatively poor people could scrape together the cost of a decent new or used single shot shotgun. It was just such a useful and cost effective thing to have in many homes, especially in the more rural areas of the country. Many a hearty meal was provided by the proceeds from the use of these simple guns. In those days, you could buy a box of 12 ga shells for under $2.00 .

I did some bird hunting in those days using a gun not nearly as nice as this one, but found hunting wasn't really in my nature. However, if my family was hungry, I would have turned to hunting and have no doubt I could have been successful in helping to provide for them.
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Old March 22, 2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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Cool gun, go give it a light workout on clays.
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself." Mark Twain
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Old March 23, 2010, 04:46 PM   #8
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This old break-down 12 GA was nothing special, but it is just about the only thing I have that belonged to my Dad.
That makes it the most special gun in the world!
Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop - Gus McCrae
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Old March 24, 2010, 11:33 AM   #9
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I can see that some here have similar experience.

The only thing I have done to the 37A so far (other than thorough cleaning & lube) was to the receiver exterior. When I got it, it had rust on the receiver, not heavy, but the bluing was not in good shape). I got some cold bluing product and followed the instructions on stripping the old finish & cleaning the rust, and then used the cold blue on that part of the gun. I was quite pleased with the end result after 2 treatments. Now I keep a light coating of gun oil on it, and it looks good. Not as good as factory finish, but not bad either. The bluing on the rest of the gun still looks very good.

I still need to touch up the wood a little. It looked like it had been a truck gun for a while, and the finish on the wood was worn in places like it had spent some time on a floorboard. It probably looked that way when my Dad got it. People were always offering to barter something for some work on their vehicles. My Dad was an accomplished general auto mechanic - but was not great at collecting money people owed him. He was just too easy going & always willing to help people out when money was tight.
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