Winchester Model 42 410 pump


January 21, 2010, 09:22 PM
I own a Model 42 Winchester, 410 bore, full choke, pump shotgun that is as near perfect as any I've seen. The stock is without dents or scratches, as is the metal, bore and blueing. The action sideplate has never been off the gun.
The serial number dates to 1958 and I've had it since 1958 or 59, when my Dad bought it, brand new, from Sears Roebuck. I still have part of the box of #6 Peters field loads that Dad gave me with the shotgun. It as been fired less than twenty five times, and only by me or my Dad.
It's a field grade gun, without checkering, but has an oil finished walnut stock and forearm, instead of varnish, as is the case on every other one I've seen.
It is the only .410 I've ever seen that looks and feels like it was designed as a .410, from the beginning.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this specific firearm or the Model 42 as a whole?
Thanks for your time.

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January 21, 2010, 09:31 PM
I also owned a Winchester model 42 shotgun. Sold it because it was passed down to me and I didnt do much skeet, trap, or hardly any shotgunning. The S/N was 114,8xx and it was a 3'' chamber in 'very good' condition. Not entirely sure what kind of choke it had. The gun's book price was looked up by a friend at $800. When the auction ended on Gunbroker, the winning bid was $1,054.00, Which was quite surprising. I can't tell you too much about the gun but by the results of my auction, its a hot collector/shooter item :D

January 22, 2010, 07:13 AM
It's basically a scaled-down M-12, and it's one of the best pump (in my opinion THE best) shotguns ever made. A 42 in the condition you describe would be worth big money in Cabela's gun room...

January 22, 2010, 07:35 AM
i too have a model 42, also full choke. mine was used some by my grandfather, a lot by my father, myself, and now is being used by my adult son. they are excellent shotguns, and if yours is in the shape you describe (95-98%) you have a treasured weapon. if i were you, i'd make that model 42 my primary shotgun for squirrels and rabbits. i'd never sell it!

January 22, 2010, 11:04 AM
Since this was my first attempt at "THREADING", I managed to get into the wrong group. I'll try again. The writer who suggested that I never sell the gun is right on the mark. I have NO plans to sell it, and any squirrel hunting will be done with an even older, but still pristine, J.C.Higgins, Model 31, .22 semi automatic.
Both were gifts from my Dad and have stood the test of time.
Dad sure knew how to pick'em.
The remark about the Mod 42 shooting like a rifle, is also spot on.
I remember one of the last hunts I went on, with my Dad. I bagged about as "mixed bag" as possible that day. I ended up with a quail, woodcock, and a rabbit. The rabbit was flushed by our dog and, since I was straddling the rabbit path in high sage grass, it ran between my legs. I had to wait until it got far enough away to shoot but not blow it apart. All the pellets hit it in the back of the head.
The very last hunt we went on together was for doves. The last shots we took together were at two doves coming in from our left, pretty high up. He said he'd take the front one and I took the rear. Two shots,,,,two birds down.
The little 410 would reach out and touch'em, but you definitely had to know where to aim.
Thanks for your time.

January 22, 2010, 03:45 PM
Welcome paducah... post some pics of that loverly 42 when you get a chance.

January 22, 2010, 04:28 PM
Model 42's in a condition that you describe, (if accurate) are VERY collectible to some folks and will command some very nice 4-figure prices.

Even though you are not going to sell it, and depending on your homeowner's insurance, you might want to look into a rider on your policy to fully protect the value against loss from fire/theft/etc.......

Nice gun - go enjoy it

January 22, 2010, 04:40 PM
Just a side note on the Model 42.

It is not just a smaller scale, .410 Model 12.
It was just styled to look like a Model 12.

There actually is nothing in common in the two action designs.

The Model 12 was designed by T. C. Johnson and introduced in 1912.
The Model 42 was designed by William Roemer and introduced in 1933.


Red Label
January 22, 2010, 09:59 PM
Don't EVER sell that little gun! When I got mine I didn't know anything about them either. All I knew was it was the best pointing little shotgun I ever had. After I found out what I had it just made the gun even sweeter! Highly collectible and highly sought after by Winchester collectors. Most in even 80% condition will bring $2000!

I will never give up my 42. As a matter of fact I just bought a .410 reloader so that I can afford to shoot it more.;):)

January 23, 2010, 10:56 PM
Red Label,
Thanks for the comments.
I'm not planning to sell it,,,,,,ever!
Daddy didn't raise no fool!!!!!
By the way, I didn't imply that I knew nothing about this gun, I just asked for comments to see how everyone else felt.
Turns out everyone feels the same way they always have,,,,They Love It!!
Winchester advertised it as "Everybodys Sweetheart".
There's really never been anything to compare with it, before it was introduced or since.
I sometimes take it to gunshows, just to have something to pack around, and it NEVER fails to draw a crowd. I've had dealers leave their stands to chase me down, and start offering wads of $100 bills.
I've noticed that many are selling for more than the listed "book price".
This proves to me that the gun's true value is only beginning to be appreciated.
I am dead serious when I say I've never seen a better example.
Once I figure how to get a picture of it onto the site, I'll do so.
Thanks for your time.

Dave McCracken
January 25, 2010, 11:27 PM
When my friend Tom got his, he held it straight up and hit the release. It opened all by itself.

Shoots like a dream. Enjoy yours...

January 26, 2010, 12:36 AM
Rc, i have always thought the model 42 to be the same design, (although smaller), as the model 12. could you elaborate on the differences between the two models? thanks.

Red Label
January 26, 2010, 06:06 AM
I can tell you a little bit just from having mine apart a couple of times. I have two M12s along with my 42. The bolts look similar and the lockup is similar but the M42 fire control is mounted into the reciever where the M12 comes out as an assembly. The reciever on the M12 is all one piece and the trigger group comes out the bottom. The 42 has a sideplate to gain access to the inside.

I've had my 12s all the way apart and they really aren't too bad but I haven't had the courage to take more than the bolt out of my 42! It just looks WAY to scary:uhoh:

January 26, 2010, 06:35 PM
I'm sorta like Red Label, although I haven't got that far on my 42. As I said in an earlier message, I haven't turned a screw on the sideplate in all the decades I've owned it, so have no personal experience in a teardown.
In looking at parts breakdowns and assembly guides, I can see some similarities but, due to the much thinner and crowded receiver, the sideplate was probably an absolute necessity, to access all the internals.
I also agree that it was styled to resemble the M12, since that was a standard of the day, and it would have been easier to market that way.
Since the M42s are takedown guns, I have had the barrel/magazine/fore-end assembly off before, and that part of the design seems perfect and assures perfect lockup with no sloppiness in any way.
I don't believe we will ever see anything built like this again, due to the intricacy of design and quality of finish on everything.
One difference I notice, when I compare my old, original 1958 Model 42, to refurbished models, that have been re-blued, is the blueing itself.
Hot blueing just doesn't compare, so far as I'm concerned, with the cold blue methods in more common use, back then. The old ones have a beautifully subtle, satin-like sheen that makes some of the highly polished hot tank "black/blue" efforts seem like putting chrome spinner hubcaps on a Ferrari. It may shine, but it doesn't really add to the beauty.
Thanks for your time.

Tom Held
January 26, 2010, 11:00 PM
Take it out to a trap range with some guys shooting 12 gauge guns with loads that will rock your socks off. Buy a box of Winchester 410 super sporting clays in 8 or 7 1/2 shot and shoot with them. At 16 yards with that load it will crush targets.

Dave McCracken
January 27, 2010, 10:33 AM
Hi, Tom.

Run 'em yet with this one?

Tom Held
January 27, 2010, 11:52 AM
Not yet Dave but you and I will work on it this spring. Still geese to kill. tom

January 27, 2010, 01:48 PM
Best advice I can give is, if you have a Model 42 that has never had the side-plate off, then don't even be tempted to take it off unless the gun is broke.

I have the factory service manual, and even with that bit of knowledge, they are generally so well fitted and glued down with old grease, it is difficult to prevent damaging it slightly when you do have to remove it.


Dave McCracken
January 27, 2010, 10:12 PM
Ok, Tom. Good luck with the geese.....

Red Label
January 28, 2010, 09:13 PM
I gotta go with RC here. The side plate on mine has been slightly sprung, apparently by the original owner as I am only the second. Don't take it off unless you have to. Its a tight fit. You could probably get a business card in mine between the trigger guard and the plate. You apparently don't need to pry too hard:mad: If I'd have done it I'd be ticked!

January 30, 2010, 02:10 PM
I have the Browning reissue Model 42. I decided one day to take it out on its first outing, a squirrel hunt. I figured it would be a nice lightweight squirrel gun. Well, that's true of the shells, but while carrying it I noticed it didn't seem any lighter than my usual gun, a 20 gauge automatic. Sure enough, the 42 is heavier.

January 31, 2010, 06:22 AM
Because I've never seen a model 42 this thread really needs pictures!!!!!

Red Label
January 31, 2010, 03:43 PM
Here's a purty one!!! I'd show you mine but my daughter has my camera right now.

Tom Held
January 31, 2010, 06:18 PM
Thanks for the pic. Here's where you have to be careful if anyone was considering buying this gun. I would need to see some more pics but I'm guessing this is a builtup gun from a standard field gun. Looks like an aftermarket simmons rib, someone probably added the Cutts, had simmons reblue it, and then upgraded the wood. It will still shoot like a houseafire. Someone made a nice looking gun but probably took a $2,000 original gun and made it a $900 gun after adding about $800 to it.

Red Label
February 2, 2010, 09:29 PM
Sorry, I just picked a quick one off the Cabelas website. There are a whole lot more pretty ones there too:D

February 2, 2010, 09:46 PM
My first shotgun was a Model 42. A friend of my dad's gave me his old shotgun. I shot trap and hunted with it. I sold it about 26 years ago, not having a clue about what I had. Under the circumstances at the time, it was on one coast and I was on the other and I really wanted a Browning BDA-380, so I won't beat myself up too badly over it. But I sure wish I still had that little scattergun.

Tom Held
February 3, 2010, 08:17 AM
I'm glad you posted it. Anyone buying a 42 (if you want an untouched original) has to be aware that many of the basic field guns have been built-up. But I would do the same thing if I could find an old clunker of a 42 for $500 or $600 (the clunkers seem to go for a $1,000). I would send it Simmons and have them rework it.

Dave McCracken
February 4, 2010, 03:11 PM
I'm no major fan of the 410, as you may have noticed.

But, were I to run across a decent 42, even one of the Brownings, at a good price, I think I'd get it for GPs.

And a MEC loader.

February 6, 2010, 03:29 PM
All 410 lovers can thank the Model 42 for the 3" shotgun shell configuration.
Winchester brought out the 3" in about 1934, to use in their new Model 42 410 bore only, pump.
Before that, all that was available was 2" and 2 1/2" rounds, which makes it easy to understand why the 410 bore was thought of as a "boys" gun.
I have never felt that way about 410s, as the 3/4 oz 3" was available when I got my Mod 42, in 1958, and the present day 410 bore 5/8 oz rounds have pretty much got the 28ga covered, performancewise(although I sure like the elegant little 28ga. side by sides).
Anyway, thank goodness for the Mod 42!
Thanks for your time.

February 7, 2010, 08:44 PM
Browning 42 pic.

February 8, 2010, 06:49 PM
That last pic by 45crittergitter, demonstrates a lot about the beauty of the design.
If you took a pic of a model 12 from a slightly different distance, it would be almost impossible to tell them apart. The mod 42 just does not have that "pipestem" look, of many 410s.
Someone mentioned that it isn't really a super-lightweight gun, and may even be heavier than their twenty ga.
I agree, but will add that it is well balanced and easy to carry, and I remember it feeling that way when I was a pencil neck kid in the tenth grade. The reason for this solid feel isn't hard to see, as about the only stamped part visible on the gun is the shell carrier. There are lots of machined forgings on this gun that would be cast, stamped or worst nowadays.
Thanks for your time.

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