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 Post subject: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:15 pm
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I was looking at a Winchester that was engraved by Neil Hartleip. I have never heard of this Winchester engraver and wondered if anyone had any information about this man and what years he was employed at Winchester?




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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:28 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
This is what came up first on a google search.

https://engraverscafe.com/threads/neil- ... r-21.4232/

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:23 am 
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You can ask Pauline, but I don’t believe that he ever did any engraving as an employee of Winchester or US Repeating arms

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:02 pm
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Location: Ct.
He was not a Winchester factory engraver.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:50 pm 
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P.Muerrle wrote:
He was not a Winchester factory engraver.

I wonder if he was contracted by Winchester( like Howard Dove was) to engrave model 21's in the 1980's. His name also appears on a factory letter from Cody as being the engraver of this particular gun. If so would this be considered factory work? I would think so if the factory would recognise and make a point to put this man in the factory letter as the engraver.


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 Post subject: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:04 pm 
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For the serious Winchester collector, Factory work is Factory work done in the Factory or custom shop by Winchester employed engravers. Prior to the custom shop the engraving was done in another area of the plant. While some work may have been sub contracted, the fact remains that it was not done by the recognized Winchester craftsmen. Thats just the way that it is. My knowledge is based on what I have read in several references books on Winchester engraving. Pauline authored the latest one. She is the living authority on Winchester engraving and actually worked with several of the Winchester engravers and learned the trade from them. This is not to belittle the work of other engravers who in their own right are real artists. Alvin White comes to mind as well as Angelo Bee.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:03 pm 
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If its not factory done then why would this gun factory letter then? I have several letters on several guns and this is the first gun I have seen that has a factory letter with a non factory engraver. I talked to Cody today and they verified that this gun came out of the factory as a Grand American 21 that was engraved by Neil Hartliep. Although they couldn't tell me if he was a factory engraver. I'm now trying to figure how much I want to pay. In over 40 years of collecting guns -I have never seen this before. A factory letter is supposed to certify that the gun was made by Winchester.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:44 am 
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The gun was made by Winchester. As stated earlier, he never engraved at the factory or custom shop as a Winchester employee. That’s it. Plain and simple.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:52 am 
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casonet wrote:
The gun was made by Winchester. As stated earlier, he never engraved at the factory or custom shop as a Winchester employee. That’s it. Plain and simple.

Plain and simple the gun left the factory as a Grand American. It has an invoice number and an order that was sent to the factory by the owner to build him a Grand American. Winchester would have had to sent the gun to Hartleip and contracted him to engrave the gun and then sold the gun to the customer as with the case with the Grand Royal 21's when U.S. repeating arms contracted Howard Dove through the custom shop to engrave the guns and send them back to be finished and sold. This gun is in the same time period as the Grand Royals and evidently Winchesters custom shop was either backlogged with work or didn't have the engravers available to complete the Grand Americans or Royals at the time. With a genuine factory letter and Winchester contracting the work out-I wouldn't feel it would hurt the value. The Grand Royals seem to bring crazy prices when they sell. Also: After some more research I found that U.S. Repeating Arms contracted several different outside engravers on the engraved model 21's- Sam Welch-Franz Marktl- Angelo Bee and others are listed. I would bet that if the gun was ordered through the factory then these guns engraved by these outside contractors will letter as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:02 am 
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OK. Pay what you feel it’s worth. It is what it is

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:04 am 
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Location: Weld County, CO
This sounds like classic escalation of commitment.

Correct: it is what it is.

Just as there are different opinions now, there will likely be when you or your estate sell it later. As long as you’re happy with the price, you don’t need anyone else’s agreement.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:37 pm 
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I have a friend/acquaintance here in the Inland Northwest that is a very serious Winchester collector and in his world there won't even be a Kusmit engraved gun on the place. To him "der hacks"!!


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:59 pm 
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He sounds like an Ulrich fan

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:24 pm 
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casonet wrote:
OK. Pay what you feel it’s worth. It is what it is
Its a factory lettered gun so its worth just as much as any other Grand American in the same condition. I would say there are alot of people that never knew who engraved their gun when they received it from the factory. If you collect Winchesters then you know the factory letter is worth its weight in gold for the provenance it provides. In fact its almost a must to sell a Grand American 21 for top money. I don't believe I ever heard of anybody saying that the 80's Grand Americans or grand Royals are worth less because they contracted the engraving out.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:13 pm 
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Johnnyo have you already purchased this gun and trying to drum up enthusiasm for it? Maybe if you can sell this saga and get a consensus of hardcore Winchester collectors you could sleep better. You have had the foremost Winchester expert on "FACTORY" engraving and past Winchester engravers say Mr. Hartleip was never a Winchester factory engraver. This gun was not engraved in New Haven. I have seen some of Neil's work and he was a very talented guy, but no matter how you spin this story in many serious Model 21 collectors minds this "mongrel" won't hunt.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:19 pm 
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ruffg wrote:
Johnnyo have you already purchased this gun and trying to drum up enthusiasm for it? Maybe if you can sell this saga and get a consensus of hardcore Winchester collectors you could sleep better. You have had the foremost Winchester expert on "FACTORY" engraving and past Winchester engravers say Mr. Hartleip was never a Winchester factory engraver. This gun was not engraved in New Haven. I have seen some of Neil's work and he was a very talented guy, but no matter how you spin this story in many serious Model 21 collectors minds this "mongrel" won't hunt.
I do not own this gun but was looking at trying to purchase this gun. So what your saying is that no Grand American or Grand Royal or any other engraved gun made in the 80's is a true Winchester because basically all of them were contracted out by a whole list of different engravers. I have never heard of anybody selling or buying one of these late guns as not being legit Winchester factory guns. All of these guns done by these engravers will FACTORY LETTER. Also: Im not sure who your foremost factory expert is but I'd like to know how many Grand Americans or Royals he has done.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:39 pm 
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Actually none of these guns will “FACTORY LETTER”. The factory has been gone for many years now. The Cody Museum has records for some but not all 21s and even some of those records are suspect. Pauline has personal journals of the resident Winchester engravers and those records are often more detailed than what you will get from Cody. If you want to see what Grand Americans are actually bringing, you should check with the major Auction houses. They will tell you what to expect and they are generally very close. Not all Grand Americans were created equal. That’s what they will tell you.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:59 am 
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Johnnyo, don't know where you get your info from but there were in house engravers at Winchester in the 80s.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:42 am 
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P.Muerrle wrote:
Johnnyo, don't know where you get your info from but there were in house engravers at Winchester in the 80s.
I never said there wasn't but for some reason they started contracting out the engraving. Since you were there maybe you know the answer why the factory started having outside engravers do Grand Americans-Royals etc. and not the engravers at the factory do the work.


Last edited by johnnyo on Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester engraver info
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:03 am 
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casonet wrote:
Actually none of these guns will “FACTORY LETTER”. The factory has been gone for many years now. The Cody Museum has records for some but not all 21s and even some of those records are suspect. Pauline has personal journals of the resident Winchester engravers and those records are often more detailed than what you will get from Cody. If you want to see what Grand Americans are actually bringing, you should check with the major Auction houses. They will tell you what to expect and they are generally very close. Not all Grand Americans were created equal. That’s what they will tell you.
So the money you pay for these factory letters are just a bunch of crap that they make up out in Cody. I guess the build sheets on some of these guns are a fraud too. I have several of these letters and I can't think of one gun that didn't match up perfect to the specs of the gun. Im sure there have been mistakes made when your dealing with so many guns and variations. Actually your the first person to say that none of these guns will factory letter when thats not even close to being the truth. In fact- Im thinking that Cody told me there are more factory letters on 21's then most any other model.




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