Very nice! I recently picked up a Model 21 Skeet 16ga at a local auction. Serial number puts mine at 1935 production but letter shows ship date in 1941. My first and probably only 21 and checked off a bucket list item for me.
From its serial number my 16-gauge Model 21 Skeet Gun should be 1946/7 but letters to 1941.
There seems to be a goodly number of 16-gauge Model 21 Skeet Guns around, but even though the Model 12 Skeet Gun was a catalog item in 16-gauge from the 1933 to 1950 Winchester catalogs, they sure don't seem to surface very often.
While the quality is there, best is very subjective. Boss, Purdey etc. it's easy to get in to 6 figures. British best, that's the creme de la creme in shotguns. The Winchester 21 is quite plebian comparatively, not that I would kick one off the trap field mind you.
Best in what way is the question? Balance, finishing, engraving? Or which one can handle a million rounds? I promise you that a 21 will fire ten times the amount of rounds that a Purdy will before needing some type of mechanical attention. Not being argumentative and would certainly take a Purdy or Boss over what is a tree trunk compared to them but as far a mechanical durability I doubt there’s a sxs built anywhere that can handle the punishment of a 21.
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