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  1. #1
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    Feb 2011
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    Virginia

    Old gun question: Winchester model 37 "steel built" or Winchester model 37A

    A friend of mine had shoulder surgery recently that's pretty much killed his ability to properly shoulder a long gun. He has been getting around this by putting the butt of the gun more or less on his bicep. Apparently he went squirrel hunting the other day with a single-shot 20 gauge he's been using for half a century and after a few shots he was seriously bruised and unable to continue. So he's looking for a .410 and since he's less enthusiastic about the internet than Ken Hackathorn, he asked for my assistance in rounding him up a good squirrel gun.

    He wants a .410 single shot, preferably a Winchester as every Winchester single-shot he's seen patterns extremely well. I have an old 16 gauge model 37A with a full choke that attests to this, as that sucker will reach out there and touch critters farther than most 12 gauges.

    So I'm gunbrokering and I encounter model 37 "steel built" shotguns, and the model 37A that I'm somewhat more familiar with.

    Does anyone know what, exactly, a "steel built" 37 is? Is it any better or worse than a model 37A in terms of quality? Materials? Capability?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    The 37s are typically nicer guns than the 37As, but functionally are the same gun. The only major difference between the two besides fit and finish is that the 37s were not serial numbered and the 37As were.

    Some of the older model 37s had the words "Steelbilt" stamped on the barrel - it was just a marketing term.

  3. #3
    There are gauge reducers that allow shooting the .410 in 20 gauge.
    My set is made by Gauge Mate.
    I use them in my OU 20 gauge, and an Ithaca Super Single 20 to teach new shooters.
    Almost no recoil because of the weight of the 20 gauge guns.

    Might be something to look into.

  4. #4
    STAFF
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    Virginia
    Thanks for the help, gents! I won the auction for a 37A in apparently nearly NIB condition for $205. My friend should be well pleased.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Jul 2012
    Location
    East Pernt
    switch shoulders?

  6. #6
    STAFF
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by kmartphoto View Post
    switch shoulders?
    Easy to say, not quite so easy to do. When someone is right eye dominant and has had almost 6 decades of throwing a shotgun onto the right shoulder, snagging a look at the bead with his right eye, and blasting a squirrel to kingdom come attempting to do the same with the left shoulder is rather awkward.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    East Pernt
    Quote Originally Posted by TCinVA View Post
    Easy to say, not quite so easy to do. When someone is right eye dominant and has had almost 6 decades of throwing a shotgun onto the right shoulder, snagging a look at the bead with his right eye, and blasting a squirrel to kingdom come attempting to do the same with the left shoulder is rather awkward.
    i know... I am ambidextros and left eye dominate so I usually think of those kinds of things as easy and others think of them as impossible.

    But I was just throwing it out as an option. Maybe your friend would like the challenge. Or maybe he just wants to blast squirrels.

    When I hunted them I used a 22 rifle.

  8. #8
    STAFF
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    Virginia
    I think the way he goes about blasting the squirrels is as important as the actual dead squirrels. There's something about hunting with a single-shot shotgun that he finds compelling...

    The journey moreso than the destination, as it were.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    East Pernt
    Quote Originally Posted by TCinVA View Post
    I think the way he goes about blasting the squirrels is as important as the actual dead squirrels. There's something about hunting with a single-shot shotgun that he finds compelling...

    The journey moreso than the destination, as it were.
    totally understand.

    I used to hunt the armadillos on our tree farm with a '68 Ruger (pre Mark) 22 pistol. If you hit them just right at the base of the skull they jump straight up into the air and then fall dead.

 

 

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