The FEGA Winchester Model 42 auction gun

GTJC460

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Here is the beauty shot of the Winchester Model 42 for the engravers guild auction in Vegas January 20th. I have pasted in the article I wrote for the Engraver magazine detailing the project, who helped and what they did. If you’re not a member of FEGA, I’d highly recommend it. You don’t need to be an Engraver to be a member and it’s only $55/year! Fill your life with art by joining for a subscription to the magazine.

Everybody’s Sweetheart
The FEGA Winchester Model 42
At the 2016 Colt Collector’s Association (CCA) Barry Hands, Mike Dubber and myself got together to discuss the upcoming 2018 FEGA auction gun. At the time we didn’t have a project lined up. Mike Dubber graciously donated an old Winchester model 42.
For those not familiar with the model 42, it is an iconic shotgun from the Winchester line up. The firearm is a pump action .410 gauge shotgun. The 42 is basically a scaled down version of the model 12. The model 42 was designed by William Roemer. The model 42 was produced from 1933 until 1963, with a total production estimated at approximately 160,000. It was offered in several configurations and grades, with a factory vent rib being the most rare.
The project gun was a lightly used gun in average condition for its age. The serial number dates it to 1952. The barrel went to Bruce Farman for some minor repairs and metal preparation. After Bruce did his part, it was sent to Simmons for a vent rib. The action and other parts of the gun needing engraving were sent to John Powers of Powers Metalworks for preparation. According to Powers, “the action is smooth but tight, which allowed for a fairly straight forward project.†No major work was necessary to the action or gun.
Paul made an exquisite stock and matching forend for the shotgun. He used a blank that had been donated by Steve Heilmann. The wood is a lovely piece of fine California English walnut. Paul meticulously shapes his stocks by hand foregoing the usage of duplicators. The stock has a neutral cast. It was hand finished with “Man-o-war†marine grade spar varnish. The varnish is neutral without coloring to highlight the natural beauty of the highly figured walnut. Paul checkered the stock and forend with Winchester correct fleur de lys and ribbon patterns. The checkering was executed at 24 lines per inch. Lastly Paul made a pigskin covered 1/2 “ thick recoil pad. The pigskin was stained a custom brown/cordovan color which Paul creates specifically for use with pigskin. The thin pad was chosen in order to show more of the beautiful wood.
At this point, Barry Hands and myself began having more specific conversations about the engraving. We both agreed that the model 42 is the quintessential small game gun ideally suited to quail hunts. We wanted the gun to be a tribute to traditional Winchester engraving on the 42. At the suggestion of Barry, I kept the design reminiscent of factory engraving with my own unique artistic flare.
I chose to use 24k gold scroll backbones and borders to elegantly frame raised gold animals and scenery. The scroll is my “Nimschke†inspired American scroll executed in deep relief. The right side of the action features a single large flushing quail. The bird is sculpted and detailed to look 3D and realistic. The left side of the action features two small flushing quail and a pointer. Again the raised gold birds and dog were sculpted in the 24k gold and detailed to look realistic.
Mike Dubber helped me finish the engraving, lending a hand with the barrel, grip cap, mag button, straddle clamp and stock ring. Many times the small parts of a firearms engraving project can be the most difficult, because of metal hardness, shape or size. As always Winchester proof steel didn’t surprise either Mike or I with its characteristic stiffness.
Lastly, all the metal was sent to John Powers for finishing. John hot salts blued all the parts of the 42. Select parts were bead blasted prior to bluing.

Photo by Christopher Marona
 

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