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 Winchester Model 42........factory "Power Pack"!??
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groundhog devastation
Advanced Member

4030 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2005 :  11:55:32 PM  Show Profile
Saw a Winchester 42 today that had what I was told was a "factory installed POWER PACK" affixed to the muzzle and had three inserts to change chokes. I have never seen any add on choke system like this one before and am wondering if it really was something Winchester did back then! If anybody knows the story, please respond! Thanks!! Charlie (GHD)

v35
Advanced Member

USA
12626 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  12:37:43 AM  Show Profile
Is it a Cutts Compensator? The Cutts had a bunch of vertical slots machined on each side of the tube which was wider than the barrel and took screw in chokes at the end. The slots acted as a muzzle brake.
The Cutts was an aftermarket accessory that could be mounted on most single barrel shotguns.
The Cutts also supplied a muzzle brake for the Thompson SMG 1928A1.
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Bert H.
Moderator

USA
10935 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  02:35:19 AM  Show Profile
Hello GD...

Winchester did install several types of non Winchester made choke devices. By far the most common was the Cutts Compensator, but they did install several other types of Lyman, Weaver, and Poly chokes if requested by the customer. They most reliable method of determining if it was factory installed, is the lack of the normal choke stamp on the barrel. If the barrel is stamped for a choke (e.g. FULL, MOD, CYL, etc.), then any other type of externally mounted choke device is NOT factory original.

Bert H.

Real Men use a SINGLE-SHOT!
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groundhog devastation
Advanced Member

4030 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  09:06:18 AM  Show Profile
BertH, THANKS! Now another question. If it is factory installed does it hurt the value of or enhance the value of said Model 42? Thanks in advance! GHD
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only winchesters
Senior Member

USA
1673 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  10:34:39 AM  Show Profile
Good morning all! The Cutts Compensator, (Developed by the Lyman Gunsight Co.) Was they only choke device offered by Winchester on the Md 42. (to be honest, I have never seen a Poly Choke, or other device made for a .410 ga. but they may be out there). This option became available in 1954, on the Vent rib Skeet Md 42. Sales were very disappointing. Now Winchester did offer to install the Cutts system on any Md 42, and some people returned thier gun for the factory installation. Although per the catelogs on the Md 42, it was not offered on any other versions, but as most of us know "Special ordered" guns could have just about any option a customer was willing to pay for. As Bert said original factory installed Cutts barrels will have no choke marking. So with that said, if a Md 42 made before 1954, has a Cutts, it most likely isn't factory simply because that's when the Lymann came out with it. (It was first offered on Md 12s, 12ga. in 1939).

Now to value, most people feel, that the choke device devalues, the Md 42. It does if it was done outside of the factory, or at a later point in time. Meaning any Md 42 with a choke marking such as, Full, Mod., Skeet, or Imp/cyl, with Cutts on it, it didn't originally come that way. so a TRUE original Md 42 with a Cutts, made from 1954-1961, (1961 the last year they offered it) Should have a value close to other Md 42s of the same grade as the one with the Cutts. It should be noted that Winchester did a 100% pattern test with all Cutts barrels. All other barrels were tested at random. After all they were the only shotgun manufacturer who guaranteed that thier shotguns would pattern at least 70% for a full, 65% for a Mod. and 60% for an Imp/cyl etc.etc.

A side note: The most common barrel on the used market, is one with a Cutts on it, (they are cheap about $50-$75). Most people who got a good deal on a Md42 with a Cutts, are looking for an original non-cutts barrel to replace it. Anyway a true skeet grade Md 42, with a Vent rib and Cutts, will most likely bring 10% less than a regular Skeet grade gun. According to SCHWING the author of the Md 42, only 66 Cutts barrels were made from 1954-1961, but he also lists that there were 412 Special Ordered barrels, what that exactly means I'm not sure. But if Winchester only made 66 true Cutts guns, they would actually be the rarest of all Md 42 configurations, and as we all know us Winchester nuts would pay to get one. Hope this helps you Charlie. Regards Dave
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101AIRBORNE
Senior Member

1741 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  1:34:09 PM  Show Profile
In the early 60's, Pachmayr was manufacturing and installing
the POWer-PAC choke device. Offered with three choke tubes for:
Short Range, Medium and Long Range. Price in 1962 was $28.50 installed
with the three tubes, wrench and carrying case. Just as bad looking
as the Cutts.
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Bert H.
Moderator

USA
10935 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  3:44:23 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by groundhog devastation

BertH, THANKS! Now another question. If it is factory installed does it hurt the value of or enhance the value of said Model 42? Thanks in advance! GHD



I completely agree with Dave's (only winchesters) written assessment. I do believe that it is unlikley that the "Power Pack" choke device is original to gun you saw... though it might be possible that it was sent back to the factory for installation. If that is the case, I would want to see paperwork to that effect.

Bert H.

Real Men use a SINGLE-SHOT!
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only winchesters
Senior Member

USA
1673 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2005 :  3:56:41 PM  Show Profile
Hello all: Even if Winchester installed a choke device on a Md 42 or any Winchester shotgun at a later point in time, (meaning there would be a choke designation on the barrel such as, Full, Modified, etc etc) The value of the gun has been decreased period, the gun is no longer original as it left the factory. You can still buy the Cutts and the tubes, replacing an original that has been damaged or altered would be a different story. This is just my opinion, if I saw a Md 42 with a Cutts, my first inclination would be it's worth 50% of what it could be worth. But after dealing in winchester parts for a number of years, and knowing the value of these parts on the current market, I might consider paying quite a bit more. Meaning if I ran accross a Pigeon grade gun with a cutts, and could do a barrel swap and double the value I would!!! In a heart beat!!! Regards Dave
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slackerchef
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2005 :  9:40:19 PM  Show Profile
hello folks, i've been reading your discussion about winchester 42's. i just inherited my grandmothers 42. i've checked the serial number and it was made in 1936. it does have the word full stamped on the barrell, along with all the winchester logo's (logo, proof steel, TM, etc...), model number, .410-3in etc... this rifle has been in the family since my grandfather purchased it in 1936, and i'm not aware that anyone has modified it. so my question is how would i find out if is has been modified? does the stamp "full" imply it's not original?

thanks for the info!
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only winchesters
Senior Member

USA
1673 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2005 :  9:59:35 PM  Show Profile
Hello slackercheif: Your Md 42 sounds to as it's suppose to be. You either have a plain barrel Full Choke, or a Solid Rib full choke. The barrel is only 26 or 28 inches long. (measured from the face of the breech bolt with the action closed to the end of the barrel. The earlier post was descibing an external choke device that has been added. Your gun's value can be in the low $500's to over $2000 depending on if it's a plain or ribbed barrel, and the stocks plain or checkered etc. Some 42's are in the $10,000. range. So to better tell you exactly what you have, give a full description. Regards Dave
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slackerchef
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2005 :  11:33:25 PM  Show Profile
hello only Winchesters, thanks for the quick response. you have to excuse me for my lack of knowledge, but it appears that it's a 26" (i think i measured correctly... about 1 inch back from where the action bar begins and right at the most forward point where you load the ammo. ??), there's no "ribs" on the metal barrel... looks plain (lust a long tube w/ a bead on the end), but the fore stock is ribbed (they all may be?), the stock is plain, and has the original butt (winchester repeating arms co. logo etc...)... so all in all it looks very plain and still has the original finnish. very nice looking piece. my dad says it fires fine, but it hasn't been cleaned for 20+ years (or fired for that matter). not sure if that's useful info or not... but it's fun finding out about it.

thanks again for your message and knowledge.
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only winchesters
Senior Member

USA
1673 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2005 :  12:31:53 AM  Show Profile
Hello slackerchef: sounds like you have a very nice pre-war Md 42. You could be looking at $700-$1200 dollars. I recommend that you stop by a gunshop or WalMart and pick up some gun oil and give it a good cleaning and wipe down. the salts from your hands will cause rust that will lead to pits, and the value will drop fast! This was one of Winchesters best shotguns ever!! Regards Dave
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