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 Winchester Model 50
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peegee69
Starting Member

USA
23 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  4:08:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I friend of mine (72 years young) has a semi-auto model 50. He thinks it was manufactured in or about 1950. He says it is the best shooting shotgun he's ever had. He has developed some health problems and is forced to move. He asked me if I'd ever seen any other model 50s. I told him I'd not, but I would ask the experts here on GB and maybe they could come up with some information he can take with him when he moves next week. He's told me many times about other friends that want to trade their new 3" magnums for his old model 50 because it out shoots their "fancy shotguns" so badly.

Thank you in advance for any information I can give him.
Phill

If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly

mark christian
Administrator

Panama
19261 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  4:43:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The model 50 was Winchesters third attempt to produce an automatic shotgun. Of course they passed up on the Browning A5 at the turn of the century because John Moses Browning wanted a share of the sales profits from his outstanding design rather than his usual flat fee. Winchester balked and JMB went over to FN while Winchester proceded to produce some of the worst automatic shotguns ever seen. The Model 40 in particular was a real losser and old timers have told me that these were a tough sell even during WWII when there were few if any civilian firearms on the market.

In 1954 Winchester was in dire need of an autoloading shotgun to capture a portion of market share, most of which was controled by FN with the A5 and arch rival Remingtons Model 48, and went to the short recoil system with a floating chamber for the new Model 50. These were good shotguns and Winchester produced around 200,000 during the production run which ended in around 1960 with the introduction of the new aluminum receiver Model 59. Most folks preferd the Model 50 to the later 59 but I never cared for either. A standard grade Model 50 in excellent shape would probably retail in the $500 range but with nearly 200,000 produced collector interest is limited unless you come across a new in the box example with the papers and hang tag. Frankly I can think of many new production autoloading shotguns (can you say Benelli?) that will shoot rings around a half century Model 50. If some one really offers up a nice Benelli Black Eagle for that Winchester then the old guy should jump right on it!

Mark T. Christian

Edited by - mark christian on 02/22/2004 4:57:17 PM
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peegee69
Starting Member

USA
23 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  4:50:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Mark. I'll pass on the info.
Phill

If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly
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mark christian
Administrator

Panama
19261 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  4:59:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is nothing wrong with the Model 50 but I think your friend is just very fond of it and is simply talking it up a bit.

Mark T. Christian
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only winchesters
Senior Member

USA
1673 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  7:16:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Model 50 was designed and a prototype was built for testing by 1950, (hence Md 50) however buy the time production began and guns started going to the warehouse it was 1954 when they marketed them to the public. It was advertised as the first semi-auto with a non-recoiling barrel. They made over 197000 in both 12 and 20 guage. But even Winchester admits that they didn't keep accurate records on this model. It came in various grades from field, skeet, trap, and pigeon.
Plain or vent rib barrels. Although my reference material states there were only three type of vent ribs, I personally have guns with four different style of ribs. Simalar to the Md 12 there were 2 or 3 pin ribs, put on at Winchester, they also made a deal with Simmons on the donut post and cylinder post ribs. All have the circle pw proof marks on them. The skeet, trap and pigeon grades had pistol grip caps, and the forearm checkering pattern was a little different. They also came out with a Featherweight Md 50 in 57 or 58, the big difference was it had an aluminum receiver and the trigger housing was aluminum. They are designated with an A after the serial number. Winchester use to claim nothing reached further than a Winchester. The barrel quality was outstanding. You have to remember these came out when we were still shooting paper shells, with fiber wads. The "new" plastic hull shells with the cup wad only made them better.

As far as shooting, if you are a Md 12 person, the Md 50 is very simalar in feel although heavier. I've shot the Remington 1100, and the Browing Gold, and a few others over the years, for me the old Md 50 just points quicker and shoots smoother. But like any auto-loader they need to be kept clean.

Md 50 draw backs, they were only chambered for 2 3/4 inch shells, and even shooting the 2 3/4 inch magnum damaged and broke the intertia rods. The timing on the tension spring was critical for proper ejection.

The value of your friends Md 50 is largely based on which one he has, along with condition. A standard field with a 30 inch full choke barrel, can go for as little as $150 to over $600 new in the box. Factory Vent Ribs regardless of style add value too. I've watched the auctions and gun sites for quite some time, to be honest 99% of the people who are going to buy this gun are Winchester nuts/collecters. Guns today with screw in chokes and the ability to shoot anything from a dove load in 2 3/4 to a heavy goose load in 3 1/2 in is a better value for your money. I don't plan on selling mine, anytime soon. But when the old Md 50 came out it was a nice gun. Regards Dave



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bobski
Advanced Member

Vatican City
19621 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2004 :  7:17:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
being a collector of M-50's, i beg to differ with it being lower quality to a benelli spaggetti shooter. first of all, its a pre 64 winchester. next, the model 50 is unique in the sense that it isnt gas operated and its not recoil operated, its a bolt blowback system made with all machined parts. the bolt tips down as it nears the end of its recoil sending recoil into the stock grip and not into your shoulder. there isnt a piece of plastic on it save the grip cap and plate. the model 50 is a very strong gun. close it and shake it and tell me what you hear...nothing. nothing rattles or moves around. its a solid gun. it has an easy bbl removal and there is no gas crud to clean. and the one great feature is that you can adjust the recoil by turning a screw inside the stock. i shoot one as my PRIMARY gun in skeet to this day, it hasnt broke or needed repair. it has outlasted my super XM1. they made them in 12 and 20. i own pigeon grade 50s in both ga's and they are absolutley a treasure to own. they rival high grade model 12's in detail. if i could, i'd buy all 200,000 of them. its one of those guns that will be around for ages as a tribute to american craftsmanship and skill. im honored to own one. you would be too. make sure you tell him he has a great gun and it should reflect his wisdom for buying it.

former air operations officer SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 2. former navy skeet team, navy rifle/pistol team member. co-owner skeetmaster tubes inc.. owner/operator professional shooting instruction.
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