Is this sleek lightweight Winchester pump shotgun in your gun rack? If it is, consider yourself fortunate. Don't let it get away, as I did, for something else that was attractive at the time. I bought my Model 42 .410 at Kennedy Bros. Arms Company in downtown St. Paul in 1947, the year after I was discharged from WWII service. I used this little gun for hunting in southeastern Minnesota and for informal skeet. It was a delightful, light piece to use and quite effective for ruffed grouse near Red Wing. The Winchester Repeating Arms Company produced 164,801 Model 42s from 1933 through 1963. The serial number of my shotgun was 58,459, indicating 1946 was the date of manufacture.

Sadly, number 58,459 is no longer in my gun rack. When the new glamour gun the over under shotgun appeared in 1964, my little gem was traded in on the new Model 101 Winchester trap gun. It was the gun everyone wanted, and I succumbed.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

The Winchester Model 42 in 410 bore was made in trap, skeet, standard and de luxe grades. Among the American sportsmen who proudly owned and hunted with this little gun were General Eisenhower, Clark Gable, Robert Taylor, and John Wayne. Some of these specially made guns made for celebrities cost up to $3,000, a princely sum back in the 1950s.

If your Model 42 410 is a field grade gun, it is worth far more than the $80.70 retail price asked in 1963. These Model 42s are bringing about $1,700 at current gun shows, and some of these aren't in prime condition.

Most of the engraved guns and those with fancy carved stocks are in the hands of collectors. Winchester engravers George Ulschmid and Nick Kusmit required 160 hours at work to produce one firearm. These guns sold for about $2,000 each in the post war era, but now command $50,000 or more, if an owner is willing to part with it.

The Winchester Model 42 slide action-repeating shotgun is one of the few firearms ever to have a special book written about it. The companion to the Model 42, Winchester's Model 12 is another.

If you have been sufficiently astute so as to keep your Model 42 410, you have a real prize. Get what its worth if you ever decide to part with it!

Winchester was bankrupt in 1933. John M. Olin of Western Cartridge had just invented Super X with a new ball powder. For $8 million he acquired Winchester, introduced the Model 42 with a new 3" Super X shell. The end result was a sales sensation, along with the larger gauge Model 12 guns.

Minnesota's walleye stamp

First of its kind in Minnesota, anglers may now purchase a stamp, for $5 in order to provide funds for walleye stocking efforts in the state. Buying the stamp is entirely voluntary. Unlike the trout, duck, pheasant and turkey stamps, the walleye stamp isn't a part of the licensing. The walleye stamp purchase at five bucks is something that walleye anglers are being asked to do, but it's entirely up to you. Few will argue that funding for walleye stocking is adequate. It isn't! But the voluntary contribution will raise funds for an acceleration of present programs.

Getting a print of the 2009 Minnesota walleye stamp is a canny thing to do. You'll own a piece of history with your purchase. Why not get one when you get your 2009 fishing license after the first of May. For $7 payment you'll receive the stamp in the mail. The beautiful stamp shows two walleyes, one is chasing minnows, and the other is hitting a jig.

If just one percent of the state's license buyers purchase the $5 validation, the idea will raise $57,000 annually, and if five percent are buyers, about $285,000 would come in. That amount of money would put a lot of fish in our lakes.

The new semi-automatics cost real money

America's gun buyers have seen the prices of some imported over-under shotguns offered for a lot less than a thousand dollars. These aren't the fanciest of guns -- usually imports from Russia, Turkey or Brazil. They're considered bargains and appeal to many. However, the cost of the popular alternate -- the better grades of semi-automatics -- is increasing in price. They're better finished with nice wood and good wood to metal finish, and prices are now in the $1,700 range. A year ago, many were just a cut above a thousand dollars. Of course, the new crop of self-loaders do now have sophisticated and reliable mechanisms. Yes, there are some plain Jane models too, available for less money, but the top of the line Berettas, Benellis and Brownings are the models that many shotgunners will want. Go see these, at your local gun store -- the Benelli Super Sport for example. It has all of the bells and whistles you're looking for. Semi-automatics are not in the same price range of many over-under shotguns. The handling of the semis are fully equal to the stackbarrel guns being offered today. The super sport is $1,799 and Winchester's Super X3 is $1,500 if you can find one. They're being snapped up whenever a dealer gets one in.

Trapshooting ready for a new season

The Becker County Sportsmen's Club will be trap shooting for the 57th consecutive season. On every Thursday from April through August, the eager shotgunners will organize teams and break little clay pigeons. The costs of targets and shells is up a bit, but the officers of the club will endeavor to keep shooting costs down. Trap shooting is a great competitive sport, and the BCSC invites you to bring your shotgun to its range, 3 1/2 miles southeast of town along Highway 10. Come out for Tuesday evening practice too.

The Assault weapons bill

It was widely presumed that President Obama would provide strong support to a reenactment of the assault weapons bill. Recently, there has been an indication that this isn't so. Secretary Of State Hilary Clinton said that these military style weapons weren't necessary on the streets of America. Attorney General Eric Holden said he was unaware of any plans to push for reenactment of the ban, which was passed in 1994 and expired in 2004. White House aids were apparently told to drop the issue. There appears to be a better relationship pending between the National Rifle Association and the Obama leadership. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there were current laws that were sufficient without the assault weapons bill, if we enforce those laws we now have.

The current big problem is the incredulous flow of guns from the American southwest, into Mexico and the drug trade. Americans are buying handguns at retail gun shops and are then selling them into the trade, always at tremendous profits. They buy the guns legally, alright, but do not have any intention of retaining them for personal protection or use.

The Democratic congress received $1 1/2 million before last fall's election, from the NRA. Now they're expected to repay the favor with support of the NRA's position on the assault weapons bill. The-NRA wants the assault weapons ban to go away. There's been a shift on the matter. The way things are going it could be a shotgun wedding between the NRA and congress.