Winchester earned its lasting name as the maker of the rifles that won the West. By the 1920s, however, the great arms maker was in financial distress. Why exactly the powers-that-were thought a double gun would solve the company's problems isn't clear, but in any event, the Model 21 debuted in 1929, just in time for Black Monday. The 21 would have died a quick death during the Depression had it not been for John Olin, who bought the company in 1931. A keen skeet shooter and bird hunter, Olin made the durable 21 his pet project. All the American doubles could take the pounding of heavy loads, but the 21 might have been the most indestructible, besting all competitors in test after test. Although the Model 21 never made any money for Winchester, Olin kept it alive as a production gun until 1960, and it remained available as a custom offering into the 1980s, long after all the other doubles faded into history.