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clgustaveson 09-04-2010 05:48 AM

Need info on a new, to me, Winchester Model 12
I have a very nice model 12 with a fancy wood stock. The gun is a 12 gauge which I know they were originally only chambered for the 20 gauge.

The gun is in near perfect condition and the serial number is in the 900K sequence. I have never fired this shotgun. Mainly because I just purchased it and secondly because I haven't taken it to a gunsmith to see if it can fire a modern shell...

Can anyone give me some information on this gun?

I know the value is relatively high for a shotgun, but I figured that was the case with the material this gun is made from.

The gun is really really light but I dunno if it a featherlight model or not.

thanks for any information you may have.

diggsbakes 09-04-2010 06:37 AM

There were several variations of this model. One pic would do wonders. . .

cpttango30 09-04-2010 02:22 PM

date of manufacture is between 1941 - 1946

Mine is 20 years older than that and shoot any 2 3/4" shell I put in it.

pumpkinball 09-04-2010 03:18 PM

To my understanding as long as it doesn't have a damascus barrel it is safe to use current ammo.

Eastex_Guns 09-04-2010 04:16 PM

- 12 (introduced 1914), 16 (introduced 1914), 20 (initial ga., mfg. 1912, 2 1/2 in. chamber mfg. until 1927), or 28 (introduced 1937) ga., 25 (20 ga. only, mfg. 1912-14), 26, 28, 30, or 32 in. standard, nickel, or stainless steel (scarce) barrel with or without rib (matted, solid, or VR), 2 9/16 (early 16 or 20 ga., until 1927, at ser. no. 464,565), 2 3/4 (became standard 1927) or 3 in. chamber, 6 shot, blue metal, various chokes, hammerless, plain pistol grip or straight walnut stock and forearm, marked Model 1912 from 1912-1919, approx. ser. no. 172,000. 14 in. LOP was original standard, then changed to 14 1/2 in. circa 1930. Mfg. 1912-1976.
  • "Y" prefix appears on Model 12s built 1964-1980 - see listing under Post-64 Models.
  • Nickel steel barrel Model 12s (mfg. 1912-1931) have become very popular in recent years, and some collectors are actually specializing on nickel steel Model 12s only. Winchester proofed steel barrels were introduced in 1931.
  • Stainless steel barrel Model 12s were introduced during 1926 as a special order only, and discontinued in 1931 (65X,XXX serial range). Values typically range between $1,450 - $3,500, and are very rare in over 95% original condition, as the bluing easily wore off the stainless steel barrel since it was a "Japaned" finish, not regular bluing.
  • Original gauge can be determined by removing the buttstock and observing the gauge marking on the stock screw boss.
  • "Donut" post Winchester VRs are more desirable than the rectangular post.
  • 13-15 in. LOPs could be special ordered on Model 12s until 1964.
  • Special order features on field guns have captured much collector interest in recent years. Combinations of these features can add a considerable percentage to the base values listed. Rare special orders on rare variations are very desirable and prices can double and more if the combination is right. As is the case with most other collectible shotguns at this time, Model 12s with open choked barrels in shorter lengths are A LOT more desirable (and expensive) than a specimen with a 30 in. full choke barrel (most common). Values listed are for standard configuration (28 or 30 in. full choke barrel with no rib). For most Model 12s, values for condition factors less than 60% will approximate the 60% price, because of shooter demand. Premiums must be added for the rarer open choked barrels in shorter length on all gauges.
  • Recently, some non-original, re-stamped 28 ga. barrels have been added to 16 or 20 ga. frames "creating" a more desirable (and expensive) gun to unsuspecting buyers. Roll die markings are getting better and better so be very cautious when considering a non-Cutts 28 ga. (as in get a receipt specifying originality). 28 ga. ser. no. range is approx. 720,138 to 1,857,XXX. 28 ga. Model 12s were available with both 2 3/4 (common) or 2 7/8 (infrequent) in. chamber. The 28 ga. has a magazine tube which is crimped, swaged, and necked at the rear and is visible with barrel assembly off and slide pulled back, enabling mag tube to protrude slightly at the rear of receiver extension. Believe it or not, there are getting to be a lot of fake Model 12 boxes that have been intentionally aged. Carefully screen NIB (watch the hanging tag also) specimens in this model.
  • Editor's Note: The Model 12 Winchester was produced continuously from 1912-1980. Over 2,027,500 were produced both in standard and deluxe (Pigeon) grades. Pigeon grades were first listed in 1914 and disc. during the war (1941). Reintroduced in 1948, they were disc. permanently in 1964, after which the Super Pigeon Grade became available only on a custom-order basis from Winchester's Custom Gun Shop. These guns are worth 50-300% premiums depending on gauge, barrel lengths, stock options, engraving patterns, etc.
  • With an attrition rate of 33%, Model 12s with rare features produced 50 years ago will only be much rarer today (and expensive). 28 ga. guns were built between 1934 and 1960. Gauge rarity in increasing order is 12 ga., 16 ga., 20 ga., .410 bore (Model 42), and 28 ga. Serialization breakdown by year of manufacture is provided under the "Model Serialization" section of this book. When collecting Model 12s, ser. nos. on the underside of receiver (forward end), should match ser. no. on bottom rear of Mag. tube.

Grading 100% 98% 95% 90% 80% 70% 60%
12 ga. $700 $550 $450 $375 $325 $275 $225

Also produced as Model 12 Featherweight, Riot guns, Trench guns, Heavy Duck gun, Skeet gun, Trap gun, Super Field Grade, Black Diamond Trap, Tournament Grade, and Pigeon Grade.

clgustaveson 09-04-2010 10:16 PM

Thanks for the information thus far, I will post some pictures tonight.

I cleaned it and fired it today... it kicks rough because its so light. What is a good load for a 12 gauge like that? I got the Winchester super target shells.

I also love the burst fire, I saw a video of someone using it and it definately is unique.

Also, whats the easiest way to take a plug out of one of these, its not like the 1200 where the plug comes out after the cap.

clgustaveson 09-05-2010 12:51 AM

clgustaveson 09-05-2010 12:59 AM


Originally Posted by cpttango30 (Post 344380)
date of manufacture is between 1941 - 1946

Mine is 20 years older than that and shoot any 2 3/4" shell I put in it.

Yeah, don't laugh but it says right on it that its for 2 3/4

30-30remchester 09-05-2010 02:04 AM

You have one of the finest, best built, best designed shotguns ever. Absolutely bullet proof. No stamped tin parts, no plastic and no potmetal castings. Just milled steel and walnut.

clgustaveson 09-05-2010 02:17 AM

Yeah, its a solid gun, there is no doubt about that.

Again the only problem I have is the kick which I am sure I will get used to, never felt a shotgun kick like that. The gun is so light that I knew it would have a pretty sharp kick.

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