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Old July 29, 2012, 07:24 PM   #1
peanut1964
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winchester model 12 16 guage

I picked up a winchester proof steel model 12 16 guage 28in. berrel full choke at a estate sale and wanted to know if anyone had more info on the shotgun. It is a very solid shotgun with all origonal parts. From what I looked up online it dates to 1939. the seriel number is 789xxx six digit number, is this date correct? the wood and metel finish is about %65 or so all lettering is good and the bore is in excelent condition. The shotgun feels more solid than my newer winchester pump shotgun. Also is ther any signifigence to the number 23 stamped on the trigger assembly just behind the trigger gaurd, it's just behind the trigger gaurd by back screw. I picked it up for under $200 can you tell me if I got a good deal and a little more about it,, thanks. I know that they made less 16 guages then 12's and 28's for some years and that the model 12 is a very collectable rifle, any info would be greatly appreciated,,thanks

Last edited by peanut1964; July 30, 2012 at 12:28 AM. Reason: corrections
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Old July 29, 2012, 10:09 PM   #2
30-30remchester
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Congradulations on the great find. I have collected and shot this model for decades. First your rifle is actually a shotgun. Next the 16 guages were quite popular. The Winchester model 12's were known a the PERFECT REPEATER. The gun were machined from solid billets of steel. No plastic, investment castings, MIM parts, or stamped tin parts. The number 23 is just an assembly number, just about all models had these stampings. Lastly these are desireable guns IF they are left in original condition. ANY alterations severely reduces the value. How about some pictures to share.
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Old July 29, 2012, 11:18 PM   #3
peanut1964
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model 12

thanks 30-30 I will try to get a couple pics up tomorow, last time I tried to upload pics it wouldn't let me past the enter url option
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Old July 30, 2012, 01:46 PM   #4
Dave McC
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16 gauge 12s were built on the same frame as the 20. A fine, fast handling and smooth shucking pump.

A couple things......

$200 for a shootable Model 12 in any gauge (they made some in 28 gauge also) is a deal. But....

The big money for Model 12s is NOT for field guns in 65% shape. That's for NIB stuff and for non standard stuff like Black Diamond Trap models.

Not to worry, you'll never lose money buying a 12 for $200.

In your shoes, I'd send this off to either Simmons Guns or Nu Line for a checkover and estimate on a refurb.

Checkover, because all old shotguns need to be checked for safety and function.

Estimate, because these are Forever Guns and fixing one up makes a lot of sense. Your great grandkids will thank you.

And if you ever decide you can't stand to have that in the house any longer, please call me first.

Thanks....
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Old July 30, 2012, 01:51 PM   #5
PawPaw
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That's a nice shotgun, I paid $225.00 for my last one, an early 20 gauge in about 30% condition. Mechanically sound, but it was a using gun and looks it. Mine had been modified at some time in the past with a Poly-Choke and has little or no collector value, but I treasure it as a squirrel gun.
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Old July 30, 2012, 07:53 PM   #6
30-30remchester
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DAVEMcC, and I are on different sides of the fence on this issue. I have never understood the need to refurbish a gun after the first shot. For me, beauty isnt in a refurbished gun but instead is in a gun that has history. Honest working guns with dents and dings have always help a special place in my heart. This world is full of shiny new guns with no caractor. Once referbished all history this gun has aquired is forever erased.
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Old July 31, 2012, 02:08 PM   #7
Dave McC
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30-30, you're talking about a guy who cherishes a parts 870 yclept Frankenstein.It takes love to make it pretty.

I've gone both ways on refurbs. I did have a complete overhaul done on what was basically a Stevens 311 action in 20 gauge and ended up with a nice looking shooter.

I've also taken a few older, well used guns and just kept them running with TLC and PM.

As for this one, were it mine, I'd....

Most likely, have Simmons or Nu Line go over it and replace any worn parts, saving the old ones. Then to Orlen for choke work, and Wenig for new wood.

Since this would be an uplander, probably go with a slim.,long forend and a straight grip English style stock sculpted to me.

As for reblueing and a rib, no.

Then, add a MEC in 16 gauge and start turning out 7/8 oz loads by the bucket.....
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Old August 2, 2012, 03:39 PM   #8
peanut1964
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thank you

thanks for the info gentlemen, much appreciated
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Old August 2, 2012, 07:36 PM   #9
Dave McC
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You're quite welcome,peanut. Enjoy....
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Old August 3, 2012, 07:42 PM   #10
Clifford L. Hughes
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Peanut 1964:

I might stand to be corrected, but something in the back of my head tells me that early Modle 12, 16 gages had 2 9/16 inch chambers. Check yours to be safe.


Semper Fi.

Gunnery Sergeant
Clifford L. Hughes
USMC Retired
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Old August 3, 2012, 07:46 PM   #11
30-30remchester
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Clifford is kinda correct. Early model 12 16 guage guns were built with 2 9/16" chambers. This chambering continued till 1927 when all guns were chambered to 2 3/4" shells.
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