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Old August 16, 2001, 05:18 PM   #1
Poodleshooter
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Winchester Model 12

A co-worker brought in his 12 ga. Win Model 12 today. It's a recent gift from his great grandfather. From the serial number (5 digit), it was made in 1913. He has the 28" (roughly) full choked barrel and the shorter cylinder bore barrel. There's no pitting, but the barrel and receiver blueing is stained a bit, and most of the wear areas have no bluing left. After a full function check, I determined that the only problem was that the bolt release wasn't resetting after firing, requiring that the slide be pushed forward slightly. It then resets with a "click" and you can rack the slide freely.
Questions: This issue is probably not a safety issue,correct? I have no familiarity with this series, except that the barrel groups break down like Mdl.97's do. Also, does anyone know what might be the issue with the bolt lock, before I take a look at the lockwork? I'm guessing dirt and wear, or possibly a missing spring. Also, does anyone know if or where the 3" barrel for these guns could be found? My co-worker really wants to take it duck hunting with me, but I have a feeling that steel is a no-no, and he only has a 2-3/4 chamber. Are the bismuth or tungsten polymer loads ok?
Feel free to add any wisdom you may have regarding this neat shotgun!
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Old August 16, 2001, 06:19 PM   #2
Bam Bam
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No doubt you will get some good answers here, but you may want to post at www.shotgunsports.com or www.doublegun.com with the question. Offhand I think the gun may be worth more sans being used to shoot at ducks. I definitely think steel shot would destroy the barrel.
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Old August 16, 2001, 07:34 PM   #3
Zander
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"I determined that the only problem was that the bolt release wasn't resetting after firing, requiring that the slide be pushed forward slightly. It then resets with a "click" and you can rack the slide freely."

That's not a problem, that's a design feature.

The inertia created by actually firing the shotgun will automatically "reset" the release. The '97 operates exactly the same way.
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Old August 17, 2001, 06:58 AM   #4
Dave McC
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The Tungsten compound loads have been getting rave reviews, I'd be tempted to keep the bbl as is and use the Tungsten.

A few million waterfowl used to be harvested every year here in Md with the dinky little lead loads of yesteryear. I'd expect the new compounds would do the same.

As for the 12, it's a classic. A JMB design, it should last for another couple generations if cared for properly.

First thing tho, have a good smith go over it. That shotgun may have fired 100K shells since 1913, and be a bit fatigued.
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Old August 17, 2001, 08:20 AM   #5
2shots
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The Model 97 was a Browning design, while the Model 12 was designed by Johnson. It's an awfully nice gun and the only pump to be praised highly by the Brits, not a small thing, given their preferences.
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Old August 17, 2001, 09:34 AM   #6
Dave McC
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As I understand it, Johnson used some of JMB's patented elements in the 12, so saying that JMB designed it is an overstatement,while saying Johnson did it by himself is wrong.

I apologize for my earlier remark, credit where due....
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Old August 17, 2001, 11:12 AM   #7
Poodleshooter
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I checked it over fairly carefully. The barrel lock up is still solid, as is the magazine tube lockup. The interior of the barrel had little or no rust after a pass with a brush and a WD40 soaked cloth, and only a bit of fouling, which Hoppes #9 made short work of. The bolt locks up well on a dummy round, with no rattle. It still feeds well too. It's a neat gun.
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