View Full Version : Model 12 problem

August 31, 2007, 06:34 PM
Was shooting trap yesterday. Model 12 did not seemed to be locking completely but was shooting .. and this was the first time with this gun (does not belong to me). About the 15th shot, the bolt blew back, the Federal Wal-Mart hull separated from the base and smoke rolled out. No injury, just questions from the gang. Finished with my 1100. The M12 does not now pick up the bolt when pumped. Bolt stays in back of the frame but can be moved by hand. No obvious damage. ????????????

Dave McC
August 31, 2007, 09:15 PM
Gunsmith time.....

August 31, 2007, 10:33 PM
If it does not pick up the bolt when pumped I think there is some obvious damage.

August 31, 2007, 10:52 PM
I would be interested to know if this gun would slap fire or not.

There was a replacement trigger mechanism (after market) that was sold that would prevent slap firing.

September 1, 2007, 02:04 AM
I cant recall the proper terminology, but theres a tab on the bottom side of the bolt that needs to be pushed out to engage the bolt. if it's "in" the bolt will move independantly of the action bar.

That being said, get thee to a gunsmith with your Model 12.

September 2, 2007, 12:08 AM
The "tab" mentioned is only a fixture to hold the bolt in position when the barrel assembly is removed, since you don't want the bolt to get out of position when you need it located properly to engage the action slide during reassembly.

There are at least a couple of possibilities:
the mag. tube was not properly and fully inserted, so the bolt was practically hanging free of the action slide, and disengaged during firing.
The action bar has broken off the end of the arm that engages the bolt.
The bolt lock-up is damaged and finally allowed the bolt to blow open during the firing.

I have rebuilt guns that had been damaged in many more variety of ways than these.
I would rather not have had to fix ones that had been shot to death, but rather had caught them before the fateful moment of rigor mortis. Bringing one of these back from the grave is not economical, and these days, I would rather replace the receiver and refit the parts as necessary, except in the cases of engraved/inlaid and other special circumstances.

The better option for Model 12 shooters is them to have a Model 12 specialist give the mechanism a thorough exam at least every now and then, if you otherwise have a local gunsmith tend to minor repairs and cleaning.

The trigger assemblies are full of parts that need fitting of any replacement parts, and sometimes a used part substituted may seem to be OK (to the untrained eye) but not be proper or even possibly dangerous to the mechanism and/or property and people in the vicinity.

I have about 25 years experience since gunsmithing school as a shotgun specialist, with much emphasis on Model 12's and many other classics.

See my other posts here, at
www.thehighroad.org and

[email protected]

September 5, 2007, 09:16 PM
Thanx, kirbythegunsmith. The rest of the story is that this M12 belongs to a trap shooter at one of my clubs and he had it for sale ... so I tried it. I had never had any but good luck with M12s ... previously. And, have or have had a dozen or so. And, rebuilt a few.
As it turns out the bolt lockup was damaged. It was luck of the draw that I pulled the trigger as several folks shot it. Owner - who is very knowledgeable - stripped it at home and found the problem. He is taking it to a smith of great reputatioin for work. It is a 'Y' model and looked good .... but ....

By the way, I have and have had 'Y' models and pre-64s and would not cross a divided road for the difference.

September 6, 2007, 03:54 PM
Kirby explains it well.
About 40 years ago, I was young and short of $$$ (of course)...and I had a model 12, 12 ga. (Serial number was 109,000 something). That one did the same thing to me.... and I was shooting some cheap Herter's (all plastic) shells at ducks.
Well, I spent the money to have the gun fixed, then shortly thereafter, we got broken into and it was stolen. Grrrrr!

I never held it against the gun. In fact, I still have one model 12.
I like them, but I think maybe their reputation outstrips their actual capabilities :o

September 6, 2007, 04:48 PM
Model 12s were designed for black powder shells, not the kind of pressures you deal with every time you pull the trigger on a smokeless round. The bolt cams into the receiver (does not really lock, they use the bolt release to hold the bolt in place during firing), and the locking recess on them peens out when fired and eventually they blow open under pressure. They are not a super-strong shotgun, but they are very smooth and point well, and they were marketed well enough to make people believe they were the best shotgun ever built. It is easy to hit with one, which no doubt enhanced their reputation during their heyday. Considering they were designed and released to the market almost 100 years ago, they have performed well and shown their true colors.

September 6, 2007, 09:06 PM
A small piece of brass jammed in a wrong place. 5 minutes to fix ... at no charge. Smithy stated he was seeing more damaged brass from cheapo ammo. So, :)