View Full Version : Smith & Wesson 12 ga. 916-A

New Gun Collector
December 30, 2007, 09:14 PM
This is probably a re-hash of someone else thread, but new to the forum. I have owned this shotgun for several years but do not know much about it to inlcude what "modified" means.

I am all for getting my education, any help would be great.:D

December 30, 2007, 09:42 PM
"Modified" is the choke of the barrel. It's tighter than "improved cylinder", but looser than "full". A straight barrel with no constriction is called a "cylinder", "open", or "slug" choke.

The old S&W shotguns were made in Japan, I think. The new ones that they have been importing for a year or two are made in Turkey. I'm guessing you have one of the old ones.

They work well, but are not exactly collectable. They cranked out a lot of them and they were not very fancy.

January 1, 2008, 11:35 PM
The S&W Model 916 series was a copy of the old Noble shotgun.
Exactly who made it, whether S&W or an outside contractor is uncertain, but it's suspected it WASN'T S&W.

The 916 was unfortunately a major disaster for S&W.
The guns were simply not very well made, or designed, and they quickly got a BAD reputation for breaking.
The problem was systemic, not a single problem that could be corrected.
S&W actually discussed whether to buy the guns back, simply to protect their reputation.

The guns are not ALL bad, but when one does develop a problem or a broken part, the gun seems to take a hellish delight in refusing to be repaired.
The gunsmith repairs the problem, only to have some other part fail.
Since the gunsmith had to stand behind his work, he had to repair the new problem, only to have yet ANOTHER part fail.
The 916 got such a bad rep, most gunsmiths would refuse to work on one.
Many current gunsmith's are unaware of the reputation and take in a 916 for repair, to their sincere regrets.

S&W discontinued the 916, and determined to do a better job next time, imported a new series of pump and auto shotguns made by Howa of Japan.
These were the Model 1000 semi auto, a "sort of" copy of the Remington 1100, and the Model 3000 a very close copy of the Remington 870.
After these guns too failed to sell, S&W dropped them.
Mossberg picked them up for about one year, then they too dropped them.

Gun Parts Corporation bought all the 916 parts from S&W, and all the Model 1000 and 3000 parts from S&W and Mossberg.

New Gun Collector
January 6, 2008, 12:41 PM
DFarisWheel thank you very much for the info. Should I take any chances on using this item or just put it up for looks and leave it. Any reccomendations?

January 6, 2008, 08:01 PM
I see no reason NOT to use it.
Not EVERY 916 was bad, just enough to damage S&W's reputation as a top gun maker.

If your's works, have at it, it'll do no good hanging on a wall.
If it breaks, THEN you can decide whether you want to attempt repairs.