View Full Version : Question about Winchester Mod. 12

November 18, 2008, 08:52 AM
I have a nice 12 ga. Mod. ser. numbers don't match . It has been reblued . Ex finish and ex. mechanical shape . 26" barrel . Made about 1936. I recently paid $290 for it and I wonder if it would be suitble as a home defense shotgun . if the plug was removed . and what loads would be safe ? Or should I trade it for a current defense model??

Dave McC
November 18, 2008, 10:21 AM
The barrels a bit longer than is fashionable, but the 12 makes an outstanding defense gun in trained hands.

Use 2 3/4" buckshot. 00 is the most popular size, but 1 buck is quite effective.

Pattern a few brands and see what your shotgun likes.

Then, using field or target loads, shoot lots. Most any shotgun is a good defensive tool, we're the weakest link.


November 18, 2008, 10:42 AM
Dave, Thanks for getting back .. I'm new to this forum . Defensive shotgun configurations are new issue to me. Would you suggest trying to find a shorter barrel ? I'm very comfortable with the Mod. 12 and it's operation . I did alot of duck hunting wth one thirty years ago. The new guns , with the exception of a Rem. 870 just don't feel right too me.

Dave McC
November 18, 2008, 03:33 PM
Call me old and ornery, but IMO folks get a little too wound up about having the shortest barrel they can get on a defensive Shotgun.

I did a walkthrough of Casa McC with an 870TB, 30" barrel, 15" LOP topped off with an adjustable pad. Anyplace I could maneuver my XXL body, the shotgun turned like a cutting horse also.

Your 12 will do the job if you do yours.

hollywood marine
December 16, 2008, 03:03 AM
Why on earth wouldn't a model 12 make a good choice for HD? The military has used them, along with their predecessors the 1897's and 870's, mossy 500's and now a benelli as combat shotguns formore than half a century. Pattern several brands of 00 buckshot and use the one that patterns best. Low recoil ammo is a plus because it leads to faster second shots etc.

December 16, 2008, 07:36 AM
since the barrel # doesn't match it wouldn't hurt anything to cut the non-original barrel down to the shortest legal length..like Dave did with the 870

Dave McC
December 16, 2008, 09:58 AM
I was much younger then, and knew it all.

I wouldn't trim that barrel now. I'd get another.

Model 12s do not have interchangeable barrels, the whole front end is a unit. Rather than search for a second front end, better IMO to just live with it as is and learn to run it.

December 16, 2008, 11:10 AM
Pre-owned M500s and R870s waiting to do service as a defense guns are legion. A venerable Model 12 deserves a better fate... With that 26-inch barrel, I'd consider sending it to Simmons (http://simmonsguns.com/default.htm) for their Internet Special and a make-over into a Tournament Skeet model.