View Full Version : Model 12 pigeon ???

Don Templeton
January 10, 2011, 11:38 AM
This is my first post on this forum so hang with me!

I purchased a used 12 GA in about 1964 for quail huntingand have always called it a skeet grade, but after some research mainly thru the GUN TRADERS Guide copyright 1994 it looks a lot more like a Pigeon grade skeet made on special order.

Below are specifications on the above!

#18xxxxx Mfg date 1961
26" barrel, vent rib Marked WS-1
Engine turned breach bolt & Carrier
Very high grade black walnut stock and extension slide handle
Fancy checkerd stock
Slide handle not checkerd but has grove front to back on both sides about finger size.
Front sight red ball and silver ball on 5th vent back
Butt is white line rubber just like picture
Obviously, the slide handle does not sound right. could it be a special order or replacement?

I have always thought there had to be an engraved pigeon on the gun but the book description says they were made on special order with finer finish, hand smoothed,engine turned bolt and carrier and high grade walnut. Fancy checkering to individual specs. Engraving or carving at additional cost.

Just wondering if this is my quail gun.

Looking forward to some one to give me a correct identity on my Quail Gun.


January 10, 2011, 02:19 PM
Greetings Don, and welcome aboard.

Congratulations on the purchase of your Model 12. The only Pigeon grade models I've seen were trap guns, and they all we all marked accordingly. Winchester made some very nice Skeet guns that weren't Pigeon grade.

Is this M-12 your quail gun? I depends on how well it fits you and if your quail are taken close enough for the Skeet choke. If it isn't, then I'll be happy to swap you it for a brand new M-500 or R-870-Ex. ;)

Your assumption that the fore-wood is a replacement sounds plausible. Of course, it's more likely the factory wood may have been re-contoured with the finger grips (my preference) and the factory checkering lost. Does the fore-wood match the butt stock? You can always have it checkered if it bothers you.

Don Templeton
January 10, 2011, 08:17 PM
Thanks Zippy,

Yes the forarm wood matches very very well.

After many years of quail hunting I've learned to shoot fast! :rolleyes:

Thanks again,

January 11, 2011, 07:57 AM
Check the back of your mag tube. In most case's if its a pigeon grade there will be an engraved pigeon there. If I am not mistaken 1961 started with a number of 19309xx, 1960 might be a closer guess to production year but that depends what reference you are using. A lot of these Model 12's were rebarreled and restocked which lowers the value considerably.

Don Templeton
January 12, 2011, 06:50 PM
The serial is 1899xxx

No pigeon anywhere except the one I put on with a marker! :D:D

Don Templeton
January 13, 2011, 08:50 PM
A couple of pictures!

January 13, 2011, 09:48 PM
Very nice! Interesting fore-wood, I expected something more traditional, like on this R-870.
Image: Remington Arms

January 14, 2011, 08:44 AM
WOW what a nice set of stocks. It's so nice to see wood like that on any gun. Not the injection moulded plastic stuff.

January 14, 2011, 10:06 AM
I have been collecting these for quite a few years so have some experence with them. At first glance you have a beautiful firearm. Quality in spades. However it doesnt appear to be original "as it left the factory". Without a closer exam I cant help much. I can ask some questions that may help identify this shotgun. First do you want more imfo?

January 14, 2011, 10:55 AM
Nice wood........nice to see someone else who appreciates wood over plastic

Don Templeton
January 14, 2011, 12:07 PM
Yes 30/30

It would be great for any help. First of all I didn't buy this gun thinking it was a pigion grade. Just thought it was nice looking and wanted a Model 12, But just reciently I was reading the book I listed in the first post and it gave me thought.


Gotta go to work now!:mad:

January 14, 2011, 12:34 PM
That is one beautiful Model 12!

January 14, 2011, 12:50 PM
Nice wood........nice to see someone else who appreciates wood over plastic

Sacrilege as it may seem, my friend, Model 12's were offered with plastic stocks. Here are two M-12's with factory Hydro-Coil stocks. In the mid 1960's I shot with a lady competitor with a custom M-12 Skeet gun that was nickel (chrome?) plated with a pink Hydro-Coil that was done in swirls like a bowling ball of that era! She wore a low cut sweater in pink to match the stock -- quite a distraction.

Image scan: Winchester, An American Legend by R L Wilson

January 14, 2011, 01:10 PM
Don whether it is or isnt "as left the factory" it is one beautiful gun. Ok first off look at where the barrel attactes to the reciever on top. On the top of the reciever at the junction with the barrel, is there a small oval with a w and a p intertwined. Also now look at the barrel where it joins the reciever, is there the same small oval with the same w and p intertwined on the left side of the rib at the junction of the reciever? Next look at the pistol grip cap, is is metal or plastic and does it have any writing on it? Lastly for now what is the serial number range. Dont give the entire number, x out the last 3 digitis as this will keep it anomimus. Example, intstead of 22334455 instead use 22334xxx. This will still give us the year of manufacture without advertising your guns serial number to the entire net.

January 14, 2011, 01:51 PM
Zippy those shotguns have plastic stocks and were made that way from the start.
They are not the black tacky-tool type with the flashlights, lasers, extra shell holders, slings, pickey tooney rails top-rightside-leftside, did I leave anything out? Oh short barrels.

They are sporting shotguns easy on the eye a pleasure to carry/use.

Don Templeton
January 14, 2011, 07:44 PM

Winchester proof symble in oval on left top side of receiver and barrel.

Cap is metal with no writing.

Serial number on Barrel and Receiver in 18990xxx

I'm guessing WS-1 on Barrell is Skeet Choke (Full Open) ?


January 14, 2011, 08:35 PM
With the proof marks on the left side of the rib and reciever is proof that the rib is factory installed. I am away from my books till Monday but the serial number range is late 1950's IIRC. I have inspected many model 12's in the last 45 years, and I dont recall seeing a forend like yours.Im guessing custom wood. Every Winchester model 12 I have seen on these year guns had a hard rubber grip cap with "WINCHESTER" enbossed on it. Skeet choked guns will have a WS1 or WS2 choke marking.

Don Templeton
January 15, 2011, 08:48 AM
One of the things about this gun that got me curious is the engine turned breech bolt and carrier that were described in the 1995 Gun Trader's Guide seventeenth edition copyright 1994. It calls it a pigion grade and then goes on to say any ingraving or garving were at extra cost. Do many M-12s have this feathure?

Your probably right about the forarm!