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Old August 23, 2012, 10:01 AM   #1
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Winchester 1200

Impulse buy from a total shotgun newbie. It was 199 at my favorite gun store and I bought it because I was going trap shooting with my grandpa. Did I do okay? Any issues with this model? I usually research first, but I liked the feel of this one. I was also wondering if anyone knows a way to remove the bit of wood that makes it only accept 3 shells. I think it can accept five? Not that I imagine any senario where I would need more than 3, but I was going to use it for home defense as well...and 5 trumps 3.
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Old August 23, 2012, 02:12 PM   #2
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While not in the class of the Model 12 it replaced (the Model 12's machining and fitting made it just too expensive to compete by the early '60s), the 1200 is nonetheless a very smooth cycling gun, IME. Just open the end of the mag tube and take out that wooden's there to comply with game laws. There may be a spring retainer that you have to pry out...I can't recall. Not difficult in any case. Probably wouldn't hurt to give the inside of the mag tube and mag spring a good cleaning anyway. BTW, do not be tempted to stretch the mag spring like some do. If you need a new spring, spend the $7.50 and get one from Wolff.
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Old August 23, 2012, 02:16 PM   #3
Dave McC
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You did OK. The 1200 was the successor to the legendary Model 12, and suffered by comparison. However,with a little TLC and PM, the 1200 is capable of long and reliable service. It IS a fast shucking and well pointing shotgun.

We did have some 1200s in MD's prisons long ago. Under conditions of neglect and skimpy maintainence by lackadaisical and unmotivated personnel, they glitched.

Also, the magazine has a plastic throat known to melt when spritzed by brake cleaner or other solvents. Spares are available from Brownell's.

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Old August 23, 2012, 02:30 PM   #4
Mike Irwin
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I have a 1200 that my parents bought for me at a yardsale many years ago.

I've been "refinishing" the stock for a LONG time now and haven't shot it in a long time, but I REALLY liked it. I want to take it out again, soon. I just have to finish scraping and sanding the stock and I want to stipple it instead of the horrid pressed checkering that's on it now.

Mine has the Winchoke tubes, which are a really nice feature.

It is also IMMENSELY strong, with the rotary bolt head locking into the barrel extension.

You could do a lot worse for $199, but in my opinion, not a lot better without a minor miracle.
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Old August 26, 2012, 02:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by defjon
I was also wondering if anyone knows a way to remove the bit of wood that makes it only accept 3 shells.
If the round knob at the front of the mag tube is removed (usually to slide the barrel off), there'll be a circular spring cup inside the end of the magazine tube, which holds in the magazine spring while the knob's off for cleaning, etc.

Use a screwdriver, inserted partway into the slot where the ends of the spring cup don't quite meet, to gradually work the cup out of the end of the mag tube - keeping in mind that it'll be powered by that magazine spring when it comes almost all the way out.

After it's out, the dowel inside can be slid out, too.

Then, stuff the mag spring back into the tube & hold it in place with the tip of that screwdriver while you reseat the spring cup back into the end of the mag tube. (It's OK to tap/hammer it fully-seated).

You're done, except for re-installing the end knob ( and barrel if you removed it).

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