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Old May 13, 2021, 04:14 PM   #1
glassguy
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Winchester Model 12

I was gifted a very old and worn Winchester Model 12. It must have had some regular maintenance because the bore is spotless but the exterior shows lots of wear. I test fired it with a low brass circa late 1960's Remington bird shot as well as two (new) NSI low recoil 00 buck. The buckshot has what I would call 3/4 high aluminum base. All 3 rounds chambered smoothly and fired just fine but each empty casing became stuck in the chamber to the point that it needed to be poked out of the chamber with a cleaning rod. I wire brushed the chamber and tested the empty casings and they still stick in the chamber. I don't know where to go from here. Is this thing just shot out? It's been more than 50 years but when I was a kid I fired 1000's of rounds through a number of shotguns and never came across a problem like this. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks Steve B
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Old May 13, 2021, 05:32 PM   #2
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have a smith polish the chambers.
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Old May 13, 2021, 05:36 PM   #3
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First thing to check besides looking for pits in the chamber is the extractor, its spring, and the free movement of them.

IF the extractor is ok, (hook intact, not worn or broken) it could be stuck or sticking in its slot in the bolt from years of gunk build up. Check, and clean if needed then see how it works.

same for the spring, it may be worn, broken or just frozen with crud. I got my model 12 field grade back in the early 70s, the gun was made in the early 20s, and the extractor was frozen in the bolt by crud. Cleaned reassembled and its been flawless functionally ever since.

Model 12s are strong guns, they do not need to be restricted to low brass light loads, BUT, never, never, NEVER run steel shot though any of them unless they have been properly modified (and documented) by a professional gunsmith. Guns made before the advent of modern shotshells with shot cups in the 50s have chokes tigher than more modern guns and can be damaged by steel shot.

They aren't the slickest working pump gun ever made, but they are hell for stout, dependable working guns. Though one does have to know their quirks for best results. One of the quirks is that they require a slight amount of FORWARD pressure on the forend in order to unlock after firing. Having a firm grip on the forend during firing usually lets the recoil do it, but if not, just push forward, then pull back after the round fires and the gun will cycle properly.

Also be aware that the older guns do NOT have a disconnector. If you are holding the trigger back when you chamber a round, IT WILL FIRE!!!!!.

Other than that, its tough to find fault with a Model 12.
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Old May 13, 2021, 06:15 PM   #4
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It's not the extractor. Unfired rounds cycle just fine. Fired rounds really stick in the chamber. I have tried using 400 grit paper to clean out the chamber but that does not help. I see no corrosion in the chamber. The brass (or aluminum) is expanding a couple thousandths and wedging itself in the chamber. Tight enough that I pried on the flared base of one of the aluminum bases with a small screwdriver and bent the base but I was not able to extract the spent shell
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Old May 13, 2021, 06:26 PM   #5
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Sounds like the chamber may be worn so it is slighly larger than the headspacing ring. Have a good smith check it out, not the local parts swapper.
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Old May 13, 2021, 06:40 PM   #6
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i have had a few problems with the aluminum based shells sticking and don,t use them. the winchester bulk 4 box packs were the worst.
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Old May 13, 2021, 07:22 PM   #7
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have a smith check go-no go on the chamber tolerances. could very well be worn. whats the serial number range on that gun? pre or post war?
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Old May 13, 2021, 08:04 PM   #8
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I hadn't looked at the S/N until tonight. The receiver is marked 491xxx. The barrel half is 516xxx. This is obviously not a matching S/N gun. The standard (not express) brass stuck in the chamber also. Granted that particular round was 50+ yrs old. What is the diameter dimension that i should have on the chamber?
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Old May 13, 2021, 10:25 PM   #9
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miss matched gun....bet the chamber bore of the barrel is slightly larger than the diameter of the chamber ring.....when you fire a shell the part ahead of the chamber ring expands to fill the barrels chamber bore....so the shell will not slide back out through the smaller diameter chamber ring.....

when the gun is assembled open the action and run your finger in and out of the chamber....if you feel a ridge between the chamber ring and the barrel chamber you have found the problem....

Last edited by gunut; May 13, 2021 at 10:32 PM.
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Old May 14, 2021, 04:29 AM   #10
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Gunut I understand what you are saying but with the barrel removed the fired cases stick tightly in the chamber. An unfired round drops in nicely and falls out when the barrel is inverted. This is not the quality of gun that I would want to spend money on with a gunsmith. I think I'll probably take it to the next local gun show and see if someone needs a parts gun. Thanks to all who responded.
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Old May 14, 2021, 05:01 AM   #11
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You say "aluminum,..."
You sure not steel cased ?
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Old May 14, 2021, 07:07 AM   #12
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make sure you bring a stuck hulls with you to the smith. he can determine where the issue may be by looking at it.
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Old May 14, 2021, 09:39 AM   #13
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gunut Is a good place to Start Have the chamber Ring check done .
A new Chamber Ring has to be fit and around $100.00 to do
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Old May 14, 2021, 10:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
It's not the extractor. Unfired rounds cycle just fine.
Then its probably not the extractor...just be aware that a stuck or bad extractor MAY cycle unfired rounds just fine. I've seen it happen, unfired ammo goes in and out just fine but fired cases (with the normal amount of sticking) get left in the chamber. Not a "certain to happen thing" but a "can happen thing".

From what you are describing, the gun needs to go to a shop for dimension checks before you do anything else with, or to it.
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Old May 14, 2021, 02:40 PM   #15
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Answer one Question are you shooting high brass if you are try low brass .
I have an older model 12 Trap i shot a bunch it never gave me a problem .
A friend gave me some once fired high brass that i reloaded would stick every round . (chamber Ring)
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Old May 14, 2021, 06:22 PM   #16
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Of the 3 rounds I fired, the first was an old factory Remington low brass bird shot. The other 2 were a low recoil 00 buck with aluminum bases about 3/4" high. Those 2 were new, purchased at the range. No reloads.
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Old May 14, 2021, 07:03 PM   #17
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Don't screw with the gun until you try different ammo.

Try different ammo.
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Old May 15, 2021, 03:27 PM   #18
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Good thought. I have a lot of 12ga factory ammunition. It is/was of good quality 50 years ago. The 00 buck that I have I bought at an indoor range locally. Pricey but of questionable quality. I want/need a shotgun for home defense, I have an Ithica model 37 pump in 20ga that I have confidence in but I really prefer a 12ga. If a change of ammo doesn't change things then one way or another I'll part with this model 12
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Old May 17, 2021, 03:06 PM   #19
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Hello,

A few things to be aware of- and the first is what was already mentioned: be sure the chamber ring and the barrel/extension are fitted properly.

The chamber ring is what sets headspace with the barrel/extension.

If there is any ridge, or bump, or dip where the two meet, there is a problem.


Also, I don't know if you are aware, but Nickle Steel barrels on Winchester Model 12s were pretty much the 'norm' until around 1930-34.

You state that your barrel extension is numbered 516xxx. If it says 'nickel steel', I'd avoid the stoutest loads in it.

They moved to Winchester Proof Steel around 1930-34, IIRC, and those are supposed to have a bit more safety factor for loads.

If your barrel says Winc Proof but the extension is 516xxx, I'd bet it was a custom fit.

BTW- there is competing thoughts about using steel shot in Win Proof Steel barrels also. But, if you ARE going to do it, the general recommendation is only modern ammo and no shot larger than 4. So 4-9.5 shot, but nothing bigger. Oh- and not in FC barrels, but Modified or more open.


As to your issues- you've had some good tips that I can't improve on.

If your chamber is too larger [wallowed out], it would do this.

I will say, I've never tried to drop a used shot shell into a chamber- so I don't know if it should drop right in like a new one or not.

I have 5 model 12s, so I've had to do some troubleshooting and fitting. 2 of them needed new adjustment sleeves [and adjustments] while the other 3 needed to be adjusted with the existing sleeve.

Good luck- they are a great piece of history!
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Old May 18, 2021, 07:20 AM   #20
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Many of the older guns made by different company's will
have extraction problems when using "cheap" shells.
That is the value pak's. Use a shell that has a brass base
and any extraction problems should go away.
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Old May 18, 2021, 11:38 AM   #21
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Before doing anything else ^^^^ THIS ^^^^
Get some AAs and see if they function normally

Brass contracts and frees itself as part of it's inherent material/design
Cheap/Chinese steel-headed ammunition fireforms itself into nooks & crannies... and gets stuck there.
If it attracts a magnet -- regardless of color -- dump it.
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Old May 18, 2021, 11:42 AM   #22
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Steel based hulls do not retract as easily as brass which can lead to sticking in the chamber; find some all brass ammo (Winchester AA or Remington STS/Nitro) and see if that solves your issue. If it does, then a good polishing with 0000 steel wool and some oil using a wooden dowel chucked in a cordless drill should make it good.
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Old May 18, 2021, 12:00 PM   #23
stuckinthe60s
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read op's 1st post. he did.
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Old May 18, 2021, 12:33 PM   #24
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He didn't try top tier ammo to rule out other possible issues. And brushing the chamber? With what, a toothbrush or a power drill and oil and steel wool.
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Old May 18, 2021, 06:37 PM   #25
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Quote:
...but with the barrel removed the fired cases stick tightly in the chamber.


Please show us like pic w/ the stuck case as described.

Also....



When fully-assembled, it should be smoooooooth feel reaching into chamber from breech to past this point in barrel.
No ridges. No discontinuities. Glass.



LAST: You have fired AAs in this thing?

Last edited by mehavey; May 18, 2021 at 06:58 PM.
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