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Old December 11, 2018, 12:30 PM   #1
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Model 12 Purchase

Here I go again. I purchased a 1948 vintage standard Winchester Model 12 shotgun for $350 from a gun store this morning. It appears to be in good condition with a standard 28" modified barrel. I use the experts on this forum to assuage guilt and convince the "warden" that all my purchases are not silly. How do you think I did?
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Old December 11, 2018, 01:11 PM   #2
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There are many who consider the Model 12 to be the best handling pump gun ever made. You can't always put a price on how something feels in your hands.
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Old December 11, 2018, 01:15 PM   #3
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I had one growing up as a kid. It just seemed to come up so naturally to your shoulder. A little bit of nostalgia overtokk me in the gun store. Goes well with my 1951 Model 70 .270.
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Old December 11, 2018, 02:18 PM   #4
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20 some years ago those field grade guns were about $300, so $350 is a good price today.

yours has a recoil pad. Not standard. looks nicely done, could be factory, but wasn't standard on the field grade guns.

DO NOT SHOOT STEEL SHOT through that gun!!!

Also, be aware that your gun probably doesn't have a disconnector. None of the older Model 12s did. Trap grade guns in the late 50s or early 60s did, but none of the older field grade guns had them, that I am aware of.

Simple to test, gun EMPTY, pull the trigger so it "fires", HOLD the trigger back and pump the action. Without a disconnector, the gun will fire when the action closes with the trigger held back.

I got a Model 12 similar to yours, though 30" full choke, and with more finish wear and no recoil pad for my 16th birthday. My gun was made in the 1920s. Still have it, and while there are "smoother" working guns, none I've ever had were as "pointable" or as rugged.

here's another little tip, if you pull the trigger and the action doesn't unlock, "bump" the forend FORWARD slightly, then it will unlock. Usually not a problem when firing live ammo, as recoil combined with your grip on the forend usually does it. Can be an issue when cycling the gun empty. Just something to be aware of.

There are smoother working guns, (Rem 870 is a good one) better looking guns, but I don't think there ever was a FINER pump gun than the model 12.

and yes, I still have mine, half a century later..

LEAD ONLY, NO STEEL!!!!

Shooting steel shot could result in a bulged barrel, which is a criminal abuse of a fine old shotgun. Buy a new Remington or something else for steel shot.
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Old December 11, 2018, 04:01 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for the info! Kinda figured as much. My brother used to demonstrate slam firing when I was a kid. The dealer said pachmayr was installed many years ago. I might go to Numrich and get some original screws for the "wallowed" out ones. I'm just at the point in my life when I hate plastic parkerized guns and want to connect with our firearms past.
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Old December 11, 2018, 05:09 PM   #6
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The Model 12 is one of those guns made to last generations. You won't find any
plastic, alloy, or pot metal.
Just old fashioned steel and walnut, made by real gun smiths, not assemblers.
Finished and fitted like a fine gun not like todays rattle trap guns of today!
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Old December 11, 2018, 05:12 PM   #7
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I just bought a Model 12 Special Field 20 ga about a year ago for $400. You did OK. Not a screaming deal, but you did OK. And if it's what you like, then it's all good. Model 12s are famous for super slick actions, not like a lot of newer shotguns.
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Old December 11, 2018, 06:55 PM   #8
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That was a decent price for not only a classic, but (IMHO) the best pump-action shotgun ever made.

My one suggestion, springing off the earlier disconnector note -- rack the action open and with a finger feel up into the top of the receiver slot where the bolt locks up. The slot should be sharp and smooth -- no raggedly-peened edges
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Old December 11, 2018, 08:43 PM   #9
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You did great. I’ve got a 16ga model 12 that my grandpa gave me and it also belonged to his father before him. They took a lot of rabbits with that gun. And one day my son will own it. It’s not the most valuable gun I own, not even close. But it’s priceless.
I prefer 20ga personally and one day I’ll buy one. Hopefully I can find one that’s as good a deal as you got. Happy hunting!!
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Old December 11, 2018, 10:30 PM   #10
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I've got one my dad bought in 53. It was the first shotgun I fired when I was 11 at a turkey shoot.
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Old December 11, 2018, 11:16 PM   #11
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I think you got a good deal. The Win 12 is best pump gun ever made. 20yrs ago in my neck
of the woods you wouldn't touch a clean field grade m12 for less than twice that. Today the
m12s in 12g & 16g are going for $350. Us old guys are dying off who were the market for
them. The 20g is still bring $600 in hi condition and 28g is crazy money. The 3" Duck will
bring $450, Trap & Skeet guns still bring decent money, only factory originals. The 1897s
have swapped places with m12s. The Cowboy shooters have cranked price on them to $600
and up for nice ones.
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Old December 12, 2018, 09:47 AM   #12
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The Model 12 is ALL alloy. Otherwise it would be cast iron.
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Old December 12, 2018, 04:06 PM   #13
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The only problem encountered with my model 12 is that the magazine tube goes forward when I "trombone" it. It seems that the barrel band screws are not tight or not holding.
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Old December 12, 2018, 06:37 PM   #14
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Check out assembly

Make certain you assembled your Model 12 correctly. There are some good videos and instructions over at Shotgun world in the I love Winchesters section.

The magazine tube threads in to the receiver by about 1/2 turn. The sliding pin prevents the mag tube from rotating when assembled.
An older worn gun may be a little "fussy" getting the magazine tube threads aligned properly. After rotating the magazine tube and sliding the pin it can't really come out of the receiver unless the tube is rotated.

Barrel is installed with magazine tube on side opposite ejection port. Be careful the action bar does not strike the side of receiver when you rotate the barrel assembly in to position, slide handle fully forward when rotating the barrel assembly on to the receiver.
Next slide the magazine tube in to the receiver, rotate the pin and slide it over. If you can pull the magazine tube out, 99% chance you did it wrong. Very unlikely there is a problem gun would have to be unbelievably worn.

The threads on the barrel and the threads on the magazine tube lock the gun together. My guess is the magazine tube is not fully in the receiver as the gun is now. There is kind of a knack to the assembly of a Model 12, easy to do, but not the first time perhaps.
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Old December 12, 2018, 07:04 PM   #15
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Thanks guy! I've ordered some new screws for the barrel band as the old ones were ham handed. I'll work on making a positive lock between the magazine and the receiver.
p.s. tried it and bingo! locked in tight . thank you!
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Old December 12, 2018, 08:25 PM   #16
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Looks decent.
I'd say that was a fair price (or better).

I like the 12s. I finally found myself a (1939?) 20 ga last year that was filthy as all get-out (mostly paint chips, dog hair, and grease), but in fair condition and very tight. I believed there was a good chance that it had never been taken down. Asking price was $375. I walked out at $250, because it had a Weaver choke installed back in the '50s or '60s.
My favorite will always be the M25. But finding any in good condition is difficult, and they're never what I consider affordable.

If the 'take-down' lockup is tight, you should be golden. If it's a little loose, it can probably be adjusted. If it's very loose, there's a chance of running into a very expensive repair ($300-400 to have a new adjusting sleeve fitted).
Most have never been adjusted - just as many have never been taken down. So there's nearly always plenty of life left in them before a new sleeve is required.
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Old December 13, 2018, 02:54 PM   #17
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Basically what the barrel band does is provide "stiffness" out at the far end of the magazine tube, to prevent it getting bent.

If you remove the barrel band (and have the gun correctly assembled) it will still work fine, but you could bend the tube from torque or impact.

There are a couple small "lugs" on the barrel, which fit into recesses on the barrel band, properly positioning it. You CAN clamp the band on the barrel slightly out of position, but it won't be a proper fit. Use a little care when you put it back together.
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Old December 13, 2018, 05:34 PM   #18
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You are welcome!

Excellent, glad I could help you. The Model 12 is my favorite pump gun. One of the great things about it is the take down feature.
I do see a lot of them with a mark or several marks from the action bar linkage striking the receiver when assembling the gun. The equivalent of the idiot mark on a 1911. As long as the slide is fully forward, not an issue.
My 1942 trap grade is one slick shooting old gun. Recently picked up a Remington 31 of about the same vintage. I expect it may be even smoother once I clean it up. It's full of dried up oil and dirt, and is still impressively smooth. It too is a take down.
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Old December 13, 2018, 05:36 PM   #19
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You stole it. Where I live, you can't find them in that nice of condition for twice what you paid.
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Old December 14, 2018, 08:16 AM   #20
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I appreciate all the replies. I absolutely love the "slickness" of the old pump gun. At 63 I'm getting tired of all the plastic and parkerizing found on modern firearms. I know they supposedly shoot better and are more accurate but I have a craving for the "old" days. So far I have a 1951 vintage model 70 in .270 and now this model 12. I passed up a 1905 winchester pump .22 for around $600 a few months ago. Man, that was stupid. My problem is that I have only girls that married nonhunting urbanites and after I go to meet my Creator who can I give my collection to? Any suggestions?
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Old December 14, 2018, 08:56 AM   #21
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The NRA, or auction them off before you die and do something with it
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Old December 14, 2018, 09:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
I have only girls that married nonhunting urbanites and after I go to meet my Creator who can I give my collection to? Any suggestions?
Hopefully, they will have grandbabies that will take after Grandpa.
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Old January 2, 2019, 03:41 PM   #23
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In 2018, I bought a beat up 16 gauge made in 1937 for what you paid: $350. I refinished it
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