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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the gun show yesterday those damn Model 12s kept catching my eye! By the time it was over I had convinced myself that I very much needed and couldn't do without a backup gun to my 16 gauge. This 1949 12 gauge will be a helluva lot easier to find shells for (not to mention cheaper)! I know it'll kick a bit compared to the 16, but I'm excited to try it out. Mechanically it sure seems solid, I gave it a good cleaning this morning and had to take a picture with my other Winchesters.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
gunman42782 said:
That is just awesome! Those old model 12s sure were nice guns. I bet you paid a pretty penny for it!
You know, I'm not sure but I think it was a fair price. He was asking $635 for it and I just kept coming by and picking it up and staring at it and then with like 5 minutes to go before the show closed he said he'd take $565 for it. I'm happy with that price, but I don't think I stole it or anything. After cleaning it it seems it may be in better shape than my '52 16 gauge, and I paid a lot more than that for it (though I know the 16s bring more).
 

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Is the blue orginal?

That is a very nice model 12...the price was fair if the gun is in good condition, it looks to be in very good condition, so I think you did fine. You can always tell if a model 12 has been shot much by holding the unloaded gun by the forend with the barrel straight up in the air with the action open. If the gun stays open, or slowly tries to close, the gun has not had very many shells through it. If the gun closes fast and hard, it's proabably been used as a target gun, which isn't bad. You can't wear the darn things out, and there are a ton of replacement parts for any little spring or pin that could start to wear. The other test I would do is grab the gun by the barrel and and stock, if there is any wiggle the bushing in the barrel needs to be brought out a thread or two, this will tighten up the action to barrel fit. If the gun does not have any adjustment left (which some don't because how they were fit at the factory), there are shims available from brownell's for a less than 20 bucks that will work just fine. This will aid a little in accuracy.

You'll find that the 12 doesn't really kick anymore than the 16 with target loads. The 12 gauge is built on a heavier frame which will probably improve your shooting scores.

In target shooting a heavy gun with a longer barrel helps in a couple of ways.

1. More lead in the air (always a good thing)
2. The longer barrel makes a longer sight picture, wich aids in pointing. Although yours looks to have the same barrel length?
3. The added weight helps improve your swing on angled targets. I'm sure you noticed by now, the trick is to swing through your targets on crossing and angled shots. The intertia of the added weight helps insure the gun keeps moving on those targets. Swinging on a moving angled target and stopping the gun barrel is a great way to miss more birds. :)
4. Cheaper shells = more shooting = a better shot. :D

Trust me, for target shooting the 12 is the way to go...the 16 was never really built to be a target gun, although in the hands of a competent shooter, it will still knock down a lot clay birds. Its real purpose to was to be a gun that carried like a 20 gauge, and hit like a 12. IMHO the 16 is about one of the finest upland hunting rounds ever. They started to fade away when companies didn't want to invest in the materials needed to run a 16 gauge. You have to have a strong frame and action to contain that round. When compainies decided to cheapen up operations, and stick a 16 gauge barrel on a 12 gauge frame, you lost all the advantage the 16 had, a lighter to carry field gun than the 12. Deputy's 16 is a great example of a TRUE 16 frame. Great guns and getting harder to find all the time. Model 12's are built like tanks, Winchester was able to run the 16 gauge on the 20 gauge frame. That means they are a VERY light 16 gauge, wich adds to the recoil. That also means that if you see a fancy stock or a forend marked for a 20 gauge, it will fit your 16. :) You should pick up a 12 gauge trap style forend, they are VERY nice to shoot. And if you look around on ebay or guntrader, sometimes you can find one cheap. I got a fancy Italian walnut trap forend last year for less than 20 bucks. :D

I think with the popularity of bird hunting making some what of a comeback, I think were poised to see the "re-birth" of the true 16 gauge.
 

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To add:

I just looked in my big-book-of-gun-prices, and found that a pre 1964 Model 12 12 gauge with 28" FC barrel is listed at $472 for good and $668 for excellent. So it looks like your right in ball park at $535 or better than you thought depending on condition. Also this book is already 2 years old, so prices may have went up by now.

Again...nice model 12!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Johngoboom said:
Is the blue orginal?

That is a very nice model 12...the price was fair if the gun is in good condition, it looks to be in very good condition, so I think you did fine. You can always tell if a model 12 has been shot much by holding the unloaded gun by the forend with the barrel straight up in the air with the action open. If the gun stays open, or slowly tries to close, the gun has not had very many shells through it. If the gun closes fast and hard, it's proabably been used as a target gun, which isn't bad. You can't wear the darn things out, and there are a ton of replacement parts for any little spring or pin that could start to wear. The other test I would do is grab the gun by the barrel and and stock, if there is any wiggle the bushing in the barrel needs to be brought out a thread or two, this will tighten up the action to barrel fit. If the gun does not have any adjustment left (which some don't because how they were fit at the factory), there are shims available from brownell's for a less than 20 bucks that will work just fine. This will aid a little in accuracy.

You'll find that the 12 doesn't really kick anymore than the 16 with target loads. The 12 gauge is built on a heavier frame which will probably improve your shooting scores.

In target shooting a heavy gun with a longer barrel helps in a couple of ways.

1. More lead in the air (always a good thing)
2. The longer barrel makes a longer sight picture, wich aids in pointing. Although yours looks to have the same barrel length?
3. The added weight helps improve your swing on angled targets. I'm sure you noticed by now, the trick is to swing through your targets on crossing and angled shots. The intertia of the added weight helps insure the gun keeps moving on those targets. Swinging on a moving angled target and stopping the gun barrel is a great way to miss more birds. :)
4. Cheaper shells = more shooting = a better shot. :D

Trust me, for target shooting the 12 is the way to go...the 16 was never really built to be a target gun, although in the hands of a competent shooter, it will still knock down a lot clay birds. Its real purpose to was to be a gun that carried like a 20 gauge, and hit like a 12. IMHO the 16 is about one of the finest upland hunting rounds ever. They started to fade away when companies didn't want to invest in the materials needed to run a 16 gauge. You have to have a strong frame and action to contain that round. When compainies decided to cheapen up operations, and stick a 16 gauge barrel on a 12 gauge frame, you lost all the advantage the 16 had, a lighter to carry field gun than the 12. Deputy's 16 is a great example of a TRUE 16 frame. Great guns and getting harder to find all the time. Model 12's are built like tanks, Winchester was able to run the 16 gauge on the 20 gauge frame. That means they are a VERY light 16 gauge, wich adds to the recoil. That also means that if you see a fancy stock or a forend marked for a 20 gauge, it will fit your 16. :) You should pick up a 12 gauge trap style forend, they are VERY nice to shoot. And if you look around on ebay or guntrader, sometimes you can find one cheap. I got a fancy Italian walnut trap forend last year for less than 20 bucks. :D

I think with the popularity of bird hunting making some what of a comeback, I think were poised to see the "re-birth" of the true 16 gauge.
Thanks John, I knew you'd have some great feedback on this one!

On your exercise above, both my M12s close in a hurry when I hold them like that! This one is really tight, no wobble at all. I bought a DVD a while back that explained how to make up for that wiggle room by turning the threads. Pretty interesting feature on that gun.

Your points on weight and other 12 ga. features making it a better target gun are intriguing, and I look forward to trying out your theories! You know I'll let you know how I do!

I think that this may end up being my target/practice gun due to cheaper shells (and maybe better performance). And keep the 16 as my bird gun. Boy I can't wait to get my dog!!

To tell you the truth, I absolutely love the simple, classic look of the plain jane wood on these. I don't think I'd trade them out for anything.

Again, thanks for the great insight. Always appreciated. :D
 

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John:

Good info on the Mdl 12. I shoot with a guy that used to shoot professionally and he also has an old Mdl 12 that he brings out on occasion and it has the slickest action for a pump that I have ever seen. He is as quick with it as with an O/U and faster than a semi auto.

A lot of shooters, myself included use a sustained lead on clay birds in which we start in front of the bird and hold the lead and fire. The key here as well is to maintain the swing thru the shot before moving to the next bird. A shotgun should be naturallly pointed with the eyes, in other words where you look is where the gun should hit when properly mounted to the shoulder and cheek against the stock. If it doesn't then the gun doesn't fit you.

C&B:

Congrats on the great purchase, and enjoy in the field or the range.
 

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your on a roll pard now ys need a 20 410 28 ga and ya will be set, your right 16's are not easy to find but they use to be. 12's and 20's somehow took over fer a while.
 
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