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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At least 30 years ago I picked up a model 12 Winchester for $80 in bad shape, rusty, shortened stock, and a loose barrel. I turned it into my turkey hunting gun, and killed two birds with it again last year, can't find 2.75 turkey loads but #5 field loads seem to kill them. I made a shim for in between barrel and reciever, has worked fine to tighten it up, but on the Midway site I saw Larry Potterfield had a video of how to tighten the barrel on a model 12. It was less than 2 minutes to get rid of the shim in it, ready for another 30 years. You don't know what you don't know, should have looked into this sooner but didn't think about it.
 

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Model 12s were the first million round shotgun. A screwdriver and small ball pien hammer are the only needed tools.
They do need re-headspaced and sometimes a heading cutter is needed for the job, but not always.

Gunsmithing tip for M-12s. One of the first problems to arise is a hard action bar lock operation. It's hard to push the button to release the action bar.
The action bar lock climbs up a small wedge in the side of the hammer to hold the hammer back and the hook is hitting the end of the wedge and wont climb it.
The trigger is too short! Which means the hammer is too far forward and causes the interference. The repair is to gently pein the sear end of the trigger to stretch it, re-fit it and its good for another 50k rounds.
 

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Model 12s were the first million round shotgun. A screwdriver and small ball pien hammer are the only needed tools.
They do need re-headspaced and sometimes a heading cutter is needed for the job, but not always.

Gunsmithing tip for M-12s. One of the first problems to arise is a hard action bar lock operation. It's hard to push the button to release the action bar.
The action bar lock climbs up a small wedge in the side of the hammer to hold the hammer back and the hook is hitting the end of the wedge and wont climb it.
The trigger is too short! Which means the hammer is too far forward and causes the interference. The repair is to gently pein the sear end of the trigger to stretch it, re-fit it and its good for another 50k rounds.
I shot my first Model 12 in 1954 and I still have that gun. My dad bought it as a second hand gun in a small town Hardware store for $60. Not only is it a fantastic gun, it ALWAYS evokes priceless memories. The only time it has been to a gunsmith was in 1967, I was in the USN overseas and along with my older brother decided to have it "rehab'd" and it's been flawless since.
I've since added a couple more; love me some M12's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The first model 12 I owned was my dads, house was robbed when I was 19 and most of the guns were stolen. That shotgun would fire twice with a pull of the trigger, like a semi auto, if trigger held down. I killed a nice pair of wood ducks like that, but often the recoil didn't let you get on target for the second shot.
 

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My dad was an Army Officer for thirty years. Growing up, I quickly learned that he didn't exaggerate, ever. I used to accompany him to the Skeet range a couple times a month. There I watched and learned that the Model 12 12guage, with a cutts compensator and simmons rib had been special ordered from Kansas, Simmon's, I think. My dad spoke of his time in Germany after the war, 1951-1953 and how many pallets of shotgun shells were being burned/destroyed. I heard him say, that every soldier was supposed to be issued 3 12 guage shells a month for practice. They were never issued/fired and were to be destroyed in Germany. As a consequence/benefit, my dad was allowed to fill his car, to the point of bursting the tires, with all the 12 guage shells he could carry. He went to a nearby German Civilian Skeet field and traded shells for clay birds, he gave the folks there shells to shoot with him. When off duty, he went there and shot, weekends, the entire weekend. I heard him estimate, well over a hundred thousand rounds fired from that one gun.

As a kid, 8-11, he only shot a Model 42, cutts and simmons rib. I can't remember him missing, I'm sure he did? Never say him miss in a Dove field, ever. I love model 12's. My dad's was the slickest action I ever experienced, no wobble, play or slop. That model 42 he preferred and shot much less, is still tighter'n than a mouses ear to this day.

My grandson's have them now, all three of them. My Dads 12, .410 and my Mom's Model 12 20, factory skeet grade.
I'm fond of '97s too.
 
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I haven't shot mine in probably 20 years. It's nothing fancy...just a plain barrel 12 gauge 28" Modified. I killed quite a few ducks with it in my younger days. First pump I ever shot was a 42 that my Dad borrowed from a neighboring rancher. I'd still like to have another of those, but they are pricey for a decent one that hasn't been modified.

Some of the Model 12's that came out of the Winchester Custom shop are exquisite. I remember seeing a few at the Cody Firearms Museum several years back. The English Style Stock Pigeon grade is my favorite.

I quit giving friendly appraisals of guns back in the 80's because of the Model 12. Had a guy that wanted to fight me when I gave him an honest estimate of his 40% (non original) Model 12. lol He honestly thought that it was worth thousands and was maybe a $100 shotgun. Live and learn.
 

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At least 30 years ago I picked up a model 12 Winchester for $80 in bad shape, rusty, shortened stock, and a loose barrel. I turned it into my turkey hunting gun, and killed two birds with it again last year, can't find 2.75 turkey loads but #5 field loads seem to kill them. I made a shim for in between barrel and reciever, has worked fine to tighten it up, but on the Midway site I saw Larry Potterfield had a video of how to tighten the barrel on a model 12. It was less than 2 minutes to get rid of the shim in it, ready for another 30 years. You don't know what you don't know, should have looked into this sooner but didn't think about it.
Hey Larry taught me how to build an AR on a couple of YT videos. Excellent source.
 

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i'm not a big scatter gun fan, but i know of two model 12. the first one is my friend's older cousin and the second one is from a guy i knew years ago. he was a one gun man. pheasants, grouse, squirrels, deer and bear all fell to the model 12 in 12ga. he liked factory foster slugs and #6 shot. i think the model 12 was around 1916+/- when his grandfather bought it. his dad had it and and it was given to him at HS gradation. i think m12 was blued but the hands(3 generations) made it look well worn. the only reason i know that is at one time, i was a one gun boy too!!!!!(savage pump 20 ga)
 
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