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Winchester Model 12


Hawk Eyes Hudson
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I have had a Winchester Model 12, 12 ga in may family since 1961.  I had hunted many birds and rabbits with that gun on the high plain of the caprock but for the last decade it has been retired.  I became interested in SASS back last year but did not get involved until about 3 months ago.  I had read in the rule book that Wild Bunch would now allow the Model 12 to be used in civilian or military format.  I was ecstatic to say the least.  I got the old girl out and cleaned her up but the barrel was long and I just could not bring myself to cut the barrel of a family heirloom.   Low and behold on the internet I run across a complete 12 ga barrel assembly for a remarkable price.  I buy and start looking for a Houston company to do the barrel cut and lengthen the  forcing cone to 3".  My assembly arrives and low and behold I cannot get the barrel to mate.  I try every adjustment with the adjusting sleeve and no go.  I try to get ahold of Nu-Line but no luck.  I finally locate a top of the line manufacture right here in Houston.  I drop the gun and assembly off and get, it will be two months.  They will mate the two barrels, cut the barrel and extend the forcing cone to 3".  Two months later I have no response, I have to show a great deal of determination and get, Oh! I was supposed to call you last week but I forgot.  We lengthened the cone and cut the barrel but there is a problem and we cannot get the receiver to accept the new barrel.  Super disappointed with these people.  I cannot return the assembly now and if I cannot get the problem fixed, I am SOL.  Now to top this all off I read the Clarifications Notice for Wild Bunch and it states that only the Model 12 would only be acceptable in Trench Gun Configuration.  Is this story getting to long.  Does anyone know any Winchester Model 12 master that might help me with the mating problem.  I have already ordered a trench gun reproduction attachment to update my old girl and get her to work again.  Can you help an old Cowboy out.  "Woe", is me!

 

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I think that bunch in Houston specialize in those new fangled over-under shotguns.  They make choke tubes, cut stocks and install recoil pads on $20,000 shotguns.  You're much better off with a proper gunsmith who knows Model 12's.

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It does seem that the vast majority of people have a rather purist view about inherited items. To my way of thinking, the item can be updated or reconfigured, unless of course it has some historic or greater monitory value in the original configuration. In your case, a Model 12 that is not being used, and the long barrel is not what you want. IMHO you should have shortened the barrel on it. 

 

I've seen a couple of 1897 shotguns where the receiver extension serial number did not match the receiver serial number, and they did not takedown or go back together very smoothly. Winchester did custom make model 12s with multiple barrels, each barrel was fitted to an extension and was stamped with the same serial number as the receiver. Therefore, I sort of get the impression that the fitting of the barrel and receiver is a bit beyond the average smith. The second issue is that a used barrel has already been fitted once, it may not be possible to fit it the second time without extensive rework. In addition, you don't know the history of the piece. 

 

It was common, back in the day, for smiths to fit a new barrel to the existing extension. We have been spoiled by the shotguns like the Remington 870 with its interchangeable barrels. The Model 12 and the 1897 were different beasts from the new modular shotguns. 

 

I've resurrected a few old basket case 97s and worked on two model 12s of dubious lineage, and getting the takedown working smoothly can be a challenge. It is difficult to undo abuse in some cases. 

 

I would have first tried to mate the spare to the action, as you did. The Model 12 shotgun has a kit of adapters that is used for fitting. It is possible that one of those adapters may have worked. But even if it would, you would have probably have had to fit a new chamber ring. Once that is completed, the original barrel may not fit properly. IOW converting back may not be a simple barrel switch. The issue is the two piece chamber and the centering of the chamber in the barrel. Toady most owners and amateur smiths just enlarge the chamber ring slightly oversize and not worry about having an exact match. If the barrel chamber is proud of the chamber ring for its entire circumference, it will work smoothly. A practical solution to compensate for a lack of parts, tools and/or skills. 

 

Which gets back to just cutting the original barrel and keeping the factory fit. Your shotgun may already have been modified beyond being able to restore to original. If it is real important to preserve the heirloom Model 12, then the purchase of another model 12 would have been a better solution. Decent Model 12s, not worn our parts guns, are still around. In all likelihood your spare barrel came from a worn out parts gun. The truth being, that it may require special skills to fit it to your receiver. 

 

That's my opinion, I'm pretty sure some of my opinions and assumptions will be disputed, and that's good. Every day is a new learning opportunity. 

 

My own Wild Bunch Model 12 had a few minor issues and had already been shortened. From the marks still left on the end of the barrel I assume the muzzle and part of the barrel had been damaged and the owner had it shortened. Then it sat in a closet and a collision with a vacuum cleaner took the toe off the butt and broke the butt plate. It didn't take much to clean her up and make it nice.  

 

BB

 

 

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Might check something first. There were two different sizes on the Model 12, 12 gauge. The regular that is the most frequently seen and a magnum. The magnum had a slightly larger receiver and I doubt the barrel assemblies would swap. 

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17 hours ago, two dot said:

E we hen you get it fixed, any 12guage model 12 is legal in Wild Bunch. Does not have to be a trench gun.

That is correct.  What the Wild Bunch rule clarification said was that it is OK to “convert” a civilian Model 12 to a “military” configuration.  The way the rule was written suggested that a Model 12 “trench gun” could only be used if it came from the factory that way.

 

I’ve been shooting Wild Bunch since before the Model 12 was allowed.  I e never seen a Model 12 “trench gun”

at a match.

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And the 3" chambered "duck gun" Model 12 has a reputation of NOT feeding 2 3/4" ammo very reliably.  I would avoid those.

 

And watch out that you don't get a Model 25, which was an economy Model 12 and it is NOT legal in WB.

 

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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I think you'll be just fine shooting it with the long barrel. Maybe piece together another one using the barrel you bought, but just shoot the original one as-is. There are a few minor things you can do to improve the speed, but they are just fine and highly-competitive in their original heavenly form -- just the way god created them.

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I appreciate and respect all of the valuable input and knowledge from my fellow members.   This affirms my reasoning in becoming a part of this organization.   You are all right and Big Boston nailed it.  I saw the barrel assembly on ebay and $300.00 later with a little research and some trust in someone who did not know what they were doing I was Hornswoggled.  Could not return the assembly, barrel was cut and cone lengthened and two months later from drop off finally demanded gun and rep says, Oh! I was supposed to call you last week but forgot.  We did all the work but could not mate the barrel to the receiver.  That was the main reason I took it in.  Anywhose, I found a # 1 and 2 sleeve and after a week wonking around with that, "Way to loose or the magazine tube would not seat." The rep said it seemed safe but might not eject.  About 40 snap caps later and a little filing on the original sleeve.  It fits pretty tight and ran like a champ at my Wild Bunch shootout!  My problem is like you, perfection is the name of the game.  Especially when it comes to hardware.  Well if I talk much more you guys will probably block me.  I am happy at the moment and all correspondence is well received.  Pumping my 97' still makes my Tick Tock!  Ha!

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