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Model 12 - shells stuck from mag tube

C.N. Double

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I've been working on this shotgun for a while, and just when I think I get it running, something else goes wrong. I think the juice will be worth the squeeze, though, so I'm gonna keep fighting it.

See picture for details. Shells get stuck when coming out of the mag tube. At first, I thought something inside the tube was holding them up, but I think it might actually be the carrier flag wedging the rim of the hull between the frame and the flag. It does not occur with every shell or even with the same shell every time. 

Here's a summary of my observations:
1. Changed mag spring -- this helped a lot, but it didn't completely resolve the issue.
2. Mag tube and follower appear to be round, and the lip inside the tube does not feel significantly different than another working M12 I have.
3. Factory Federal shells are less problematic than my AA reloads, but it does occur with both.

At this point, I plan to pull the flagged carrier out to see if it can be straightened or cleaned up, but I'm really wondering if I could take a few thousandths off the frame in this spot (white arrow) to improve the clearance for the rim of the shell. I've also ordered an extra-power mag spring from Wolff.

What do y'all think?


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Maybe take a bunch of measurements of the one that runs . I would only mess with the frame when everything else has failed. I have personally seen several mint brand new condition model 12 that were only mint because they never worked right and people didn’t use them .  Whatever it is it’s very close to working.  Hey is that a 3” gun? 

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It's possible the carrier and flag are not original to the gun and need fitting. I've added flags to unflagged carriers which in turn need fitting. 

Put some Dykem or black maker on the carrier and flag, put a shell in as seen in your picture, push it forward into the mag spring and let it return to the carrier a few times. This should leave marks on the carrier and flag. Remove material with a dye grinder until the shell comes without issues.

From the picture the shell is stopping before the flag, by maybe 1/4"

Call me if you'd like, we can talk our way through it.


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Thanks for the responses -- it sounds like I'm on the right path. This is a 3in "for super speed & Super-X" stamped gun, and the carrier is not original (it's from a 2.75in gun, and it has the lip on the back side). There are probably other not-original things as this was someone else's project gun, and it's continuing to be a project for me, but I'm enjoying the process and learning a lot about the M12 as I go. I've heard mixed things about whether I can ever get this 3" gun to run, but the balance and weight are superb, so I'm going to keep trying, dammit!

I just a did a visual comparison on my working M12, and it does look like the working one has had material removed from this spot on the frame, but it's a much different 2.75in gun, and it doesn't have a flagged carrier, so it may not be a proper comparison.

I did try marking the area up with a sharpie, but I ran out of time, so I couldn't really mark the entire area and then fully inspect it. I'll start here next time.

It will probably be another week before I can really dig into it again, but I appreciate the ideas and guidance. I'll get some detailed photos up, and I'll take some measurements.

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I have had this happen as well.  I thought that it might be that lighter load shells, including dummies were more problematic than say 1-1 1/8 loads.  Perhaps used shells were worse too.  I'll have to experiment.

Might have to get new carrier-flag springs though

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After some careful inspection, I found the rim of the hulls were sometimes catching on the leading edge of the flag. I tried tweaking the flag a bit, but it's kinda floppy where it attaches to the carrier, and I couldn't get consistent results. I don't have another flagged carrier to compare it to, but I did compare the spring tension with a non-flagged carrier, and they seem the same. I think there is something goofy about the geometry of this flagged carrier.

I'm going to try swapping some more parts around, but everything seems to be pointing to this carrier.

If I can't figure it out by October 20th, I might see if I can hand it off to Boggus during the NM state match.

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