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buying a model 12


lostvaquero
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So most people tell me a model 12 is the WB shotgun over a 97.  So what should I look for?

Is a vent rib legal?

 

I use a solid rib 3" gun. But it doesn't feed 2 3/4"shells well. If the one you're looking at is a 3" inch gun, be ready to fiddle with it. I'm headed to eBay right now to find a lifter.

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A factory installed vent rib is legal on a model 12.  A factory installed Cutts or Lyman External Choke/Compensator is not (but were installed on a fair number of guns by the factory).  Must be 12 gauge.  16, 20, 28 gauge (and .410 versions called the Model 42) not allowed.

 

A Model 25 is not legal.  It is VERY similar to a Model 12, but has a shorter magazine tube.  Be careful about getting a real 12.

 

Model 12s were made by Winchester until about 1964.  A later model usually will have more life left in it than one made in the 1910s.  Original parts are pretty available for Model 12s.

 

Now, the devil's advocate position:

One of the recently made Win 97 clone shotguns is very fast and reliable, and a lot more cowboy gunsmiths are familiar with fixing them than a Model 12.  I have seen more Model 12 guns bind up when run real fast than I do a well maintained 97.  And, of course, the 97 was designed by JMB.  The 12 was not.

 

But, it's your money.

Good luck, GJ

 

 

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Now, the devil's advocate position:

One of the recently made Win 97 clone shotguns is very fast and reliable, and a lot more cowboy gunsmiths are familiar with fixing them than a Model 12.  I have seen more Model 12 guns bind up when run real fast than I do a well maintained 97.  And, of course, the 97 was designed by JMB.  The 12 was not.

 

Could that be because most of the WB shooters have given up on the '97 and gone to a M12? :D

JFN

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At EOT this year, of the top eight shootoff in both ladies and men, there were only two shooters who used the '97. Maybe that should tell you something. Model 12s were used by the winners in all categories, except maybe one.

 

Hey, I shot my '97 12 times in the shootoff! But yes, I did have a few minor issues with it during the WB match. I'm looking for a M12 myself.

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I've got a Model 12 in great condition but I've continued to experience issues with it. I think it's me more than the gun...I've tore it down, cleaned everything and didn't see an issue with anything. It looked brand new inside. It runs fine when operating it slow and deliberate but when running it fast during a shoot, more often than not I encounter feeding issues where the live rounds don't make it into the chamber. Very frustrating because it's a well built gun. When it bobbled at the last local WB shoot I borrowed a Win 97 and shot the rest of the match with zero issue! I've got a 97 but haven't put it into service yet for CAS or WB. It just seems to be smoother for me than the Model 12. Anyone else experience the same thing?
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I've got a Model 12 in great condition but I've continued to experience issues with it. I think it's me more than the gun...I've tore it down, cleaned everything and didn't see an issue with anything. It looked brand new inside. It runs fine when operating it slow and deliberate but when running it fast during a shoot, more often than not I encounter feeding issues where the live rounds don't make it into the chamber. Very frustrating because it's a well built gun. When it bobbled at the last local WB shoot I borrowed a Win 97 and shot the rest of the match with zero issue! I've got a 97 but haven't put it into service yet for CAS or WB. It just seems to be smoother for me than the Model 12. Anyone else experience the same thing?

No because the Model 12 is so much smoother and faster than the 97. It’s in technique. Why do you think the winners of Winter Range and EOT use Model 12s?

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I've got a Model 12 in great condition but I've continued to experience issues with it. I think it's me more than the gun...I've tore it down, cleaned everything and didn't see an issue with anything. It looked brand new inside. It runs fine when operating it slow and deliberate but when running it fast during a shoot, more often than not I encounter feeding issues where the live rounds don't make it into the chamber. Very frustrating because it's a well built gun. When it bobbled at the last local WB shoot I borrowed a Win 97 and shot the rest of the match with zero issue! I've got a 97 but haven't put it into service yet for CAS or WB. It just seems to be smoother for me than the Model 12. Anyone else experience the same thing?

No because the Model 12 is so much smoother and faster than the 97. It’s in technique. Why do you think the winners of Winter Range and EOT use Model 12s?

 

+1

 

i just sold the 97 that i bought from the WV showdown winner from a few years back. my bone stock 12 is much smoother than the 97 and even with all the trouble ive had with my 3" model 12, its still a smoother gun.

 

BTW, my new 2 3/4" lifter came in the mail today. its installed (FYI, the screw that holds it in is LEFT HAND THREAD!!! quite frustrating if you didnt know that :o) seems like that solved the problem but i wont know for sure until i take it to the range tomorrow...

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So looking I get ones that say 3, 4, 5 capacity.  Do the guns have to be modified to handle six or is there some sort of limiter plug in the magazine. 

 

From the above guess better make sure it is a 2 3/4 gun.

 

I hear stuff about flag or no flag guess something to for with the lifter. 

 

 

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No mods needed to load 6 other than removing the wooden plug in the mag tube. Personally, I don’t use the flag. Nor do I “tilt” the gun. I just run it! My new firing pin will be available soon that will address what I consider the only weak point of the Model 12.
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I differ from Boggus in one aspect, my preference is a flagged carrier. Over the years I've seen a few M12's stopped in mid cycle do to the front end of the shotgun shell catching on the outer edge of the ejection port. It's my belief the flag helps insure that doesn't happen. However I own both style and haven't personally had this issue.

 

The slicked up M12 is way smoother then a slicked up 97', but most of that is overcome by the speed we run them at. Apparently there isn't that much weight difference between a M12 and 97', but I feel the 97' is heavier in the front and stays on target at speed better. That said I had to put weight in the magazine tube and butt stock to help me keep the M12 in control.

 

If your use to using the 97' and are going to shoot cowboy with it and it runs good for you, I don't really see a need to change. I believe that a 97' can be as competitive as a M12, however the M12's will be less likely to brake during a match.

 

Reliability is the reason so many top shooters have moved to M12's is my belief. Yes they are so SMOOOOOTH, but I'd bet side by side trials would show no speed advantage.

 

Tully

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  • 1 month later...
Okay, so a nearby pawn shop has a Model 12, s/n makes it 1959, 2 3/4", Mod choke.  From what I'm reading this might be one to get.  It has the more modern forend wood, which I don't care for.  Will a '97 forend fit?  Priced at $399 but I know it has been there over a month so maybe they will come down some.
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Okay, so a nearby pawn shop has a Model 12, s/n makes it 1959, 2 3/4", Mod choke.  From what I'm reading this might be one to get.  It has the more modern forend wood, which I don't care for.  Will a '97 forend fit?  Priced at $399 but I know it has been there over a month so maybe they will come down some.

 

I’m pretty certain that ‘97 wood won’t fit but there is plenty of wood available. I keep quite a selection handy.

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HI Gang; Was told to get Model 12 only after serial number 500,000 something about minor change at the factory made them better, Just hear say so do not quote me.

DO beware of LIGHT WEIGHT model 12 as the mag tube is shorter and may only hold 4? or something like that.

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