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1959 Model 12 16ga
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December 22, 2023 - 8:16 am
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I’m afraid I’ve taken our friend’s original question down a different rabbit hole  To be clear: Bert, Clarence and I all agree the finish of the Model 12 presented is the one it came with out of New Haven.  I’ll go further and say I’d have it at the front of my safe in a New York minute and in sunflower patches in Fall. 

To the broader assertion that field grade guns are rarely refinished with intention to fraudulently sell them at a higher price, I must disagree. In the many shows I’ve attended in Texas over the decades, I’ve seen field grade winchestersi for sale at 90% prices that on close inspection are too good to be true. When pressed on originality, the dealer contorts himself into a shrug, displays way too much teeth and gum line and avers, “Wael, hell, podnah, I just don’t know one way or tother!” Their marks are not Collector’s, of course.

I agree the real artists (to use half an expression) won’t risk time in Club Fed for the modest profit a faked 1906 gallery gun might bring, although I’ve seen several field grade Model 21 specimens that required a very close look and involved enough dollars to hurt the likes of me.

While my Winchester expertise is limited, I have a lot of experience with grifters and dishonest dealers. In my opinion there are sharks of many sizes and appetites that hunt the Collecting fraternities, regardless of genre. 

And for Clarence:  the Eighties Sweet Sixteen was made on the  12 gauge frame. I had one and they came only with heavy vent rib bbl. Sold it and stayed with my “55 plain bbl Light 12. The old original 16 gauge frame was lighter. I had one of those, too. Built in 1960. Plain 26” bbl mod choke. Hair over 6.25 pounds and a wand. 16 is for handloaders these days. Wish I still had it. 

- Bill 

 

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"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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December 22, 2023 - 9:31 am
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Not all refinished guns are intended to deceive collectors. The subject gun is original but many well used field and competition guns were and are refinished as part of normal maintenance. With today’s labor costs we don’t see it much, in some cases we fail to notice it.

I’m having trouble downloading some of the pics, how is your Model 12 choked, Christopher? Nice gun!

 

Mike

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December 22, 2023 - 12:17 pm
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Mike, its modified 

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December 22, 2023 - 5:05 pm
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1badf350 said
Mike, its modified 

  

Perfect, for me anyway. You’ve got a jewel. 

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; life member, NRA; member, TGCA; member, TSRA; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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December 22, 2023 - 5:24 pm
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TXGunNut said
Not all refinished guns are intended to deceive collectors. The subject gun is original but many well used field and competition guns were and are refinished as part of normal maintenance. With today’s labor costs we don’t see it much, in some cases we fail to notice it.

I’m having trouble downloading some of the pics, how is your Model 12 choked, Christopher? Nice gun!

 

  

Mike,   I agree. I’ve proudly and knowingly owned and used several refinished field grade Winchesters, 3 of which I’ve connissionef myself. The fraud lies in concealment, feigned ignorance, and active misrepresentation, the latter being rare. I’ve seen the first two quite a bit and the mark (intended victim) is the innocent enthusiast. Fortunately, WACA has the vaccine and I try to take it daily.

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; life member, NRA; member, TGCA; member, TSRA; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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December 22, 2023 - 6:25 pm
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Christopher, my very first gun was a Model 12 in 16 ga. made in 1930. My Dad gave it to me in about 1960.  I wish I still had it.  The 16 ga. has fallen out of favor but it is a great gun for kids and women who aren’t quite ready for a 12 ga.

And on another note.  My Dad had a couple of Browning A5’s.  Many years down the road he sent one of them back to Browning and had it fully restored.  I have it and it looks pretty but I wish he didn’t have it restored.  

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December 22, 2023 - 7:21 pm
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1badf350 said
Mike, its modified 

  

Cool! I’ve recently been blessed with a 12 and 20 ga in similar configuration and vintage. Hope yours handles as good as it looks. Have you been able to find any shells for it?

 

Mike

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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
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Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
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December 22, 2023 - 10:09 pm
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I haven’t fired it yet but I have a bunch of shells for it. Its pretty common around here so not hard to find.

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December 30, 2023 - 3:53 am
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1badf350 said
I haven’t fired it yet but I have a bunch of shells for it. Its pretty common around here so not hard to find.

  

Christopher, we want and need a range report on your nifty Model 12. Those of us too aged and decrepit to wade the sloughs have to get our Eastern Shore hunting vicariously, these days.

Bill 

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; life member, NRA; member, TGCA; member, TSRA; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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