I have a Model 12 Heavy Duck with a 32" barrel. It also has a ventilated rib with "donut" posts. The side of the rib is stamped Simmons Gun Specialties. It also has the Winchester proof marks offset to the side on both the receiver and the barrel. The serial # is 1329410. The rib extension on the receiver extends back past the notch in the rear of the receiver, which is different from any rib extensions in Mr. Riffle’s book. I guess my confusion comes from the idea that Winchester sent some of their model 12’s to Simmons to have ribs installed before they were sold. I would like to know if that is the case with this shotgun. That is the only way that I can explain the offset proof marks. Model 12’s do not fall into my limited knowledge bank. I am much more familiar with model 70’s and Winchester .22’s. Thanks for your help. I really enjoy following this site but this is my first time posting question.
April 15, 2005
The serial number tells me that it is late July 1950 production gun. I am not of the opinion that Winchester used Simmons to install vent ribs or that Winchester used vent ribs purchased from Simmons in that timeframe.
The donut post ribs were not available until 1954, and they were manufactured by Winchester under license from Simmons, but were not marked "Simmons". Only the Vent ribs installed by Simmons were marked as such.
In regards to the proof marks, there are a lots of fake stamps out there, and they could have been applied after the rib was installed.
In summary, the safest bet is to assume that Simmons installed the VR after the gun left the Winchester factory in 1950.
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member