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A few questions concerning the Model 12 20 ga, 2-3/4" chamber gun
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Lake Tapps, WA
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March 11, 2023 - 5:20 pm
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I am researching the model 12, 20 gauge, 2-3/4′ chamber, particularly with the 28-32″ barrel, the 32″ being somewhat rare.  I have been using the Madis book and other sources.  What I cannot find are:

1)  What year and s/n did Winchester 20 ga.change to 2-3/4″ chambers?

2)  Was the barrel marked 2-3/4″?  One would think so.

Do you have any information?

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March 11, 2023 - 6:06 pm
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The 20ga, Model 12 was changed to the 2-3/4″ chamber around 1926.   Someone else can comment on the barrel markings.

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March 11, 2023 - 6:15 pm
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The first thing I feel important to tell you, is do not believe everything you read in the Madis’ book on the Model 12.  That reference book contains dozens of errors.

Winchester changed the chamber length on the 16-ga and 20-ga guns in September of 1926, and then announced it in the 1927 catalog.  Because there are no surviving factory production records, we do not know what the “first” 20-ga (or 16-ga) gun’s serial number was with the longer 2.75″ chamber.  What I can tell you, is that it was somewhere in the 485795 – 487982 serial number range.

The very early guns with the 2-3/4″ chamber were not marked on the barrel.  Instead, they were marked on the bottom of the receiver frame just above the loading port (see the attached pictures).  I do not know exactly when Winchester began marking the chamber length on the barrels, but I would assume it was shortly after they had used up all of the older barrels still in stock.

In regard to the barrel lengths, Winchester did not ever officially offer or list a 32″ barrel for the Model 12 20-ga guns.  The 30-inch barrel length was introduced November 24th, 1930.

Bert

2.75-inch-chamber-length-marking.jpgImage EnlargerModel-12-20-GA-2.75-inch-567486.jpgImage Enlarger

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March 11, 2023 - 8:11 pm
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 That is most interesting,Bert.I never knew the chamber length was marked any where except on the barrel.

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March 11, 2023 - 8:20 pm
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It is a little known fact that only the diehard Model 12 collectors are aware of because it was very short lived.

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March 11, 2023 - 9:14 pm
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Thanks everyone for the information.  Bert, you are always a big help.  I have found inconsistencies in the Madis book, a few cases where he contradicts himself.  I consider it more of a guide than gospel.  

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Aaron
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October 9, 2023 - 8:44 pm
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I have one serial 274958, from 1922, and the barrel is marked 23/4 Med

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October 9, 2023 - 8:55 pm
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Aaron said
I have one serial 274958, from 1922, and the barrel is marked 23/4 Med

  

Your Model 12 was actually manufactured in October, 1920, and it does not have its original factory installed barrel.  Somebody apparently upgraded it after 1926 when the 2 3/4″ shell became standard.

Bert

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October 10, 2023 - 9:40 pm
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The world of model 12 collecting will continue to be difficult and a daresay dangerous, esp. as the years roll by. Bert said it in one sentence, no factory production records. All lost in a fire many decades ago. Would love to have half the money that Bert has saved folks here over the years. Well those smart enough to anyway.

Thank you

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October 10, 2023 - 11:05 pm
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Rick Lindquist said
The world of model 12 collecting will continue to be difficult and a daresay dangerous, esp. as the years roll by. Bert said it in one sentence, no factory production records. All lost in a fire many decades ago. Would love to have half the money that Bert has saved folks here over the years. Well those smart enough to anyway.

Thank you

  

Rick,

Thanks for the compliments.

As an additional piece of information and to dispel another urban myth, the records were not lost to a “fire’.  Instead, they were intentionally burned in Winchester’s factory furnaces to make (clear) space in their warehouses.  The attached pictures were provided to me by fellow WACA member Jeff Abendshien (JWA).

Bert

Winchester-records.jpgImage EnlargerWinchester-records-1.jpgImage EnlargerWinchester-records-2.jpgImage Enlarger

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December 22, 2023 - 10:53 pm
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I have a M12 20 Gauge serial matching 480402 that is marked for 2 3/4.  I’m told it’s a 1927.  Thanks!

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December 23, 2023 - 2:46 am
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showtimeih said
I have a M12 20 Gauge serial matching 480402 that is marked for 2 3/4.  I’m told it’s a 1927.  Thanks!

  

Your Model 12 was manufactured in June 1926, and it would be one of the earliest production 20-ga Model 12 with a 2 3/4 marking.  Is the marking on the barrel, or just above the loading port?

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