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Early Model 12 20 gauge
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July 17, 2023 - 5:20 pm
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I own a Model 12 20 gauge, in what I believe is an unusual configuration. The gun has been in my family since the 1960’s, and was purchased from a neighbor who had owned it since the 1930’s. I state this, because I believe it to be in unaltered condition. Serial number is in the mid 13,000 range, which I believe makes it late first year, or second year production. An interesting aside, in the early 1970’s, I broke the firing pin on the gun, and we took it to Harold McCallum for repair. As most are aware, he was a preeminent Winchester collector. At any rate, he wanted to purchase the gun from us in the worst way, but wouldn’t tell us any more about the gun. What is unusual about this gun is that it has a 28” barrel, and my understanding is all the early guns had 25” barrels. I guess my question is, would it be reasonable to assume this gun was shipped with an uncatalouged barrel length?

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July 18, 2023 - 9:17 am
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Hello Warren,

Mide 13,000 makes it a February 1913 production gun.

While a 25-inch barrel was standard, Winchester offered longer lengths (e.g. 28″ and 30″) as “optional” length if so ordered. So No, not aall early guns had a 25-inch barrel. Most people stuck with the standard (25″) length, so they are much more commonly found today.

Bert

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July 18, 2023 - 3:38 pm
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Thanks for the reply. I was aware of the different barrel lengths being available, but was under the assumption it was only an option in later years. I should know better, I am a fan of Lefever and Fox shotguns as well, and it seems the factories were more than willing to option a gun how you wanted for a nominal fee. 

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