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November 3, 2023 - 12:36 am
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Hi guys! Found a trench gun on GunBroker.com. looks amazing, but its a takedown model. Did winchester make a takedown trench gun? Also the stamps looked fishy. Let me know if I should stay away from it. Screenshot_20231102_195357_Samsung-Internet.jpgImage EnlargerScreenshot_20231102_195608_Samsung-Internet.jpgImage EnlargerScreenshot_20231102_195337_Samsung-Internet.jpgImage Enlarger

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November 3, 2023 - 1:04 am
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Justin Caudill said Let me know if I should stay away from it. 
  

As far away as you can get.

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November 3, 2023 - 1:30 am
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Mirror bluing?

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November 3, 2023 - 12:01 pm
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I only had to read as far as, “found on gunbroker…” Wink  Well, it’s not that there aren’t some legitimate items on gunbroker, but it does cast a layer (an extra layer) of suspicion for me.

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November 3, 2023 - 12:54 pm
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I’m surprised any markings are left after all that buffing.

 

Mike

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November 3, 2023 - 4:27 pm
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Justin, the WW II trench guns were take downs.  WW I were solid frames.

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November 4, 2023 - 10:29 am
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Chuck said
Justin, the WW II trench guns were take downs.  WW I were solid frames.

  

Thanks for the info! I just got into winchester shotguns and I’m trying to learn as much as possible. I can’t believe how many fakes or alterations that there are, and that people even do stuff like this. Ive learned so much already, Joining this group was well worth the $50! 

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November 4, 2023 - 10:34 am
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Is this a legit stamp? Found it on good old GunBroker.com 

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November 4, 2023 - 9:18 pm
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Justin Caudill said
Screenshot_20231103_201901_Samsung-Internet.jpgImage Enlarger

Is this a legit stamp? Found it on good old GunBroker.com 

   

Probably, but the gun has been polished and re finished.  The circle with the WP is the Winchester proof mark and the other is an Ordinance stamp, flaming bomb.  Detail has been lost during the refinishing just like on the receiver.

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November 5, 2023 - 1:39 am
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Justin Caudill said
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Is this a legit stamp? Found it on good old GunBroker.com 

  

I very much doubt that it is legitimate.

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November 5, 2023 - 5:38 pm
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Bert is probably right. My comments were only about the stamps.  These guns have been faked so often it is not easy to find one that is correct.

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November 5, 2023 - 9:25 pm
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Thanks so much guys! I’m so glad to have found this group! You’ve already saved me from getting swindled twice lol. Best $50 I ever spent. 

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November 6, 2023 - 12:26 am
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Justin Caudill said You’ve already saved me from getting swindled twice.

Stay away from all guns that are easily faked.  Better yet, stay away from GB.  A FEW dealers are trustworthy, such as Austin’s Guns, but not the majority, who, even if they were trying to be honest, are too ignorant to know any better. 

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November 6, 2023 - 1:02 am
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Years ago I read there are more faked trench guns than original….and they’ve made many more since then. 

 

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November 6, 2023 - 2:17 am
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TXGunNut said
Years ago I read there are more faked trench guns than original….and they’ve made many more since then.  

No doubt, & for sure more faked ’03 Spfd sniper rifles than were ever issued by US govt!

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November 11, 2023 - 6:37 pm
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You were wise to come here before making a bid. Be very aware Model 12 Winchester’s are a good place for a newbie collector to get burned badly. More fakes than real deal. A fire at the Winchester factory destroyed the Model 12 records, and Winchester made a heck of a lot of Model 12’s. Be very careful with Model 12’s, likely the best indicator of a real deal gun is good honest wear.

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November 11, 2023 - 6:55 pm
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Rick Lindquist said
You were wise to come here before making a bid. Be very aware Model 12 Winchester’s are a good place for a newbie collector to get burned badly. More fakes than real deal. A fire at the Winchester factory destroyed the Model 12 records, and Winchester made a heck of a lot of Model 12’s. Be very careful with Model 12’s, likely the best indicator of a real deal gun is good honest wear.

  

Rick,

Good advice, but you have an error in you statement above.  Winchester most certainly did not have “a fire at the Winchester factory destroyed the Model 12 records”.  That is an urban myth that continues to be falsely circulated. 

The fact is this… Winchester intentionally burned the records during the 1940s & 1950s in their furnaces to free up space in the buildings used to store the millions of old records they had accumulated.  There was no Federal (legal) requirement to retains manufacture records (that did not happen until the GCA of 1968 was enacted into law), so they simply burned all of the records that had not been transferred to the Musuem.  Fortunately, nearly all of the pre WW I records had been moved to the Winchester Museum (by direction of Edwin Pugsley) and they are now all in possession of the Cody Firearms Museum.  The only post WW I records that survived were the Polishing Room serialization records books (100% complete for the Model 12).

Bert

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November 12, 2023 - 3:37 pm
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clarence said

Justin Caudill said You’ve already saved me from getting swindled twice.

Stay away from all guns that are easily faked.  Better yet, stay away from GB.  A FEW dealers are trustworthy, such as Austin’s Guns, but not the majority, who, even if they were trying to be honest, are too ignorant to know any better. 

  

Clarence, GB has been relatively good to me — letting me auction off various things as my taste and interests have changed, instead of consigning them to local dealers and getting 85% of the lower prices their smaller customer populations would pay.  Experience taught me to avoid setting a reserve, keeping the auction open for the maximum two weeks, and starting at a penny bid. When I’ve done that, I’ve never been sorry.  So, when I read your (good) advice to “stay away from GB” my initial reaction was, who put the Tabasco sauce in Clarence’s breakfast oatmeal? But then I began thinking about the pieces I’ve bought on GB over the years and realized almost none of those would qualify as collectibles, where provenance, originality, and the subleties of condition drastically affect the price.  In the very few cases where I did buy a good Winchester, the seller was an individual and not a dealer, licensed or otherwise. And the piece was not in a suspiciously high condition. The best example that comes to mind is a favorite 1949 vintage, Model 64 Deer Rifle that had seen some use in the field but was still very “crispy” and “nice.” Nothing exotic, the usual .30 WCF, but it came with its original Lyman 56, the Super Grade swivels, and a genuine 3277 hood. Rancher in New Mexico was getting on in years and decided to pass it on.  The final bid price was not cheap but not silly, either. About market at the time. Contrast that with the M62 you and I recently discussed – the one that looked too good to be true.  One of your Upstate dealers….

All this to say I heartily second your advice.  Unless you know the reputation of the online dealer is solid and historically reliable – AND you have a right of refusal on inspection — don’t pull the trigger.  And ask a lot of hard questions first. And don’t bid on “high condition” things in hot categories. The Artful Dodger is in his garage shop right now, polishing up another “28 gauge” Pigeon Grade Model 12.  

- Bill 

 

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November 25, 2023 - 11:22 pm
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Bert, you are one knowledgeable guy, it’s great to know the rest of the story and that there is more data available than I had been lead to believe.

Much appreciated, and from a fellow Washingtonian as well.

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