May 28, 2019
I am considering the purchase of a "new to me" Winchester shotgun and have narrowed the search down to either a model 12 or a model 50. I would use it for Trap/Skeet and perhaps bird hunting sometime in the future. I currently use a vintage 1911 AH Fox double gun with 30 inch barrels choked full/full, which I love but would like to have something a bit faster on the reload. I have used pump action M870 shotguns in the military but the idea of a reliable semi- auto shotgun intrigues me. The M12 is vintage 1957 with 30 inch barrel choked full selling for $445 and the m50 is vintage 1960 with 28 inch barrel choked modified for $395. Both are in excellent unmolested cosmetic and mechanical condition. Both are steel framed with nicely figured wood. Which would be a better long term choice as far a collectibility, durability and value. I would not shoot them often but I do like to shoot.
May 26, 2017
Having hunted with both and being happy with their performance the model twelve always has an allure to it in any market where as the model 50 doesn’t seem to get any real respect. I think you could run either over with a truck and they will function just fine. As far as collectibility, I would think that a regular field grade model twelve will hold its value(if you don’t over pay for it) better than a model 50. The model 50 might be heavier to carry, I am sure someone here would know the weight off hand. Hope this helps! I’d buy both and compare them:)
May 28, 2019
Thank you for your reply. Both shotguns in question are field grade and 12 gauge. They are both in comparably excellent condition and within a few dollars of each other in price when taking into account CC fees (or lack thereof) and different shipping costs. I am leaning more towards the Model 12 for the reasons you have mentioned but the Model 50 has it's own allure because of the technical innovation, speed of shot and checkering on the wood however the wood grain on the Model 12 is more interesting. I can only buy one.
May 26, 2017
The model 50 I hunted with was also a 12 gauge- I like them, and still have a few.they are all steel and strong. Comparing the semi auto action to my Remington sp10, the model 50 seems a little clunkier- not sure if that makes any sense, and is surely not meant to offend anyone- don’t get me wrong, the model 50 was smooth,but didn’t seem buttery smooth
March 31, 2009
Semi autos aren't friendly to the other shooters. They throw the hulls at other people. I shot them on the range but always asked the other guys if it would bother them first. You can get devices that catch or trap the expended hulls. The model 50 that my dad had seemed to be too heavy in my opinion. A full or modified choke will work for trap but you really want a wider pattern for skeet.
December 25, 2016
Great point, If you are needing both trap and skeet the issue with old guns are the fixed chokes. No fun shooting skeet with a full choke. It's even less fun to shoot trap with IC or skeet choked guns.
Both the models would benefit with a choke tube conversion. Keep that in mind as you choose. Need enough barrel wall thickness at the muzzle.
Briley comes to mind and they can do their thin wall chokes on many guns that others will not. Briley ain't cheap.
Mike Orlen in MA (i think) does good work and is reasonable. A field gun of either model does not have much if any real collector type value unless it has unusual features etc. They did make a lot of them.
You can ship the barrel only to ease the process.
November 7, 2015
Given the choice I’d go with the Model 12 but if you’re serious about skeet I’d keep looking. The Model 12 in Full shines on the Trap field as well as in the hunting field but would be very unforgiving on the Skeet field where less choke constriction is usually desired. The Model 50 sounds like fun, if I didn’t have so many Skeet guns I would probably hard pressed to pass it up. The Model 12 has more appeal to the average Winchester collector but it’s my understanding the Model 50 is underrated. I’m still looking for one to add to my collection.
May 28, 2019
Thank you for your input. I ended up buying a vintage 1923 Model 12 with solid rib 30" barrels choked full. The unmolested stock has a bit of figure to it and some minor dings but no cracks. The receiver and barrel have 60-70% blue remaining. The action is tight and it has a mirror bore. I ended up paying $625. It feels good. While I would have preferred a 28" or 26" barrel with a modified choke, I didn't see anything in comparable condition for the price. I am more of a trap shooter than skeet shooter and I liked the way the shotgun looked. I also wanted an older model shotgun than something of more recent manufacture. I took it to the range two weeks ago and it functioned perfectly. The Model 50 that I was looking at was attractive but I could only purchase one so the Model 12 won out.
December 25, 2016
I like to try different trap clubs out, great people overall. I shot one morning at Bellingham trap and skeet in N.Wa. state.
They had a pic on the club house wall of a group of shooters, I would guess 50's or 60's judging by the look of the photo.
Every man had a Model 12. There were a dozen or more men in the picture.
You can purchase a comb riser that is a neoprene sleeve like a wetsuit. Its comes with various thickness foam pads. Works quite well to raise your POI without permanently altering the gun. Could also add an extension rib to raise the point of impact.
Model 12's tend to shoot pretty flat, a taller rib and POI helps with trap rising targets. I shoot an old model 12 for trap.
Warning, trap is a rather expensive
November 7, 2015
My Model 12 Trap guns are a hoot to shoot and the old timers all want to fondle and/or shoot them. Those old full choke barrels absolutely SMOKE a clay target and they are also good training aids. If I’m getting a little sloppy and not staying on the bird a few rounds with a Model 12 will teach me the error of my ways. A full choke is as unforgiving as it it rewarding. I know one very good trap shooter that keeps a Model 12 for a backup gun, his dad is an All-American and raised him to respect the Model 12 because at one time it ruled the trap fields. They both shoot double guns (Beretta and Perazzi) but they both smile when I put a Model 12 in the rack. Full disclosure: I generally shoot Browning Citori’s for both Trap and Skeet in part because my old Black Diamond Trap fits me poorly and both it and my “Y” Model 12 Trap are simply too nice for heavy use.
Enjoy that Model 12, Foxdoublegunner! With a SN like that I know you’ll appreciate your new Model 12.
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