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Model 12 Serial Number way out of range
May 15, 2022 - 11:37 pm


I picked up a Model 12 shotgun that has a serial number of 3782542 which is way off from the published serial numbers. I am curious if anyone has experience with this and might have a possible explanation. 

Model-12-Serial-Number-3782542.jpgImage EnlargerModel-12-Serial-Number-on-receiver-and-not-on-barrel.jpgImage EnlargerModel-12-barrel-marking-nickel-steel.jpgImage EnlargerModel-12-28-inch-barrel-length.jpgImage Enlarger

Kingston, WA
Posts: 10619
May 16, 2022 - 2:00 am



The number stamped on the receiver of that gun was not put there by Winchester.  More than likely it was stamped on the receiver (by hand) when somebody refinished it a long time ago.


WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member

May 16, 2022 - 2:54 pm


Looking at the serial number that is stamped, could any of the numbers be original and someone added a few numbers? For instance could the first three numbers (378) be original? And the two numeral 2s appear different…any ideas on that?

What would be the incentive for someone to add to an original SN or put a SN on a gun that isn’t realistic?

Kingston, WA
Posts: 10619
May 17, 2022 - 12:22 am



There is no possible way to ever know for sure what happened to the original serial number… people do all kinds of strange & odd things to guns for unknown reasons.  The fact that it has a Nickel Steel barrel indicates that it is a pre-1933 production gun.


WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member

May 17, 2022 - 4:10 pm


Thanks so much for your help. I have a picture of my grandfather holding a Model 12 on the farm taken about 1933. The gun was lost in a fire after he passed so I’ve always wanted to have one just for sentimental reasons. 

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