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Model 12 with short barrel and Cutts Compensator
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February 19, 2022 - 12:36 am
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I picked up this gun yesterday at a local shop.  Seems quite solid and in good shape except for what has been done to the barrel!

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The SN is 897,500 which should mean 1941 production from the charts I’ve seen.

The barrel measures 20 3/8″ from the front of the receiver to the back of the Cutts.  The barrel is marked for “2 3/4 CHAM” and “FULL” choke.  Definitely not a factory configuration.  The Cutts has an external full choke installed.  Not sure what the thought process was in having a 20″ gun with the Cutts and FULL choke, but this is the result.

 

The wood is quite solid and I don’t see any cracks or chips.  It doesn’t seem to have any wobble in the barrel assembly, but as this is my first Model 12 and takedown pump shotgun, I don’t know if that is surprising or expected.

 

The Cutts seems a little odd in that the bottom slots appear to have been cut AFTER the device was roll marked.  The slots appear to cut through some of the patent dates.  Are there any features that can tell us how old the Cutts comp is?  Maybe that would give a clue as to when the work might have been done.  

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The Cutts seems to be screwed on.  Since there is already no originality in this barrel, I’m thinking about just having it cut to “Riot Gun” length with a new bead.  Won’t be harming a nice original gun.

Any thoughts on this gun?  Why was it set up this way?  Any harm to be done by making it a shorty?  Thanks.

 

Rob

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February 19, 2022 - 2:39 pm
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Rob,  Since no one is replying as yet, let me jump in with a bit of info on my limited experiences around Cutts Compensators.  When I was into serious skeet shooting in the 70’s and 80’s, there were still a few shooters, older gentlemen for the most part, who shot pump shotguns with Cutts Compensators on them.  You definitely didn’t want to sell them short!  One buddy from my local club shot an old, high grade Remington 870 with a Cutts and his story was it helped mitigate muzzle climb and recoil, plus the weight out front kept the swing going.   He shot skeet (with a spreader choke tube on), trap with a full choke on it (like the model 12 under view), and hunted desert quail with a modified choke tube on it.  Personally, they and polychokes look ugly on the ends of barrels, but they do work and work quite well.  It is old school, and looks rather appropriate now.  If I were you, and if you aren’t totally opposed to the look, I would leave it alone, and try to get the rest of the choke tubes you need for a full suite of chokes.  Shoot it in the various games you enjoy, and don’t look back.  The ‘damage’ to highest collector value has already been done.  If your sensibilities ARE greatly offended, then see if it can be removed, sold to someone else, and install internal choke tubes.  Likely there is plenty of barrel wall thickness to do so.  My opinion only and others no doubt will agree and disagree!  Tim

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February 19, 2022 - 4:26 pm
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tim tomlinson said
Rob,  Since no one is replying as yet, let me jump in with a bit of info on my limited experiences around Cutts Compensators.  When I was into serious skeet shooting in the 70’s and 80’s, there were still a few shooters, older gentlemen for the most part, who shot pump shotguns with Cutts Compensators on them.  You definitely didn’t want to sell them short!  One buddy from my local club shot an old, high grade Remington 870 with a Cutts and his story was it helped mitigate muzzle climb and recoil, plus the weight out front kept the swing going.   He shot skeet (with a spreader choke tube on), trap with a full choke on it (like the model 12 under view), and hunted desert quail with a modified choke tube on it.  Personally, they and polychokes look ugly on the ends of barrels, but they do work and work quite well.  It is old school, and looks rather appropriate now.  If I were you, and if you aren’t totally opposed to the look, I would leave it alone, and try to get the rest of the choke tubes you need for a full suite of chokes.  Shoot it in the various games you enjoy, and don’t look back.  The ‘damage’ to highest collector value has already been done.  If your sensibilities ARE greatly offended, then see if it can be removed, sold to someone else, and install internal choke tubes.  Likely there is plenty of barrel wall thickness to do so.  My opinion only and others no doubt will agree and disagree!  Tim  

I’m on the same page as Tim here.  

I agree that it looks odd to add such a long device to a short barrel.  Cutts Compensators and Polychokes were popular back in the day and it’s common to find them on used guns.  I’ve known people who have purchased shotguns thusly equipped.  When I asked the buyers of these shotguns why they purchased the gun, in every case the response has been, “the price.”  

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February 19, 2022 - 4:52 pm
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I like the “Old School Cool” look of a Cutts Compensator on any Shotgun and they tend to give an All-Business look to a barrel just like the old Savage Super-Choke did or the intimidating look of a Compensated Thompson SMG.

Anyway the gun is already Chopped so beauty remains in the eye of the beholder.

If you consider the versatility provided by the Comp and consider the overall barrel length with it installed you’ve got a wicked looking Brush-Gun.

You should be able to find other tubes for it and nowadays Cutts Comp’s are becoming fairly scarce (at least here in Canada) so if you do cut it off don’t throw it away.

A few years back I went looking for one for an Old-School project like what you have and there were none to be found at that time.

Maybe enjoy it as it is for a while and reconsider at a later time.

I think it’s worth more to the right person “as is” than just being another 20″ Cut-down Field Gun (fake Riot/Trench model).

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February 20, 2022 - 7:15 pm
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Being a 20″ barrel makes it more maneuverable.  The added choke gets the pattern tighter than cylinder bore.  Without the cutts you would have had to install threaded chokes to get the same pattern.   Other than brush use it makes a better home defense or cowboy action gun.

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February 20, 2022 - 7:23 pm
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Obviously, for some the, “cool factor” makes it worth leaving as is.  For others, there is no cool factor with a Cutts or Polychoke.  Then we get to, is there anything you would like to use it for?  For a home defense gun, cutting it down to 20 inch is definitely the way to go.  If you going to use it for anything flying, some sort of choke would be desirable.  

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February 21, 2022 - 6:32 pm
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The other thing about Cutts Compensators is that on a short barrel they can make a really neat Muzzle-Flash in the dark.

The Gun’s already butchered – and either you like/get it or you don’t.

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February 21, 2022 - 9:42 pm
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Thanks for the thoughts so far.  I’m undecided about what to do with it, so appreciate hearing from both sides.  I didn’t know there was so much modern appreciation for the classic utility of the Cutts + chokes!

 

Rob

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