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Opinions …… Model 12
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February 6, 2024 - 9:24 pm
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I recently purchased this model 12 as part of my friend’s estate.  He and his father owned a local gun shop and were Winchester dealers from the mid 1960s through the mid 1980s

Beautiful gun but the checkering pattern looks after market, am I correct?

Is the vent rib also aftermarket? I see no markings on the rib itself.

SN -1670186

Thanks!

George…

 

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February 6, 2024 - 9:28 pm
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Sorry…. Not sure why some of the pics posted upside down… they were correct on my end…

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February 6, 2024 - 9:32 pm
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Hello George,

I suspect aftermarket work.  My primary reason for that statement is the mis-matched knurling (matting) on the top of the receiver frame as compared to the Vent Rib.  If Winchester had installed the VR, the matting pattern would match on the receiver frame & barrel.

Bert

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March 7, 2024 - 3:59 pm
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Anyone have any idea who made this stock?  It doesn’t match any Winchester patterns that I’ve been able to find.  I pulled the butt plate off, and no markings.

Also, the proof marks are stamped off to the side of the vent rib.  If this was sent off to Simmons to be reworked, did they restamp the proofs?  Would they have replaced the wood there too?  The fit and finish is excellent whomever did it.  I don’t know much about this process and am very curious.  I’d love to hear some opinions from the model 12 experts on this forum.  I’ve recently acquired a few different model 12s from an estate, and I’m trying to decide which ones to hold onto 😁

Thanks!

Geo….

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March 7, 2024 - 5:14 pm
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Beautiful gun, nice pics. 

 

Mike

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March 7, 2024 - 6:28 pm
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[email protected] said
Anyone have any idea who made this stock?  It doesn’t match any Winchester patterns that I’ve been able to find.  I pulled the butt plate off, and no markings.

Also, the proof marks are stamped off to the side of the vent rib.  If this was sent off to Simmons to be reworked, did they restamp the proofs?  Would they have replaced the wood there too?  The fit and finish is excellent whomever did it.  I don’t know much about this process and am very curious.  I’d love to hear some opinions from the model 12 experts on this forum.  I’ve recently acquired a few different model 12s from an estate, and I’m trying to decide which ones to hold onto 😁

Thanks!

Geo….  

Simmons frequently upgraded the stocks when they installed one of their Vent Ribs on a Model 12.

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March 8, 2024 - 11:01 am
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IIRC, the proof mark, off to the side, is indicative of a barrel with an original factory installed (or outsourced) rib. Otherwise, and aftermarket rib would have covered the proof. It’s one of the tells…

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March 8, 2024 - 1:35 pm
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rwsem said
IIRC, the proof mark, off to the side, is indicative of a barrel with an original factory installed (or outsourced) rib. Otherwise, and aftermarket rib would have covered the proof. It’s one of the tells…

  

That’s the part that I don’t quite understand.  Did Winchester ship these guns off to Simmons to be modified if a customer ordered such features?  Or, were these modifications only performed after the original purchase and then shipped to Simmons by the customer?  The vent rib is not marked anywhere. 

So, after installing the rib, Simmons would reblue the barrel and then restamp the offset proof marks?  I would think this would have been a costly process?

The original butt plate being installed also throws me off.  I would have thought an aftermarket recoil pad would have been installed when restocked. The work done on this shotgun certainly doesn’t appear to have been done by Bubba the hometown gunsmith 😂😂😂

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March 8, 2024 - 7:20 pm
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George,

This is my understanding of the history of the Model 12 with Vent Ribs.  Winchester patented a Ventilated Rib specifically for the Model 1912 in the year 1919 and began offering it as a special-order feature.  In later years, Winchester manufactured specific Model 12 variations that were standard equipped with a Vent Rib while still offering to install Ven Ribs on any Model 12 variation on special order.

Now, having stated that, it has been written (published) in the past that Winchester sent guns to Simmons Gun Works to have Vent Ribs installed.  I myself do not believe that Winchester ever outsourced that type of work, especially since they had been doing that type of work for decades before Simmons existed. I personally would not accept or believe that a Winchester Model 12 shotgun with a Simmons Vent Rib is factory original, but that is my opinion.

Simmons made a successful business out of installing aftermarket Vent Ribs and deluxe stocks on shotguns of all types, and the Winchester Model 12 was the one model that they excelled at.

Bert

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March 8, 2024 - 9:05 pm
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Bert H. said
George,

This is my understanding of the history of the Model 12 with Vent Ribs.  Winchester patented a Ventilated Rib specifically for the Model 1912 in the year 1919 and began offering it as a special-order feature.  In later years, Winchester manufactured specific Model 12 variations that were standard equipped with a Vent Rib while still offering to install Vent Ribs on any Model 12 variation on special order.

Now, having stated that, it has been written (published) in the past that Winchester sent guns to Simmons Gun Works to have Vent Ribs installed.  I myself do not believe that Winchester ever outsourced that type of work, especially since they had been doing that type of work for decades before Simmons existed. I personally would not accept or believe that a Winchester Model 12 shotgun with a Simmons Vent Rib is factory original, but that is my opinion.

Simmons made a successful business out of installing aftermarket Vent Ribs and deluxe stocks on shotguns of all types, and the Winchester Model 12 was the one model that they excelled at.

Bert

  

Thank you Bert!

What you say makes sense to me, and you have more knowledge of “Winchester Processes” than most.  The only thing that isn’t logical to me is the fact that Simmons was not installing these vent ribs as a subcontractor for Winchester, but still went through the process to restamp the proof marks offset after installing the new rib.  If this was a completely consumer initiated process between the gun owner and Simmons, why would Simmons be concerned with covering up the original proof marks, and leaving no proof marks visible at all?  I’ve recently purchased a small pile of Model 12s from the estate of a former Winchester dealer.  I’m going to keep a couple of them, and pass some on, but before I decide what goes into the keep pile, I’m trying to determine what’s what….LaughLaughLaugh

To confuse things more…… There’s conflicting information out there on other forums supposedly written by former Simmons employees.

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March 9, 2024 - 12:44 am
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The one final thing I will add to this topic is that there are hundreds of aftermarket Winchester Proof mark stamps out there in the hands of bona fide Winchester restoration experts, AND the multitudes of illicit gun fakers.

You can buy one of them for yourself – Proofmark Hand Stamp 97 SOLID FRAME, 97 TAKEDOWN, 12 WINCHESTER (gunpartscorp.com)  I have also frequently seen them for sale on ebay.

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March 10, 2024 - 2:20 pm
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[email protected] said

Bert H. said

George,

This is my understanding of the history of the Model 12 with Vent Ribs.  Winchester patented a Ventilated Rib specifically for the Model 1912 in the year 1919 and began offering it as a special-order feature.  In later years, Winchester manufactured specific Model 12 variations that were standard equipped with a Vent Rib while still offering to install Vent Ribs on any Model 12 variation on special order.

Now, having stated that, it has been written (published) in the past that Winchester sent guns to Simmons Gun Works to have Vent Ribs installed.  I myself do not believe that Winchester ever outsourced that type of work, especially since they had been doing that type of work for decades before Simmons existed. I personally would not accept or believe that a Winchester Model 12 shotgun with a Simmons Vent Rib is factory original, but that is my opinion.

Simmons made a successful business out of installing aftermarket Vent Ribs and deluxe stocks on shotguns of all types, and the Winchester Model 12 was the one model that they excelled at.

Bert

  

Thank you Bert!

What you say makes sense to me, and you have more knowledge of “Winchester Processes” than most.  The only thing that isn’t logical to me is the fact that Simmons was not installing these vent ribs as a subcontractor for Winchester, but still went through the process to restamp the proof marks offset after installing the new rib.  If this was a completely consumer initiated process between the gun owner and Simmons, why would Simmons be concerned with covering up the original proof marks, and leaving no proof marks visible at all?  I’ve recently purchased a small pile of Model 12s from the estate of a former Winchester dealer.  I’m going to keep a couple of them, and pass some on, but before I decide what goes into the keep pile, I’m trying to determine what’s what….LaughLaughLaugh

To confuse things more…… There’s conflicting information out there on other forums supposedly written by former Simmons employees.

  

This is an intriguing statement….

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