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winchester 1200 dating
April 16, 2020
2:44 pm
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T Miller
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I just picked up a winchester model 1200 and serial # is 304164. Any ideas of production date?

April 16, 2020
4:19 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Production began in early 1964, and in late 1968, the “L” prefix was added to the serial number. We can most likely rule out the year 1964, and 1968. My guess would be 1966 as the DOM.

Bert

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May 5, 2020
4:03 pm
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Dan Z
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What about sn L556175? I am trying to figure out if it is C&R.

May 5, 2020
4:26 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Dan Z said
What about sn L556175? I am trying to figure out if it is C&R.  

That serial number falls into a gap in the published DOM records.  I suspect that it is right on the borderline between Modern and C&R status.  My recommendation would be to err on the safe side, and treat it as a Modern firearm.

Bert

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May 5, 2020
4:59 pm
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Dan Z
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Bert H. said

That serial number falls into a gap in the published DOM records.  I suspect that it is right on the borderline between Modern and C&R status.  My recommendation would be to err on the safe side, and treat it as a Modern firearm.

Bert  

Where is that gap? In other words, where do the serial numbers pick up after the L prefix begins and what is the date? It is C&R if it was made in 1970 or earlier. 

Also, this is a 1200 Riot with an 18″ barrel that is marked “Riot” instead of with a choke and has rifle sights. Any idea of value in very good used condition?

May 5, 2020
5:51 pm
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Kingston, WA
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The gap begins with the addition of the “L” prefix in 1968.  All Model 1200 serial numbers without the “L” prefix are C&R eligible.  The DOM list that I have begins with serial number L739617 (listed as the approximate last serial number for the year 1972).  I have no idea what a Model 1200 Riot Gun is worth.

Bert

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May 5, 2020
9:48 pm
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Dan, as Bert mentioned your shotgun is right on the borderline of a C&R gun.  The Military contract Model 1200s were made in the 1968 to 1970 time frame, and the last Military Model 1200s had the L serial number prefix and were in the low 570,000 serial number range.

July 1, 2020
3:48 pm
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Wim
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Good afternoon,
There is some great info on here 🙂
Can i please ask for an approx date for mine please.

L610635

Thank you in advance 🙂

July 1, 2020
4:18 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Wim said
Good afternoon,
There is some great info on here 🙂
Can i please ask for an approx date for mine please.

L610635

Thank you in advance 🙂  

1971

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July 1, 2020
4:54 pm
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Bert H. said

1971  

Thank you sir!!! Much appreciated 🙂 

July 6, 2020
2:49 am
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S_T
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Can I get a date for serial number L2125125? Thanks!

July 6, 2020
1:44 pm
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Kingston, WA
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S_T said
Can I get a date for serial number L2125125? Thanks!  

1988

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July 9, 2020
3:16 am
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Just fishin
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How about a model 1200, 20 gauge with serial #L590834

July 9, 2020
3:32 am
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Kingston, WA
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Just fishin said
How about a model 1200, 20 gauge with serial #L590834  

Most likely late 1970 to early 1971.

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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August 19, 2020
7:16 pm
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August 19, 2020
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 Hell I am new to this site  so any help would be appreciated. I picked up a Winchester model 1200 today the serial number is 452328  I called Winchester they said it was made in 1970 but it doesn’t have the L in the serial number  can anyone help with the date 

August 19, 2020
9:18 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Well to start with, you did not actually call “Winchester”. Instead, you called the Browning Arms Company service number. Browning has a lease to use the trademarked “Winchester” name, but they do not have any accurate information in regards to the firearms that were manufactured by the Winchester Arms Company. “Winchester” has been out of the gun making business since January 1981. They transferred most of the older records to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center of the West back in the late 1970s, and the rest of the records went in the dumpsters at the old New Haven Conn factory.

Per the GCA (Gun Control Act) of 1968 (enacted into law in November 1968), all firearms manufactured in the United States had to have unique serial numbers. As a result of that law, Winchester added the “L” prefix to the Model 1200 serial numbers in mid 1968. Your 1200 was manufactured sometime shortly before that time period. Accordingly, it qualifies as a “Curio & Relic” firearm.

Bert

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August 20, 2020
11:26 pm
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Bert Thank you for the information 

December 4, 2020
6:55 pm
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Brandon Corbin
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Am I correct the serial number 214746 would be between 64 and 68?

December 4, 2020
11:02 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Yes, about midway between the years you mentioned.

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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December 5, 2020
4:08 am
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Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
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FWIW, the 1200/1300 is a damn fine piece of social equipment and quite possibly a bird gun. I have four of them strategically stashed and a 120 bird gun because…well, just because. My 1300’s are pretty awesome riot guns (social equipment) and I shoot the occasional round of skeet with them. I have trained with them at countless PD qualifications, tactical shotgun classes and even a few tactical shotgun matches.  Yes, the 1300 was the riot gun that was with me every time I got in a squad car and more than once when I was glad to have the extra firepower. Unfortunately, they are not collector pieces at this time. They are all worth $250-300 but it will be the best money you ever spent! A few boxes of 00 Buck will break in the action and a box of slugs will confirm the sight regulation. Shooting a few rounds of skeet 3-4 times a year will make your social equipment feel at home in your hands. 

The 1200/1300 rightfully traces its lineage back to the Model 1912/Model 12. For decades there was no finer gun on the Trap fields and to this day trap shooters straighten up and take notice when a Model 12 is in the rack. I have no doubt a 1200 will do fine there as well. Another pump gun and a few autos may outshine the Model 12 on the skeet field but a slick one is pretty hard to beat with the right nut behind the butt. 

My point? The build date of your 1200/1300 is of little consequence. They are all very good guns and thankfully no one seems to have noticed. $250-300 will buy you as good a riot gun as you can buy, IMHO. The 1200 is a damn fine bird gun as most of us miss the second shot but working the action gives us time to think about it. 

Bottom line? I have some pretty decent O/U shotguns and can afford the fancy B-words but when I NEED a scattergun I’ll have a lowly 1200/1300 in my hands if at all possible. If you’ve ever walked into a bad situation, chambered a round in a trusty 1300 and taken immediate charge of that situation you’ll appreciate what I’m saying. 

 

Mike

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