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Winchester 1200 serial number date?
June 19, 2020
12:08 pm
Mark George

I have a 1200 that I bought in about 1965? I believe I bought it new. Serial 398083. I have tried to look up mfg. date. Please help. Thanks,

June 19, 2020
2:59 pm
Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 10191
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
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Hello Mark,

Production of the Model 1200 began in the year 1964, starting with serial number 100000.  It is not documented how many were produced per year, and there are no known serialization tables for the early production years (1964 - 1971).  Serial number L739716 is listed as the last serial number manufactured in the year 1972.  That indicates that Winchester had manufactured 639,716 Model 1200 shotguns in the first 9-years of production (approximately 71,000 per year).  If we assume a relatively linear production rate, that would indicate that your gun with serial number 398083 was manufactured early in the year 1968.  In November of 1968, the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968 was enacted into law, and as a result of that law, Winchester added the "L" prefix to the Model 1200 serial numbers.  Your Model 1200 was manufactured before Winchester made that required change.


WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member

June 19, 2020
5:19 pm
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
November 26, 2014
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I agree with Bert.  The first Military contract for Model 1200 shotguns was made in early 1968, and the serial numbers for the Military shotguns started around 400,000.  So a gun in the 390,xxx range would likely have been made in early 1968.

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