Winchester Model 12 Heavy Duck

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by of1937, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. of1937

    of1937 New Member

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    I have a Winchester Model 12 Heavy Duck 3 inch chamber shotgun. It has a solid rib 30 inch full choke barrel. It has been completely refinished. All of the metal has been covered with Dura Coat. The stock has some minor crack repairs and has been refinished. The serial number indicates it was manufactured in 1956. It appears to function perfectly. I realize that the refinishing negates collector value; but I wonder what it would be worth as a shooter. And is it still a desirable firearm?

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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  2. Jolly Bill

    Jolly Bill Member

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    of1937,

    Welcome to the forum.

    My guess is that being refinished would cut the value of the gun about in half. That of course would depend on how much original finish was on the gun before it was refinished.

    Still a desireable firearm, just not as desireable as it used to be. At least to a collector.

    My guess as to value; about 400 to 500 bucks considering the stock repair. Still a good shooter if the stock repair is sound and will hold up to 3" magnum loads.

    How 'bout some more opinions?

    Hope this helps.

    Jolly
  3. grampawmike

    grampawmike New Member

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    Good morning, I think Jolly is probably on track with the value. Maybe a little high for my area of the country, where the Dura-Cote would not be preferable, but where they are valued for their qualities as reliable hunting guns it seems about right. It's obviously a well used field gun, but all parts are readily available for any necessary repairs....and there are a few really good Model 12 mechanics that can work wonders on these guns if necessary. That said, I find that the value of these fine pump guns varies from area to area across the U.S. Out where I come from (CA desert land) I see mostly M-12's as trap guns......and there are some nice ones. I have two M-12s of my own, a 20 ga. field gun for dove and quail (late '20's vintage) and a 12 ga. trap gun (30's vintage). My trap gun is stocked with a modified left hand Anton stock and has had barrel work done by Stu Wright.........these two aspects of this gun probably means nothing to anyone but a trap shooter and the true value of it is probably in the $850 range. Here's a pic of it. Mike

    [​IMG]
  4. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    While they were very nice guns the barrels are too soft for steel shot which is now mandatory for waterfowl and as such they do not have much value as shooters. I would say its value is in the 300 to 350 range.

    Ron
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  5. grampawmike

    grampawmike New Member

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    Muddauber....I'll agree with you there........don't do much waterfowl hunting out where I am.....not much water without a lot of travel, and steel shot never entered my mind. As I say, most Mod-12s I see are trap guns. Mike
  6. of1937

    of1937 New Member

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    Ron, Your are incorrect about the metal being too soft. With the nickel steel that is present on regular model 12s that would be the case. But with the "Winchester Proof Steel" that is on the Heavy Duck there would be no problem with softness. The problem with steel shot in this shotgun is that the Heavy Ducks were all originally supplied in full choke only. The barrel thickness is sufficient that most can be reamed out to allow steel shot to be used.
    Bob
  7. doubleslover

    doubleslover New Member

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    I have a Winchester model 12 super x 3 inch and another model 12 that is only 2 3/4 inch. Both are from the fifties. About 8 years ago, 2 different gun smiths looked at them and said that as far as barrels go, both would have no problem being used with steel shot if the chokes were opened up. I didn't bother to do so because I really don't use either of them.
  8. of1937

    of1937 New Member

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    From the information I have been able to find, Winchester stopped making the nickle steel barrels in the model 12 around 1931. The "Winchester Proof" barrels have a little WP in a circle on top of the barrel near the receiver. So any model 12 barrels made after that should be able to handle steel shot as long as they are not full choke, or if the choke has been opened up.
    Bob
  9. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    I have not heard of opening the choke in a model 12 to end the steel shot problem, but then again I am sure there are a lot of things I have not heard of. That being said I have shot a lot of steel shot through a Beretta super 90 with a full choke tube but I believe those barrels are hard chromed or they are made out of chromoly steel. I know around here model 12's have dropped to half of what they once were worth and I never see anyone using one for duck hunting any more. I have bought several 70 to 80 percent guns for between 200 and 250, then take them home, cut the barrel to 18 1/4 inch, put a new bead and sell it for 350 to 400, they make the best house gun money can buy.

    I stand on my position that while it is a very nice gun tops on the gun is about $350.00

    Ron
  10. of1937

    of1937 New Member

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    Ron, I'm not sure where you are from; but around Louisiana any model 12 in shooting condition will sell as fast as it hits the market. I witnessed an average condition field grade 12 gauge sell in a local pawn shop just today. It sold for $500 and never hit the shelf. Now considering that my model 12 has been fooled with, I don't know enough about what that does to the actual worth as a shooter to disagree with your estimate. I don't think you will find anywhere in the country that has more duck hunting than in South Louisiana. I would venture to say that a goodly portion of the hunters are using Browning A5s and model 12s. Most of the shotguns being made today have screw-in chokes. The choke tubes that are designed for steel shot are normally marked as such. I think it is the choke that causes the problem, not the barrel itself. And yes I see 3 1/2 shotguns with full choke tubes being used all the time. As for myself, I've been hunting for over 60 years and have never felt the need for such firepower to kill a little old duck.
    Bob
  11. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Bob: I am from Northern Nevada and believe it or not there is a lot of duck hunting around here. As for magnums they really don't drive the shot as fast max 2 3/4 inch with an 1 1/8 ounce of shot. The magnums throw more shot but at less velocity just like a rifle shoots its lighter bullets than it does the heavier ones.

    About four years ago at the big Reno gun show I bought an almost mint all original model 12 3 in mag for $400.00 and I sold it before I left the show for $500.00.

    Last but not least and with all due respect why did you ask for opinions here on the forum on the value of your gun where it appears you have been going to pawn shops in your area and getting your own idea of values. I have only given you my opinion of what I think your gun is worth and admittedly I make no representation what my opinion is worth anything other than it is my opinion.

    Ron
  12. of1937

    of1937 New Member

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    Ron, I have to admit that this is the first Heavy Duck that I have ever owned. I have never seen one in a pawn shop. And only a couple at gun shows. I also have no idea of what refinishing does to the value of this particular model as a shooter. I am quite familar with regular model 12s . I figured I would ask people who may have more experience with this particular model. With all due respect, I really expected that someone with that knowledge would answer. And some did. I stand chastised, and promise not to disagree with you again. I did not intend to raise your ire.
    Bob
  13. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Bob: Please by all means disagree with me when ever you choose too. I would hate living in a world that I was right all the time because in that way I could never learn. The other thing is that gun prices are different in different parts of the country. As an example you can't hardly give away a slug type shot gun around here because most of the deer hunting is done at distances far beyond the capability of such a gun.

    Anyhow and all of that being said, I apologize to you Bob if I came off as being somewhat of an old crusty bastard that I can be at times, you seem to be a very nice humble gentleman and it is me who might take a lesson from you.

    Ron
  14. grampawmike

    grampawmike New Member

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    Ron....Bob; I'm staying out of the fray, but as said, the prices for these guns (like most others) seems to vary from area to area in this country, and your experiences pretty well reinforce my observations. The grade and/or type of the same basic model also seem to have variations in value. I'm pretty close to Bob's age (I think) but am unable to do anymore bird hunting, however, I can enjoy a trip to the trap range periodically.....where I can drag a stool with me and sit between shots, and am therefore a little more familiar with M-12's used for that sport. M-12 trap guns still have a following (although losing favor to stack-barrel shotguns) and their value is higher than plain barreled field guns. Ron, I will say that the thought of you chopping the barrel of a good M-12 with a factory 'duck bill' rib sort of sends chills down an old trap shooters back, but, that said, back when I was a LEO, a short barreled M-12 was the finest working shotgun I ever used. Mike
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  15. of1937

    of1937 New Member

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    Ron, Not a problem. I wish you the best.

    Mike,
    Quote "Bob, I will say that the thought of you chopping the barrel of a good M-12 with a factory 'duck bill' rib sort of sends chills down an old trap shooters back"

    Not ME!! I have never chopped the barrel on any shotgun. I don't have nerve or expertise to monkey around with gunsmithing duties.
    Bob
  16. grampawmike

    grampawmike New Member

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    Bob......sorry about that. I got the names switched...I'm sort of old and drool a lot too! There, I fixed it. Mike
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  17. of1937

    of1937 New Member

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    Mike, I am originally from East Tennessee and when I first got to South Louisiana 30 years ago I too drooled. After the last 30 years eating all of this peppered duck gumbo, my saliva glands have completely seared over. I don't drool anymore. In fact I don't think I can even spit.
    Bob
  18. grampawmike

    grampawmike New Member

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    Bob, I've spent most of my life out here in the Southwest Desert area of the country. I think the drooling comes from the almost mandatory brew that accompanies the spicy Mexican style munchies out here......not that I'm complaining much. Mike
  19. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Mike that sent chills down my back as well, I never said I shortened the barrel on a duck bill ribbed gun. The guns I try to find are ones with a Cutts or Poly choke. I did however once buy a solid ribbed gun in mint condition that had a checkered fore-end and stock that looked factory and I did cut the barrel on it to 24" because the barrel was bulged just back of the choke. I shot skeet with that gun for years before selling to a friend that just had to have it.

    Ron
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  20. grampawmike

    grampawmike New Member

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    Ron, it seems that in the 50's almost everyone shooting trap or skeet shot (or wanted to shoot) a Model 12..........with a compensator or Vari-Choke. So many were installed that one would think that that as the way they all 'should' be. Now, one with the Cutts or Vari-Choke looses almost all of it's value. I shot one with that big blob on the end of the barrel and found it REALLY distracting. As a sideline, my son's wife shoots a 30 inch, ported barrel Model 12 for trap...and does very well with it. She is all of 4ft 11 inches tall. It's fun to listen to some guys that have shot against her in the past mention to another person that they had "better have their game on because here comes that itty-bitty girl with that great big Model 12". Mike
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