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Posted By: gil russell Early Model 12 Win/ 16 ga Question (OT) - 08/08/20 10:54 PM
Early Model 12 16 ga (1916 chambered for 2 9/16" shells) with ejection port at 2.43". Is the only needed alteration most likely to be lengthening the port? I measured an early 12 ga (2 3/4" chamber) and that port is 2.612". So both of the ports are shorter than their respective (fired) case length. Thanks! Gil
My guess, as I own and shoot 7 Model 12's- ranging from a skeet grade M12 28 gauge to several 3" Mag 12's-- the plastic hulls didn't really get rolling until the late 1950's, from 1912 to about 1957- paper hulls were the norm- and the softer opened up crimp folds most likely cleared the front radius of the receiver ejection port when the gun was cycled. The oldest M12 I own and shoot is a 1921 mfg. field grade 12 gauge 28" full plain barrel nickel steel (same analysis basically as the later Winchester Proof Steel-that was just another marketing ploy by WRA--) and it has 2&3/4" chambers-std. for the 12 gauges since 1916--

A hunting pal has a 16 gauge field grade made in the same time frame as my 12 nickel steel M12- no chamber length marked, he shoots Federal 16 plastic hulls in it all day long, no problemo.

Posted By: dogon Re: Early Model 12 Win/ 16 ga Question (OT) - 08/09/20 01:48 PM
I just treat my first year model 12 16ga just like I do my short chambered SxS's and shoot RST's in it. I see no reason to alter the gun to have it usable & effective.
Posted By: Der Ami Re: Early Model 12 Win/ 16 ga Question (OT) - 08/09/20 01:57 PM
Unless I am mistaken ( I often am), the Brownell book has instructions for conversion to 2 3/4", together with procedures for conversion of the Browning Auto5.
Ive seen 16 gauge model 12s that had the conversion still act fussy with 2 3/4 ammunition. The stuff produced today is contemptibly cheap, especially in 16 gauge, which, seems like an afterthought to most ammunition manufacturers.
Dogon is right. Just leave it be, and step up your ammunition.

Possibly runs could provide evidence of his assertion that "nickel steel (same analysis basically as the later Winchester Proof Steel-that was just another marketing ploy by WRA)"

Winchester Proof Steel

Nickel Steel

the plastic hulls didn't really get rolling until the late 1950's,

DuPont (Remington & Peters) began offering their plastic SP shells in 12-gauge in late 1960. By 1962 they had added 10-, 16- and 20-gauge plastic shells. The Olins (Winchester & Western) introduced their Super-Speed and Super-X in "Compression-Formed" and their Ranger and Xpert in "Poly-Formed" in 12-, 16- and 20-gauges in 1964.
Posted By: Mark II Re: Early Model 12 Win/ 16 ga Question (OT) - 08/09/20 05:19 PM
The current length of the 16 ga hull is quite variable. Remingtons are usually the shortest. and Fiochis on the longer end. The softness of the hull and how forcefully you work the action can make a big difference in the outcome.
Update: So I cut some hulls to 2.53" or so. Ran a few empties through it and lo and behold, the gun operated and they ejected OK. So I loaded some up using card wads and wax to seal the ends up for now.
I hope to fire those this week. My thought is to eventually use hulls cut to the shorter length and use a roll crimper with cards for a better result. I'll report back. I'm sure many of you are in suspense....
Have you tried firing factory 2-3/4" shells in this gun? I have an unmodified short chamber M12 16ga, and it handles Win Super X field loads just fine.
RST shows 2 1/2" 16 gauge shells (A5) 1oz. at 1200FPS for $110/flat.

I wouldn't mess with cutting shells, roll crimping, etc. at that price.

Standard 16's are about that amount now... if you can find any.
Sure, Drewbie-- between the Nickel Steel WRA used from about 1896 until the Winchester Proof Steel came on to the market in aprox. 1931 (same year the M21 was on the market) WRA had the Fubared Stainless Steel options for some of its rifle and shotgun offerings- The M54 rifle and the M12 shotgun. One of their greatest advertising blunders was the ils. of 2 deer hunters carrying a deceased buck deer on a pole in the rain-- "No need to clean your rifle right after the hunt" etc. BS. I clean whatever weapon I happen to be hunting with that day, whether I fire it or not. Old USMC mantra--

I am NOT by any means a metallurgist but as a life-long welder (ferrous and non-ferrous metals, TIG, MIG and SMAW) all positions, I know how to spark test ferrous metals. WPS is basically AISI 4140- Nickel based, with Chromium and Molybedendum as additives-- I have in my gun parts inventory, a 12 gauge 30" full M1912 barrel section from a muzzle obstructed bursting. As soon as I obtain a section from a post 1931 M12 marked WPS, I'll spark test them- using a clean medium grit wheel, to avoid contamination of the exemplars.

I believe WPS was a ploy used by WRA to overcome their marketing FUBAR with the U S Steel supplied Stainless barrels- see the Madis book on the M12 for more details, if you will.

You are, obviously, a highly educated person-I am not. But I daresay I was one of the handful of welders working the trade for many years (mainly power plant code welding on stainless piping systems) that was also a member of the AWS- and read each monthly issue religiously. RWTF
"WPS is basically AISI 4140- Nickel based, with Chromium and Molybedendum as additives"

Education comes from being willing to learn Francis; sometimes by (frequently painful wink ) experience, often times by research and reading. It is perfectly fine if you do don't wish to read the threads I linked, but it's not OK to make stuff up. You have confused 4340 with 4140.

AISI 4140 Chrome Moly
Carbon - 0.38 - 0.43%
Manganese - 0.75 - 1.0%
Nickel < .01%
Chromium - 0.8 - 1.1%
Molybdenum - 0.15 - 0.25%

AISI 4340 Chrome Moly Nickel
C - 0.38 - 0.43%
Mn - 0.6 - 0.8%
Nickel - 1.65 - 2.0%
Cr - 0.7 - 0.9%
Mo - 0.2 - 0.3%

The WPS I analyzed was non-standard 4135 with a low concentration of nickel (.09%).

The Winchester Nickel Steel was non-standard AISI 2340.

Please let us know the results of your 1931 M12 WPS barrel analysis.
Posted By: Imperdix Re: Early Model 12 Win/ 16 ga Question (OT) - 08/11/20 02:34 PM
What year did they change the 16g to accomodate longer cases ?
Posted By: Lloyd3 Re: Early Model 12 Win/ 16 ga Question (OT) - 08/11/20 03:24 PM
If I remember correctly, it was somewhere near the 500,000 mark in the serial numbers, roughly 1927-28.
Posted By: Imperdix Re: Early Model 12 Win/ 16 ga Question (OT) - 08/11/20 03:59 PM
Thanks for that! I owned one for several years but at the time knowledge wasn`t easy to find !! Was a great gun to use and boy ,did it hit hard!!!
Originally Posted By: Lloyd3
If I remember correctly, it was somewhere near the 500,000 mark in the serial numbers, roughly 1927-28.

Lloyd, you may be right about the serial number, but I don't think they went to exchangeable barrels until the '60s. I know my early 60's gun would not shoot with the later model barrel...Geo
The 1925 Winchester catalog No. 83, 1925, still states the 16-gauge Model 12s are chambered for 2 9/16 inch shells and the 20-gauge Model 12s are chambered for 2 1/2 inch shells.

The next small catalog I have I can't find a date on but it is Form No. 980. On the Model 12 page it states "Constructed throughout of Nickel Steel..." Near the bottom they state "The 16 and 20 gauge guns are increasing in popularity at the present time with a large following of sportsmen who find that shooting with the smaller gauges adds much zest and keenness to their sport. The 20 gauge Model 12 is now chambered to handle standard 2 3/4 inch shells." No mention of the 16 gauge chambering.

Riffle states in his book, page 47, that during 1926 Winchester announced that the 16-gauge and 20-gauge chambers would be changed from 2 9/16 and 2 1/2 to 2 3/4. He gives the serial number range for 1926 as 423,057 to 464,564.

Stadt states in his book, page 106, that the 20-gauge was changed to 2 3/4 inch in 1925 and the 16-gauge to 2 3/4 inch in 1927.

The next catalog I have is July 1931, and states all gauges chambered for 2 3/4 inch shells. No mention of Nickel Steel, Stainless Steel or Winchester Proof Steel.

So, guess we can take our pick.
1927- according to Madis- 1930 according to Riffle. Problem is, the serial nos. for M1912-M12 shotguns in all gauges often overlapped from one year to another. The "ballpark" I use is the number 1,000,00- a 12 gauge Skeet gun presented to USAAF 3 star Gen Hap Arnold in 1942-- Hap believed in skeet as a good training for his fighter pilots and the gunners on the bombers as well. RWTF
Hi Gil- currently shooting farm area barn pigeons using up my stock of paper hulls- both 20 gauge WRA and 12 gauge Remington UMC. Saving the hulls for you if you need more to re-size them to a 2&1/2" length. The grits were great-thanks RWTF
First year of production? That would be 1914- and your M12 is most likely marked Model 1912-- 25" plain barrel and std. full choke, right. I love M12's (except those adorned with "Steam Whistles" and PollyWannaCracker twisty chokes- RWTF
OK Drewbie- here we go-- May/June 2020 issue of SS magazine Fine Gunmaking by Stephen Dodd Hughes-- on the "Perfect Repeater" :: page 36 mid-page graph- quoted: "Bluing loss is pretty typical for M-12's, and that goes along with another theory of mine. I think the so-called nickel used in these guns doesn't hold its bluing as well because of the alloy of the steel (add: my obs. try bluing chromium, whether rust bluing or the later dip-tank process)-- "According to Tool Steel Simplified-- Nickel does add to the toughness and wear resistance when used in conjunction with hardening alloys like chromium. Prior to about 1939, M-12's were rust blued. For the most part, the bluing holds up well on the barrels but seems thinner and to wear faster on the harder steel of the actions and barrel extensions"!!!

I also wonder, as Dad's 1938 era M21-12 gauge Field grade shows a browning shade on the receiver floor plate, but no the graying shades of finish wear on the barrels (it has a splinter field style forearm) and has been shot and used afield a great deal since he bought it secondhand in 1948, gave it me in 1980 (Thanks, Dad)

The oldest of my 7 Model 12's had a nickel steel barrel. A field grade 12- 28" barrel Full Choke sn.264437 possibly mfgd. in 1921- the barrel, mag tube and barrel extension shows good even solid blue, but both sides of the receiver, also top and part of the trigger guard are a worn with careful usage a grayish hue- even, NO rust anywhere (true with all my other shotguns as well.

I still tend to beleieve that WPS was WRA's marketing move, following on the heels of the Stainless Steel barrels offered in the late 1920's era.. RWTF
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