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Opinions on possible Winchester M12 Trench 'Front Half'


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#1 Burns556

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 11:01 AM

Hello, scrolling past this forum and seeing all the talk on real vs fake military trench guns reminded me of an old part I've had for 8-10 years now. It's the business end of what I hope is a model 12 trench gun, without a heat shield. Serial number 1020177. I bought a mixed up model 12 on gb kind of on a whim because it was so cheap, I sold of the receiver section but kept the barrel end. It's grooved for the heat shield screws, if I remember correctly its marked CYL, don't recall if there are other military markings. It's in deep storage back at my Dad's house, I just have these phone pictures I took a couple years ago. It's always been a 'maybe I'll do something with this one day' thing.

 

Rambling aside I've only got a couple pictures right now but I'm interested in hearing any opinions on its authenticity and value.

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#2 Petroleum 1

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 12:57 PM

It should have the flaming bomb marking on the barrel top near the receiver extension. The barrel should be 20 inches. Also look for a two digit number stamped on the barrel bottom up near the receiver extension, it should be 42 or 43. This barrel was fitted at one time with a bayonet mount but the magazine tube still has the takedown pin and cap on it. These items should not be there on a trench gun. This either means the gun was converted backwards from trench to riot or it could be the other way around. Was the barrel ever drilled for a front sight? Either way there is some value in those parts a real WW2 20 inch CYL bore military barrel is very hard to find these days.

Edited by Petroleum 1, 13 October 2020 - 08:36 PM.

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#3 Burns556

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 10:01 AM

Thanks for the info! I have a trip back planned next week so I'll have to get better pictures of it and take a closer look. I do remember it was never drilled for a front sight.


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#4 StrangeRanger

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 11:22 AM

What is up with the double marking of the last 3 digits of the S/N?


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#5 Petroleum 1

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 11:35 AM

The barrel could have been refinished and the original sn was sanded off?
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#6 Burns556

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 01:45 PM

I'm curious about that too, it's only the last 3 digits that I can tell. I doubt that its due to sanding, that would have to be a lot of sanding. Wonder if anyone else has seen anything like it.


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#7 Petroleum 1

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Posted 14 October 2020 - 05:00 PM

I just looked at a 1898 model 97 and the sn was still crystal clear. I have no idea what that over stamp is all about? 


Edited by Petroleum 1, 14 October 2020 - 05:06 PM.

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#8 TSMGguy

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 10:15 AM

It'll be interesting seeing the markings on the top of the barrel, just forward of the chamber. Those markings will tell us if it was produced for the US government.

 

It looks like this assembly was originally produced in a riot configuration, judging by the presence of the take down pin. Is a front sight bead present, or has one been installed in the past?

 

The serial numbers do look different from others I've seen. Most original Winchester serials of the period were roll marked before the final surface milling and finish was done. During this process, the raised edges of each digit or character were removed, leaving the serial number application looking very smooth. This was a characteristic of the fine commercial grade blued finish used on Winchester trench and riot guns early in WWII.


Edited by TSMGguy, 22 October 2020 - 10:17 AM.

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#9 Burns556

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 08:30 PM

Well I was able to get home and get some more photos. Im not the best photographer but there is no evidence of there ever having been a front site. And there is a nice flaming bomb on top of the chamber. Thoughts?

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#10 Petroleum 1

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 07:01 AM

Looks correct what is the two digit date stamp on the barrel?
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#11 TSMGguy

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 08:41 AM

The pics are not bad at all!

 

That's definitely an Ordnance Department inspected barrel. Looks to me like someone modified a M12 trench gun by adding the magazine tube and take down assembly from a sporting shotgun. This would certainly make the gun handier and easier to clean. What would confirm this idea is an examination of the barrel's taper. Trench M12 barrels had a distinctive straight taper, resulting in a heavier barrel. Also, trench M12s had the brass front sight bead installed on the bayonet mount, not the barrel. The bead was installed directly on the barrel in sporting and US riot guns. 

 

What's the barrel length? For an M12 trench gun, it should be about 20 inches.

 

I'd think your barrel assembly could be used to convert a sporting M12 to full trench configuration, if you so desired. Looks like you already have the correct barrel and 18 line wooden slide grip.  


Edited by TSMGguy, 24 October 2020 - 11:00 AM.

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#12 Burns556

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 05:56 PM

Yes the two digit stamp under the barrel is 43. The barrel is straight at the end, no taper that I can discern, about 20. So the consensus is its a trench barrel but thats it? Not the rest of the assembly, including the serial number.
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#13 Petroleum 1

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 09:26 PM

The serial number on the receiver extension indicates 1943 mfg and the barrel matches. These are real trench gun parts imo.

Edited by Petroleum 1, 24 October 2020 - 09:27 PM.

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#14 TSMGguy

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 10:17 AM

I agree. You have a M12 trench barrel assembly that's been converted to take down without altering or damaging the barrel. Very cool!

 

By straight taper we mean the outside surface of the barrel tapers on a straight line to the muzzle. In the figure below, D minus B is the barrel's taper.   

 

You have a barrel for converting a Model 12 to a M12 trench replica, if you want to go that route. The barrel all by itself is worth some bucks, too. 

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Edited by TSMGguy, 25 October 2020 - 10:25 AM.

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#15 Petroleum 1

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 11:04 AM

Do the WW2 military issue M12 riot guns have the same no taper barrel as the trench models?? This is what a commercial taper barrel looks like with the trench mount installed. You can see it does not fit snug on the barrel.

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Edited by Petroleum 1, 25 October 2020 - 11:18 AM.

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#16 TSMGguy

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 11:46 AM

IIRC, the M12 riot barrel has the same type taper as the sporting barrel. The trench M12's straight taper barrel was adopted specifically so that the bayonet mount would make full contact with the barrel, not just at the front and rear.  


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#17 Petroleum 1

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 11:51 AM

So the barrel in this thread can be mounted on a 1942 /43 military issue riot gun and converted to a trench. That is of course if you can find a vintage 4 hole bayonet mount.

Edited by Petroleum 1, 25 October 2020 - 11:52 AM.

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#18 Burns556

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 02:05 PM

Well I really appreciate all the responses everyone! I'll be hanging on to the barrel for the time being and maybe a project will present itself one of these days.

 

Thanks again!


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#19 Tom D

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 02:15 PM

IIRC, the M12 riot barrel has the same type taper as the sporting barrel. The trench M12's straight taper barrel was adopted specifically so that the bayonet mount would make full contact with the barrel, not just at the front and rear.  

Yes, riot gun barrels taper towards the muzzle end.  The bayonet adaptor will not fit a riot barrel properly.  When the government converted a bunch of Model 12 riot guns to trench guns they put a sleeve on the muzzle end of the barrel so that the bayonet adaptor would fit property.


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#20 TSMGguy

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 10:12 AM

I've seen any number of M12 riot guns that were converted to trench guns, but never one where the conversion was confirmed as done by an Ordnance depot or arsenal using the original riot barrel. Bruce? 

 

Spare Ordnance inspection marked M12 trench barrels were fairly easily found until fairly recently, when the supply seemed to dry up all at once. Seems like the Ordnance department would have used these barrels for conversions, if conversions actually took place. With a WWII M12 serial number, trench barrel, and Winchester made bayonet mount, there'd be no way to tell whether the gun was originally produced in riot or trench configuration. Such records were evidently not kept.  


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