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US Marked Model 12


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#1 Petroleum 1

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 08:51 AM

Im in the market for a US military Model 12 and have a question. There are the obvious "trench guns" with the bayonet adaptors fastened to the barrel. There are also other model 12's that are US marked on the receiver along with the military acceptance stamps on the stock etc. What is the difference between these models and what were they used for?? There is a dramatic difference in price between a trench gun and the Model 12 with just US markings.

thx


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#2 TSMGguy

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 09:17 AM

The two models are referred to as trench guns and riot guns. Trench guns were meant for combat, while riot guns were for guard duty. Prices for the trench models have escalated faster than prices for the riot guns, at least partially because of the M12 trench gun's combat history with the US Marines in WWII. Both were made in two finishes, the highly polished commercial finish until late 1942, and the much more dull blued "war" finish later. There's solid evidence that some wartime US M12s were originally parked, as well.  

 

You mentioned the obvious difference between the trench and riot M12s, the presence of the bayonet mount and perforated steel handguard on the M12 trench gun. The difference goes deeper than that. The trench M12 has a straight barrel taper. The riot model has the taper of the sporting M12 barrels, which is not a straight taper. Winchester made M12 bayonet mounts that fit the trench gun's straight taper only. The mount is held on to the barrel with bolts that engage three notches under the barrel. When these bolts  are tightened, the mount fits the barrel solidly with full contact for its entire length. It will not move under recoil. If an attempt is made to install an original mount on a riot or cut down sporting M12, the mount engages the barrel only at the front and rear, and the stability of it is weak.

 

There's a company called East Taylor that makes nice in-the-white steel reproduction M12 bayonet mounts. IIRC, these are made specifically to be mounted on riot and cut down sporting barrels, and take barrel taper into consideration. They are not as well made as the original Winchester mounts and are not marked with a W, but may be just the ticket for someone who's converting a sporting M12 to trench gun configuration. The same company makes bayonet mounts for the Savage 520 and 620 trench guns, as well.

 

Original Winchester spare trench M12 barrels have dried up entirely, and basically can't be found in any condition.

 

Hope this helps!   


Edited by TSMGguy, 13 July 2020 - 06:55 AM.

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#3 Petroleum 1

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:22 PM

Ty TSMG !!


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#4 dalbert

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:26 PM

The two models are referred to as trench guns and riot guns. Trench guns were meant for combat, while riot guns were for guard duty. Prices for the trench models have escalated faster than prices for the riot guns, at least partially because of the M12 trench gun's combat history with the US Marines in WWII. Both were made in two finishes, the highly polished commercial finish until late 1942, and the much more dull blued "war" finish later. There's solid evidence that some wartime US M12s were originally parked, as well.  

 

You mentioned the obvious difference between the trench and riot M12s, the presence of the bayonet mount and perforated steel handguard on the M12 trench gun. The difference goes deeper than that. The trench M12 has a straight barrel taper. The riot model has the taper of the sporting M12 barrels, which is not a straight taper. Winchester made M12 bayonet mounts that fit the trench gun's straight taper only. The mount is held on to the barrel with bolts that engage three notches under the barrel. When these bolts  are tightened, the mount fits the barrel solidly with full contact for its entire length. It will not move under recoil. If an attempt is made to install an original mount on a riot or cut down sporting M12, the mount engages the barrel only at the front and rear, and the stability of it is weak.

 

There's a company called East Taylor that makes a steel nice reproduction M12 mounts. IIRC, these are made specifically to be mounted on riot and cut down sporting barrels, and take barrel taper into consideration. They are not as well made as the original Winchester mounts and are not marked with a W, but may be just the ticket for someone who's converting a sporting M12 to trench gun configuration.

 

Original Winchester spare trench M12 barrels have dried up entirely, and basically can't be found in any condition.

 

Hope this helps!   

 

Excellent reply, TSMGguy!  I learned something from your post.

 

Thanks!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


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#5 Petroleum 1

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:27 PM

What are your thoughts on this one

 

https://www.gunbroke.../item/873119459


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#6 TSMGguy

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 10:16 AM

What are your thoughts on this one

 

https://www.gunbroke.../item/873119459

 

Considering that I have not physically examined this gun, here are my thoughts.

 

The serial number on this one, 981619, falls neatly into the WWII serial number range, 939649-1035241. I'd expect to find the year of manufacture under the barrel near the breech, 42. This is visible only with a dental mirror and a bright light. It's a Win. M12 trench barrel. You can tell by the ordnance bomb and the fact that the markings are applied so that they can be read with the handguard in place. The gun bears the correct GHD and Ordnance wheel martial wood markings, plus AN (Anniston Army Ordnance Depot) and a proof P under the wrist of the stock. The P was not factory applied. The wood looks sanded and refinished. The gun's been refinished as well, can't tell whether in blue or park. The refinish does not show the neatness of an Ordnance depot rebuild. The markings are somewhat indistinct, from either wear or over buffing. The brass front sight bead is missing. Four rows of vent holes in the hand guard are correct, but the W that Winchester stamped on their bayonet mounts is not visible in any of the photos. Bolts were always bright, not blued or parked. The gutta percha butt plate looks good, maybe too good. 

 

Personally, I'd stay clear of this one if the price spikes on up, but if it sells for $900, it's probably easily worth it. I watched a really nice unissued "war" finish M12 go for over $12K recently.

 

So, original, but refinished with a heavy hand. JMHO.     


Edited by TSMGguy, 09 July 2020 - 12:02 PM.

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#7 Petroleum 1

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 11:24 AM

Ok Im watching that auction tonite lets see where it goes. The same seller has a Illinois police gun Model 12 its getting more bids than the trench gun.
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#8 StrangeRanger

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 11:44 AM

That seller is somewhat less than informative in his item descriptions.  That would constitute a major yellow flag in my book


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#9 Petroleum 1

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 01:34 PM

Actually no description just...hey great looking trench gun for sale.
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#10 Tom D

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 12:24 PM

The trench gun in the linked auction has been refinished (parkerized).  It originally had a blue finish.  Pass on this gun and look for an original example.

 

All Model 12 US Military riot guns left the factory with a blue finish.  None were parkerized.  The only Model 12 US Military contract shotguns that were parkerzied were the last few thousand trench guns, and they all fall into the 1,03x,xxx serial number range.


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#11 Petroleum 1

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 04:40 PM

How about this one...the price is up there but it looks authentic to me.

 

https://www.gunsamer...uge-Shotgun.htm


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#12 Tom D

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 07:10 PM

That one has had the butt plate replaced, and it's not the correct type butt plate for the gun.  To find an original butt plate may not be easy, and they were hand fitted to the butt stock, so replacements usually do not fit perfectly.  The screws are also pretty buggered up on that gun.  Be patient and you will eventually find an original with no issues.


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#13 Petroleum 1

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 01:13 AM

Ok Tom ty...
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#14 Petroleum 1

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 11:12 AM

Tom...do all the Model 12 barrels have a 2 digit date code stamped on them?? should it match the mfg date of the receiver serial numbers?? I was reading where its possible the barrel could be a year or two off and still be original to that gun. thx


Edited by Petroleum 1, 16 July 2020 - 11:13 AM.

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#15 Tom D

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 01:22 PM

Yes, Model 12 barrels all have a two digit date code on them.  Winchester started dating barrels in the early 1920s.   The Model 12 WWII barrels usually have a 42 or 43 date.  I would not expect the barrel date to be as much as two years off. 


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#16 Petroleum 1

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 02:04 PM

ok Tom thx...


Edited by Petroleum 1, 16 July 2020 - 05:57 PM.

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#17 Petroleum 1

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 08:09 AM

Tom...do the bayonet mounts have any specific markings on them ?? something to show its an original and not one of those repro mounts.

Thx Vin


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#18 Tom D

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 01:30 PM

The bayonet adaptors on the blued Model 12 trench guns are not marked.  The adaptors on the parkerized Model 12 trench guns (these being the last few thousand guns made during WWII all in the 1,03x,xxx serial number range) do have a small "W" mark on the left side.


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#19 Petroleum 1

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 06:43 PM

ok thx!!


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#20 Petroleum 1

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 07:27 PM

Did you ever hear of the RIA refurbing old civi Model 12s Into trench guns for use in Vietnam due to shortages of new ones? I saw this listing on GB. The seller isnt sure what it is either.

 

https://www.gunbroke.../item/874885105


Edited by Petroleum 1, 23 July 2020 - 05:49 AM.

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