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 Cutting down a Winchester take down model 12.
scottedward58  [Team Member]
1/17/2011 12:06:44 AM
I just got a Winchester take down model 12 and I think I am going to cut it down but I don't know what length I want to cut it to. I'm thinking of either 18 or 20 inches, if I cut it to 18 inches it will be about flush with the magazine tube but then when I take it down the magazine tube will stick out past the end of the barrel. That wouldn't be a problem except the mag tube base has a U shaped guide to keep the base and forearm from rotating when the gun is apart. The other reason I don't want to cut it to that length is it was never a standard length. If I cut it to 20 inches it will be a standard factory length, will not cause any problems when the gun is apart and will let me mount a trench gun heat shield/ bayonet lug but with the heat shield on it appears I can't unscrew and slide the mag tube up to take down the gun. So if anyone has any pics of their shorter model 12's I'd appreciate seeing them to help me decide and vote what length you think I should cut it down to.
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Switchh  [Team Member]
1/17/2011 12:29:36 AM
Cut to 20" and see if you like it.

If you don't, go to 18"

Can't go the other way around.
Madcap72  [Team Member]
1/17/2011 12:35:59 AM
The trench guns had solid frames, not take downs. That's why the Heat shield causes interference with mag tube for take down.


The Riot models like mine were take downs, but had NO heat shield.



I would go 20" with the heat shield, and forgo taking it down all the time. The more you take it down, and re-assemble it the greater chance of dinging up the threads or banging up the mag tube. YMMV
ch139  [Member]
1/18/2011 5:02:17 AM
Originally Posted By Madcap72:
The trench guns had solid frames, not take downs. That's why the Heat shield causes interference with mag tube for take down.


The Riot models like mine were take downs, but had NO heat shield.



I would go 20" with the heat shield, and forgo taking it down all the time. The more you take it down, and re-assemble it the greater chance of dinging up the threads or banging up the mag tube. YMMV

All Winchester Model 12 shotguns were take-down models. Winchester never built a "solid frame" Model 12.

mike_nds  [Dealer]
1/18/2011 3:29:37 PM
I just picked one up a week ago.

It was a 30" full choke, it's a 20" cylinder bore now.............................

Go 20" it looks better.



FYI: I had to adjust my tension sleeve because the barrel assembly had a tiny bit of wobble. The more you take them apart, the more you accelerate wear.
RiffRandall  [Member]
1/18/2011 4:35:44 PM
Originally Posted By ch139:
Originally Posted By Madcap72:
The trench guns had solid frames, not take downs. That's why the Heat shield causes interference with mag tube for take down.


The Riot models like mine were take downs, but had NO heat shield.



I would go 20" with the heat shield, and forgo taking it down all the time. The more you take it down, and re-assemble it the greater chance of dinging up the threads or banging up the mag tube. YMMV

All Winchester Model 12 shotguns were take-down models. Winchester never built a "solid frame" Model 12.



The closest thing to a "solid frame model 12" would be a Model 25.
Not sure if any Model 97 trench guns were made from take-down receivers..

<eta> +1 for 20"

4020556308  [Member]
1/18/2011 4:44:28 PM
I vote 20, also, pics before, during and after.
scottedward58  [Team Member]
1/18/2011 8:49:45 PM
Here it is at 20".
Since we are talking about model 12's, has anyone had any trouble with shells getting stuck in the chamber cause of the multi part chamber due to the take down mechanism?



With the magazine tube extended to simulate what it would look like with the barrel cut about flush with the magazine.


and here is my crappy photoshop of what it would look like cut down to 18 inch


ETA: Incase anyone was intrested I found out the gun was made in either late 32 or early 33.
ch139  [Member]
1/19/2011 3:19:29 AM
Originally Posted By RiffRandall:
Originally Posted By ch139:
Originally Posted By Madcap72:
The trench guns had solid frames, not take downs. That's why the Heat shield causes interference with mag tube for take down.


The Riot models like mine were take downs, but had NO heat shield.



I would go 20" with the heat shield, and forgo taking it down all the time. The more you take it down, and re-assemble it the greater chance of dinging up the threads or banging up the mag tube. YMMV

All Winchester Model 12 shotguns were take-down models. Winchester never built a "solid frame" Model 12.



The closest thing to a "solid frame model 12" would be a Model 25.
Not sure if any Model 97 trench guns were made from take-down receivers..

<eta> +1 for 20"



WWI era '97 Trench Guns were made on solid-frame receivers, but WWII era Trenchies were made on the two-piece take-down guns. Markings, finish and IIRC stocks were different between the two eras of Trench Guns too. The WWI era heat shield had more and smaller cooling holes (6-rows IIRC) and the WWII era '97 Trench gun had the same heat shield as a Model 12 with four rows of larger holes. There's a lot that goes into the history of Winchesters, "Trench Guns" and "Riot Guns." I love em, would like to have one or two for myself and enjoy reading about them. Books by Poyer and Canfield are both great tools and a fun read for those wanting to learn more.

I'd probably never spend the money on a real Trench Gun (or the going rate anyway – if one fell into my lap I'd probably not pass it up), but I do think a clone or two is in order. Probably the easiest would be the late versions of the Model 12 Trench Gun produced in the early 1960 similar to what was in left behind in Viet Nam and found by Australian Collector Arms (1961838 – 1964087 Poyer). They had suffered storage in the Vietnamese climate for years, but, being later production guns had no martial markings and a parkerized finish the requisite 20-inch CYL bore, "W" bayonet adaptor and newer, larger "duck gun" forend. I figure a guy could make a clone of one of these guns pretty easy with a good pawn shop gun, a repro bayonet adaptor with heat shield, barrel cutting and park job.

...example: 1943 vintage Winchester Model 97 "Trench Gun"



doubleclaw  [Team Member]
1/22/2011 3:33:54 AM
Originally Posted By ch139:
Originally Posted By RiffRandall:
Originally Posted By ch139:
Originally Posted By Madcap72:
The trench guns had solid frames, not take downs. That's why the Heat shield causes interference with mag tube for take down.


The Riot models like mine were take downs, but had NO heat shield.



I would go 20" with the heat shield, and forgo taking it down all the time. The more you take it down, and re-assemble it the greater chance of dinging up the threads or banging up the mag tube. YMMV

All Winchester Model 12 shotguns were take-down models. Winchester never built a "solid frame" Model 12.



The closest thing to a "solid frame model 12" would be a Model 25.
Not sure if any Model 97 trench guns were made from take-down receivers..

<eta> +1 for 20"



WWI era '97 Trench Guns were made on solid-frame receivers, but WWII era Trenchies were made on the two-piece take-down guns. Markings, finish and IIRC stocks were different between the two eras of Trench Guns too. The WWI era heat shield had more and smaller cooling holes (6-rows IIRC) and the WWII era '97 Trench gun had the same heat shield as a Model 12 with four rows of larger holes. There's a lot that goes into the history of Winchesters, "Trench Guns" and "Riot Guns." I love em, would like to have one or two for myself and enjoy reading about them. Books by Poyer and Canfield are both great tools and a fun read for those wanting to learn more.

I'd probably never spend the money on a real Trench Gun (or the going rate anyway – if one fell into my lap I'd probably not pass it up), but I do think a clone or two is in order. Probably the easiest would be the late versions of the Model 12 Trench Gun produced in the early 1960 similar to what was in left behind in Viet Nam and found by Australian Collector Arms (1961838 – 1964087 Poyer). They had suffered storage in the Vietnamese climate for years, but, being later production guns had no martial markings and a parkerized finish the requisite 20-inch CYL bore, "W" bayonet adaptor and newer, larger "duck gun" forend. I figure a guy could make a clone of one of these guns pretty easy with a good pawn shop gun, a repro bayonet adaptor with heat shield, barrel cutting and park job.

...example: 1943 vintage Winchester Model 97 "Trench Gun"
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/JTR8541/scatterguns/1943manufacturedWinchesterM97TrenchGunwithaRemingtonM1917bayonet.jpg





On the Model 12, you'll have to sleeve the heat shield, because the Trench Gun barrels were not tapered toward the muzzle as the commercial barrels were. Other than that, it's a fairly easy conversion. The only thing I would recommend is to get another barrel and have a gunsmith install it and cut it down to Trench configuration, and save your original barrel. That's my plan for converting my 28" barrelled Model 12 to Riot config.
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