Winchester Defender question...


November 10, 2006, 09:37 PM
I bought a Winchester Defender at a gun show a while back. It was one of several the dealer had that was owned by a local Sheriff's Department. It is simply marked "Winchester Defender 12 ga 2 3/4" & 3". Is it a 1200, a 1300, or simply a Defender? It is an 8-shot, and has a few handling marks, but doesn't appear to have been fired much (it was marked "Jail Division"). I went out the door at $135 towards the end of the day. The s/n is L17287XX. Thanks!

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November 10, 2006, 09:43 PM
It's a 1300. Great gun and a great deal in good shape for $135.

November 10, 2006, 09:53 PM
Thanks! I'm not too familiar with the Winchesters. Can you school me on how you knew it was a 1300? :)

I'm thinking that 1200s were 2 3/4 only, but that's just a guess. Time to read up!

November 10, 2006, 10:15 PM
Well, I'm not an expert, but the 1200 is an older model. I don't believe they ever referred to them as "Defenders." In recent years, the Defender models have been high-cap (7-8 shells), matte finish guns with synthetic stocks. I have a 1300 Defender in 20 gauge for HD (and occasional target shooting with slugs or clay shooting with birdshot--it's pretty good, even for a "riot gun":).

FYI, though Winchester's not making the 1300s anymore, they're identical to FN's Police shotguns (, at least in 12 gauge. Let me know if the picture in that link doesn't look like the one you have (sans rifle sights, possibly).

November 10, 2006, 10:19 PM
Mine is blued with wood furniture, and looks just about like this one, except mine has a few more scratches:

Most I've seen actually say "1300 Defender", whereas mine just says "Defender".

November 10, 2006, 10:20 PM
Yup. 1200 was only 2 3/4" chamber. I'm not 100% sure, but I also think there wasn't a 1200 model that had the designation "defender". I think only 1300's got that.

you can see the Winchester 1300 line-up here:

Eventhough they don't make 'em anymore, they have still kept them on the website.

B. Adams
November 10, 2006, 11:58 PM
I have a Defender as well, #L1562XXX that is also just marked "Winchester Defender 12 GA" etc. We both have low serial numbers as these things go, as some of the newer ones I've seen are in the 5 million range. My guess is that they didn't start putting the 1300 designation on them until later on. I think they also changed the design slightly, as the newer copy of the manual I have makes no mention of the little screw in the bottom of the bolt, but an older copy of the "Military" manual does. Perhaps they began putting "1300" on them when they modified the design. Then again, maybe I'm completely wrong.

In any case, they're good guns, and you got it for a very good price. Mine was also from a LE agency, but it's not marked, and it's probably been fired more than yours. But I like it, and I hear that the older ones are more reliable than the later versions, which makes it funny that they're usually cheaper, probably just because they're a little more beat up.

Anyway, enjoy your Defender, I know I do!

November 11, 2006, 01:31 PM
I've got one too L1896xxx, marked Defender only on the barrel (it's wood stocked and takes 2 3/4 and 3" shells-also marked on the barrel). It's a solid, reliable weapon that I find shoulders, points and is shucked faster than my 870 (the trade off being the 870 is built like a tank in comparison).

I too got mine for a song. While mine is still serviceable visually, on my list of things to do is re-bluding or parkerizing it and adding a Limbsaver (one does pay a penalty for it being that quick to handle).


November 11, 2006, 01:47 PM
I picked up my 1200 back in 1985 for $169 new. The barrel on mine says "DEFENDER" and "2-3/4" & 3". I guess there were different configurations over the years. Mine stays on the rear seat of my truck and hasn't hiccuped in over 20 years.

Bob R
November 11, 2006, 02:11 PM
I picked mine up in 1989 and it is marked Winchester Model 1300 Defender.

Mine has very light wood on it, which is one of the reasons why I got it, along with someone trying to steal my van a couple of times.


November 12, 2006, 12:17 PM
I have a Model 1300 Camp Defender. I got it new at Gander Mountain this past January for $267 on sale. It's a 7 +1 configuration but because it is a Camp Defender it had a 22" barrel and interchangeable chokes. Nice wood stock and grip. The barrel says "Model 1300 Defender 12 guage 2 3/4 & 3". Very nice shooting gun. I even take if out to shoot sporting clays once in awhile. Serial number L350XXXX.

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