Winchester 1400 20 ga. : Review


December 21, 2006, 07:30 PM
THE softest shooting semi-auto shotgun - Period!

Winchester 1400 , 20 gauge, Deluxe Walnut, no recoil pad. This is a stamped gun, restricted by gas system design to only 3 shells total. NO need for magazine plug for Migratory Birds - it already is! Never a worry to keep up with a plug, or wonder if gun is plugged.

LNIB, 28" barrel, and it come with Skeet, IC, Mod, and Full factory Win-chokes.
I have always liked Win-Chokes, external knurled and with a sensible wrench. These are steel proof, meaning one can shoot steel shot for not only Waterfowl, also any other areas that mandate Non-Tox shot, such as ranges, or preserves.
With Bismuth (my recommendation over steel any day) these guns shine - as they replicate lead loadings.

Easy to tote, balance for me and owner a tad forward of hands. I already mentioned Softest Shooting Semi, which makes this another excellent shotgun to use for introducing new folks to shotguns, and those more sensitive to recoil be it their size, weight, age , physical limitations - you name.

Unlike Remington 1100s and other Semi-Autos , the bolt handle cannot be lost . By design again, it is a one piece stamped piece that fits onto bolt.

Take down is a bit different, still very straight forward once done a time a two.
Only weak link in all the years of my experience - is opposite of loading port there is screw, for layman's terms I will call it the "ejector" holds in place a spring.
I have never, nor has anyone close to me every had one come undone - we always cleaned , degreased, and used a dab of nail polish. Clear Nail Polish does Candy Apple Red :p (it is what we had and would not fussed at for using)

We did not bother to look up Born on Date, best guess, 1992. So the gun was designed to shoot loadings of the times. One HUGE fault folks have with any Repeating Shotgun is NOT using the loadings the gun was designed to use.

Most often someone with a older 12 gauge attempting to shoot 7/8 oz loads and the gun will not run and owner gets upset.
The gun was not designed to use that 7/8 oz. I was still using 1 1/8 oz loads in Skeet, as were Trap shooters in 1992 .

Owner took down gun, following instructions, including metal removed from wood, treated with Johnson's Paste Wax and RIG as I have shared before.

Being tacky - since Internet "says" you have to use a really expensive gun lube...

We used some Dexron II Automatic Transmission Fluid. Now Dexron is different than Ford ATF. We knew back when the earth was flat, Dexron was the best kept secret to keeping gas guns running.

Grant Cunningham, whom I have never met, and is a THR member , whom I respect his postings and his blog seems to agree-

1400 flat works every time and is soft shooting on top of this - with NO recoil pad.

First day using a Mix of the new HS AA Target loads (which I hate as they are NO way the same as the old proven Compression Formed AAs) Remington, Fiocchi and some "forgot what recipe(s) all dumped in together" we shot 300 rounds in one day - with NO malfunctions. Five of us using the same gun shooting skeet, one right after the other.

We did not clean this gun - only wiped it off.

Now some make fun of this choke "looking short and different, and they don't cost very much". Winchester was not stupid when they came up with these chokes and these barrels. I have never seen one non concentric.
I have screwed a $8 Mod Winchoke into a factory gun and it out shoot for pattern density more expensive "gunsmith tweaked" guns, and shot some of the Best Buckshot and Slug Groups.

External Knurled has another huge advantage over internal chokes, it protects the muzzle from dings. Ding a External Knurled choke and if severe, just replace the External Knurled Choke.
Less monies that muzzle work on the barrel itself.

Patterns and Groups - in my experiences and observations have always been great with 1400s. Soft shooting again and I do not recall anyone ever having Forcing cone work done.

So we kept shooting this 1400 in 20 gauge in skeet another 300 rounds. No lube, no patterning - just shooting it - based on the simple fact I had said the gun would run and bust targets.

Now we have a bit over 600 rounds fired with the Skeet and any misc rounds fired.

Again, just wiped off, not even pipe-clean the breech, the extractor and for sure not the chamber.

We patterned the gun. Like most when I shoot these due to gun fit to me - the POA/POI is a bit higher about 60/40 as I prefer, even for Skeet, or Field use I prefer this.
Owner said the gun fit them about the same as it did me - gun fit is great.

Patterns for various ranges with various loads replicated my experiences in the past.

Never saw a need for anything but 7/8 oz loads in 20 gauge - gets into payload to bore we have discussed before. This 1400 did great using #9 shot on up to #3 buckshot.
Recoil on #3 buckshot - What recoil?

Now shooter that owns this gun started out at skeet, later took on 5 stand, and has some experience at Sporting Clays. She knows to point a shotgun.
Like many of us, she wanted a mid bead installed to fit her "pointing" to her "gun fit". This was done.
Understand, we don't "see" the barrel or muzzle per se' - we know it is there, just peripherally if you will. Owner like myself has shot numerous 100 straights with NO beads.

Many of the top shooters with custom fitted guns - do NOT have any beads on purpose. Gun Fit to shooter and Correct Basic Fundamentals - are that important!

Slugs, Cloverleaf at 15 steps (a step is about one yard for my stride). All slugs stayed inside a 6" paper plate out to 35 yards from walking up, low gun, mount gun to face and shoot as fast as can.

Taking our time, we each had 3 shot cloverleaf at 21 yds on a playing card.
We even got cocky and with a safe background - portable trap cranked to throw low - shot a clay bird with a Slug - first try. We were feeling a bit tacky about some Internet postings we see...

Decided to NOT post what loads worked with what choke at what distance. Reason being :
It does not matter what a barrel or choke is marked - only the Pattern Board can reveal
It does not matter what Internet, Gun Magazine, or anyone else says works in their gun - each barrel, choke, lot of ammunition can and will perform different.
All it "should" give one is a starting point.

No disrepect - one cannot buy skill and targets and Can't buy it - Gotta Earn it.
We that have earned kinda feel like others should as well...

At ~ 1500 rounds the gun still has not malfunctioned. Dexron II as lube was used @ ~ 1000 rounds as we figured " oh heck - why not?"

Barrel removed, cleaned chamber, bore with cordless drill as shared before on THR, and receiver wiped out, bolt wiped off [ATF allows easy clean up] and put back.

Now some say a Gas Gun in 20 gauge is NOT a defensive weapon. Internet also says one much have more shells. And not way in hell can a 28" barrel be a defensive length.

Tueller drill. We improvised using a water balloon suspended in a "house" if you will. Basically tarps and frames, with cardboard boxes for "room dividers.
We used skeet loads, and We did not know, nor could we see if and when, but round a corner, and here comes a balloon and "wristwatch time" was a "second" from time balloon sighted, gun mounted to face and balloon busted.

Later on a timer My best time with same gun using slugs from low gun was .8 seconds hitting a 8" pc of wood.

Owner did it in just under a second.

Another drill we did is BG confronted, and having to dial a phone and keep gun trained on BG with 911.
Do this for about 3 minutes and let me know how your gun feels.

WE also did this for 2 minutes,and "threat" caused to have to fire this shotgun one handed.
Another nice something to practice/

Gun ran port up, port down, upside down while on our backs and having to back over our heads.

No malfunctions.

This a great gun - especially in 20 ga for teaching new shooters, or loaning to them.
Great for a first General Purpose Gun. Allows one to shoot 12 ga and 20 ga events in skeet, 5 stand, sporting clays, and hunt.

Find a good buy - I recommend them.


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December 21, 2006, 07:44 PM
This gun is really good looking! The lady was going to tweak the fit, and in doing so contour the heel and toe and though it does not need a recoil pad, she was thinking about putting a thin Pachmayr Decelerator on it.

This 1400 was a HS graduation gift from an Uncle. Young man "had to have" a newer , tactical shotgun and sold this one [for way too little money as it cannot be made tactical] to the lady. He had already bought accessories, and had not gotten the gun, not shot one like it, that takes these add ons- just this he "has to have a tactical shotgun"

Lady and I did some checking, and finally were able to contact Uncle - this was tough, still Ethics and Principals apply.
Uncle was heartbroken.
He was going to pass on some other guns - he will not - until such time this young man grows out of whatever he is going through. At this time - never again will his nephew get another firearm, or some other things.

Lady will sell this gun back for what she has in it. Uncle is torn, not sure what he will do.
Lady and I suggested he use the gun, he is thinking about it.
Great gun, Uncle has one just like it, just torn between having this one he gave nephew back (upset him) or drop it, let it go and let nephew face life on life's terms losing this gun and sentimentally.

He understands what the Lady will do with this 1400 in 20 gauge, and knows she appreciates the gun for what it is, and all the reasons he bought 3 of these. [Niece also has one and is using it and Uncle is tickled ]
So...we wait. My idea is for Uncle to buy it back, and if nothing else let the Niece have it as well.

Lady is fine either way - sure she wants to keep this gun - still doing the right thing is how she was raised as well.

Something to think about in regard to all this firearm stuff...


December 21, 2006, 07:54 PM

THE softest shooting semi-auto shotgun - Period!

Glad to know that someone else thinks so. I bought a 12 gauge M1400 Ranger (cheap wood, but still appealing to the eye) around 1990 from Walmart. No, it won't feed those cheap 1 ounce promotional loads, fails to eject about every fifth or sixth round. But, step up to Winchester superspeed 1 1/8 ounce and you have no problem.

I strictly dove hunt (and any other upland game I get a chance at) with mine. I fired 3 1/2 boxes up on a 3 day hunt this season's opening weekend, killed three limits, and my shoulder never felt it even without a recoil pad. Amazing. I love that thing. The Mossberg I use (3") and abuse in the salt marsh for ducks and geese is a masochistic device. Fortunately, duck hunting doesn't involve as much shooting as doves.:D I do not use the Winchester in the salt marsh, don't wanna rust it up, it's bluing is too pretty and too good an upland gun.

One thing I can criticize is the almost laughable wood to metal fit. But, it works. Maybe I'll put a new set of walnut on it someday if I find some affordable from Gun Parts Inc or something.

I love this shotgun, but it don't get a lot of respect out there in the shotgun world. But, then, I don't have many snob guns.

December 21, 2006, 09:43 PM
Metal to wood fit seems better on the Deluxe.

Ranger was a hit or miss. The gun still run. We used this for everything! Ducks included, in 12 and 20 gauge.
Slather that sucker with Johnson's Paste wax and it keeps it beading up water, and rain...fills in those places between metal and wood too. :)

We kept these in duck camps for clients to use - they always worked. It does got cold, here. I mean freezing, icy, sleet and snow cold- these guns run.

Never cleaned them during Waterfowl season, unless they jumped in and went swimming...;)

On a few Rangers we shortened LOP for fitting smaller folks, gun fit better with duck clothes on.

We had one old Ranger, rode hard and put up wet - literally. It stayed in the "cold" or "mud room.

It was used for everything, rode in a farm/ ranch truck, hunted with , loaned out, briar's, brambles jonboat paddle...

"Let's shoot it until it quits...all we did was use good ammo, and squirt some lube in it...anything from ATF, Singer Sewing Machine oil, Motor oil , whatever handy and the only attention we gave it - making sure RIG + P on choke, and wiping it down...

That Johnson's Paste wax still beading a year later, it went under the water finding a bar ditch and we decided to actually clean it...
We stopped at a car wash to de mud the trucks....first cleaning that 1400 got in near a year was using the car wash soap and rinse...

Then we broke it down and cleaned it proper - dunked in a "tray" and let soak in mineral spirits for hours. Cleaned up , re lubed and good to go.

Ended up giving that one to a good farm worker for his son to use. His son always wanted to use that gun "has character" - so we gave it to this real sharp young man that deserved it from all the good things he did.

He has taken deer, small game, ducks, doves and really enjoyed it.

December 22, 2006, 02:34 PM
The gun still run. We used this for everything! Ducks included, in 12 and 20 gauge.
Slather that sucker with Johnson's Paste wax and it keeps it beading up water, and rain...fills in those places between metal and wood too

It's put away or I'd take a picture to show ya, but there's no gaps in the wood, just that the right side of the butt stock overlaps the metal, isn't flush with it. A little goofy looking if you notice it, but it in no way affects the function of the gun and you have to look at it from above to notice.

The paste wax thing might work! I still hesitate to take it out, but did once just to shoot it since I didn't do any dove hunting that year. Thing is, we hunt salt marshes around here and run across salt water bays to get to our hunting some places we hunt. When I go down to the delta, the water is brackish, but at least there's no boat run. I shoot 3" steel in my Mossy, but 2 3/4 inch does a fine job on ducks over decoys. It's really only goose hunting that I need the 3" stuff. I use Federal Tungsten Iron on geese, BB, and need a little more shot in the case for a good long range pattern. Ducks over the deeks, most of my shots are pretty close, 30 yards maybe, ideally at setting birds. Later in the season when the birds are more decoy/call shy, pays to have a 3" on some shots, though.

Hmm, next trip to Wallyworld I'll get a can of Johnson's paste wax. :D

December 22, 2006, 04:20 PM
Johnson's Paste wax is in the grocery store, bottom shelf...a little more to your left, see it? In with all the other stuff to do floors. :D
Mom & Pop hardware stores have it as well.

RIG - Rust Inhibiting Grease works GREAT as well. Now I have used both of these products forever. No salt water where I live, still being in and around saltwater...Never had problem with blue guns using either product. For heavier use/exposure, most do tend to use the RIG more.

As you and others know, stainless means "stains" "less". Bluing is form of controlled rust. Same darn reason I on purpose cut a potato, apple or similar with a Carbon Steel , Chrome Vanadium blade knife. I am "rusting" the knife blade on purpose - in a controlled manner. Nice Patenia for sure - I like the look, more important is the protection it gives the blade.

I laugh my butt off at some of the "gee whiz" things folks just "gotta have".
1400s are not Model 12s, and they are not Civil War era guns either...all them blued guns are still with us, and they managed without Internet, and high dollar marketed gun lubes and all.

Johnson's Paste Wax IIRC began before or just after 1900. RIG been around since 1935.

1400 are neat. If the gun laws ever go more south, folks may reconsider these again.
Some gun laws proposed - as they are written - means bone stock 1100s, 1187s and similar are affected and would have to be turned in .
Bone Stock guns, holding more than 3 rounds total, AND / OR the ability to extend magazine ...with barrels shorter than 24" (various laws I have read) being "illegal"

It is my understanding in Ireland it is illegal to have a barrel shorter than 24" as well.

1400s fill a niche always have. Older decades of folks were raised to hedge their bets in the event the Gumbit pulled even more gun control. Folks hoarded ( still do ) single shot shotguns, two barrel break opens, and keep guns stock.

What ticks me off is folks are too busy bolting stuff onto and off on a cool tactical shotgun, one they are not trained to use, much less shoot, but post a lot a crap about on Internet and not doing one damn thing to preserve freedoms.

They could spend some of the armchair time being active in preserving freedoms.
Matters ever get bad, going to be lot of tacktickle shotguns with mag extensions, side saddles, funky stocks and short barrel shotguns being confiscated and destroyed...and the low spark of high heel boys will have no clue "whut happened" and ....yeah, this ticks me off.

1400s work. Great for too many uses. Proven. Some numbnuts around here are not aware some countries do have more restrictive gun laws and these 1400s are "legal".

Some folks get it and some never we use to say-

Screw 'em - Feed 'em rice heads and fish

Yeah I typed that correctly - there are two versions of this..."saying".

January 5, 2007, 08:31 PM
I bought my only shotgun in 1967, a Winchester 1400 in 12 gauge full. Dove and quail primarily, out here in New Mexico. It has been great... no faults, no complaints. If I had to leave the house in a rush, that would be the only posession that I would grab. LBD

January 5, 2007, 11:34 PM
Went to wallyworld to get a universal type sling to carry the Winchester duck hunting. I've used my Mossberg so far. Yesterday morning, it was pouring rain most of the morning, so I wouldn't have taken the Winchester anyway. But, I got a sling made up to put over stock/barrel (no swivels needed) to tote it to the pot hole in question. I have some 2 3/4" steel, two boxes of sixes and two of fours. The final acquisition is to get a can of Johnson's paste wax, but Wallyworld doesn't have it...:rolleyes: I'll go to several other stores tomorrow and find a can and get ready. :D If I can keep this ol' Winchester lookin' good, I really don't need the Mossberg except for goose hunting where I really need the 3" loads. I'll still use it in the boat and bad weather, though. I don't wanna subject the Winchester to boat rides and that much rain. I may be a little anal about it, but the Mossy is proven to handle the abuse. Out at the WMA where I hunt, I can take care of the gun, though, and the wax should protect it from any inadvertent splashes that get on it. Heck, I'll even wax the Mossberg, can't hurt! I just cannot see buying another autoloader for duck hunting when I know the Winchester will work fine. I can use the Mossy for geese and rough hunts. This thread got me to thinkin' about this, so thanks!:D

January 9, 2007, 06:21 PM
Well, I went all over town and couldn't find JOHNSONS paste wax. :rolleyes: I sure thought Ace would have it. But, back in the floor care section they did have some paste wax, Trewax brand. So, I degreased the ol' Winchester and waxed it head to toe, re-applied gun oil. I'm ready for ducks! We're going next Tuesday, two more hunts this season, and I'll use the Winchester.

January 9, 2007, 06:34 PM
Grocery store.
Aisle with floor car products (Mop & Glo and such).

Now I just went here to get a picture and share the link with this paste wax's history.

I did not see it listed as I did not long ago sharing with someone else. I am going to look again, perhaps they have changed the site map.

I will raise nine kinds of fuss, if this Company has sold/ merged or whatever else folks do now-a-days and dropped it from the line.
Johnson's Prepared WaxSamuel Curtis Johnson founded a parquet flooring company in 1886, the first of many company milestones. Soon after, he developed a new and unique product to care for floors in response to consumer requests.

Johnson's Prepared Paste Wax became a household success, earning the company a reputation for innovative, quality products that meet consumer needs.

For 120 years, spanning five generations of Johnson family ownership, SC Johnson has lived up to this reputation. Today, SC Johnson operates in more than 70 countries, employs 12,000 people, and provides products in more than 110 countries around the world.

January 9, 2007, 07:48 PM
Not good news, but Ace says they can't get it anymore, used to stock it, for what that's worth...:banghead:

Here's the stuff I wound up with. Same application for hardwood floors.

It's the clear paste wax, not that sand paste stuff. That didn't sound too good. :D

Brian Williams
January 9, 2007, 07:55 PM
Oh no, I am out of Yellow can paste wax., I have to find some at the local Amish store if I can. That and a 1400, now that sm has bragged a bit.

January 9, 2007, 08:20 PM
SC Johnson's website does not show it as it did not too long ago. I shared these links here in Shotgun Forum not too long ago.

I did see Johnson's Paste Wax is listed if one navigates a bit to "hard to find products".
Dogpile Search Engine shows it being available from various suppliers. This comes across as meaning SCJ has/ is dropping this product.

This ticks me off big time!

Yes other products are akin, such as the one McGunner listed and the one made by Min-Wax.

Principle of the Thing.

1400s and name any shotgun - any firearm, for too many decades have been protected by Johnson's Paste Wax.

RIG by Silenco is another - been around since 1935 .

Getting pretty fed up with Proven Products getting lost in mergers, acquisitions, and whatever else.

Need to write a letter / send a email to SCJ, gonna make it a point "we" use this stuff on Shotguns too.

January 13, 2007, 11:57 AM
as "one of the 5 worst guns ever made", my 12ga 1400 has been stellar. It's fed everything I've shoved into it. I've had it so dirty that I could watch the bolt cycle, and never once did it fail to load the next round.

Mine shoots very well with ~19 grains of Green Dot under 1-1/8 oz of #7.5s. I shot a 23 on trap with that load, but I was in the groove like never before or since.

I put a recoil pad on it for dove season (I miss a lot). Not even a stiff shoulder after a 3-box morning. Did I mention that I miss a lot?

The only advice I can give is a) clean the gas path every couple of hundred rounds and b) never take the trigger group apart. I did that, once, and I'll never do it again. I took a long time to get back together, and it cost me 35 bucks to get the safety to work again.

Great gun. I don't get the hate you see for them. The only downside to mine is that there's really no comfortable way to carry it in the feild. However I lay it on my shoulder, there's some edge or angle that digs in. And it's too heavy to carry at port arms all day.


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