Design Evolution of American Pump-Shotguns


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dak0ta
June 13, 2012, 10:58 PM
Hi, so I recently acquired a Win M12 and Ithaca 37 in addition to my Mossberg 500. I posted on ShotgunWorld and I got some interesting information about the development of these shotguns from a member there called SuperXOne. I have decided to share some of his knowledge with you guys. All quotes are his.

On the Mossberg 500, Ithaca 37, and Winchester M12... ''The Mossberg 500 is a remake of the High Standard Flite King which was in turn inpired by the Remington Model 31, which was designed originally to compete with the Winchester Model 12. Mossberg 500's are good, reliable, dependable pump shotguns, and have all the charm and handling characteristics of a cheap pine two by four.''

''The Ithaca Model 37 is a remake of the Remington Model 17, which was designed by the immortal John Moses Browning, and is unique. The quality of the gun rivals the Model 12, but it's lighter and easier to manufacture. For walking up game birds in upland hunting, it has no rival except the finest side by side double guns for handling characteristics.''

''The Winchester Model 12 was designed by Thomas Crosley Johnson, a long time Winchester employee, and is the most complex, best machined, most inspected, and most collected and coveted pump shotgun ever made. All other pump shotguns are compared against the Model 12, almost fifty years after they went out of regular production. It handles, points, and shoots very well and the quality of the shotgun in materials and craftsmanship is superb and is not exceeded by any other American made repeating shotgun.''


''I don't believe I've ever heard of or seen a problem of any kind with a Mossberg 500, other than a broken plastic safety or a broken plastic trigger guard, hardly the gun's fault. They shoot forever, and somebody will have to endure the severe cheapness of the gun's design for at least a century.''

''The M37 is in a lot of ways superior in design to the M12. The M37 has interrupted thread design for it's barrel, and it's simply not going to shoot loose. The M37 doesn't have to lift it's bolt to lock up. Shells eject out the bottom. The entire design is remarkably trouble free and lasts virtually forever. The only "flaw" is the right hand shell stop, and occasionally they will wear out the little spring that operates that shell stop. Another occasional problem is that the shell lifter/ejector forks will get out of alignment, but they can be bent back using nothing but hand pressure.''

''The Model 12 is an extremely long lasting, durable, reliable shotgun, but only because it's made so well, with so many inspections. When Model 12's wear, and they do wear, they have lots of different problems, too many to really list here. The barrels occasionally need tightened up, which can be done at home. Otherwise, if your M12 begins to "blow open" on firing, then it needs the services of a good gunsmith. The design is complex, and required a lot of precision machining and a ridiculous number of inspections to make the gun work at all. I have about a half a dozen M12's, and at any given time there's something just a little bit wrong with one or two of them.''

On other American pump designs...''The Model 31 is a favorite of many, but not of mine. While the M31 is very well made, I favor the replacemnt 870, and I know I'm one of the few that do. An 870 has a certain "mojo" that's hard to describe. An 870 does have stamped parts, but those stamped parts work very well and for a very long time, and the handling of the shotgun is what attracts me to an 870.''

''The High Standard Flite Kings were excellent, wonderful shotguns made with milled steel parts. I've owned both the Model 31's and the High Standards, and it's hard to say which pumps smoother, but I'll give the nod to the High Standard. The High Standard had but one flaw, and it's a bad one. The action slides (the part that "pumps" the bolt) was made of some kind of alloy steel, had a bend in it for some reason, and the things tend to break right at that bend,,,in which case the gun is worthless, the slides are unavailable, and nobody I've ever heard of can weld one and it work. So if you buy one, don't play Rambo with the slide, and stay right with Jesus.''

''The Savage 520/620 was a successful design, but the worst shotgun that John Moses Browning ever made. They occasionally will not function, but the worst thing about them is that cool looking "artillery bolt" takedown system. All those grooves look like they would wear forever, but they simply do not, and when they get shaky all the gunsmiths that knew how to tighten them by peening the lugs back are long dead. Avoid paying over a hundred dollars for one.''

''The Springfield/Stevens/Savage Models 67/77/30 were excellent shotguns with no real design faults, rather ahead of their time for a cheap shotgun, and wound up being made for about forty years. The first production guns would and will shoot forever, but the last ones made in the 1980's are the worst modern American made shotguns by reason of continual manufacturing shortcuts and bad quality control simply making the guns so cheap that about half of the last production simply would not reliably work. If they are older guns, which you can tell because they are well blued, well shaped, and well finished,,,,they are real sleepers. The Model 30 Savage is the one to buy, if you have the choice. The last guns, distingished by blocky, cheap actions and wood that looks worst than a chair leg are simply worthless.''

''Another good old shotgun are the modern Marlin pumps, made from the 1970's through the 1980's. Good shotguns, which didn't catch on.''

''There really is no reason to buy any one of these antiques, unless you a shotgun addict like I am. The Remington 870 Wingmaster is an excellent shotgun, with no real faults, that's still being made, and parts and barrels are available everywhere. I recently bought a nearly perfect 870TC (a custom shop grade) for $350 that has a Remchoke barrel and a super nice condition 1961 870 field model Wingmaster for $200 that has a plain round modified choke barrel. Ithaca 37's are good buys too, for those who don't like spending lots of time and money fixing your old shotgun.''

''But I'm still a sucker for a Model 12. Until you have a Model 12, you'll want one, and after you have one you'll want more of them.''

''(And all Model 1200/1300/120/1300 "Winchester" shotguns are cheap aluminum and stamped part conterfeits not worthy of the name they bear. They work, they are safe, and they suck. Don't buy one, and if you have one sell it to somebody who doesn't realize what a POS they are.''

About the Savage 520 and 620s...''As to the 520's and the 620's, I didn't mean to be hard on them. They were expensive, well made shotguns with real walnut stocks and good finishes. The main difference between the two was cosmetic. The 520's look like a slide action Auto Five and the 620's elminated most of the humpback,,,but they are under the skin the same gun.

Both guns had the unusual problem for a Browning design that unless they were right side up, and pumped carefully, they can drop a shell out of the side. Also, the massive slots that Browing used look very impressive, and the first time you see one you wonder how to get it apart. They have a screw down magazine tube that holds them together. The idea was that the magazine tube would compensate for wear, and it might to some extent, but what's really going on is that John Browning was trying to design a take down shotgun around his own patents that had been sold to Winchester,,,and John got it right the first time. When a 520 or 620 gets shaky you either have to keep on shooting that way or sell it.

If you have one, you'll soon learn to compensate for the odd habit of dropping shells out of the side (it's not very often they do that) and you must refrain from the temptation of taking the gun apart very often. Even a Model 97 or Model 12 shouldn't be taken apart that often, as parts do wear. I don't think that many people realize that until the 1930's that Savage was a premium gun, not a cheap one. Stevens made boys rifles until Savage bought them out, and was the premier maker of those. It was only in the 30's that Savage started it's long, long slide down to the bottom of the heap of quality, and eventual corporate death in the late 1980's, and amazing rebirth as the maker of some of the most accurate rifles with the best triggers on the market. The 520's started out when Savage was a prestige brand, and show all the quality that go with it.''

''I hope to make it clear to everybody that reads my posts, that before you start dabbling in obsolete shotguns you first need a modern 12 gauge shotgun with three inch chambers, factory choke tubes, and proofed for steel shot. Of those, there's none really better than the 870 Remington Express with a 28" barrel and a laminated wood stock. You may have to polish out the chamber, and nobody can really be all that proud to own one, but they work and you can fix them and they can do anything. Old shotguns will break something on you from time to time, and you may have to set them back as a trade gun.''

On post-64 Winchester pumps (1200/1300/120)...''Every part and piece of every shotgun has some purpose, and they every part and piece costs something to make, something to finish, and something to inspect. The purpose may only be for looks, such as colors on the reciever of a Technys, or a the white line spacers on all those old guns fro the sixties and seventies. But it's there for a reason.

High Standard was a company that made it's reputation and name building semi automatic .22 pistols in fierce competition with the Colt Woodsman, and did NOT have the company ethic of building the cheapest stuff there was. Winchester, too, was the very best American made gun brand until 1963, and they prided themselves on that fact.

So when High Standard wants to do a pump gun in the 1950's, they were gunning for the Model 12. The Flite Kings of the 50's, by whatever name they were sold, were cheaper than Model 12's but they were made righteously. The parts are milled steel. They are finished well, inspected well, and it's a quality product. No surprise they are smooth, slick, nice handling products. Their association with Sears didn't hurt them at all, because at the time Sears was still striving to sell GOOD stuff, not just the cheapest stuff.

Come 1960 Mossberg has already built their reputation as a cheaper than the rest. God only knows how many bolt action shotguns, cheap .22 autoloaders, and the like they had built. It's easy to say they copied the High Standard, but the High Standard itself was based on a Remington Model 31. Mossberg wanted a reliable, durable, but above all cheaper gun to sell at the very lowest price point against the other pumps out there. They succeeded in that, and if it wasn't smooth or pretty or slick handling,,,that really wasn't the point.

Winchester had started severely cheapening the Model 12 in 1960 in appearance and finish. The worst piece of walnut I've ever seen was off a 1963 Winchester Model 12. I think Winchester's problem was that they were so much bigger than Mossberg or High Standard they had the engineering savy and the marketing skill to produce an excellently engineered, beautifully finished, safe beyond any question,,,,piece of absolute counterfeit modern garbage that was unfortunately made to resemble the quality gun it replaced, named after a Model 12, and marketed as being better than a Model 12. Every maker builds every gun to a price point, even Purdey and Holland and Holland. But where Mossberg and High Standard were trying to make something good that was a cheap as it could be made and still be good,,,,Winchester was shaving pennies,,,even less than pennies,,,,to try and see just how cheap a part or a process could be made in order to appear good, and to to be the barest minimally acceptable. This relentless cost cutting goes deep inside a Model 1200, and affects every little part. Chevrolet did the exact same thing to the Vega, and it almost cost them the company.

It's hard to express this difference, but I sincerely believe that there is more to my complete hatred and contempt for the Winchester Model 1200's and Model 1400's than merely the fact that they replaced the Model 12. The damn things are just not "honestly built".

To be honestly built, there has to be a designer that's given a budget and told to make a certain part as well as he can on that budget. If he can't do it, maybe they give him a little bigger budget. The designer has a budget,,,but his goal is to make a good product, the best product he can for that amount of money.

But when you see products like the Winchester 1200 series I maintain that what's happening is that the designer is given a budget that's an absolute top end, and the management is going to have him cheapen and cheapen and cheapen the part until it fails,,,and then go back to one notch over failure. I've seen this in products liability cases, and I find it just plain disgusting. Nobody would be building their own stuff that way. Here the designer is trying to wring the last tiny mill, a mill being one thousandth of a dollar, not a penny, which is one hundreth of a dollar, of off every single part in the entire gun. He'll have ample margins for safety. Styling is "free", so to speak. They have the expertise to make the gun appear beautiful, handle well, and last the average owner a reasonable length of time,,,,but the gun is just a few mills per part better than it absolutely needs to be and not work at all. Yuucckk.''

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TurtlePhish
June 13, 2012, 11:31 PM
That's really neat. Thanks for posting!

Andrew Wyatt
June 13, 2012, 11:39 PM
I'm shocked at the gulf of opinion between myself and the man who wrote the first post.

dak0ta
June 13, 2012, 11:46 PM
Post yours please. I would like to know them.

SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE
June 14, 2012, 12:23 AM
Great post ! anybody want to buy my 1200 winchester ? ::cuss:

stan rose
June 14, 2012, 12:51 AM
I liked it, agreed with most of his reviews. Thanks dak0ta

Andrew Wyatt
June 14, 2012, 01:59 AM
I come from a very different place, experience wise and I don't place as much value on the fit and finish of a shotgun as the original writer does. I don't see as much difference in useability between the 870 and the 500 as he does, for example.

rbernie
June 14, 2012, 11:47 AM
I don't see as much difference in useability between the 870 and the 500 as he does, for exampleFair point - for the first shot. But all of the 500's that I've owned (one of which was my firstest shotgun evar) felt far clunkier to cycle and manipulate than even an Express model 870.

throdgrain
June 14, 2012, 12:41 PM
''I don't believe I've ever heard of or seen a problem of any kind with a Mossberg 500, other than a broken plastic safety or a broken plastic trigger guard, hardly the gun's fault. They shoot forever, and somebody will have to endure the severe cheapness of the gun's design for at least a century.''



My second Mossberg 500 would deposit a shell at my feet instead of from the magazine into the chamber, every 3rd or 4th shot :) It was a nightmare, that turned out to be the cartridge interruptor if I recall correctly. This was on a brand new gun too!

dak0ta
June 14, 2012, 12:54 PM
I had that problem once during sporting clays with the round dropped out of the mag tube. I figured out that it was due to the magazine tube becoming loose so the gap prevented the rim of the shell from being caught by the shell stop, and it screwed up the timing so that the elevator misses the shell resulting in the shell being ejected out the bottom. I should have put some blue loctite back on after unscrewing the magazine tube. That's what they do at the factory anyways.

Jim Watson
June 14, 2012, 12:57 PM
I once lived next door to the town repair gunsmith. He considered the Model 12 to be the Gunsmith's Friend. Very popular, but typically used hard and put up wet. There was always one or more in his shop for repair after hard use and neglect.
Browning A5s, too. They tended to get beat up because the typical user would put the friction rings in the light load position for quail and then go duck hunting without setting up for express loads.

He liked the Remington M31 and I thought it a nice gun as pump guns go, which is not very far with me. The shaky foreend just distracts me after long experience with singles, doubles, and autos.

You seldom see any mention of the Marlin 120 which was kind of a knockoff of the Winchester, but it seems a solid gun.

Dave McCracken
June 14, 2012, 01:23 PM
Nice writeup, though I do disagree on some points.

500s, IMO aren't nearly as "Clunky" as 97 Winchesters. All that finely made steel takes more arm to overcome the inertia.

Much as I love 870s, I believe Model 12s, 31s, and 37s have better "Shucks".

520s and 620s are tanks. Like 97s, 37s and other JMB designes, they're not user friendly inside.

Never cared for the High Standard shotguns, though I revered the Super Trophy-matic 22s.

All in all, a decent writeup.

Thanks....

rcmodel
June 14, 2012, 01:36 PM
''The Mossberg 500 is a remake of the High Standard Flite KingOne mans opinion, but I wouldn't take it to the "History of the shotgun" bank.

I fail to see much similarity between the High-Standard Flite King design and the Mossberg 500, other then they are both pumps.
I also fail to see the similarity between the HS Flite King and the Remington Model 31.

The other thing is, the HS Flite King was introduced in 1959, and the Mossberg 500 in 1960.
Hard to call it a remake of something that basically came out within a year of it and sold concurrently with it.

Pretty sure High Standards patent lawyers would have had their panties in a wad if Mossberg copied it.

rc

snooperman
June 14, 2012, 01:47 PM
I am no expert on pump action shotguns but neither is he. I believe some of his opnions have merit and some are biased related . To compare the Winchester 1200 to a Chevy Vega is a bit over the top. My brother has a 1200 that he has been shooting clays and hunting with for more than 40 years and it is a fine gun.My Win model 12 has had more probems with it than any pump gun I have. While parts are machined does not give it any advantage that I can see. My 2 cents... Snoop

General Geoff
June 14, 2012, 02:22 PM
I'm by no means a shotgun connoisseur, but having fired a few thousand rounds at clays with both a friend's 870 and my own 590, I have to say my 590 handles much better and more smoothly. Maybe it's just me. *shrug*

Youngster
June 14, 2012, 07:43 PM
IMO, the Ithaca 37 would have been a lot more popular if it hadn't been made by an underdog company. Even as long ago as the '50s I think they were having trouble producing a product that *appeared* to be as well made as most of its competitors, though they functioned as well as any.

Milkmaster
June 14, 2012, 08:39 PM
A lot there to agree with in your write up. However I would disagree with the opinion on the 1300 Winchester. Some small differences made it a little improved IMHO over the 1200.

In any case I have yet to find a completely worn out pump shotgun that was cared for properly. That includes the Winchester 1300. Thanks for your write up. I enjoyed reading it.

kcshooter
June 14, 2012, 08:40 PM
I've never met anyone who has shot a Winchester 1400 say they hate Winchester 1400s.
I understand on principle, but in practice, it's one of my favorite shotguns.

Virginian
June 14, 2012, 09:00 PM
Ever notice not many people hate their shotgun, and while the brand and model may be suspect, theirs has never even hiccuped?
Back in the mid 60's Winchester opened a skeet and trap range in my hometown. The barrel of 1200s and 1400s going back to the factory for fixing on a regular basis did not endear me to those models. (my buddy worked there)
I would rate the BPS an evolution of the Model 37. Simpler made, heavier yes, but every bit as well designed and even more likely to run longer between trips to the gun doctor in my opinion. But, I could never grow to love bottom loading thru the magazine enough to like them nearly as much as a Wingmaster. As soon as tungsten arrived, I sold my 10 gauge and went back to the 3" 12.

wlewisiii
June 14, 2012, 09:20 PM
IMO, the Ithaca 37 would have been a lot more popular if it hadn't been made by an underdog company. Even as long ago as the '50s I think they were having trouble producing a product that *appeared* to be as well made as most of its competitors, though they functioned as well as any.
Huh? My Ithacas (a 47 & 56) are easily as well made, and look it, as the Model 12's from that era I've looked at. I do want to get a 12 someday, more as a bucket list item than anything, but if I'm going out the door with pump, I want one of the Ithacas.

Ithaca has had a problem, repeatedly, of not being as big as it's ambitions require. But I love my 37's & want to get a 16 or 20 gauge NID someday as well.

snooperman
June 14, 2012, 09:36 PM
Calling the Winchester 1300 a "POS" is a bit of the Winchester pre-64 "Snobbish" opinions that is still alive and well long after many very good quality guns have replaced them.

Virginian
June 15, 2012, 07:52 AM
Calling the Winchester 1300 a "POS" is a bit of the Winchester pre-64 "Snobbish" opinions that is still alive and well long after many very good quality guns have replaced them.
Calling the Winchester 1300 a "POS" is a bit of the Winchester pre-64 "Snobbish" opinions that is still alive and well long after many very good quality guns have replaced them.
I wouldn't call them a POS. I have seen POSs, and they ain't nearly that bad.
A lot of those "replacements" haven't had Winchester on them either, and some feel there was a reason for it. I think Winchester shot themselves in the foot with the 1200/1400s. Hard to live down serious quality issues AND a ticked off customer base, because you dared to change their pet gun, and then ignored their wails. Think "New Coke". I actually shot more than a few rounds from a 3" 1300, and I liked it; just not enough to replace a Wingmaster. The whole "Speed Pump" thing just irritates me to no end, sorry if you love them.

snooperman
June 15, 2012, 08:08 AM
I do not love them or shoot them, but it is a bit much to hear the Pre 64 snobbish attitude about these guns when many other guns are just as good including the wonderful 870 and Ithaca 37.

dak0ta
June 15, 2012, 03:12 PM
Anybody know what the upgrades to the 1300 were that made it better than the 1200?

CatManDo
June 15, 2012, 03:46 PM
With me it's not a snobbish attitude about the 4 Model 12's that I own, it's more about pride in knowing I have a gun(s) that have and will continue to go down in history as one of the best American made Shotguns. Also, it's what I grew up with and shot from age 9, hard to change ones mind when childhood memories are involved.

Youngster
June 15, 2012, 06:46 PM
Huh? My Ithacas (a 47 & 56) are easily as well made, and look it, as the Model 12's from that era I've looked at. I do want to get a 12 someday, more as a bucket list item than anything, but if I'm going out the door with pump, I want one of the Ithacas.

Ithaca has had a problem, repeatedly, of not being as big as it's ambitions require. But I love my 37's & want to get a 16 or 20 gauge NID someday as well.

I don't have a '50s Model 12 to compare to, but compared to '50s, or even much later vintage 870s, the Ithaca 37 looks plain, even cheap. I'm not saying they aren't functionally well made but they simply don't have the same degree of finish.

rcmodel
June 15, 2012, 08:45 PM
Finish, fit & function are three different things.

Flash & bling and a bowling ball stock finish like an 870 doesn't make a 1950's Ithaca Model 37 work any better then it did then, or now.

It is/was still one of the best and lightest pump shotguns ever made.

rc

Youngster
June 15, 2012, 10:01 PM
I'm not argueing that they don't function well, they're my favorite pump actually, but the relative lack of "presentation" is probably a major reason they never sold particularily well in the past.

rcmodel
June 15, 2012, 10:11 PM
That they cost more ($105.00 MSRP) then a Rem 870 or Win 1200 ($99.95 MSRP) in 1967 didn't help any either.
Rems & Wins were discounted a lot in department stores of the day.
Not so much on the Ithaca.

$5.00 is a Starbucks coffee some places today.
But it was a half tank of Premium gas for your Dodge Charger back then.

rc

wlewisiii
June 15, 2012, 10:51 PM
There is a whole lot of what I referred to as "not being big enough for their ambitions" in your comments, Youngster. But damn, all you have to do is pump an Ithaca and then pump anything cheaper to know better. The 37 is worth every d*** penny even if it isn't as pretty as some might think it should be.

Youngster
June 16, 2012, 12:16 AM
Yup, and it's also amazing how freakishly light they are despite being all steel with a thick walled reciever, it's like an optical illusion.

dak0ta
June 16, 2012, 12:41 AM
Ithaca 37 is JMB's genius in motion. Thinner and smaller steel receiver with the least amount of moving parts inside it. Balances well and is featherlight. Probably the low number of moving parts also aids in its smoothness due to least points of contact creating friction.

Virginian
June 16, 2012, 03:43 AM
No doubt a lot of people love the 37 and defend it vigorously. But it hasn't been enough to keep Ithaca from going up and down like a yo-yo. If you are not in business to make money, pretty soon you won't be in business to make anything. Well, it used to be anyways. Unless you can get government subsidies or loans these days, and it doesn't hurt to be an Obamanation to achieve that, a la Solyndra.

snooperman
June 16, 2012, 08:33 AM
I bought my first Ithaca over 50 years ago and I still have it. The 4 that I have has never been in for repair. They are a delight to hunt with and butter smooth actions. My model 12 is heavy,and a very complex gun and has been to the gunsmith twice to be repaired. It is a fine gun but I prefer the Ithaca 37s. The company in Ohio are making beautiful guns with best grade walnut if you want it and I believe they are better made than the originals. I shot one about 6 months ago a friend bought for $950 and was much impressed with it. It was beautiful.

stan rose
June 16, 2012, 11:52 PM
I have many Ithaca 37s, and a few Model 12s. I have to say that I have always like shooting and hunting with the Ithacas more. The Model 12s are nice gun and work very well, but I find my self looking at them more than shooting them. The new Ithacas from Ohio are beautiful guns, and their customer service is second to none.

dak0ta
June 17, 2012, 12:03 AM
Would you say the Win M12 is heavier and is better for clay sports whereas the Ithaca is lighter and balances well and is better for upland and ducks?

The only downside I can think of for the Ithaca is that the wrist tends to develop cracks that get worse over time.

P.S. Feel free to post your classic American pumps in this thread. It might as well become a knowledge thread for those interested in these uniquely American shooting irons.

I'll start:

2008 Mossberg 500A - Serves me well, accurate with foster slugs and steel shot, as well as lead for clays. LOP seems a little short for me after shouldering my M12 and M37, but it's dead nuts reliable that I know it will come through in the toughest conditions when I need it most. May consider changing out the safety to metal one day, but it seems to be fine now. Polymer trigger guard doesn't bother me, I did change the mag follower to a SJ Hardware orange delrin one since it's Hi-Vis and there's a nub for tactile verification. Feeding may also be smoother too. This gun is smooth but because it's built so lose, it catches on itself so the sliding of the action bars isn't a perfect straight glide, but rather wobbly and that is due to the flexible action bars.

Nov 2011 Sitka blacktail doe (1st deer with Federal Tru-Ball 1 oz slug at 20 yards)
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/knightofcydonia87/Hunting/Prevost%20Island%202011/DSCN3861.jpg
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/knightofcydonia87/Firearms/Mossberg%20500/DSCN4024.jpg
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/knightofcydonia87/Firearms/Mossberg%20500/DSCN4022.jpg

1948 Ithaca M37 Standard 12 ga - Shows character, light, nice black walnut stocks, handles very nicely, smoothest pump I own.

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/knightofcydonia87/Shotguns/DSCN4672.jpg
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/knightofcydonia87/Shotguns/DSCN4674.jpg
Notice wrist cracks
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/knightofcydonia87/Shotguns/DSCN4679.jpg

1955 Winchester M12 Standard 12 ga - My new favourite clay gun, heavy enough to shoot a lot, swings well with the long barrel, balance is perfect so the weight doesn't feel burdensome. 2nd smoothest pump I own. Always goes *ping* when the action locks or safety button pushed.

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/knightofcydonia87/Shotguns/DSCN4684.jpg
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/knightofcydonia87/Shotguns/DSCN4687.jpg
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/knightofcydonia87/Shotguns/DSCN4691.jpg

I really enjoy the corn-cob fore-end on these older pumps. Anybody else like them too?

bushmaster1313
June 17, 2012, 12:58 AM
http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/5452/cimg0971q.jpg

dak0ta
June 17, 2012, 01:29 AM
M97
m31
m12
?

I did some research and the Mossberg 500 series is NOT based off the High Standard Flight King as previously stated. The release dates of both guns are too close for that. The M500 is actually based off of the Remington Model 31, which in turn is based off the Remington Model 17. Look at some stock photos of the Rem 31 and you will see the similarities. Single take down pin, one action slide bar (Mossberg had this before switching to 2), shell elevator stays up for easy loading, dual extractors, straight shell feeding with the elevator. I'm sure there are more.

Owen
June 17, 2012, 02:01 AM
wouldn't bottom feeding like the Ithaca be problematic for the clay sports like trap? seems like it would be awkward relative to dropping a shell in the ejection port on an 870, m12, etc.

snooperman
June 17, 2012, 08:25 AM
Yes, Owen, I agree. Dakota, the reason you see cracks in the Ithaca 37 wrist area is mostly because the gun is being shot when the stock becomes loose a little. When and if they do become loose, one must take the butt pad off and tighten the screw or nut in the recess where it is found. Walnut will crack easily in this area because of the amount of force on such a small area. My Ithacas have never developed cracks in this area and they are old guns too.

snooperman
June 17, 2012, 08:40 AM
Dakota, the Mossberg design was an original design from its inception. I find some of what he said to be suspect. For instance, most gunsmiths, who work on these guns and know them much better than us shooters will give very poor marks for the early Stevens and Savage guns. I had one made in the early 50s and it was the worst gun I ever had , although it was my first shotgun. Also the High Standard guns had inherent structural problems. I can understand why those who think the model 12 as the "Holy Grail" of pump guns would not like the Model 1200-1300 but that opinion is not shared by the vast majority of hunters and shooters who have used them for decades. Gunsmiths who have worked on these guns for decades are ones best source for "opinions".. Snoop

dak0ta
June 17, 2012, 11:22 AM
I think I want a Remington 31 in my collection! They look real nice.

TurtlePhish
June 17, 2012, 11:42 AM
My ol' 870, born in 1956.

http://i1162.photobucket.com/albums/q532/TurtlePhish/9164355e.jpg

http://i1162.photobucket.com/albums/q532/TurtlePhish/df423401.jpg

Youngster
June 17, 2012, 03:11 PM
wouldn't bottom feeding like the Ithaca be problematic for the clay sports like trap? seems like it would be awkward relative to dropping a shell in the ejection port on an 870, m12, etc.

It isn't hard to put a round into the chamber from the bottom, the loading/ejection forks aren't under any kind of tension and just move out of the way for you.

dak0ta
June 17, 2012, 07:45 PM
Oh Turtlefish, I think a need a vintage Wingmaster like yours next! The Rem 31 can wait. How smooth is the action? Fixed full choke I presume?

TurtlePhish
June 18, 2012, 01:28 AM
Oh Turtlefish, I think a need a vintage Wingmaster like yours next! The Rem 31 can wait. How smooth is the action? Fixed full choke I presume?


:D
She's buttery smooth, and yes, 28" fixed full. It's amazing what you can find if you look around. I got an 18.5" barrel for the "riot gun" look and it's awesome with the corncob foreend, but it's too dark to take pics right now. I'll add 'em sometime in the morning.

bushmaster1313
November 13, 2012, 10:20 PM
I have owned the following at one time or another.
(Smiley Face next to my favorite)

Model 97
Model 12
Ithaca 37
Remington 31:)
High Standard 18-7
Remington 870
Mossberg 500
Mossberg 590
Stevens 620

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