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Winchester Model 1400

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by RWMC, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. RWMC

    RWMC New Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    "It's not Heaven....it's Iowa"
    I saw a Winchester 1400 at a pawn shop today. The asking price was $210.
    Is that a good price on the used 1400? I know nothing about the reputation of the 1400, if it is a good, reliable gun or a loser. It appeared to have a 28" barrel on it. It would be used as my"around the farm" shotgun. I would appreciate any input. Thanks in advance!
  2. greg531mi

    greg531mi Active Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    I had a 1400 Ranger, a birch stock one with two barrels, since the 80's....Use it for deer manly with the slug barrel, put a B-square scope mount on it, shot deer at 100 yards, never had a problem with cycling or the gun....
    With a bird barrel, there is a glut of them out there, seems that everyone wants shotguns with rifled barrels, riot, or skeet guns.... $210 is a little high, talk them down to $150 or max of $175, if in used but nice condition...
  3. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Winchester 1400 is THE softest shooting Autoloading shotgun - period.

    This is due to its gas design, which does NOT allow for more than 2 shells in mag, 3 shells total for the gun. The gun in 12 ga prefers 2 3/4 dr eq and up loadings with 1 oz of shot and up. This gun saw a LOT of use for Skeet, Trap, clay games and Lots of bird hunting - NO need for a plug - it was already restricted to 3 shells , so the hunter NEVER had to worry about that little problem. Granted some Wildlife folks checking guns...got really confused and bumfuzzled. :p

    In 20 ga, totes easy, shoots soooo soft. This and the 1100 is what many a new pixie skeet student used to learn on.

    I have always liked the Factory Winchokes. External / Knurled they protect the muzzle, and they have always been concentric, and patterned well for me. It seems the QC for Win-Chokes have always been great.

    It is NOT a Super X Model 1 , these were Machined steel guns. 1400's are stamped. It is NOT a SX2 . It is NOT an 1100, that 1100 came out with stamped part design and took the market by storm. IMO the 1100 is a MUCH better design than the 11-87. Just my observations through competitions and hunting.

    Parts Used to be avail through Nu-Line - I haven't checked in awhile so this may have changed.

    That said, that sounds a bit high to me. If it were me - I'd find a good used 1100 is you want a semi. For a Farm/ Ranch/ kicking around gun - the pump gun would be MY preference. NOT ammo sensitive. For the monies a 870 or 1300 pump is hard to beat. A Used 870 WM is both a workhorse, and has Soul/ Character.

    I had a 1400 in 20 ga, Felled many a clay, many Waterfowl - even when the steel shot came out. I had the Skeet, IC, MOD and Full Chokes. Even with that 28" bbl - I surprised many folks ( including myself when tested) as to what it did with Slugs. Mine liked the Winchester Slugs, 2nd choice was Federal.

    Another Quality made Semi - the Beretta 303. Find one of them for a good price ( steal) - get it.
  4. Remnant

    Remnant New Member

    Apr 16, 2005
    Since I found this sight today,this will be my first post.
    That said,this thread gives me the chance to get some first hand knowledge
    on the 1400 model shotgun.

    A few years ago I inherited oe from an uncle.I had the gun cleaned and it's value determined.I was told that it was a great gun,in great shape,and worth

    Then in Feb. 2005 I was reading the Feb.issue of Field & Stream,where they named the 50 best guns ever made.
    At the end of the article they mentioned the worst ones made,and coming in at #3 was my Winchester 1400.The reason being was because to save money
    Winchester tried to adapt one frame size to several different gauges and thought to take up the slack space in the receiver with plastic inserts,which
    usally cracked and fell out,so they say.

    The article goes on to say that both shooters and range owners hated the gun.

    Can anyone ya or na these findings?
    THanks in advance
  5. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Remnant, Welcome To THR! :)

    I'm the guy they warn you about. So allow me to share MY experiences and take. Understand the last Subscription I had to Field & Stream was when Bob Brister did the Shotgun writing. Only Reason I kept a magazine coming after Ruark died, and his stories, Cory Ford and others were no longer in the magazine.

    Oh in case no one heard - they finally solved two age old questions hunters and fisherman have had.

    1) lightest clear fishing line for clear water for crappies.
    2) Length of brass of shell has no bearing on how "powerful" a shotshell is. See the 1955 F&S for more details. ;)

    Winchester made shotguns of machined steel. Many were of John Brownings design. One could buy one of these for a week's pay. As time went on - Winchester offered a Lay-a-way program thru your local Hardware, Grocery Store, or dedicated Gun store.

    Well the 2 bedroom house, white picket fence and station wagon days, and if really fortunate - the second beater car...days passed on. Cost of Living went up, Mfg costs went up - NOT in Proportion to wages - always.

    Folks wanted more for there money. They ask for and got it. Competition is a good thing, only problem is sometimes something has to give.

    Machining steel parts, tedious polishing of metal ( the polishing is the key to good bluing - hence the reason the old guns have that deep blue. Blueing is still the same - the prep work , the polish is what makes the difference), The Craftman were getting older, and the younger folks were not learning the trade.

    Takes money to stay in business, vying for marketshare is tough.

    Remington broke old tradition, made a stamped parts gun, that ran, and fit the pocketbook. IT Sold. Reminton had thier traditions as well, the 3200, the Model 11 others...

    Winchester had the Model 97s, 12s, 42s, not to mention the 101s , 21s, 23s...the Super X Model 1 was THE Semi Autoloader. It was machined steel and it worked. Brister even wrote in his book " the most reliable semi-auto" - he had tested them all of that time. I won't even mention the Reputation of the Wincheser Custom Shop...drool.

    Winchester was doing great with the newer pump guns the 1300 came in 12, 20 , 28 and .410. This is what folks like Fred Misseldine used to win at Skeet. The Remington 870 in the 4 gauges was the "competition".

    The 1400 was made by U.S Repeating Arms. Winchester split up, and did the ammo and some guns. USRA - the rest of the firearms.

    This was before folks got into "tactical", and HAVING to have all the accessories. Folks grew up learning to shoot, how to have guns fitted to them for tasks needed. Yes the Skeet, Trap folks had some "accessories", these were to aid in stock fit, such a recoil pads, moleskin on the comb to raise / fit stock to shooter so his eye looked down the rib correctly.

    Folks were just getting into guns with the ability to change chokes. The folks with fixed choked bbls already knew the new plastic wads meant they had to re-pattern thier guns. For too long they knew how to make a fixed full choke throw a Improved Cylinder pattern. WE still do. ;)

    1400s in my locale reflected that of other parts of the country. Folks had the classic machined steel guns. These saw duty as Home Defense guns, felled pheasants, Ducks, and Deer. Folks wanted to preserve some of these guns a wee bit to pass on to kids, grandkids, great grandkids. So they bought 1100s, 1400s, 303s to 1) save the older guns , 2) try something new with the chokes that allowed changing.

    Still the equipment race had not hit. Folks had yet to attempt to "buy skill and targets".

    1400s filled the niche for those dedicated Wichester users. It was the gun many a new person bought to try Skeet or Trap. The gun may have fit them better than the 1100s, or 303s.

    1400s held up. So one had to sometimes replace the screw on the left side of receiver that held the ejector - the 1100 had to have "O" rings replaced - so what?. Inspect and maintain is what folks did back then. The 7/8 loads were being "experimented" by the folks using O/U, or SxS, folks didn't hunt with these loads or shoot skeet with them - yet. Standard Target load was for skeet was 2 3/4 dr eq , of 1 1/8 of shot in 12 ga. Folks had not yet felt comfortable with the AA 1oz Target loads either. So the 1400 ( as most guns then) ran with the ammo of the times.

    Yeah the 1400 was tricky at first for one to take apart - once done, really simple, what was there to go wrong, get fouled up , be sensitive to too much or not enough lube? There was not. Freezing temps, blistering heat - the 1400 ran. I ran mine for 500 rds many times without cleaning. I have gone as much as 1K rds - it ran.

    Some folks missed the old Winchester machined steel guns. Some even got mad at Winchester for doing so, some were still mad about the 1300. Remington had made folks mad as well with not having the machined guns of old either. Only difference is the 870 had EARNED its reputation and to a degree so had the 1300s.

    Today folks want the ability ( some demand it) to have accessories for a gun. The 1400 by design cannot have a mag capacity extended. That is where the gas system is - enclosed. Folks remembered the old Browing 2 shot semi shotgun of old..." shoot a 3 rd time at a bird is a waste, shoulda learned to shoot in the first place..."

    I disagree with folks that say the 1400 was a "bad gun". It was not a Super X Model 1 , I can attest to that. What is was - was Winchester's offering to give folks an affordable , reliable, soft shooting Semi - Auto shotgun. Something to compete with Remington. This is what the 1400 did.

    Big Green did a GREAT job on the 1100, and marketed it well.

    1400s like others, just were a bit late to the party.

    Just because something is new - don't make it better.
    Just because something is old or discontinued don't mean it is bad.

    Ya know - I always wanted to voice my opinion on Field & Streams other two great arguments...still ongoing from 1955

    6mm versus .243 Gimmee the .243, only befitting to use the .243 'cause in a Winchester model 94 it totes so well.

    .270 versus '06 - Well hell - a Winchester Model 70 in '06 is well - You are supposed to use a '06 in a Model 70. ..." ain't much a fellow can't do with $700 and an ought -six. ;)

    I like the OLD Winchesters.

    For the $11 price of a F&S 'script back then...I found the $11 better spent on Ammo, reloading supplies, range fees, gas to go shoot, taking someone out to the range...or going fishing.

    Ruark, Ford, Brister, Tarpley and his tips [ Tarpley' Tips] were spot on back then...sad folks today don't get to read this stuff anymore...

    Take me back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean ;)
  6. theCZ

    theCZ Active Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    I don't have any experience with the 11-87, but what was the point of introducing it? I'm an 1100 fan, but I never could understand what the deal was with the 11-87.
  7. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 20, 2002
    The 11-87 was and is an attempt to have a semi auto that will handle a wide range of shells, including 2 3/4" and 3" mags.

    An 1100 needed more than one barrel to do that.

    The jury's still out on whether the 87 is an improvement on the 1100 or not.
  8. KarbineKrazy

    KarbineKrazy Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Eugene, OR
    I thought the gas system was just different on the 1187 and 1100? Whats not to like?

    I want to buy a remington semi auto, but I want a 3 inch gun... This won't be a trap gun, but a real working gun. Shouldn't I get the 1187?
  9. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 20, 2002
    Trap guns ARE working guns, often for hundreds of thousands of rounds.

    The 1100 in 3" mag works great for waterfowl and such. You'll need a 2 3/4" barrel with its different porting to handle shorter shells. Exception, 2 3/4" "Short" Maggie Numbs.

    Actually a 3" 1100 will work for trap singles, it just won't eject well.

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