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loads for vintage model 12

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Renton83, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Renton83

    Renton83 Member

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    I have a Winchester Model 12 that is made in 1917 with a 30" full choke barrel. I know it's only safe to fire lead shot in it but I was wondering if slugs are safe? I have fired slugs through full choke barrels before without issue but those guns were newer. Someone mentioned that full chokes on these old shotguns is tighter then modern full chokes? It's probably the smoothest pump action i've ever owned and the workmanship is amazing. I have been on the hunt for one for years and this came up at a good price, looks like it wasn't fired much but had a lot of dirt and grime. I fully stripped it and cleaned everything, 100 years of dirt seemed to be inside the action lol. Besides some light surface rust on some parts it has no real damage.
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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
    Cornhusker77 and Ole Joe Clark like this.
  2. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    A Foster type slug, commonly called a rifled slug, will be fine in a full fixed choke shotgun. Sabot type or some of the Brenneke slugs may cause issues as they don't swage or reduce down as they force their way through the choke. The rifled marks on a Foster type slug act as relief as they squish down (swage). I'm sure millions have been shot through full chokes. I would not recommend them being shot through a full, screw in choke, some have unscrewed part way and then ripped the choke out the rest of the way.
     
  3. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Foster slugs used to be made somewhat undersized, supposedly to eliminate the possibility of damage to older and tight choked guns. It also made them even less accurate than a full bore sized Foster slug, which are already pretty inaccurate from a smooth bore gun. If I remember correctly Remington slugs were the most undersized. New slugs may be larger in diameter, I don't know.
    I doubt that Foster type slugs would harm your model 12 but I also doubt it could hit a paper plate beyond 20 yards consistently.
     
  4. rule303

    rule303 Member

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    "Rifled" foster slugs are totally safe in your model 12. You might be surprised at the accuracy through the full choke. The majority of shotguns made before screw in choke tubes became common were full choke, and piles of deer were killed by them every fall.
     
  5. Renton83

    Renton83 Member

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    Where I camp bears are very common which is why I like to keep some slugs on hand. I dont use them much just in case.
     
  6. Armorer 101

    Armorer 101 Member

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    The old fashioned cup style slug is still very popular in the US because it mostly works and works well. The pure lead alloy allows for expansion of the skirt to fill the bore at moderate pressure, then to swage down without damage at virtually any choke size. However every once in a while you will run across a shotgun that simply will not shoot slugs worth a flip, so try the M-12 with slugs before you take it slug hunting. Make very sure it shoots slugs the way you want or expect.
     
  7. Scribner

    Scribner Member

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    Slug hunters tell me their guns often shoot better with one brand or another. You may need to try a couple brands.
     
  8. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    I've own several Model 12s over the year and would never shoot a slug out of a full choke gun. In fact one gun had Cutts Compensators on it and the best Foster slug pattern was with improved. You have to remember Model 12s changed their throat and choke diameters over the years as the ammunition changed. Many early Model 12s had very tight chokes compared to what we now call "Full". If it were me, I would take it to a gunsmith familiar with Model 12s and have them "mike" the throat and choke. Briley.com is also very good at installing inter-changeable chokes in an old Model 12.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
  9. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    At defensive distances I think even a full choke will be fine, and your Model 12 will work fine as is. We aren't talking best 50 yard groups here.
     
  10. Renton83

    Renton83 Member

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    i found out someone must have opened up the choke as it measures about .720. so i dont have to worry about shooting slugs. I was surprised as the gun looks original and the barrel is 30" so I doubt its been cut.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
  11. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    I have an old model 12 in 16 GA.
    Its not as old as yours, but its close.
    Shotgun shells were out of paper back then, and the empty hulls were much shorter than the crimped plastic shells of later on. The very short ejection port I find elongated plastic empties to stove-pipe inside it with certain ones. Keep that in mind. Not sure how that can be remedied, maybe trimming down hulls some, im not sure..... FWIW
    Good luck!
     
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