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Model 12 Pigeon??

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Don Templeton, Jan 9, 2011.

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  1. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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    This is my first post on this forum so hang with me!

    I purchased a used 12ga in about 1964 for quail hunting and have always just called it a skeet grade, but after some research mainly thru the gun traders guide copyright 1994 it looks a lot more like a Pigeon grade skeet made on special order. (NOT A SUPER PIGION)

    Below are specifications on the above!

    #18xxxxx Mfg date 1961
    26" Barrel, vent rib marked WS-1
    Engine turned Breach Bolt and carrier
    Very high grade black walnut stock and extension slide handle
    Fancy checkerd on stock
    Slide handle not checkerd but one grove front to back on both sides about finger size
    Front sight red ball and silver ball on 5th vent back
    Butt is white line rubber just like the picture.
    Obviously, the slide handle does not sound right. Could it be a special order
    or a replacement? I always thought there had to be an engraved pigion but the book desription says they were made on special order with finer finish,hand smoothed, engine turned bolt and carrier and high grade walnut. Fancy cherking to individual specs. Custom engraving or carving at extra cost. Discontinued in 1965

    Just wondering if this is what I have!

    Looking forward to you experts to give me some help.

    Don :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  2. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I'm at work - no books - but during lunch I was looking at a Pigeon grade Model 12.

    "Winchester - Model 12, Pigeon Grade, 12 ga., 30”, full, solid rib, deluxe checkered, Win. Pd, 99% blue, original, jeweled bolt and follower, capped pistol grip, gun is nearly new, outstanding, rare, rare, gun, very seldom encountered"

    $2995 with a full choke.

    www.csmcspecials.com/product_p/19806.htm

    Click on the little extra pics button.
     
  3. Chris95

    Chris95 Member

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    Don't pigeon grades have a pigeon on the mag tube near the receiver.
     
  4. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    To quote the Blue Book, "usually", but that means not always.

    It also says finer and more deluxe version of the Model 12, many variations. Made '14 to '41 and '48 to '64.
     
  5. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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    Thanks guys,

    It also has a small stamped circle with an odd looking PW overlaping itself on the left top side of the barrel adjacent to the same thing on the breach.

    Don
     
  6. Bill B.

    Bill B. Member

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    Ever true pigeon M12 I have seen it was there. Had a neighbor that sent an old M12 back to Winchester and had it upgraded to pigeon with M12 High Grade Trap wood. He always called it his pigeon grade M12 but it will just always be a M12 sent back to Winchester and reworked to pigeon grade.
     
  7. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I would like to know more about the slide handle and the grooves. Is it like this one, marked field on the site, minus the checkering?

    www.sarcoinc.com/images/w12042.jpg

    Or is it the typical corncob shape, except with 2 finger grooves instead of the 14 to 18 vertical grooves typically seen on field models?

    Or am I lost and sitting here waiting on the football game to start?
     
  8. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    The WP is the Winchester Proof test mark.

    John
     
  9. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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    That's it to a T John, except for the forarm. I also think mine has a little better grade of Black walnut but has been used more.

    Thanks for the Pics, Don
     
  10. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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  11. RonE

    RonE Member

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    Every Pidgeon grade I have ever seen has a pidgeon engraved on the bottom of the magazine tube connection.

    Wonder if the pidgeon grade or black diamond is more rare.
     
  12. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    A former Winchester Custom Shop engraver posts at shotgunworld.com and has her own business. I wonder if she would know or would have access to the information? Heck, the Blue Book's statement of "usually" might have come from her for all I know.

    I remember one post she made about a small run of the later Model 12s that were assembled from clean-up parts and engraved overseas. She said that she had left Winchester by then, but took the contract to engrave the pigeons.

    www.paulinemuerrle.com

    John

    P.S. - edited to add that up until at least the '60s, Winchester would make you a gun in just about any configuration of features that you wanted. That's why Winchester collecting is so much fun, or so frustrating. Look at all of the oddball/interesting variations of old rifles and shotguns that are out there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  13. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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    The forarm is much longer than those pictured. 11" total lenth. Grove starting 2" from the Front, 6" long, and extends when cocked and loaded to about the bolt that connects to the front of the breach. When pulled back to eject it extends to
    3/4" from the trigger guard assembly. In other words it covers the mag tube totally when extended to tha front. Unlike the picture above where it doesn't cover the near that much. However, it is the same shape except for the grove. Just a longer cut down area for ejecting.

    No pigeon anywhere!

    Don
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  14. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I didn't find a listing of forearm/handle lengths last night and now I'm back at the office for another 11-hour day. :)

    John
     
  15. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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    Lets see if I manage an attachment! Click on pictures to enlarge.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  16. Bill B.

    Bill B. Member

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    JMO but it may be very well a custom Winchester M12 but I don't think it's a Pigeon Grade. From what I am seeing in your posted pictures it also looks like I am seeing re-polish on the metal & new blue. Was it like that when you purchased or have you had it redid over the years? Either way you have a very nice M12 that I and many others here would be proud to own!
     
  17. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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    I have never done anything since buying it in the early 60s. That area near the top of the receiver that looks a little lighter was a mistake I made a few days ago by using flitz polish to clean a small spot. My Mistake! I've taken that gun thru a lot of brush and foul weather and really haven't taken the care I should have. Actually I think the gun had been used a bunch in competion skeet before I got it. I did take it to a gunsmith soon after I bought it to fix a loose barrel. The old guy looked up at me and asked, do you know what you've got there and I said yes, meaning it was a model 12 shootgun. He didn't say another word.

    Thanks guys for all the help,
    Don
     
  18. Tom Held

    Tom Held Member

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    Be careful

    I think you have a fine Model 12. You have to be very careful about "pigeon grade" Model 12s. There are people who have made copies of the Winchester proof marks and can put the stamp in the correct location on the left side of the barrel and receiver. Also, the same thing can be down with the Winchester "pigeon" on the underside. I bought a 16 gauge Model 12 a few years ago from a guy who built up a basic field gun into a pigeon grade using Winchester wood, Simmons round post vent rib, stamped correct proof marks, pigeon logo, etc. He even told me he had restored it to that condition but since it had a 28" barrel and skeet choke I bought it anyway as a shooter. It looks great and I've had one guy who is a Model 12 collector (owns over 200 of them) and even he was a little confused at first.

    Buyer beware if anyone every wants to sell you one. Tom
     
  19. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    That is one heck of a piece of wood on that gun, even for a fancy Winchester. Somebody paid a lot of money for that wood even back in the early '60s when you bought it. What a beautiful shotgun.

    Can I post a link to this thread and the pics on shotgunworld and trapshooters? There are a number of Winchester experts hanging out there.

    John
     
  20. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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    OK with me!

    Don
     
  21. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Great. But I'll be on the road for a day or so... Later then.
     
  22. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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    Notice the extra wide trigger attachment that was on the gun when I bought it. It really is a nice addition to a M12. Feels great. Must be a skeet shooting thing. Wouldn't mind adding one to my Ithaca 37 Featherlight if you can buy one to fit it.

    Don
     
  23. DBR

    DBR Member

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    It is called a "trigger shoe". The only issue with them is they often extend outside the trigger guard making it easier to brush the trigger and discharge the gun.
     
  24. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Don, your pics wouldn't upload to shotgunworld as attachments, so I took the liberty of putting them in my photobucket album so they'd show up in the thread.

    Here's the link to the thread I just started. Feel free to join in. John

    http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=245377
     
  25. Don Templeton

    Don Templeton Member

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    Thanks John!
    It really doesn't matter that much to me. I really like the gun and it sure sounded like the ones that were listed in the buyers guide in my first post. Great Forum!

    Thanks to all of you for your help,

    Don
     
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