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New Gun, And Questions: Winchester Ranger Model 120

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by poor_richard, Oct 3, 2008.

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  1. poor_richard

    poor_richard Member

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    Just last weekend I obtained a Winchester Ranger Model 120. . I’ve been reading up on the gun as much as I can, but find that there really isn’t that much information on it. From the reading I’ve done, people are saying that it’s an entry level 1200. In my searching I’ve come upon some interesting information. One is that my gun (and the pics I’ve managed to locate on the internet) has the plastic trigger guard that is (maybe) lumpy looking. In looking at some of the gun broker listings, I managed to see a couple that had the trigger guard that more resembled that of the 1300 (without the hump).I’ve seen this same type of TG on pictures of the 1200, but yet I’ve also seen a 1200 at my local shop that had a 1300 type trigger guard. Also while I was there, another customer said that he had a 1200 that looked just like it (the steel, 1300 type). So, am I to understand that they changed the trigger guard on both the 1200, and 120? If so, does the 1300 trigger guard fit the 120?

    Another thing that my internet searching has revealed is that the conventional wisdom is that the 120 will take barrels for the 120, and 1300, but not from the 1200. When I checked this with my local gunsmith (who has a good reputation in the area concerning shotguns), I was told that it would also take the 1200 barrels. When I mentioned this to my dealer, he pulled the 1200 (one with a metal, 1300 type trigger guard) that he had in stock off the rack and suggested we try it. Sure enough, the 1200 barrel fit just fine on my 120. Here’s something even more interesting that I found during my search. There is a 120 on gun broker that is listed with a 1400 barrel on it
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=111515787

    .. My gunsmith told me that the 120 would take “all the pumps”, and I assumed that meant the 1200, 120, and 1300. I didn’t realize that it would also take the 1400.



    As far as the gun goes, I’m pretty stoked. I’d been using a H&R 20Ga since I was a kid, and this year have been using a Ithaca M37. While the 37 is lighter, and definitely fits me better (120 is too long), I like the recoil pad on the 120, and find that the weight seems to help recoil. When I got the 120, it look like it had hardly been shot. I probably put about 15-20 rounds through it over the weekend, and I think I put more wear marks on it than the previous owner, just from that bit of shooting. I also put the Tuf Glide treatment on the action bars, and that plus my limited use has made an already smooth action even better. There is a spot where it seems a little sticky, but nothing like other pumps I’ve tried. It’s nothing noticeable when I’m shooting the gun. I’ve always liked the 37, but I must be honest. The 120 is smoother, and not as rickety as the 37. Can’t understand why it’s so much heavier since it’s got an alloy receiver to the 37’s steel (although I did notice that the receiver of the 120 is about an inch and a half longer that the 37’s). only complaint I have is (other than being too long for me, which will eventually be fixed) is that I have a hard time reaching the forend. On the other pumps I’ve used, the forend came a little closer to the receiver, allowing me a more comfortable grip on it. With this gun, I’ve got to reach for it to the point of over extending (my arms are shorter than normal). Seems that the longer reciever, combined with the short forend and long fit, make the reach a bit much for me. Still, even with the poor fit, it shoots well for me, and the recoil quite manageable.

    I like this gun, and hope to not only get it fitted, but also am hoping to find an inexpensive barrel that I can use for HD (either cut one down, or find a slug barrel). I might even put a mag tube extension on it, and have already put a fiber optic sight to replace the bead. Even with the poor fit, the recoil is more manageable that the 37, to which I attribute the recoil pad, and weight.

    Obligatory pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. LGswift

    LGswift Member

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    Nice purchase! I also own a Winchester model 120. While i knew it would take the barrels and other parts from the model 1300 and 1200, i was not aware that it would accept 1400 barrels. The only barrels that the model 120 will not take are the Winchester defender shotguns, as they have an extended magazine tube and therefore the band is further up the barrel.

    the smooth racking is a result of the speed pump and having two action bars and the stick in the racking on mine i find is closing the chamber, the bolt rubs on the ejector.

    Looking around I have seen accounts where the 120's go for up to $1000, because of its rarity. Not sure I completely believe this or would pay that much, but its a neat fact.

    Cheers
     
  3. poor_richard

    poor_richard Member

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    I’m not saying it takes a 1400 barrel, just that there’s a listing with one on it. Who knows if it will work or not.
    Mine does it both there, and at the other end (although not as bad), and complaining about both would be nitpicking since it’s really not that bad.
    Where did you see that!:eek:

    I’ve looked on gunbroker, and not seen any listings go that high. I thought $200 was high. The price you quote sounds more like something the 97 might go for. I haven’t even seen a model 12 that high.
     
  4. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    The Ranger models are the budget version of the 1200 and 1300. They typically sell for around $200.
     
  5. LGswift

    LGswift Member

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  6. poor_richard

    poor_richard Member

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    Interesting. I wonder if it was written by someone trying to sell theirs.

    The person who answered stated a very high price, then said that
    That's what my blue book says also. It can be the rarest of guns, but if people won't pay such a premium, then they aren't wort it. And I don't see anyone paying such a premium for them.

    I talked to my gunsmith today, and he mentioned something about getting a youth forend assembly for my gun. He wasn't sure if they were available for them or not, but it would be nice to get one.
     
  7. heavyd

    heavyd Member

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    I was handed down a model 120 12 gauge from my grandpa that was never shot until i got it. it still had the tag on it and its still almost brand new. i was just trying to look up a little info on it when i came accross this page. I saw your pictures and noticed that my gun is slightly diffrent it has a checker pattern on the grip and the wood seems to be a darker color. i just wanted to know if anyone knew anything about that?
     
  8. poor_richard

    poor_richard Member

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    Hello heavyd,

    Are you sure it isn't the 1200, or maybe the 1300?. AFIK, the only ones I've seen in my limited search have looked just like mine. I also seem to remember DaveMcC saying something along the lines than the 120 was a "entry level" version of the 1200. "Entry level" usually would dictate that there is no checkering. The stock may be Darker just because that's the way it worked out. Wood can be funny that way I suppose. If it's a higher quality wood, then it would again lend to being a 1200.

    Of course, that's all just guess work. I'm not very knowledgeable in these matters.

    Congrats on the gun. I like mine a lot. I've since had the stock better fitted (about an 1"-1 1/4" taken off, and a change in pitch), as well as getting a full length fore grip (I like the look of the corn cob much better, but I just can't reach it). Fun to shoot, and the heavy barrel helps reduce recoil. How do you like yours?
     
  9. heavyd

    heavyd Member

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    thanks for the info but its stamped on the barrel as a 120. so im not sure why mine is checkered i dont know much about the gun either. But it is a pretty nice gun and i love to shoot it.
     
  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    The 1400 has a gas port in the barrel that opens to a gas piston in the forearm in front of the magazine. That's probably the only difference in a 1400 barrel and a 1300 barrel. My son-in-law has a 1300, but I'm too lazy to dig my 1400 out and try the barrel swap. He's got his guns in my back bedroom since they're living in a small apartment right now.

    Winchester pumps and the 1400 auto are very under-rated and under-appreciated by the unknowing, but they're fantastic guns for not a lot of money, one of the better buys on the market for a hunting shotgun. The 1400's capacity is 3, which doesn't endear it to the tacticool crowd, but I didn't buy mine to shoot people with, it's a dove and waterfowl gun.

    My 1400 and my son-in-law's 1300 seem to be close in stock dimension, the best fitting out of the box shotguns I've tried. I had to shim my Mossberg 500, just used the Winchester as a pattern. :D
     
  11. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    I also had a hard time comfortably reaching the fore end...and I have long arms.

    That was several years ago and I sold it because of that...its a solid action though and with a few upgrades I'm sure it will make a great shotgun for you.
     
  12. TexAg

    TexAg Member

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    I've got a 120 as well with a 22" smooth slug barrel with rifle sights and put a magazine extension on it with a Nordic components mag clamp with accessory rail. I mounted my TRL-1 on it. I do need to shorten the LOP on it though as it's a bit too long for me too.
    It's my HD shotgun, since I learned on a 1300 20 gauge pump I like where the safety and slide release are and it's intuitive to me. Also it's lighter than the 870 I had and sold.
    Now all my pumps are Winnies: a synthetic long barreled 12g 1300, a ranger 20g 1300, the 120 and my grandfather's model 1912 (made in 1917 I believe).
     
  13. Adenn1

    Adenn1 Member

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    I have a 120 that I was contemplating selling. I then found a 22" vented barrel with the Winchoke system. Now I don't have to try to sell it and get another HD shotgun. I plan on putting on a 3-round Choate tube extension and get some Hi-Viz sights for it. I thought about some ghost ring sights...but they are not cheap.
     
  14. Alfred Hitchglock

    Alfred Hitchglock Member

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    I have Ranger Model 120 12ga with a 28" barrel that I bought new in the mid eighties.

    I've only used it for trap/skeet shooting on 2 or 3 occasions and it has been sitting in it's case in the closet all of these years.

    I recently decided to buy a shorter barrel for home defense so that I wouldn't have to cut the 28" barrel and up until today I was having a hard time finding one anywhere.

    The prices ranged from $160 to $260 and (At that price) I also considered just buying another shotgun for home defense.

    I really liked the new Winchester SXP Defender Pump Shotgun and being that the MSRP was only $319 I would have bought one but I couldn't find it anywhere.

    I also really like the now discontinued Winchester NRA Defender model but I had no luck with that as well.

    The Mossberg 590 is nice but I really did not want to spend the money for one (I wonder if one could even be found).

    It seems every aspect of firearms in addition to ammunition is in high demand and scarce availability.

    If anyone is looking to buy a replacement barrel I found an 18" 5 shot at "Corsons Barrels"

    http://www.corsonsbarrels.com/

    Regards,

    AH
     
  15. heavyd

    heavyd Member

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    ok so i was lookin at my 120 some more and i noticed that where its stamped on the barrel at the bottom it says MOD. so i would guess that the gun was modified when it was ordered if thats what the (MOD.) means but i dont really know thats just my guess to explain the checkering. if anyone knows about that id like to know. Thanks.
     
  16. heavyd

    heavyd Member

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    here are a few pictures of my 120
     

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  17. Alfred Hitchglock

    Alfred Hitchglock Member

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    (MOD.) Modified choke ?
    That would be my guess.
    I'm sure someone here more knowledgeable than I will have a more definitive answer.
     
  18. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    MOD=Modified choke. Some place around 20 POC.

    Good all around choke for GP shooting and trap singles.

    Nice shotgun. Enjoy....
     
  19. gotgcoalman

    gotgcoalman Member

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    Not quite sure what the MOD bit means
    but i have a winchester mod 120 multi choke.

    Model? as it's a winchester 1300 6/7 +1.

    It shoots well so i haven't googled it yet.

    ps wil take some pics of a (slighly more used version)

    hmm lot more i think mine has scratches,
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  20. tracyboud

    tracyboud Member

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
  21. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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  22. kawboy888

    kawboy888 Member

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    I am looking for a forend for a Ranger 120 12 gauge. Anyone have one for sale?
     
  23. poor_richard

    poor_richard Member

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    I bought one off of gunbroker, and couldn't be happier with it. There is also that one place (I can't remember the name off the top of my head) that is often recommend for gun parts on this board.

    Numrich was it. They'll probably have them.
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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  25. Moose23

    Moose23 Member

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    Nice pick-up. I've got a 120 Ranger I bought new 24 years ago. Chambered for 2-3/4 & 3". It shoots everything I put in it and has killed a TON of doves, also quail, ducks, rabbits, squirrels & deer. Double slides make for a pretty slick action, just make sure you don't short stroke it or you'll get silence instead of a bang when you pull the trigger.

    Aftermarket chokes are available if you can't find Winchokes.

    Great gun. I wouldn't trade mine for anything.
     
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