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I don't want to offend anyone involved here, but based on what I've read, I'd like to add a lttle info. Your older Model 12's had a fairly high polish to the receiver, less on the rest. The barrels were typically rust blued,mag tubes the same. The receivers were heat blued, with a charge used that to my knowledge was proprietary. The finish on the receiver can be pretty closely copied by nitre bluing. If you're getting a gun refinished, and they're completely hot tanking, it may look good, but it's not even coming close to original.This information was gotten through two close friends who are often involved in the appraisal of large estate collections. Both have been in the gun business for years and are very good at spotting refinishes, frauds, etc.
Once again, not trying to offend. Just sharing what I deem to be accurate info on the subject.Since having this discussion with them, I've looked very closely at older Model 12's, and what they've told me seems to hold true.
Luck,
Jim

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Originally Posted By: JimfromTrafalgar
I don't want to offend anyone involved here, but based on what I've read, I'd like to add a lttle info. Your older Model 12's had a fairly high polish to the receiver, less on the rest. The barrels were typically rust blued,mag tubes the same. The receivers were heat blued, with a charge used that to my knowledge was proprietary. The finish on the receiver can be pretty closely copied by nitre bluing. If you're getting a gun refinished, and they're completely hot tanking, it may look good, but it's not even coming close to original.This information was gotten through two close friends who are often involved in the appraisal of large estate collections. Both have been in the gun business for years and are very good at spotting refinishes, frauds, etc.
Once again, not trying to offend. Just sharing what I deem to be accurate info on the subject.Since having this discussion with them, I've looked very closely at older Model 12's, and what they've told me seems to hold true.
Luck,
Jim


If you are at the point of re-bluing an early model 12, I have some news for you-it isn't close to being original, anyway. There are some of us who simply want the gun to have fresh blue on it to keep our hands from getting rusty handling the gun. My very last concern was that it look "original" after the job was done. My second to last concern is whatever Winchester did to them back in the day, because a simple hot blue will hold up longer in actual use, which, is what I hope to do with my gun. I'm not out to fool anybody, and anyone who has ever handled my refinished gun was told (or, should have known) it was refinished. The wood was replaced at the same time, with an original looking pump handle, and an Italian reproduction butt stock that just happened to fit me better than the original. Lefty safety installed. It's all good, for actual use in the field.
There is a place for a perfect, original, first year model 12, but I'm afraid it isn't in my gunsafe.

Best,
Ted

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I think the Riffle book has a discussion of the various steels and finishing methods used on the originals. Been a while since I looked at it, so may be some other book. For a using gun, it really doesn't make that much difference.

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I'm with Ted on this one. If a gun is so-far gone that handling it requires a trip to the parts-cleaner tank, it's time to refinish it. Up until that point, I'm rather fond of the silvery patina they get from years of service afield (I know, I'm in the minority here), but I'm a user and not a collector. Some Model 12s may rise to the point where they are objects d'art (either for their scarcity, originality, or the level of finish they've received), but those guns miss me completely. I'm into value and function, English guns are art to me, M12s are honest tools of the trade.

Last edited by Lloyd3; 06/16/13 05:39 PM.
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Alright, let me revise my last statement. I now have a very light, short, and handy little Model 12 (circa 1914, 13 5/8 LOP, 6lbs even, 20-bore with the little 25-inch barrel) that I would consider shining up a bit. It's just nice enough to consider as a gift to a newly minted hunter, and the re-blue would prepare it for yet another century of use.

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Leave it alone. The gun has character as-is. but won't when its re-blued. Those guns aren't bad about rust anyway if cared for properly.
JR


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God bless America, long live the Republic.
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Originally Posted By: John Roberts
Leave it alone. The gun has character as-is. but won't when its re-blued. Those guns aren't bad about rust anyway if cared for properly.
JR


If it had been cared for properly, this post wouldn't exist.

Best,
Ted

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I don't think I agree with JR, but it depends on the specific gun. The 1912 that I had reblued came to me with almost no blue remaining, and short wood in marginal condition. I found a nice set of used Browning Model 12 wood for it and had it polished and hot blued. Would rather have had a factory-correct reblue, but this gun was just not worth that kind of expense. I now have an attractive 25" full choke, solid rib pump gun that works well and fits me a lot better than did the original iteration. The original short wood is still packed away for anyone who wants to reinstall it in the future. I have more into the gun than it's ever likely to be worth, but it's a neat little gun and I like it. I have other Mod 12's that I won't mess with.

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I've got plenty of "beater" guns, and several of them are sub-gauge Model 12s now. I use them for travel and "loaners" when my middle-aged and overweight buddies (and family) start to whine about the "hard work of lugging as heavy 12 around". Most of these I picked up from a bargain bin somewhere in my travels, & for very little money. Since they hadn't been well cared for and/or had been cut down to fit smaller shooters, they were viewed as being of little interest or value. Where's the harm in putting a replacement stock on one (refinished in a respectful, original fashion) and re-bluing them to make them look good again? I'd even consider having a solid rib put on to enhance the effect. I could do all of this and still have far-less in them than the cost of an overweight American double.

Last edited by Lloyd3; 06/20/13 01:51 PM.
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I have never sent a Winchester off to be refinished, but have seen work done by Nu-line, Simmons, and Wright's. All do nice work. I had a high-polish Simmons 42, and thought it attractive.

Ted's comment about original finish loss with well-worn guns is a good one and, I presume, a comment on the quirky collector mindset. Even so, the market is what it is. I'm ambivalent about the attrition of a gun possessing collector appeal: hate to see another one go, but the unaltered guns become more valuable.

I somewhat disagree with the argument that a fresh blue necessarily augments protection. Up here we see scads of old Winchesters during hunting season that have been worn down - sometimes deliberately - to bare metal all over. A consistent finding is the worn areas are no more inclined to develop frank rust spots than the areas where we find remaining blue. Something to be said for natural oxidation, perhaps.

I think most low-budget hot re-blue jobs look simply awful, often ending up plum and/or as reflective as a Weatherby. Good way to lose a soldered rib, too, though the round bbl should be OK.

Sam




Last edited by Samuel_Hoggson; 06/20/13 05:40 PM.
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