Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

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gamekeeper
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Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#1 Post by gamekeeper » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:17 pm

I'm here again with more questions :? I'm having problems replacing my Russian 12 gauge, I thought it would be simple to pick up a used folding single barrel but the one I bought had to be sent back, it was so off the face and bubbered. So another idea came to mind, I've had Savage, Remington & Mossberg pumps but never had a Winchester pump, well I may have found an old 1200 for $190.00
Only seen photos but it looks OK. Questions, are they as good as some reviews I have read? are spare parts available? how do you rate them? Thanks for your experienced knowledge yet again.… :wink:
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Re: Winchester 1200.

#2 Post by piller » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:29 pm

I wish I could help, but I have never owned or fired one. Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 are my experiences. They are incredibly ubiquitous for a simple reason. They are both excellent and at a reasonable price point for the quality. There might be better available, but not for the same price.

Winchester does have a good reputation. Again, I have no personal experience with them.
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Re: Winchester 1200.

#3 Post by wm » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:54 pm

Based on my experience waterfowling ( as opposed to skeet, trap, clays, up land bird, turkey, tactical, etc which all put slightly different demands on a shotgun and bring out different qualities) I would rank the pump action shotguns this way in terms of quality, shootability, durability, and support;

1) Remington 870
1A) Mossberg 500/590
2) Browning BPS
3) Ithaca 37
3) Winchester 1200/1300

That's not to say the Winchester 1200/1300 shotguns are bad. They are more consistent in quality then the Ithaca 37 IMO, but a really good Ithaca 37 is a bit better then the average 1300 IMO. And the Winchesters are way more affordable.

BTW if its a 1200 then it is a pre 1980 or 82 product. The 1300 replaced the 1200 in the Winchester line around that time & is considered an "utilitarian" version with less attractive but more durable finish, stocks are not fitted as nicely, etc.

$190 in 98% or so condition is considered a good price for such here in mid Michigan.

I recently was looking at an Armscor shotgun. The design has A LOT of similarity to the old High Standard pump shotgun. Brand new they retail for $250. I have confidence in the design but I have no first hand experience with how well Armscor executed the design.

https://armscor.com/firearms/ria-import ... un-series/

And they have a small folding shotgun they sell for $140.

Wm.

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#4 Post by Pete44ru » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:13 pm

.

FWIW, The Winchester line of Winchester M-1300, M-1200/Sears M-200 pumpguns, and their brother autoloaders (Winchester M-1400/Sears M-300) were known as "the gunsmith's friend".

Today, besides random general reliability issues (some samples had no issues), parts availability is also randomly scarce, and there are virtually no aftermarket accessories for them.

IIRC, a particular issue was an easily worn/broken synthetic internal receiver buffer, and some stamped parts (they were some of the infamous "post-64" Winchesters).

That said, I had the 12ga Sears version of the Winchester 1200 (Sears M-200), which was the same gun as the Winchester 1200 with squared-off pallet wood stocks and a different contour of the rear of the receiver where it met the buttstock..

As plain as it was, the M-200 I bought new in the late 60's gave me no trouble over the 3 years I had/used it before trading it away for a 20ga Ithaca M-37 Deluxe that I still own/use.

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Re: Winchester 1200.

#5 Post by .45colt » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:52 pm

Years ago when I was shooting trap & skeet all the time one of the Older Guys at the club had a model 1200 Trap Gun for sale. pretty nice gun, well stocked and shot really well. Before I bought it I asked the local Gunsmith about it and He said for a field gun they were O.K. but as a target gun No. He said there was a small part I believe in the bolt that wouldn't stand hard use.

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Re: Winchester 1200.

#6 Post by gamekeeper » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:47 am

Thanks for the honest opinions, if I get the 1200 it will only get occasional light use, most of my squirrel huntin' is done with a. 410 or .22.
wm, thanks for bringing Ithaca pumps to mind, I haven't had one of those either.
American made pumps are nowhere near as common over here. The UK is awash with Turkish made shotguns at the moment, they look very nice BUT my local dealer only seems to see fairly new ones that are worn out or broken, so I'll give them a miss.
Having grown up in England my only knowledge of real firearms came from reading gun mags like " Guns & Ammo " as a young man working in the Birmingham gun trade I got to use all sorts of good old American firearms and my preference has always been for iconic American made firearms of all types.
I would love a model 42 and a model 12 but scarcity and price keep them out of my reach. :( the Winchester 1200 just looked interesting at a reasonable price.
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Re: Winchester 1200.

#7 Post by gamekeeper » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:51 am

Well that adventure didn't last long, email from seller, the Winchester 1200 has been sold... :(
I have found a Winchester 120 but at $500.00 doesn't seem so much of a bargain but as I'm mainly shooting American Grey Squirrels it only seems right to shoot 'em with an American made gun... :wink:
From his weapons on the open road no man should step one pace away, you don't know for certain when you're out on the road when you might have need of your spear.
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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger.

#8 Post by Stevie » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:59 am

I own a couple 1300 'Defender' riot guns and a 20ga 120 or 1200 shotgun. I always thought them good solid shotguns. They are designed so that recoil helps 'pump' the shotgun...a bit weird at first...but once you get the hang of it they pump fast....I forget what Winchester calls the system??...something like 'fast-action' or other

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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#9 Post by gamekeeper » Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:54 am

Well I bit the bullet and bought a Winchester Ranger 120 in 12 gauge 28" winchoke barrel.
Pros: it doesn't rattle like my old Mossberg, its lighter than a 870.
Cons: the dealer I bought it off.
I spoke to the dealer on the phone and asked all the relevant questions, he satisfied me that all was well just the usual wear.
When I took the barrel off the mag spring flew out, at quite good velocity I might add, not only did the spring fly out but a solid steel 3 shot reducer, weighing 6+ ounces. Why this was even in the mag tube beats me, the mag has been modified to fall in with UK law to only hold two shells. The length of pull is only 13 and 1/4 " due to a missing recoil pad, just a cheap piece of plastic on the butt.
Overall I like the gun, it works OK and hits what I aim at, I intended to fit a recoil pad as I could see on the dealers photo it hadn't got one, at least now I won't have to shorten the stock to fit one.
I find the ignorance of some gun dealers unbelievable... :roll: I had to send a shotgun back a couple of weeks ago it was so far off the face I thought I was seeing things... :shock:
From his weapons on the open road no man should step one pace away, you don't know for certain when you're out on the road when you might have need of your spear.
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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#10 Post by Nath » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:58 am

Yup, buyer beware these days GK.
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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#11 Post by Pete44ru » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:04 am

.

The cover/insert that retains the magazine spring inside the magazine when the barrel's removed might have either gone walkabout, or has been squeezed a tad smaller for easier R&R when the magazine plug was installed.

I would suggest replacing the metal plug with a 1/2" wood dowel cut to length.

The retainer is the silver-colored doo-hickey between the follower and the barrel retaining end cap (below)


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IF IN THESE TYMES OF JEOPARDY,
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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#12 Post by gamekeeper » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:44 pm

1059505_winchester-ranger-mod-120-12-bore-gauge-pump-action_img_1546688289.jpg
Thanks Pete, the retainers are only $7.00 that's if I can find one, the mag tube has been crimped to stop any more than two shells being loaded (stupid UK law) so it does not require a plug.
I just emailed the dealer I got it from saying I expected fair wear and tear but I did assume that the gun would be complete.... :roll:
Darn internet, I never bought a bad gun untill I started buying online..... :oops:
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From his weapons on the open road no man should step one pace away, you don't know for certain when you're out on the road when you might have need of your spear.
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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#13 Post by Pete44ru » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:05 pm

gamekeeper wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:44 pm

Thanks Pete, the retainers are only $7.00 that's if I can find one

You don't need to find one, GK - since all 12ga magazine tubes are the same diameter regardless of maker, all you need to do is to order ANY 12ga spring retainer.

They are actually circular springs, so all that's needed is to slightly squeeze one as it's slid into the end of the magazine, over the spring.

Brownell's UK has several, like this Mossy 21ga retainer:

https://www.brownells.co.uk/MOSSBERG-83 ... -631000049

.
IF IN THESE TYMES OF JEOPARDY,
MORTAL PERIL INVADES THY THOUGHT,
TAKE UP THIS TRVSTY PIECE,
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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#14 Post by gamekeeper » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:57 pm

Thanks again Pete, I read somewhere that the Browning mag retainers fit but didn't know they all did.. :)
From his weapons on the open road no man should step one pace away, you don't know for certain when you're out on the road when you might have need of your spear.
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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#15 Post by JB » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:05 pm

I've owned a few in the past and they were dependable but parts availability would be my biggest concern with a 1200. The 870 is my pick of pump guns, although there's been some talk about the newer Express guns have rust issues.

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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#16 Post by M. M. Wright » Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:03 pm

You probably don't want to hear this GK but here in middle US, (northeast Oklahoma) model 12s are plentiful and cheap. My eldest son went out at the last Wanamacher and bought a nice 12 guage for $325 so I taught him a lesson and in about 30 minutes came back with 2 which I had $425 in. $200 for one with Polychoke and $225 for one uncut on either end. Both had been refinished so no collector value but were very well done. I'm using one for my "bump in the night" gun since it holds 6 in the magazine. No need for an extension. My Dad raised me with his 16 gauge model 12 and my wife's father passed his 16 down to her. I have great admiration for these men who both thought the model 12 Winchester to be the epitome of the pump shotgun.
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Re: Winchester 1200/120 Ranger./Up Date.

#17 Post by gamekeeper » Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:57 am

The model 12 and the model 42 are in my opinion the best you can get, however on my side of the pond not always easy to find and not always cheap. I have to make do with what I can find and afford. The Winchester Ranger will not be my main hunting shotgun so not too worried about it, I guess I'll never get attached to it, probably swap it for something else that catches my eye.. :wink:
Congratulations on finding a nice couple of 12s... :mrgreen:
From his weapons on the open road no man should step one pace away, you don't know for certain when you're out on the road when you might have need of your spear.
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