I'm not a m12 expert--but have some experience. 1st, check serial number range(as I recall,approx 5k 28 ga guns were made in that gauge---within a certain time period). I'm advised that if you remove the stock the receiver was stamped 20--28 -16 )--and also sometimes the bolt was stamped. Perhaps it's best to talk to someone like Dave Riffle (a model 12 EXPERT) who has written excellent books on these guns.
As they are somewhat pricey, you almost need a letter of verification as to assure orginality---as there are many "made over" guns out there.
Another option (and not a bad one ) is to get a browning copy (probably for less than $1000) and have ckoke tubes installed. They are excellent guns and probably built with better steel/ tolerence than the orginals.
Good like in your quest
Be careful which Model 12 expert you buy a 28ga from. I have a friend who bought a 28ga model 12 from a famous model 12 guy that was a fake.
I would have the gun verified by one of teh Winchester experts and purchase only after it passes inspection. There are way more 28ga model 12's out there today and in higher grades then Winchester ever built.
It's the only way you can lose 10,000 dollars quicker then in the stock market. Jeff
I never quite understood how you could "fake" a gun. Were 28ga barrels available as a separate item, and they are being put on 20ga frames and being sold as original? If the barrels weren't available separately, then the 28ga barrel had to belong to its mated action at some point...
They have made barrels as well as the fact that they were available separately. It's much more difficult then just putting a 28ga barrel on a 20 ga frame. There are many diffrent marks and diffrent ways they did things and the clever fakes are aware of them all. The reason this is so bad is because winchester never kept track of what ga when out on the 20ga frames. You can not run a serial number and know if it left the factory as a 28ga gun. Needless to say if it could be done it would cut down on the fakes. Jeff
Simmons will make you a 28 gauge today. Yes, Ian, they are easy to fake. Only serious Winchester collectors should be out searching for such guns. Even if you end up with a real one, it is almost impossible to sell as real because hardly anyone knows how to identify them. I own and have owned real ones, but I am not looking for more. Too many problems and questions. I don't want to own a $6000 gun that my wife will have to sell for $1500 after I'm gone.
First of all, M-12s are just wonderful guns...its hard to believe that even the Y models are close to 50 years old. There are 2 reasons to own a M-12...one is to shoot, you can't find a better pump shotgun. The second is to collect them...collexting them is great fun, and extremely interesting, and you don't have to be rich to collect a few. The history, the variations, etc. the books by Madis, Riffle, and more make the M-12 a great hobby, even if you don't own one. The problem is that VERY rare guns are sold or for sale at very high prices, and everybody that is not really familiar the guns thinks every M-12 is worth a small fortune. Thats when you get the dishonest and in some cases just ignorant sellers....I follow the internet auction/for sale sites, and it is unbelievable what sellers, in many cases gun dealers, will say. As far as 28ga M-12s are concerned, they are way beyond my price range as far as collecting, but I would not hesitate to get one of the Jap versions to shoot/hunt with...JMHO...WC
The Borwning model 12 28g is in fact simply the 20g frame and barrel, with the barrel bored out for 28g. you will find it front heavy which is ok for shooting targets, but not so great to carry around all day hunting.
You will find it a superb on the range, however you can't slam fire it like the old Win m12's.