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I have run into this problem many times and am posting this as information needed when replaceing or switching forends. I have only delt with 2 different style tubes but there may be others I am not aware of over the many years the M12 was produced. The difference is in the area where the wood slides into the slot needed for the bar to fit into. As you can see there is a big diffence in these 2 action bars where they fit into the forend slot. I am guessing the curved one is the older style as it is much nicer in workmanship and the straight higher bar type is a later design to cut costs. Either way it makes forarm fit different depending on which one you have. I have had to exchange them on guns to make different wood work on a gun with the different style tube.
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The nut picture is for Mike in NC
 

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The "S" shaped operating rod was introduced about 1950 in an attempt to cut costs. It was realized that there was a problem with the action locking up at times. After numerous complaints Winchester decided to go back to the original style. I believe that the number that left the factory was in the 15,000 range. Of that number, many were replaced by Winchester.
 

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From Nu-Lines Catalog.

Action Slide - 12 GA-5 Styles +++


Winchester, over the years, has made 5 different action slides, with some variations of these 5.



Action Slide 1st Style- USR112-1st

First style Action Slide has a Straight Arm (not the tube) that, when measuring the length of the arm from the rear of the tube is 9 1/8” long. It has an internal solid stop. NOTE: If this style is not in stock, you must replace the action slide with a USR112-5th and replace the forearm.


Action Slide 2nd Style- USR112-2nd

Second style Action Slide has a Straight Arm (not the tube) that when measuring the length of the arm from the rear of the tube is 7 5/8” long it has an internal solid stop. NOTE: If this style is not in stock, you can replace it with USR112-5th


Action Slide 3rd Style- USR112-3rd

*See note #4. Third style Action Slide has a Dog Legged Arm (not the tube) that when measuring the length of the arm from the rear of the tube is 7 5/8” long. This style has an internal snap ring stop and should be replaced with 112-5th Action Slide. NOTE: Internal snap ring stops caused problems and was discontinued.


Action Slide 4th Style- USR112-4th

Forth style Action Slide has a Straight Arm (not the tube) that when measured from the rear of the tube is 7 5/8” long and extended 1 ½ forward of the rear of the tube. This style has an internal snap ring stop and should be replaced with 112-5th style Action Slide. NOTE: Internal snap ring stops caused problems and was discontinued.


Action Slide 5th Style- USR112-5th

Fifth style Action Slide has a Straight Arm (not the tube) that when measured from the rear of the tube, is 7 5/8” long and extends 1 ½ forward of the rear of the tube. This style has a internal solid stop. NOTE: This style was used in late production model 12s and all Y models.


NOTE 3

To identify which style action slide you have, it may require you to remove the wood from the Action Slide to make your inspection.


NOTE 4

When installing a new Action Slide to your gun, it may require that the forearm to be inletted to accept the 11/2” arm that extends forward of the rear of the tube. You will also have to refit the rear of the forearm to get the Action Slide Screw Cap (sometimes call the forearm nut) to come up to Top Dead Center.

Part Number Notes Name Price
USR112-5TH +++ Action Slide - 5th style $99.95
 
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