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I'm shooting a 12-GA Model 12 in two overlapping trap leagues (16-YD singles) at the moment. This particular gun dates to 1953. It apparently started life as a field gun, but a previous owner tricked it out to shoot trap. It now sports a Simmons ventilated rib and trap wood - and the bolt and lifter have both been jeweled. It's a good shooter and fits me well.
View attachment 1784827
So, anyway - last night at the club - a fellow shooter came over to look my gun over and cautioned me to "be careful." He said that field guns weren't made to shoot thousands of rounds, the way trap guns were. The implication was that, since my gun started out as a field gun, it wasn't manufactured to be as robust as a trap gun and likely wouldn't hold up as well. That struck me as implausible, but he used the 870 TC as an example - he said that they are noticeably heavier that field-grade 870s.

I've been around a while and have never heard that line of thinking. I alsways assumed that a Winchester Model 12 field gun would have been manufactured to be every bit as solid and robust as a Model 12 trap gun.

Have I been wrong all these years?

TIA,I don't know about model 12's but I have purchased a spare parts kit from Beretta for the 686 series and they provide different parts,springs firing pins sears etc. for field vs. competition.
I don't know what this means re your question but there appear to be some differences between field and competition other than the wood with some manufacturers at least.

Tom
 

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I have a 1926 and a 1936 Model 12 and both are identical inside and out. The 1926 my grandfather purchased new and shot trap and used it as a field gun . I have put thousands of rounds through it and have never replaced a part. Just good cleaning and maintenance . Your friend is full of it. Other than furniture and maybe the jeweled bolt and carrier there is no difference.
 

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While I think some turkish made field guns might be brutally cheap.

I have not heard of a trap vs field model of a gun being manuafactered to a lesser grade,
Typically that weight has to do with a fine chunk of wood they make the stock from,

But thats just me

DGH
I believe DGG
HAS IT CORRECT, FIELD MODELS ARE USUALLY IDENTICAL MECHANICALLY. USUALLY THE DIFFERENCE WILL BE BARREL LENGTHS, stock dimensions and gun weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Here are a couple more close-ups for Song Dog, one of the pattern on the top surface of the rib and one of the receiver end of the rib.

And good way of estimating when this rib was added to the gun?

Thanks.

Grille Wood Automotive exterior Bumper Publication

Wood Stairs Automotive tire Rectangle Wood stain
 
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Tom I would send those pictures to Simmons along with your questions. They have responded back to me within a day with answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks - and this gives me a chance to further reveal my ignorance. I thought I read - somewhere - that the “original” Simmons Gun Specialties went out of business and that the current Simmons Gun Repair was a different outfit.

Misinformation? Or please educate me.

And I guess I’ve succeeded in hijacking my own thread ;)

Thanks.
 
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Thanks - and this gives me a chance to further reveal my ignorance. I thought I read - somewhere - that the “original” Simmons Gun Specialties went out of business and that the current Simmons Gun Repair was a different outfit.

Misinformation? Or please educate me.

And I guess I’ve succeeded in hijacking my own thread ;)

Thanks.
This was so long ago either 80's or 90's, after Ernie passed away, a local Law Enforcement company bought the business, at this time 2 of Ernie's Simmons gunsmiths continued working, the older model 12 master gunsmith was only part time. I have long forgotten his name but he was a "Master" on model 12 repairs. The other smithy did most of the rib work and rebluing. When this happened the new owner found boxes of Winchester factory parts in the stock room. Winchester factory wood ( Trap,Skeet,Field & Heavy Duck) and Winchester factory shipped barrels that were rolled stamped with a "P" in a circle for out of factory barrel replacement. The marking is similar to the Winchester Proof Mark minus the "W". Their were round barrels, solid rib barrels, field chokes and Winchester WS-1 and WS-2 skeet chokes. Their were 30 barrels packed in each box as the word spread among the model 12 collector world so they didn't last long.

Others can chime in as believe other Simmons owners after this occurred and quality of Simmons refinish work diminished over time. As I mention earlier, when Simmons added their rib in the early years receivers were not reblued unless customer requested it.

Ernie Simmons was active vender pre and post war @ shooting tourneys selling Winchester guns and his upgrades. I was lucky enough to visual 2 brand new in box Winchester model 21's and labels were marked "custom made for Ernie Simmons, they were stunning.
 

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Here are a couple more close-ups for Song Dog, one of the pattern on the top surface of the rib and one of the receiver end of the rib.

And good way of estimating when this rib was added to the gun?

Thanks.

View attachment 1785016
View attachment 1785017
Yes its what I thought it was; the first style Simmons rolled stamping on the rib, also your model 12 was a originally a field gun they also "matted" the top of receiver too, I'm guessing the receiver might not have been reblued? I have studied early Simmons model 12's, own a few and close exam of others over the years. I also collected early Simmons catalogs (rare) and sales brochures to track running changes and identify Simmons and Winchester produced model 12's. Over the years most turned their nose up on Simmons Gun model 12's, early Ernie Simmons model 12's are not "step Childs" and should be cherished as Winchester factory model 12's, your model 12 is unique and should be cherished as fine example of model 12 history.

Again, thanks for sharing
 

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I'm shooting a 12-GA Model 12 in two overlapping trap leagues (16-YD singles) at the moment. This particular gun dates to 1953. It apparently started life as a field gun, but a previous owner tricked it out to shoot trap. It now sports a Simmons ventilated rib and trap wood - and the bolt and lifter have both been jeweled. It's a good shooter and fits me well.
View attachment 1784827
So, anyway - last night at the club - a fellow shooter came over to look my gun over and cautioned me to "be careful." He said that field guns weren't made to shoot thousands of rounds, the way trap guns were. The implication was that, since my gun started out as a field gun, it wasn't manufactured to be as robust as a trap gun and likely wouldn't hold up as well. That struck me as implausible, but he used the 870 TC as an example - he said that they are noticeably heavier that field-grade 870s.

I've been around a while and have never heard that line of thinking. I alsways assumed that a Winchester Model 12 field gun would have been manufactured to be every bit as solid and robust as a Model 12 trap gun.

Have I been wrong all these years?

TIA,

Tom
I'm shooting a 12-GA Model 12 in two overlapping trap leagues (16-YD singles) at the moment. This particular gun dates to 1953. It apparently started life as a field gun, but a previous owner tricked it out to shoot trap. It now sports a Simmons ventilated rib and trap wood - and the bolt and lifter have both been jeweled. It's a good shooter and fits me well.
View attachment 1784827
So, anyway - last night at the club - a fellow shooter came over to look my gun over and cautioned me to "be careful." He said that field guns weren't made to shoot thousands of rounds, the way trap guns were. The implication was that, since my gun started out as a field gun, it wasn't manufactured to be as robust as a trap gun and likely wouldn't hold up as well. That struck me as implausible, but he used the 870 TC as an example - he said that they are noticeably heavier that field-grade 870s.

I've been around a while and have never heard that line of thinking. I alsways assumed that a Winchester Model 12 field gun would have been manufactured to be every bit as solid and robust as a Model 12 trap gun.

Have I been wrong all these years?

TIA,

Tom
He is putting BS to you.
 

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My 2 Wingmasters got different parts. First 870 wingmaster is a 2.75 chamber and other is 3". Bought first one new around 50yrs ago for $169 and then the 3" couple years after.
 

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Every club has at least one "genius" who comes up with that story. Can you imagine the costs involved for a manufacturer like Winchester, Remington etc to change tooling and metal materials to make a trap grade gun "more robust"? The only differences between a target grade and field grade on guns like model 12's, 870's, 1100's etc are the dimensions, grade of wood on the stocks and the stamping "trap" somewhere on them. If the entire gun was built to a whole different standard the cost to the consumer would be astronomical not a small insignificant difference for the over the counter models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I didn’t think it made sense, either - but I’ve been surprised before.

Thanks.
 

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I was just thinking of the last times I saw people walk off the line with problems. They were in this order; set trigger problem, stuck wad on a dud shell, Set trigger problem, Loose screw on recoil system. I really do not recall guys walking off because the gun was too worn to function.

I forgot there was a man with a semi auto that was not feeding his reloads for doubles. He shot new factory shells for the rest of the round with no problems.
 

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I’ve got two M-12 s. One factory trap (62) the other a Simmons rib, with trap wood off a factory trap I found on eBay. I love them both, and can tell no difference in the “ robustness “. A good model 12 will wear out several shooters!!
 

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Almost every club had one of those "experts". LOL
 

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I'm shooting a 12-GA Model 12 in two overlapping trap leagues (16-YD singles) at the moment. This particular gun dates to 1953. It apparently started life as a field gun, but a previous owner tricked it out to shoot trap. It now sports a Simmons ventilated rib and trap wood - and the bolt and lifter have both been jeweled. It's a good shooter and fits me well.
View attachment 1784827
So, anyway - last night at the club - a fellow shooter came over to look my gun over and cautioned me to "be careful." He said that field guns weren't made to shoot thousands of rounds, the way trap guns were. The implication was that, since my gun started out as a field gun, it wasn't manufactured to be as robust as a trap gun and likely wouldn't hold up as well. That struck me as implausible, but he used the 870 TC as an example - he said that they are noticeably heavier that field-grade 870s.

I've been around a while and have never heard that line of thinking. I alsways assumed that a Winchester Model 12 field gun would have been manufactured to be every bit as solid and robust as a Model 12 trap gun.

Have I been wrong all these years?

TIA,

Tom
Great Gun, they were made better than 870s
The reason they quit making them was because it was to expensive and there was no longer a profit margin.
The 870 was cheaper not better.
 

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The pictured Simmons rib with the "Simmons Patent" stamp is a very early example. The round post is early and is still available today. Other types of rib posts were also available. I don't remember when Simmons didn't claim to reblue any rib job. They reblued them all. Simmons rumors and stories are as common as Winchester rumors and stories. I bought leftover Winchester barrels from Simmons and still have some left. Many, if not all, were without Winchester proof marks and don't have any with the P stamp indicating a factory replacement. Tom's back porch buddy is one of those "experts" that knows nothing about a shotgun.
 
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