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Y had nothing to do with how many were made. The ATF 1968 Gun Control Act required that an alpha letter be at the beginning of the serial number. There was pre-64 forged steel machined receivers used up to and after 1968. The cast receiver guns were cataloged in 1972, and not in the 1973 catalog. They skipped several serial numbers when they re-introduced as a production gun (investment cast receivers and other parts). No one calls the other Winchester models by the prefix number just the M12's. Model 21's had a W' model 70's had a G and so on with other guns. The model 12 (New Haven made) was never discontinued until they ended it again as a production gun. It was moved ( approx. 500 pre-64 parts and receivers) to the Custom Shop as a high $$$ special order gun like they did with the M21's in 1959. The biggest problem issue with the new production guns was the screw at the muzzle end to retain the vent rib. It was a bad design and should have been pinned. The gap between the pre-64 guns and the re-introduction as a production gun was the death to its popularity as shooters went to other guns such as the Perazzi TM-1. Not very many even choose a pump gun today.
 

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According to the Winchester people I have talked to the Model 12 "Y "model was offered for sale from 1972 to 1980. Here are the list of serial numbers in the model 12s history ---RECORDS AT THE FACTORY INDICATE THE FOLLOWING SERIAL NUMBERS . A CLEAN UP OF PRODUC'J'ION TOOK PLACE FROM 1964 THROUGH 66 WlTH THE ENDING SERIAL #1970875. NEW STYLE Ml12 1972 - Y2000100 TO Y2006396 73 - Y2015662 74 - Y2022061 75 - Y2024478 76 - Y2025482 77 - Y2025874 78 - Y2026156 79 - Y2026399
 

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According to the Winchester people I have talked to the Model 12 "Y "model was offered for sale from 1972 to 1980. Here are the list of serial numbers in the model 12s history ---RECORDS AT THE FACTORY INDICATE THE FOLLOWING SERIAL NUMBERS . A CLEAN UP OF PRODUC'J'ION TOOK PLACE FROM 1964 THROUGH 66 WlTH THE ENDING SERIAL #1970875. NEW STYLE Ml12 1972 - Y2000100 TO Y2006396 73 - Y2015662 74 - Y2022061 75 - Y2024478 76 - Y2025482 77 - Y2025874 78 - Y2026156 79 - Y2026399
I have a Super Pigeon with serial number 1,964,32x which all serial numbers posted that I have seen lists of M12's is a 1963 gun. It has a Y as a prefix. I have had it since it 1976. I bought it from an elderly fellow from Wichita, Ks. It had a machined receiver with a 3-pin vent rib, engraving pattern 12-1c with A carving and checkering wood. I was curious as to had I bought a counterfeit Pigeon grade. I wrote to Winchester for information on the gun. Bruno Pardee replied to me with a nice letter. His letter verified that it was a Super Pigeon shipped from the factory in April XX, 1979. The letter explained that the Y was a requirement of the 1968 Gun Control Act. This gun falls into the approximately 500 receivers and parts they sent to the custom when m12's were discontinued as a production gun. Serial numbers are assigned to the receivers when they are finished. I still have the letter on Winchester stationary with the gun. I have never fired the gun. It is one of my safe queens. I have run across 2 others with pre-64 serial numbers with the "Y". If knew how to post pictures I would post the letter on Trap Shooter Forum. Maybe I could charm my daughter into doing it for dad so other M-12 lovers out there could see the letter from Winchester and possibly tell of more of the pre 64 guns with the "Y".
 

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You have come to the right place if you want to know about Model 12’s.
There are several fellows on this site that can fill you in and increase your knowledge.
Hopefully they will see this thread and chime in.
 

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The Y models came out in 1972. 26,500 were made with the final ones being sold...if I recall...around 1984. Maybe '85
I believe without looking that they were not cataloged in 1973. They were readily available for a few years after production stopped. These guns were from distributor and dealer inventory. A few in the box are still floating around out there.
 

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A great person to contact with Model 12 questions would be Devon Harris who owns a business specializing in M12's called Seven Sections American Nostalgia. His number is 574-722-4870. Devon's not only an authority on M12's but a great trap shooter as well.
 

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There was a small difference in the trigger. You couldnt pump it for doubles by holding the trigger after you shot the first bird. Joe Devers was a great doubles shooter with an early model 12, Who shot all his doubles like this.
 

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There was NO difference in the trigger other than the parts were cast. The cast ones interchange with the pre-64 guns. They even started using some cast parts in the 60's. The small gauge M12's made in Japan and marketed under both Winchester and Browning name did have an interrupter in them that would not allow what is called slam firing. I have worked on many of them.
 
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