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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a local firearms and hunting store among the used rifle racks I found an interesting shotgun. It was tagged as a "Winchester 25" which seemed odd because to me it looked like a Model 12. When I picked up the shotgun, I noticed that it has US ordnance marks on the right side. At this point I was fairly convinced that I was actually holding an M12 but was surprised to see the long barrel on it rather than the more often seen short barrels on military versions. It has somewhat worn finish but doesn't look abused. there are no markings on the wood that I could see. They are asking $380 for it. Should I buy?

Here are some fairly poor photos I got on the cellphone:
 

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Dont know alot about US shotguns,but I know that the US Army Air Corp used shotguns ,and trap,and skeet to teach b17,b24 gunners how to hit a moving target by leading the target.Since there were thousands of guys learning this way theres a good chance they used a lot of standard long barrel shotguns.In WW11 everything was USGI marked so yours may be one.
 

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Knowing nothing whatsoever about your preferences or finances I have no idea if you should buy it.

I'd speculate the shotgun might be an original long barrel gun used for training aerial gunners during World War II. It might also be a USGI riot gun someone rebarreled. As you probably know, these riot and trench guns now bring a premium, but in 1983 I saw a rack of short barrel Model 12s, including some trench guns with US markings, for $80 apiece. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those shotguns were rebarreled by bird shooters who wanted a slick action Model 12 at a bargain price.

Perhaps some Winchester affectionado will be able to offer something more authoritive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your posts guys. My primary concern is that I may not run into another deal like this or if this is even a deal at all. The finish on the barrel matches the receiver closely so I am inclined to believe it is original.
 

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In the 60s a lot of the Model 12 riot guns were rebarreled with non Winchester made barrels by a major gun retailer. The takedown was altered and the barrel was not marked Winchester. I suspect that is what you have.
 
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