When a pandemic strikes – grab a vintage Winchester Model 12 and go shoot some clays! This Model 12 skeet gun was made in 1946 (74 years old) and still smokes clay targets with authority. Today was picture perfect with sunny skies, a light breeze, and temps in the mid-40s. Crowds are thin with many sheltering on the couch. Stay well and wash your hands!
Sixty five years ago, in 1948, my grandfather bought a Winchester Model 12 trap gun to hunt ducks with his buddies around Galveston, Texas. I was the lucky 15 year-old aspiring trap shooter that ended up with it 27 years later. Between the two of us, we pretty much wore that gun out.
The Model 12 possesses the intrinsic qualities of a truly great gun. A subtle and sublime combination of design, style, weight and balance results in a gun that handles and points like a dream. It has a silky smooth action and heft from machined, blued steel and solid American walnut. It feels good. When you throw it to your shoulder, you know you can shoot it. The Winchester Model 12 is certainly the king of slide action shotguns.
Below is granddad’s gun. It is not a cream puff. You would pass it by if you were in the market for one but to me it is priceless. Though worn out, this is one neat old gun.
Along with the Single Action Army, Colt’s 1911, Browning’s A-5 and the Winchester 94, the Model 12 has a distinct and recognizable profile. An iconic, classic American firearm. See where the blue has been worn by a sweaty trigger finger shooting at countless clays through hot Texas summers.