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 Post subject: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 1:29 pm 
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A friend of a friend is weeding out his gun collection and has a winchester semi auto that he will sell me for under $300. Says it's older, works flawlessly. He doesn't know the model but will give me the serial number or whathaveyou to verify its model. Are there any models I should be weary of, or anything I should keep an eye out for?




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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 1:40 pm 
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Bobski will be along shortly to advise you to get a Model 50. Personally, there is only ONE Winchester auto that I would have any interest in and that's the Super X Model 1. If you're being offered a Model 1 for less than $300 it would have to be awfully beat up to not be worth that. On the other hand, no other Winchester auto would be worth that much, to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 2:32 pm 
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1400s (thanks, shley65) aren't bad guns, BUT... you have to be awfully gentle taking them down and cleaning them, otherwise they get out of whack very easy.

They're a lot like an 1100, but more delicate.

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Last edited by BobK on Sun May 20, 2012 8:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 4:57 pm 
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BobK wrote:
1300s aren't bad guns, BUT... you have to be awfully gentle taking them down and cleaning them, otherwise they get out of whack very easy.

They're a lot like an 1100, but more delicate.

I believe you're referring to the 140/1400 . The 1300 is a pump-action .


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 5:31 pm 
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just make sure it's not a 1400 or 1400 Ranger, pure junk with a pile of cheap plastic parts and pot metal. They sell for no more than $150 bucks in mint condition...

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Once you find out what model it is, and what condition it's in, check Gunbroker.com and see what they are selling for. Some models won't bring $300 unless in top notch condition and others would be a steal at $300.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 7:38 am 
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The first decent semi offered by Winchester was the Super X1.

Not all used guns are worthy of purchase. Most Winchester semis fall into that category.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 8:17 pm 
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If it's a Winchester Super X Model One it's a 12 gauge, and if it has a vent rib the barrel alone is worth over $200. If it's a Model 50 then it's maybe a decent gun, but it's not worth $300. If it says Model 1400 or Model 1500 it's shiny, pretty, counterfeit junk and will fetch a little over a hundred dollars and is worth nothing at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 8:23 pm 
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It's a 1400. Im going to pass. Thanks guys! I think ill stick to buying used other things....guns are not something I know enough about to be buying them unsupervised!

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:05 am 
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adk wrote:
It's a 1400. Im going to pass. Thanks guys! I think ill stick to buying used other things....guns are not something I know enough about to be buying them unsupervised!


Ah yes, "the much maligned 1400", I have one I bought back in the early 70's. Not a great shotgun but I've killed everything from doves to deer with it. I keep it for home protection now and use other guns for skeet and hunting. Only time I ever had a problem was when I disassembled the trigger mechanism which was my fault. Don't think I would give 300 dollars for one though.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:19 am 
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The problem with the 1400 wasn't that it was a bad design. The design was brilliant. The problem was that Winchester made every little part of the thing as cheaply as the part could be made and still have a safe gun. They didn't have to do this.

I consider a Remington 870, which is also a modern design using aluminum and stamped parts, actually an improvement over the previous Model 31, which had excellent craftsmanship and used mostly all milled steel parts. The 870 wasn't built to be cheap down to the last little penny. The 870 was built to be a better shotgun, overall, than the one it replaced and yet cheaper to build, and Remington succeeded in that goal.

Look at a bolt handle on a Winchester 1400. It's stamped from sheet stock. That works, but it tells you that every other part of that gun is made to save pennies,,,not dimes. Look inside, and see that screw holding on the stamped spring steel ejector? It's a hardware store screw. Did they save even a penny on that? And it goes on and on, part by part, until you see that there is absolutely nothing in a Winchester Model 1200 or Model 1400 that's built to be "better" than the Model 12 or Model 50. Nothing at all,,,,not one feature or one part. And this was from Winchester, which until 1964 had the same reputation among American guns as Cadillac had among automobiles. A Remington had to be cheaper than a Winchester because a Winchester was simply better, and better always costs more.

It ruined Winchester. They haven't recovered even to this day.

That was a design ethic that finally culminated in the Chevrolet Vega,,,the world's first "disposable car". I owned a Vega, and it took me another twenty five years to buy another Chevrolet. Chevy doesn't build cars like the Vega anymore. They can't afford to market something that cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:30 am 
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SuperXOne wrote:

It ruined Winchester. They haven't recovered even to this day.



The Super-X did far more to ruin Winchester than the 1400 did, the 1400 being the most successful Winchester auto ever. As far as "recovery," Winchester hasn't existed for a very long time as a firearm manufacturer. Olin dumped them in 1980.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:00 am 
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You are very right about the SX1 being a bigger financial disaster than 1964. Guns are supposed to make money, and you can't make one better than the market can support. But on the flip side of that, you can't make money selling guns by shaving pennies off the price of production,,,,such as putting that stamped metal shell lifter in the Model 94.

At the same time that Winchester slowly went broke and lost their mojo, little Mossberg made a good, cheap utility grade shotgun called the Mossberg 500 that is now the largest selling repeating shotgun in the United States. A Mossy 500 isn't a brilliant design, but it came out as a durable, decent shotgun and they've had success with it. And Remington is still selling 870's and a even a few Model 1100's,,,although they can't seem to come out with another winner. Maybe the Versa Max will break their string of failures.

I wonder how the new Model 70's are selling? I saw one, and it's a decent rifle,,,but not on a par with my middle 1990's Winchester Classic Featherweight.

Winchester tried to get the magic back. The Model 94, the Model 94-22, and the Model 70 wound up being excellent guns that sold well. But they never could market a pump or semi auto shotgun or a bolt action or semi auto .22 that could make money and convey that same sense of quality that Remington was able to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:28 am 
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There is quite a bit of revisionist history with "Winchester." Winchester hasn't existed, as most people like to think of it, since 1980. According to John Olin, guns didn't have to make money . . . the reason 1964 is the year that "Winchester died."

Winchester was, in its heyday, an upscale product line. The Model 12 has always been considered a large notch up from the 870, the 870 taking a very long time to catch on. It was the "tin can gun" when it was released.

I have no idea where you get your personal notions of quality, but the Model 70s today made by FNH-USA are easily the best Model 70s ever made in terms of accuracy, trigger quality, metallurgy. Typical, everyday tolerances from 2012 machine tools do what simply could not be done in the 60s, 70s, 80s.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 8:54 am 
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Randy, I don't doubt the new Model 70 I saw would have been a good shooter, made with care. What I objected to was slightly less polish and finish on the metal parts of the new production Featherweight and the stock on the new one seemed not as well finished and was left "blockier" as compared to my 1995 Featherweight. In other words, the cosmetics of the new rifle aren't as appealing to me as the older one from 1995, which in turn isn't as well finished as Pre 64 rifles, although my 1995 Featherweight is flawless mechanically and shoots as well as a lightweight 30-06 sporter could be expected to shoot.

It seems to me that what the kids and the younger guys in their twenties and thirties really want are AR's they shoot all the time,,,,or synthetic stocked, cheap bolt action rifles they shoot once or twice a year, with a scope on the rifle that costs more than the rifle. I wonder how many tradtional styled Model 70's FN can sell today in this market.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 9:49 am 
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The new Super Grades are the best finished Model 70s I've ever seen:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:34 am 
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I would say that the Model 1911 was the worst designed semi automatic shotgun that Winchester ever brought to market and perhaps the worst design ever. Many people lost limbs and even their lives because of that gun and somehow Winchester's reputation for quality continued despite near insolvency in 1929 and Olin's rescue in 1930. Yes, even the best companies put out a stinker once in a while. Remember the Cadillac V 4,6,8?

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:42 am 
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Randy, the one I saw was a standard Featherweight, and not that Super Grade. The Super Grade looks very nice.

And the 4,6,8 was bad,,,,but they could be fixed to work,,,and they only did that one year. The 4.1 all aluminum V-8 that followed was a disaster of biblical proportions, and at the same time Cadillac came out with the Cimmaron and the little DeVilles. How they survived that is a mystery to me, but they did.

My 1998 and 2002 Devilles with Northstars are quiet, roomy, fast, and get great gas mileage,,,and neither has eaten a head gasket yet. (XXX)

It's a pretty good world when you can still buy a brand new American made Super Grade Model 70, and the President gets hauled around in a Cadillac, and folks are jealous of Mitt Romney for having too many Cadillacs. If I had these kids all raised and the roofs on all my rent houses, I might have more Cadillacs than Mitt.;)


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester 12 gauge semi-auto...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 3:16 pm 
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[quote="adk"]It's a 1400. Im going to pass. Thanks guys! I think ill stick to buying used other things....guns are not something I know enough about to be buying them unsupervised!

Good decision!
Used guns can be a great buy, but buyer beware!




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