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 Post subject: Re: Should I not clean my Model 12 ?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 12:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:10 pm
Posts: 195
SuperXOne wrote:
casonet wrote:
And by comparison, Model 12s are rather simple and easy to disassemble. Model 31s are by far the very worst: a nightmare, and 870s are stupid simple. With nothing more than a golf tee, I can have the gun disassembled in about 1 minute.


I’ve owned a few, but I’m not a fan of the Remington Model 31 and consider (as did about all the gun writers of 1950) the Model 870 to be a vast improvement on all counts, except being as nostalgically “cool”.

The Model 12 Winchester was and remains a masterwork of the art of production line gunmaking. Along with the Browning Auto Five, SX1, and Ithaca 37 it’s among four mass market American guns worth the cost of engraving.

The Model 12 can be taken down to clean, but most of the gunsmiths that can replace an adjustment ring are in the graveyards.

The Model 31 was for the buyer who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay the extra coin for the Model 12 or Model 37, or maybe was just a Remington fan.

It’s a terrible thing to take one down and put it all together again, is all I know.



I can't disagree with anything you posted, but want to offer a point or two of clarification on the Model 31- it wasn't a failure to pay the extra coin: they did pay it, and got their Model 31 to show for it.

First, IIRC, one of the issues for the Model 31 was that it came out in 1931 and was selling for around $9 MORE than the Winchester Model 12. [around $48 for the model 31 in 1931, while Winchester dropped their Model 12 to around $39.]

Second, the Ithaca came out in 1937, and around 1939 was selling for around $43.

So- Model 31 was more complicated and more expensive than the other two models [and the Model 31 is, like the Ithaca 37, derived from the Rem Model 17].

Back then I would have taken the cheaper of the options: either a field Model 12 or an Ithaca 37.


Until the mighty 870 came out- significantly cheaper and great reliability/performance.

I have to admit that my 870 views are skewed by the fact I am more familiar with the Express version of the 870.



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 Post subject: Re: Should I not clean my Model 12 ?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:54 pm
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I own several 12’s, three 31’s, an 870 and a 37. For slick, smooth operating, the 31 wins hands down. All are fun to shoot.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I not clean my Model 12 ?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:10 pm
Posts: 195
casonet wrote:
I own several 12’s, three 31’s, an 870 and a 37. For slick, smooth operating, the 31 wins hands down. All are fun to shoot.



Sorry for digression, but have you ever shot a JC Higgins Model 20? or the High Standard FliteKings [10/200/120/121]? [same shotgun, except the trigger group got a change somewhere between 1964 and 1971. Change prevents hammer follow if riding trigger, so hammer is held back until reset and then pull of trigger.]

I have heard the High Standard Design [sold as JC Higgins model 20 before 1962] described as being a design that took the 'best' elements of the Model 12 and 31 and fusing them into a new design- that JC Higgins and later High Standard claimed had the shortest and smoothest pump stroke.

Also, if you take them apart and compare the trigger group, etc, to an early 1-bar Mossberg 500 you will see a lot of similarities- but the Mossberg is 'clunky-er'.

I've never held a model 31, so I don't know how it 'fits' in. 12, 37, Stevens 520A, JC Higgins 20, 870, Mossy 500, Winchester model 1200, H&R Pardner Pump Protector- I've tried all of those at the LGS at one time or another, but never a model 31- so I am curious.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I not clean my Model 12 ?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:57 am 
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The design of the 12 and the 31 couldn’t be more different. I don’t have a clue as to how you could “fuse” them. The Achilles heel of both designs was the extensive and costly machining and hand fitting of the parts. The 31 evolved from the Remington model 17 and so did the Ithaca 37. The current Mossberg design has similarities to the old 31 design.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I not clean my Model 12 ?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2006 8:35 am
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Location: California
Casonet, I gotta ask what gun is Elmer Keith describing in your signature quote?

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 Post subject: Re: Should I not clean my Model 12 ?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:08 am 
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It’s from his book: “Shotguns” by Keith. I believe it was a Fox Magnum 12 bore Duck gun. Page 33 in my book.



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