I used to have a field grade Model 12 with a 30" full choke barrel (about 90% of 'em came that way). Anyhow, I sold it when they required steel shot for waterfowl (DUMB, DUMB, DUMB !!!) - but at least it went to a good home; the guy I sold it to had a Simmons rib and a beautiful custom stock & forearm put on it and used it for trap.
Bought a Mossberg autoloader to shoot steel... never quite seemed to work for me. After a few years, I sold it and bought an 870 Express... love at first dead duck. But the Model 12 is easily the standard by which all other pumps are to be judged.
I guess this is a write-in campaign? The best isn't even on the ballot! No question about it, Model 12 is THE best! I've got several as well as Model 42s. Got 870 Wingmaster, Stevens something-or-other, and my sons have Ithica and a hi-standard. My dad had a 1300 once, what a miserable excuse for a firearm that was! Anyway, there are many good pump guns, Model 37s, Model 31, Model 97s, 870s, Mossy 500s, I could go on and on, BUT, the Best is the Model 12. Yes I am opinionated, but with good reason!
Got to go with the Ithaca 37 in 16 gauge, 26 inch barrel. Easy to carry, points like a dream, and does the job in fine style! Own several pumps, semi-autos, an o/u and a sxs. But, the 37 most often gets the call when it comes to serious hunting.
I have a brand new (to me) old Ithaca model 37 with a 28" barrel and a modified choke, 16 ga. Also has the cool ringtail forearm. It's my favorite by far, though it was built in 1951. Model 12's are indeed great shotguns, but they are overpriced, IMHO. I bought this Ithaca, which is in NRA "excellent" shape, having been fully restored by the factory, for about $395. It's worth every penny, since "as new" would describe it even more accurately. I can only imagine what a model 12 in similar condition would cost, if I could even find one! Six hundred minimum?
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