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Thread: US Winchester 1200 Trench Shotgun

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    US Winchester 1200 Trench Shotgun

    These were produced in the late 60s to early 70s. Most were destroyed after adoption of the Mossberg 500 series. I remember having this shotgun in the company arms room while with 5th SFA 80-90s. This one still soldiers on down range with ODAs.
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    Bayonet used is the same that equipped the US M1917 Rifle/British P14. Bayonet was also used on US shotguns from the Model 1897 thru the Winchester 1200. This bayonet was made by Remington in Sep 1916. I picked it up at the bazaar to go with a couple of P14s on hand here.
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    CD
    De Oppresso Liber

    Irag: 91,03,04,05,06,08,09',15' & 16'
    Afghanistan: 09,10,11',14',17',18' & 19'

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Kool I never knew that. The 1200 have a rotating bolt head?
    Hell, I was there!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by swheeler View Post
    kool i never knew that. The 1200 have a rotating bolt head?
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    cd
    De Oppresso Liber

    Irag: 91,03,04,05,06,08,09',15' & 16'
    Afghanistan: 09,10,11',14',17',18' & 19'

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    That's what I thought, I bought my nephew his first shotgun in 1988 and it was a Winchester 1200 12 ga, believe it Ranger tacked on behind the 1200. I hope he still has it!
    Hell, I was there!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Current price on those 1917 bayonets is usually well over $200. Mine is also a Rem UMC -- forget the date, but it's WW I. Leather, metal tipped scabbard.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Thinking about it some more -- they made a run of 1917 bayonets for use in the Viet Nam War. Same length as the WW I version. They cost even more than the original run, because there were far fewer of them made, I guess. Something that's always puzzled me about the Viet Nam issue is why they retained the very long length, as since the middle of WW II when they started shortening M1 Garand bayonets the trend has been toward shorter bayonets, with the military seeming to settle on a blade length of 6 1/2 - 3/4 inches. Maybe it was the fearsome appearance?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master TNsailorman's Avatar
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    The WW I bayonets were used regularly in the trench warfare of the day. By WW II there was less need for bayonets as there were few opportunities to use them because the nature of fight was a more mobile using artillery and tanks as opposed to the hand to hand of the previous war. Korea brought back the hand to hand(especially when the Chinese entered the war) and the longer bayonet could have come in handy, but was not available as all the previous bayonets had mostly been cut down. In Vietnam, the VC and NVA wanted to get in close, trying to get as close as possible so that the American artillery could not be used. It didn't always work but they tried. Many years ago I had one of those Remington marked 1917 bayonets in pristine condition. After a couple of years and no 1917, I gave it to a buddy who collected bayonets. I don't know what happened to it as he is no longer with us.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    Current price on those 1917 bayonets is usually well over $200. Mine is also a Rem UMC -- forget the date, but it's WW I. Leather, metal tipped scabbard.
    I paid $125 for one just a couple weeks ago, Scabbard included. Regional Gun show.... It was a Remington made bayonet with around 90% original finish. Those deals are still out there if you keep your eyes open.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    The 1200 borrows bolt design from the AR 15 somewhat. They were good shotguns, especially the early ones. The semi auto version(1400) wasn’t as successful. The 1200 wasn’t in the same league as the Rem 870 or the Ithaca 37 but it would do. My opinion.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I worked on a large number of those military M1200s back in the day, and rather hated them at the time. IMHO, the Mossberg (or 870) is easier to work on. Maybe not as durable, but then the trigger mech of the 1200 always gave us fits.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    i actually have one of them 1400's from that era... cool weapon, but stays on the wall....
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Some more pics of this pump shotgun. Ammo 9 pellet 00 Buck and M1030 breaching rounds.
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    Stock modified for sling swivel to side
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    "US" proof markings
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    Bayonet markings British Pattern 1913, Remington made in Sept 1916
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    CD
    De Oppresso Liber

    Irag: 91,03,04,05,06,08,09',15' & 16'
    Afghanistan: 09,10,11',14',17',18' & 19'

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I never saw a 1200 Trench Gun but I did see a few 1200 riot guns and Stevens pump riot guns in RVn. The MPs and Navy had them. I don't think of a 1200 Win as a gun I would want to trust my life with. We weren't issued shot guns but there were a couple govt marked 870s floating around our company. Civilian 1200s on the used market don't bring much. An original m17 bayonete would probably bring more. I had one a few years ago and I guy traded me a single barrel IJ 20g for it. I think he pruned me but I'm not into bayonetes. I didn't know at the time it was for a 97 Win.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    I don't think of a 1200 Win as a gun I would want to trust my life with.
    That was pretty much my thought as well, but you have to figure any plucky gun manufacturer will look at a military request for trench guns and say "Wait? All you want is a pump gun with a bayonet on it?" When competing for a contract only requires a couple hours of fiddling with your existing duck gun WHY NOT roll the dice on it?

    I never knew there was a 1200 trenchy. Cool!
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  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had one circa mid 80's. Had a 28" modified choke barrel on it with probably the best pattern of any dove/duck gun I every owned.

    The problem was the multi-piece bolt has a plate on the bottom held on with a single screw. Said screw had a disconcerting habit of shearing at the most inopportune times.

    The rotating bolt, while probably stronger, seems slower in the hands of an experienced pump gunner (me) than a well broke in 870.
    As previously stated, not a gun I'd willingly trust my life to.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    The screw you are talking about is the #1 weak point in 1200. # 2 was broken trigger guard that bound up trigger group. The main shotguns of the period only left the Ithaca 37 as something I would carry as a weapon. The High Standards, Savage Stevens, Mossbergs, and a few lesser know were second class guns. Rem 870s just barely make the cut and present production is shoddy compared to older Wingmasters. The cast or plastic modular trigger guard/ trigger group is the weak point of most repeating shotguns made today. It doesn't show up in hunting guns because not many get the rough treatment of military use.

    The 97 Win is a neat old gun but has to many moving parts for a combat shotgun. The older model guns like M12 Win, m31 Rem were highly prized to get your hands on. These were all riot guns not Trench guns. I think during Vietnam War the military must have bought small contracts of shotguns from various companies. I saw govt marked Rem-11s that were probably floating around since WW2.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Dad had a 30" barreled Remington Mod 10 with U.S. markings.
    I always wondered what the story on that gun was. I figure it was probably used to train WWII aerial gunners, but I've been unable to find any record of Model 10's being bought for that purpose.
    Unfortunately, it was stolen back in the early 70's, so it didn't come down to me.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    At White Sands during WW2 they had mounts for 12g shotguns used to train for aircraft. I never saw the guns but the mounts were still there 50 some years ago. The only 30" shotguns govt marked that I saw in Army were Special Services guns. They were for recreation. You could check them out to hunt or target shoot with. Navy had 30" guns used for recreation too. They shot trap off ships. We use to bum 12g Target loads off Navy. All we had was 00 buck in our supply.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    First shotgun I purchased was a 1200, in 1967 or 68. Purchased at Sears, list price was $69.95.
    The Winchester ad had one clamped in a bench vise with the slogan “Machined Gun” & price.
    Upon firing the bolt & slide would not only unlock but also spring back a 1/4 inch. This feature was designed (and advertised) to speed up getting off additional shots. But if you (me) were pushing the slide forward at the moment of discharge the bolt would lock up again, necessitating pressing on the action release to eject and chamber another round. But it did fit, swung, tracked & shot really well. I sold it for what I paid a few years later and replaced it with a model 12.
    The 1200 was made to replace the model 12 and it handled & felt like one, just not as solid.
    Back then $69.95 would buy it or an 870 or 37.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    CD you get to mess with some of the coolest firearms!
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