The Winchester model 12 shotgun was designed in 1911 by Winchester company engineer Thomas C Johnson. It was officially introduced in 1912 and soon became a commercial success, with almost 2 million pieces made until production ceased in 1963.
Besides many hunting and sporting guns in the Winchester model 12 shotgun lineup, from 1918 the company also produced two fighting versions, the Model 12 Riot gun, and the Model 12 Trench gun. The latter was then officially designated in US Army and Marine corps service as ‘Winchester M12 shotgun’. Model 12 riot shotguns were widely used by various US law enforcement agencies, and military M12 shotguns served throughout both World wars, the Korean war and the early stages of the Vietnam war, being later replaced by more modern and less expensive Remington 870 and Winchester M1200 shotguns.
The Winchester model 12 shotgun is a manually operated, slide (pump) action shotgun. Its ammunition is stored in an underbarrel tubular magazine, which is loaded through the opening at the bottom of an all-steel receiver. Breech locking is achieved by tilting the rear of the bolt up, so its locking lug can engage a recess cut on the underside of the upper section of the receiver. Unlike its famous predecessor, the Winchester Model 97 shotgun, the Model 12 features an internal hammer (also designated as ‘hammerless’ during the period of its introduction). A manual safety button is located at the front of the trigger guard. Both Riot and Trench guns featured 20-inch barrels with cylinder bore and plain wooden furniture. The military grade Winchester M12 trench guns also featured a perforated steel handguard around the barrel with bayonet lug below the muzzle, accepting the M1917 knife bayonet. The Winchester M12 shotgun was also available in a ‘take-down’ version, where the barrel and magazine tube could be easily removed from the receiver for compact storage and ease of maintenance.
Data for Winchester model 12 Riot shotgun
|Full text name
|Winchester model 12 M12 shotgun (USA)
|Overall length, mm
|Barrel length, mm
|Weight empty, kg
|Magazine capacity, rounds