The Winchester model 1200 shotgun was designed between 1957 and 1963 by a team of engineers at the Winchester company. It was intended as an attempt to develop a more modern and less expensive replacement to the aging Winchester M12 shotgun, which had been in production since 1912. The new model, designated as ‘Winchester 1200’, was first offered as a sporting and hunting gun in 1964, and its combat version, universally known as the ‘Winchester 1200 riot gun’, was first offered in 1965. These shotguns were widely adopted by a variety of US law enforcement agencies. Both the US Army and Marine corps also bought a number of specially altered Model 1200 Riot guns (with heat shields and bayonets) starting in 1968, for use during the Vietnam war. Production of the Winchester Model 1200 shotgun ceased in 1983, in favor of a slightly improved version: Model 1300.
The Winchester model 1200 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 the receiver. Breech locking is achieved by a rotating bolt head with four radial lugs that engage a short barrel extension. This allows the receiver to be made from lightweight aluminum alloy. A manual safety is located at the front of the trigger guard, and the trigger unit is equipped with a disconnector, so that the model 1200 cannot be ‘slam-fired’ like its famous predecessors, Models 97 and 12. Riot guns were usually fitted with plain wooden furniture and rubber recoil pads on the shoulder stock. Many police issue guns and ‘Defender’ versions sold on the civilian market had plain, cylinder bore barrels 18 inches long. Winchester 1200 Riot shotguns purchased by the US military were fitted with 20-inch cylinder bore barrels, perforated heat shields made of stamped steel and mounts for long-obsolete M1917 bayonets.
Data for Winchester M1200 Riot guns
|Full text name
|Winchester model 1200 shotgun (USA)
|Overall length, mm
|938 or 1034
|Barrel length, mm
|457 or 508
|Weight empty, kg
|Magazine capacity, rounds