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Old 10-04-2012, 21:17   #1
Agent6-3/8
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What's wrong with the Winchester 1200?

As the title says, what's wrong with the Winchester 1200? I see it mentioned from time to time and people seems to dislike them for use as a defensive weapon.

I've got one (18" barrel) that I've been considering fixing up a little with a mag extension and new furniture. Maybe even ghost ring sights. I personally can't find anything to dislike about it. Position of the safety is excellent and action is extremely smooth. What's the beef with the 1200's?


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Old 10-04-2012, 21:46   #2
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I've got one and I like it. I was going to sell it and pick up a Maverick or 870 or something but decided I already had it and it worked why not keep it. The aftermarket for it sucks compared to something like an 870 but I found a shop that cut the barrel down to 18.5" for me and I found synthetic furniture for it and a mag extension that I plan to get back from this Detachment I'm no right now.

I could never find anything locally but online you can find it pretty easily.

Right now I keep it at home loaded with buckshot and with the original wood furniture. The 18.5" barrel definatly makes it WAY easier to manuver around with.
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Old 10-04-2012, 22:35   #3
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Nothing wrong at all, ask my Wife. there is a 1200 "Defender" on her side of the bed.
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Old 10-04-2012, 22:53   #4
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Nothing wrong at all, ask my Wife. there is a 1200 "Defender" on her side of the bed.
I keep a Winchester 1200 Defender in an under-cushion holder on the couch. Anyone entering my home without approval will find how how very good a shotgun it is.
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Old 10-04-2012, 23:41   #5
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Nothing wrong at all, ask my Wife. there is a 1200 "Defender" on her side of the bed.
You mean 1300 Defender. I had one and in a blonde moment, I sold it. I regret it every day.
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Old 10-05-2012, 00:18   #6
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I have a 24 year old 1200 Defender that I bought NIB. It is a 7+1.

I took off the wooden furniture, replaced the front with a Choate syn, the rear with a 12" Hogue, recently changed the follower and went with a replacement Wolff mag spring.

The gun shoots great, is quick on cycling and otherwise reliably delivers as promised. No complaints at all.

Once you learn the slide release location and practice with it, it's a good weapon. I paid $199 and thought it was a great value.
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Old 10-05-2012, 00:27   #7
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You mean 1300 Defender. I had one and in a blonde moment, I sold it. I regret it every day.
No this is deninately a 1200 with a 7+1 capacity.
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Old 10-05-2012, 00:30   #8
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I have a 24 year old 1200 Defender that I bought NIB. It is a 7+1.

I took off the wooden furniture, replaced the front with a Choate syn, the rear with a 12" Hogue, recently changed the follower and went with a replacement Wolff mag spring.

The gun shoots great, is quick on cycling and otherwise reliably delivers as promised. No complaints at all.

Once you learn the slide release location and practice with it, it's a good weapon. I paid $199 and thought it was a great value.
I paid the same for my NIB 1200 Defender.
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Old 10-05-2012, 16:34   #9
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Probably nothing wrong with the gun, but I've just never liked the feel or sound of the 1200's action when worked. I'm sure they work just fine, and I've seen some real reasonable prices on them.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:00   #10
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I have a 1300. Very first gun I bought. I was in college and living with grandma for the summer when I found someone trying to break in at 5:30 in the morning. Managed to scare them off, but went that evening to Oshman's and bought it. It was $249 with a rebate, so it was about $100 less than the 870 I think at the time.

I now also have a 870 20". Both are great guns and run well. I really like the action release on the 870. The 1300 is 'ackward' especially since I have a pistol grip buttstock on there.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:08   #11
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Absolutely nothing wrong with the 1200 and 1300 winchesters. They just weren't as popular as the 870 and 500 so accessory availability sucks.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:11   #12
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I have a Winchester model 12 and a Winchester model 120 (budget version of the 1200 - but basiclly same gun)

Not claiming to be an expert on Winchester shotguns - but one reason Winchester sales dropped off and Remington and Mossberg grew was because the cost to manufacture the Winchester was so high.

Remington & Mossberg found a way to keep the reliability at a lower cost - Winchester was slow to react.

Looking at the ejector & bolt of a Winchester 1200 VS an 870 or Mossberg and you can see right away the amount of extra machine work it would take to make the Winchester.

Normally the extra cost of more refined parts would add a benefit - like better reliability of service life - in this case no so much -

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Old 10-06-2012, 11:54   #13
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Nothing wrong with the 1200, great shotgun.
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Old 10-06-2012, 13:11   #14
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My 1200 was about $150 from my local gun store years ago. The LGS acquired a crate of unused 1200s from a western state police armory when a change was made to a different shotgun. The 1200 had a small, engraved, numbered metal tag on the stock indicating it belonged to the state police. It also had cosmoline on the innards that I had cleaned off by a gunsmith.

I consider my 1200 to be one of the best values I've found, and I don't see the need to change anything from original equipment. My only regret is that I didn't but two when I had the opportunity. I even like the state police tag.
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Old 10-06-2012, 15:34   #15
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Why would you want to put ghost ring sights on a shotgun that will be used at 'point and click' range?

The fastest shotgun I have in terms of target aquisition is an old 870 Police with a bead front sight.

My new 870 Tactical and my Benelli M4 both have ghost ring sights and they are a PITA. Sure, they're great for slugs at longer distances but it's tough to claim self defense at 50 yards. Besides, at those distances, I want to use a rifle.

Even at 50 yards, a bead sight will still get a slug on target.

Just because ghost ring sights are 'tacticool' doesn't make them practical.

Think carefully about your actual application before you get too far down the road with ghost ring sights.

Richard
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Old 10-06-2012, 16:22   #16
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Why would you want to put ghost ring sights on a shotgun that will be used at 'point and click' range?

The fastest shotgun I have in terms of target aquisition is an old 870 Police with a bead front sight.

My new 870 Tactical and my Benelli M4 both have ghost ring sights and they are a PITA. Sure, they're great for slugs at longer distances but it's tough to claim self defense at 50 yards. Besides, at those distances, I want to use a rifle.

Even at 50 yards, a bead sight will still get a slug on target.

Just because ghost ring sights are 'tacticool' doesn't make them practical.

Think carefully about your actual application before you get too far down the road with ghost ring sights.

Richard

Have you given ghost rings a decent try out?

I have been using them for several years and given my "geist" is to use a shotgun like a carbine they are not "slow" at all. they also increase the precision of slug placement. making the difference between "Somewhere on the torso" at 50 yds to a head shot at 50 yds. The ability to hit small exposed portions of targets should not be immaterial when you reach "outdoor" distances.

Before the factories made them an option I used to DIY ghostrings on my shotguns and I was unable to keep one very long because people who tried mine ended up offering me a decent profit for them. Now I can point them to the factory and tell them to leave me and mine alone

I do keep several social shotguns with beads, but the one next to the bed has ghostrings.
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Old 10-07-2012, 16:44   #17
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Old here so may have my facts tilted..Winchester in the early 60's cheaped out on their top of the line Model 70 rifles AND about the same time introduced shotguns with aluminum rather than steel receivers.

The chitchat was that they had damaged their famous franchise. I'm a Remington guy but close friend was Winchester all the way- he loved his pre-60's Mod 70 and had no complaints that I ever heard about his aluminum frame shotgun.

Long and short probably a lot of old timers remember that period in Winchester history and bad rap just ..well, just because.

My beater shotgun is a Maverick 12 gas pump with cut down 18" barrel, rifle sights with ramp front, loaded with Dead Coyote or #4 buck..its purpose is for uninvited guests. An earlier version was a High Standard Flite King I cut down and installed a Williams Foolproof receiver sight...deer slug gun, minute of paper plate at 100 yards..trigger like a rifle..just the way it came.

Enjoy your shotgun.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:30   #18
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Agent6-3/8,

I have owned a 1300 for many years now, shoots as true as it did the day I bought it.

As far as a self defense shotgun... I now have a ProMag Magazine Tube Extension 2-Round Matte Black. Buttstock Shotshell Ammunition Carrier 5-Round Elastic Black. With 2 2/3" shells I can get 8 in the tube, one in the chamber and 5 on the side - that gives me 14 rounds of 00 buckshot.

If I can't take care of business with that kind of fire power... well I guess I'm in real deep do-do anyway.
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