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Winchester Model 12

1869 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Quagmire
My Dad has an old Winchester Model 12 in 16ga that he bought back in 1954. It was his quail gun & he's put many a round through it.

It's looking kinda worn these days & he's always talking about how he'd like to have it refinished, so I'm looking at getting it reblued & restocked for him.

I'm having Wenig make a stock & forearm set for the gun & I think I'm going to use a company called Craft Guard to do the rebluing job. $110 for a private individual (incl. return shipping) or $69 + $15 S/H from an FFL. Same prices for a repark job, btw.

Has anyone here used this company's services in the past or know anything about them? I've seen one guy on BR mention them & he seemed pleased with the job they did on his Garand.

Should look nice when it's finished. Hope I can get it all done before his birthday in May. :wink:
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Refinishing a still original Winchester from that era will permanently identify
you has a heartless philistine unworthy of possessing such a fine firearm.

Just my 2¢ worth :)
I think that it depends on the condition it's in right now. If it is worn shiny white, then what would the value be as a collector piece? There are places that can restore the shotgun with that kind of brownish pateena that you see on older shotguns. ( if I can find the website I'll post it here) Also, one might take the wishes of his dad into acount, as it's his shotgun. I know Quagmire as being interested in keeping things as original as possible.
It's my Dad's gun & he's driving this train.

The only way I could stop him from doing it himself with steel wool & cold blue was to promise to have it done for him by a professional. I figured I'd go ahead & get it restocked at the same time.

I had no idea that people would value the "worn look" on an old civilian model shotgun. Besides, I think he reblued it himself once before @ 20 years ago.
Hawk said:
Also, one might take the wishes of his dad into acount, as it's his shotgun.
Exactly so. I think Dad wants it too look just like it did when he 1st bought it, the way it looked when he was a kid shooting quail out in the fields of south Georgia.

Know what I mean?
I have come to like older guns that look like older guns. The dings in the stock and blemishes in the finish speak of an owner who actually used the gun. I suppose that if only 20% or so of the original finish remains or it's already been refinished sometime in the past 50 years; there's probably no reason not to refinish it again. If you send it somewhere they'll very likely buff on it and round over the edges in the process. There are very few places that will actually restore the finish of such a gun. I have seen a number of old Winchesters that have been refinished and they look worse than they did before.

If dad wants a newer looking gun maybe you could look around for another Model 12 in the same configuration that's already been refinished or is in newer condition than the one he has. It seems such a shame to cover up 50 years of usage and character by restocking and refinishing it.

PS: Check with Galazan in Connecticut to see if they do finish restoration on Model 12's. They're not cheap but they won't turn an apprentice gunsmith loose with the buffing wheel either.
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Well, got the shotgun back from Craftguard this past Monday and had the gunsmith reassemble everything. Just got it back.

In a word, WOW... 8O :D

The metal looks brand spanking new. They didn't overpolish the parts, round the edges or anything like that. The gun looks awesome. My Dad just wants it to look the way it did when he was a kid shooting Quail in south Georgia 50 years ago, and I think this will suit him admirably - he's due by to pick it up on Sunday & I can't wait to give it to him and see his reaction. If it lets him recapture a bit of his youth then it was definately worth it. :wink:

I ended up staying with the original stock set. Stripped it to bare wood, finish sanded it & then refinished it with Danish oil. Dad saw the stock set last weekend & was really pleased with the result, I think he's really going to flip when he sees the whole thing. :wink: 8)

As far as refinishing vs. not refinishing goes, whatever floats your boat. The "patina" the gun had before refinishing was nothing more than a coat of rust.
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