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Hey I need info on a Winchester 12 gauage shotgun "winchester reapting arms" its earliest date is 1901 and the latest date is 1912 its semi auto and on the back it says 1911 mod which im guessing means model 1911,Anyone know a brief history about it or if its worth anything?
 

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Yeah they were called "the Widowmaker". Winchester was the first company to be approached by John Browning when he first tried to sell his Auto 5 recoil operated shotgun. he had sold to Winchester many times before, but unlike earlier when he just took a lump sum, he wanted royalties. Anyways, they told him to hit the road and ended up regretting it since Remington got the deal for what became their model 11.

Winchester was causght off guard and tried to counter with the 1911. Very few were produced since they were unpopular due to several issues.

1. They had a habit of busting peoples noses/faces since the ergos are shit.

2. They are a pain in the ass to take apart

3. The wood was made from laminate and the glue they used sucked so the forearms and buttstocks came apart alot.

4. There is no charging handle so you had to put the gun onthe ground and rack the barrel back and forth to load it. Didnt make for fast loading.


So you do find these around quite a bit, they arent worth much and arent good guns to shoot due to these issues. The Remington 11's and Browning/FN Auto 5's, and Savage 720s (all the same patent) cleaned up the auto shotgun market for years until the late 40's and even the 50's. Winchester didnt get a successfull auto shotgun until the Model 50 in 1950.


Interesting side note. Afeter being shunned by Winchester, John Browning set up a meeting with the Remington Arms president who agreed to the terms and just wanted to hash some issues out. Before Browning got his meeting the president of Remington died and his replacement turned Browning down so he went to Fabrique National and sold it to them. When the FN(later Browning) sotguns started selling well the Remington president swallowed his pride and accepted the contract proposed by Browning and FN.
 
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