Model 12 shotgun and Older guns in general value

I watched an estate sale of a good friend who loved and collected Model 12s last weekend..... It seemed to me the market has shifted on older guns in " USING " condition...
I saw model 12 , 12 gauges in good, but NOT NICE condition sell for 150.00 at auction. Like new Heavy duck ( I know you cant use it), 12 gauge , brought only 300.00.
I purchased a reblued 12 GAUGE, model 12 , IMP CYL 26 in. barreled , In as restored condition for 400.00.
HE did have some really rare guns, that did bring I think, reasonable return for the family.

I am a accumulator, not a collector, so I am NOT really knowledgeable in markets, or shifts. That said it seems to me in the last 10 years or so, many revered guns of the last century , have fallen unless, they are LIKE NEW, or a High Grade configuration.


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I don't necessarily think that is the case across the board, but I do think the Model 12's have lost value in recent years.


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I've been researching used A5's, 20 ga, 26"Bl for the last 8-10 months and finally found one on line and bought it sight unseen.
Was elated at the condition of the gun...hardly been shot.

There are several web sites that sell guns on the web and they sell "revered" guns. The old Browning's have held their value, both Sweet 16's and the 20 ga. guns. New in the box and restored A5 Browning 20ga can bring $5000! At least that's what they are asking on line...

Can't speak to other used shotguns, I only researched the A5's and basically the 20 ga. The 12's aren't as valuable, at least on line.
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Why can one not use a like new Model 12 Heavy Duck?

I do think that what is going on is that we have instilled in our society the attitude that "new" is good and "used" is bad. Capitalists in a consumer economy need this in the masses.

Those used and usable Model 12s, Auto-5s, etc will still be shooting long after many of these new, Turkish shotguns have been recycled as the beer cans that they were made from.

I would much rather see a new shooter purchase a used classic shotgun than waste their money on a new gun with poorly heat treated critical parts.
Issue with model 12 pre 64 heavy duck. You could use lead but not steel as it is full choke. Winchester added lead to the gun to help shooting swinging birds . Therefore it could be a exercise inducing field gun . It could be used at trap I would suppose as well!
I shoot a 1933 12 gauge Model 12 Winchester for ducks and geese with steel shot. It is one of my best patterning guns and its performance on game is outstanding.

The barrel was originally a full choke at 0.695" I reamed it to a light modified at 0.715".

Any knowledgeable gunsmith can do this for about $50 or so.

That Model 12 Heavy Duck at $300 was a deal.
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I think part of it is technological advances. For instance, I have an old Model 12 Featherweight. I have two barrels for it, IC and Mod. With the switch to interchangeable chokes, there's no longer a need to have two barrels. Heck, you can have three or five "barrels" in your pocket sized choke pouch.

New softer shooting shotguns with techie recoil attenuation. New finishes that take more abuse than the old blue. New camo finishes. Semi autos that can handle anything from light trap loads to 3 1/2" heavy goose loads.

I'm an "accumulator" too. I have older pre-techie shotguns and they work just fine. I also have one or two of the newer tech shotguns. IMO, many of the old school guns are real bargains and many of the newer ones are seriously overpriced.


M-12's had a cult like following for a lot of years but a lot of those old guys aren't around anymore or can't use them like they did. The reason they were cult like is because that is what they grew up with. It's sort of the same with Ford Model "A's" and "T's". I can remember when they were hot and a well restored one is still worth a lot of money but ones that aren't perfect just don't sell that well.
I have a M-12 16b that I love but just don't shoot it as well as I do other guns and it is heavy compared to my other 16's. Many of the M-12's I see are well worn and haven't been taken care of, lots of rust, wood is bad etc. Some places think they are still worth a lot of money but you can buy a bunch of them for less than $250 but you don't have much either. A well cared for original in good shape will bring good money, one that is used up, not so much. Small gauges will bring more IF they are in good shape.


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I’ve got my grandpas Model 12. I won’t ever get rid of it. I’ll occasionally hunt with it. But I’ve got other guns I like better. I like old guns in general, like wood and blued. I’m 39 and in the minority though. My generation and younger want camo and stainless and cerakote. Low maintenance stuff.


I went to a local auction about a month ago and saw a similar scenario. 483 guns sold from an elderly gentleman"s collection. A bunch of winchesters, brownings, and 60 old doubles along with a little of everything. He had 7 model 42's that sold. Nothing really rare and most under 3 grand. The market for older classic guns is down with the exception of really rare collectables. I was bummed to see the common nice guns of my youth going for less than 10 years ago. I have a feeling it is worse the further one gets east or west.