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dukxdog Offline OP
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Did any Model 12's come from the Winchester factory with vent ribs marked as "Simmons Gun Specialties" AND have the "PW" proof marks next to the rib on barrel and receiver?


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Bobby,

Most say Simmons did do work for Winchester as far as adding vent ribs. If the work was done for a factory gun, then the proof marks should be visible, with no "Simmons" marking. If he work was done for a customer after the gun left the factory, then it would be marked as "Simmons Gun Specialties" and part of the proof marks would not be visible. If it is "Simmons" marked, then most likely it was done by a customer who sent it to Simmons to have the rib added.

Addition: Supposedly the Book "The Model 12" by Gorge Midas goes into your question.

I would think it unlikely that Winchester would have a factory shotgun marked with another companies signature.

Last edited by battue; 03/23/23.

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FWIW: Just found an interesting post on the Winchester Collectors Forum... The front bead on plane barrel guns went entirely thru the barrel. If the rib was factory original there would be no hole for a bead. If there is a plugged hole on a ribbed gun then odds are it was done after market.


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From experience looking at these guns for many years, as well as referencing George Madis’ book, The Winchester Model Twelve, and Dave Riffle’s book, The Greatest Hammerless Repeating Shotgun Ever Built: The Model 12 - 1912-1964, it is clear that Simmons markings were never placed on a factory Model 12. Simmons designed and sold to Winchester the rights to produce Simmons’ designed ventilated ribs.

The plot thickens a bit when one considers the Model 42 ventilated ribs. Unlike Model 12 production, the third variation Model 42 ribs were built and installed on Winchester barrels by Simmons, and were marked “Simmons Patent” on the rib. Once these ribs were installed, they were shipped back to Winchester for final fitting and finishing.

The upshot is that a Model 12 with Simmons markings is not a factory gun. A Model 42 with Simmons markings may be factory.

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dukxdog Offline OP
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Not the best pictures but all I have for now. 1961 gun.


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That is interesting, especially the proof location. It would be highly unusual for field grade wood to be originally put on a gun with a ventilated rib. A final question is whether the proofs could have been added later.

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In reading: The proof on plane barrel guns were almost in line.....barrel to receiver. (barrel proof------receiver proof)

On factory ribbed guns the proofs were off set with the barrel proof being lower. So the rib would not cover the proof..


If a rib covers part of the barrel proof it is a guarantee the rib was added on outside the factory

Last edited by battue; 03/23/23.

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Originally Posted by dukxdog
Did any Model 12's come from the Winchester factory with vent ribs marked as "Simmons Gun Specialties" AND have the "PW" proof marks next to the rib on barrel and receiver?

Except your example seems to have both....Exception to the rule or possibly a Simmons repair?


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The proof marks are on the left side of rib and receiver.


I know ribs added later covered the proof marks.

I'm perplexed on this one.


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Rib will hide most proof stamps at top. You can find hand-held proof stamps online. An offset proof, of itself, does not establish originality.

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Originally Posted by Sam_H
Rib will hide most proof stamps at top. You can find hand-held proof stamps online. An offset proof, of itself, does not establish originality.

What other than WP are the barrel/receiver "proof" stamps on a Winchester Model 12? And an offset barrel WP for a ribbed gun was the factory standard placement. There are literally over a couple hundred thousand examples of the same.

Last edited by battue; 03/24/23.

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Originally Posted by battue
What other than WP are the barrel/receiver "proof" stamps on a Winchester Model 12? And an offset barrel WP for a ribbed gun was the factory standard placement. There are literally over a couple hundred thousand examples of the same.

GF1 is correct, but you missed my point. Take a look at the proof stamp and compare it to the roll stamping on barrel. See the berms and sometimes loss of finish on the WPs? Proof stamps were applied late, definitely after metal prep, and sometimes after final finish. You can buy a proof stamp on ebay. They used to sell for about $15. You can then place a WP proof to the side of a rib so to mask a non-original rib. Simmons used to do this. Let me be clear: never rely on correct placement of a WP stamp to validate originality. Lack of a stamp where it should appear is useful, of course.

Another can of worms are the Simmons-marketed M-12s and 42s. Ernie Simmons bought many incomplete in white pre-64 guns from WW, then completed them and sold them at retail as new guns. They were, in fact, new guns. This bit of WW history explains some apparent oddities. That said, the vast majority of Simmons ribs were applied to WW marketed guns, ergo the guns are not in original condition.

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Found the receipt For a Simmons rib and blueing that I had done in the late 60s. 132 bucks and they included shipping.


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Originally Posted by boatammo
Found the receipt For a Simmons rib and blueing that I had done in the late 60s. 132 bucks and they included shipping.

I think I have a bill someplace for the same thing, 1974 or so. About $150 if my memory is correct.


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