SOLD FOR: $21,005
Make: Winchester Repeating Arms Co.
Model: Model 12
Serial Number: 1194009
Year of Manufacture: 1962
Gauge: 12 Gauge 2 3/4”
Action Type: Pump Action with Tubular Magazine
Markings: The underside of the receiver is marked “1194009”. The left side of the 30” barrel is marked “MADE IN NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S. OF AMERICA / WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL”, “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK”, MODEL 12-12 GA.-2 ¾ CHAM. WS-1” and an Oval “WP” proof. The underside is marked with an alignment arrow, a roll stamped pigeon and “1194009”. The left side of the 26” barrel is marked “MADE IN NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S. OF AMERICA / WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL”, “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK”, MODEL 12-12 GA.-2 ¾ CHAM. / FULL” and an Oval “WP” proof. The underside is marked with an alignment arrow and a roll stamped pigeon. The lower tang is marked “K / V / V”.
Barrel Length: One 30” barrel and one 26” barrel is included. Both barrels have a checkered top vented top rib.
Choke: The 30” barrel has a Full choke. The 26” barrel has a WS-1 choke.
Sights / Optics: Both barrels have a red bead mounted to the top rib at the barrel. The 30” barrel has a silver mid bead and the 26” barrel has a white mid bead. A shallow matted groove is present on the top of the receiver.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece checkered pistol grip stocks feature a fluted butt stock and a grip end with an engraved brass medallion. A cluster of marks in the material is visible on the cap along with handling marks. The medallion is engraved “Bing / Crosby” and three simple abstract designs. Shallow mars in the brass are apparent and the end cap is in Very Good condition. Scratches and marks into the wood are present on the butt stock; a few are pronounced. The checkering shows mild wear and a few, scattered compressed points. The forends both exhibit marks from use, but neither display any notable single signs of abuse. The LOP measures 13 5/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the vented rubber recoil pad mounted to a black and a white spacer. The rubber has hardened and a few cracks have developed in the surface. The rear face is smoother with an area of grooves and is marked “WHITELINE / DELUX”. The rear face shows wear from use and the recoil pad is in Fair condition. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bores are bright. There is no erosion in either bore.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 90% of its metal finish. Shallow marks and thin scratches in the finish are visible on the receiver with light mars in the matte finish on the top of the receiver. Finish thinning is evident on the underside and front edges of the receiver and small marks can be found on the trigger guard bow. The receiver is adorned with 12-5 factory engraving. The right side displays four ducks in flight and a scroll border. The left side depicts two pointers tracking a pheasant in flight with in a scroll border. The engraving is sharp. The receiver is in Very Good to Fine condition. Finish thinning and scratches in the finish are visible on the 30” barrel’s magazine tube from contact with the slide. A thin ring of finish loss is present on at the muzzle, minor finish thinning is evident at the front of the barrel and a scratch in the finish on the underside of the barrel runs for about 3” toward the muzzle. Handling marks in the finish are visible along the 30” barrel with a few small scattered marks through the finish. The 30” barrel is in Very Good to Fine condition. A ring of finish loss appears at the muzzle of the 26” barrel and a cluster of marks can be seen on the front 1” or so of the barrel. Shallow scratches and marks in the finish are visible along the barrel along with small scattered marks through the finish. An area of small scratches through the finish can be seen on the right side of the barrel at the muzzle. The 26” barrel is in Very Good condition. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Very Good to Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and is smooth and tight. We have not fired this shotgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This shotgun comes in a leather case which is marked “28 30 / 101B” and displays “BING CROSBY” in gold embossed lettering. The lid strap has separated from the case and is still present. Multiple handling marks and several scratches through the surface are visible on the sides and ends with scattered strong marks through the finish. Circles of verdigris can be seen around the feet on both ends. Areas of abrasion are evident in places on the edges of the ends and occasional segments of stitching are frayed and a patch of tape or label glue remains on one side near the lid. The brass fittings have developed a dark patina and the handle shows finish loss and wear from use. Compression marks from contact with the components of the shotgun can be seen on the inside of the lid, and the remainder of the interior of the case appears to be intact. The case is in Fair to Good condition.
Our Assessment: This is a magnificent and rare offering. This pre 1964, Winchester Pigeon Grade Model 12 was owned by Bing Crosby. The case and grip end cap both bear his name and a notarized letter of authenticity accompanies the shotgun. The letter documents that Crosby gave this shotgun to his friend and yacht Captain Jack Wendel some time in the early 1960s during a hunting trip in Mexico. A newspaper clipping confirms that Wendel was the skipper of two of Crosby boat from 1960 to 1967, when Crosby sold the 55 foot “True Love” to movie star George Peppard. Wendel became a real estate broker and continued his business relationships with the Hollywood elite. The shotgun is in Fine to Very Good condition, retaining about 90% of its metal finish and showing marks from use. It is equipped with a 26” barrel with a WS-1 choke and a 30” barrel with a full choke. The action is firm and smooth. This was a much loved and well used shotgun by Captain Wendel, which show evidence of both. The documentation linking this shotgun to an American Entertainment Icon and the condition of the gun itself, this is an spectacular and one of a kind collectors’ piece.