The Winchester M12 shotgun is a pump-action shotgun with an external tube magazine that was used by the United States during World War II.

The caliber came in either 12, 16, 20, or 28 gauge.[1] Though 12 and 16-gauge options were not initially available to troops while the original caliber was fitted for 20 gauge.

The total weight of the M12 was around 3.6 kilograms while its total length was about one hundred centimetres. Magazine capacity of the weapon was six shells that could be shot at a rate of fire of up to twelve rounds per minute. 


The M12's only variant besides the modification made for riot police was designed for the American military. This "Trench gun" variant had a specialized heat shield, ability to be carried in a sling, and the ability to mount the M1917 bayonet.
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A US marine operating in the Pacific with his Winchester M12


The Winchester M12 was designed by John Browning and Thomas Crosley Johnson in 1912 and it was manufactured by Winchester Repeating Arms. The Winchester M12 was in great demand by the United States Government during World War II.

When initially introduced, the weapon was more or less rejected in the European theater in that very few soldiers actually used them, but in the Pacific, it saw great service with marines using to clear out Japanese troops hidden in the dense brush.[2] In total, nearly two million examples were produced.

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A sentry, armed with an M12 shotgun, guarding a B-17 bomber.