Winchester 1400

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I traded into a Winchester 1400 Mk II today.

This is a semi-auto gas operated shotgun designed in the early 1960's.
The internet says the 1400 series was Winchester's lower-cost semiautomatic shotgun.
There were many variations, in various gauges and several barrel options.

Mine is 16 gauge, mk II, plain round 26" barrel, fixed I/C choke.

It patterns wide! See pics of 4 test shots on paper at 25 yards.
That 26" improved cylinder barrel would be good for most shots on a skeet / 5-stand range, but not the far or fast-away shots. It has limited use for hunting. I think 20-25 yards is the practical limit for its fixed I.C. choke, which threw patterns about 40" wide at 25 yds, but with "most" pellets fitting in a 30" circle drawn around the most dense center of the pattern.

I wish the front bead were taller, wider, and brighter. I will see about an aftermarket replacement.

The gun had very little recoil. It felt the same kick as my 20 gauge pump action.
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The magazine only holds 2 rounds. That's because the forward end of the same tube also contains the recoil spring and the piston and a couple of long flat steel pushrods that connect to the bolt carrier.
So, the maximum capacity of this gun is three rounds and you cannot extend that by screwing on a longer magazine tube;
the whole forward half of the "magazine" tube isn't really a magazine--
it's part of the gun's gas actuation system.
 

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Length of pull is 14" -- with the factory red rubber butt pad.

The receiver is an aluminum alloy which scratches easily, and mine has a good number of small scratches on it, especially along the top where it looks like a prior owner had flipped it upside down on a dirty workbench while he took the trigger & bolt group out the bottom for cleaning.

Trigger pull is 8 lbs, per my fish scale. That cheap spring scale has proven accurate in measuring the trigger pulls of other guns and matching what the book says should be the factory specifications.
This Winchester 1400's trigger does feel kind of heavy, compared to most rifle and single action pistol triggers.

I did replace the tiny brass bead with a Tru-Glo green
fiber optic front bead. The site bead hole is drilled and tapped and it does go all the way through to the bore of the gun, but it is polished on the inside so it presents no snag.

The TruGlo set came with an assortment of 4 tiny double ended screws. After you find which is the correct screw thread, you screw it into the fiber optic sight assembly and then once that's tight, screw that down onto the gun barrel.
 

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Took this gun do a turkey shoot today,
just for sheets and giggles.

I'd forgotten how much an "improved cylinder" shotgun spreads at 25 yards.

I got just six pellets in the 3 inch diameter black aiming bull.

Out of proximately 410 projectiles in this 1 oz. payload of #8 birdshot, only 47 hit the 8 1/2 x 11" paper at all.

Yep, I need to keep this shotgun set aside for close range shooting games, or maybe hunting quail -- where birds may flush from
underfoot.
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P.S. A proper turkey-shooting gun with an extra long barrel --maybe 36" --- and with an extra tight choke

landed 13 hits in the black,
and 181 hits total on the 8.5" x 11" paper.
 

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P.S. So, a year and a half after I acquired this gun, I've put about 75 shells through it, all birdshot loads.
No slugs, no buckshot. Mostly #7.5 or #8 shot, but I threw in a few shells of #6 and #4 just to see how they patterned.
This semi-automatic shotgun has been reliable. No jams, no stovepipes, no short-cycling, etc.

One day I will acquire some 16 gauge slugs for it, just in case I want to put it into service as a close-range deer or hog hunting gun, if I expect a shot from no greater than 50 yds. Flinging full-bore Foster slugs through that I.C. barrel should be perfectly fine. I've always felt that a shotgun with slugs (full size slugs, not pistol bullets surrounded by a plastic sabot) is the best "brush buster" gun for hunting in the thick woods / swamps / bushes.

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4/5 ounce is the standard slug weight for this gauge, so that's .80 OZ. Just a hair lighter than a standard 1 oz. slug that a 12 ga would use.


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0.80 oz of lead moving at 1600 f.p.s. generates 1,986 foot-pounds of kinetic energy.

The "energy" of a 12 gauge slug, which is heavier but slower, is a little better, at 2,360 ft/ lbs.

But, compare both of these to the classic .30-30 with a 170 gr. soft point load:
170 gr. projectile @ 2150 fps (common from a 20" rifle barrel) = 1745 ft/ lbs.

So, a 16 gauge slug should be just fine for deer & hog hunting at modest ranges.
Really, any range where you the shooter are capable of reliably hitting the "kill zone" of the animal.
(Probably 50 yards for me. Maybe 70 yards for other shooters with other guns, with optics or good iron sights.)

*****************************


Edited to add, just for the sake of comparison: 20 gauge shotgun slugs, full bore diameter, all-lead, Foster style, are typically
-- 5/8 of an ounce at 1600 fps,
or
-- 1/2 ounce at 1800 f.ps.,
and there's one extra heavy load with a

--3/4 ounce slug at 1450 fps.

All of these generate about 1800 foot/pounds energy.
So, same as the classic .30-30 Winchester big game woods load.
 
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