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A Model 12 Heavy Duck paired with recoil pad legal legal wars

Ok so this is an odd combo of subjects. This past Saturday I rescued a Winchester model 12 "Heavy Duck" model from a local auction. I over paid for it I sure, but the time was right and I've always wanted one, especially since selling my standard M12 a few years back. Didn't want to be limited to 2 3/4", but thats a story unto itself for a different time & place.

So I've got this Heavy Duck, & conflicting sources put it at either a 1951 or 1954 vintage. There's a vented recoil pad on the butt that reads "White Line" trade mark by Mershon Company based out of LA California (gross). The rubber is still somewhat pliable, but not to the extent I'd like to have if I want to actually use/shoot it. But it's fit to the stock absolutely perfect, and I'm curious if it is original to the gun. All I've read about the Heavy Duck says it should have a red recoil pad.

I have never heard of Mershon, so when I punched it into google I found that way back in the 40s & 50s Mershon was involved in a series of unsuccessful lawsuits with Pachmayr over the use of a white line spacer recoil pad. Mershon was pretty proud of its white lines, evidently. But nowadays, Pachmayr is still a houehold name. So I can see how that turned out. Is my pad an original Winchester part or not?
Formerly known as SmithCorona03A3, back in the old forum days


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