Winchester 1400 Auto

Dear Bruce,

I never seem to hear anything said about the Win 1400, lots about the Rem 1100. This seems to tell me the win 1400 isn’t considered as good a gun??

Your comment(s) appreciated.


Dear Harvey,

Well, I wouldn’t say that the 1400 wasn’t a good gun, but it isn’t going to put Purdey out of business. It never could compete successfully against the Remington 1100. The 1400 came out right after the 1100 in the early ’60s. The alloy receiver and cheap looking trigger insides didn’t compare well to the 1100. It was also a good bit more nose-heavy. Winchester did beat Remington to the screw chokes though. Winchester even tried the Hydro-coil stock on the 1400 series. It was one of those wretched looking plastic things that didn’t hold up very well. The wood Hydro-coil stocks as made by Dockwiller were another thing entirely.

The last date of manufacture that I have for any of the many 1400 models is 1994. I don’t remember exactly when Winchester got bought out by FN, but it was around then. Currently Winchesters markets a gas operated Super X-2, a decontented Browning Gold.

Was the 1400 a good gun? Well, it sure was good enough for Wayne Mays. He won just about every American-style 12 gauge skeet championship possible with his 12 gauge Cutts compensated Winchester 1400. Then again, no one else copied his choice of guns, so that might tell you something. In the used market comparative models of the 1100s and 1400 go for about the same price according to Fjestad’s “Blue Book”. Perhaps history is redeeming the 1400. Personally I would (and did six times) pick the 1100 over the 1400. The 1100 always just plain felt better. De gustibus…

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

This entry was posted in Shotguns and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Winchester 1400 Auto

  1. Roger A Schultz says:

    I use my 1400 this year no slug barrel for deer hunting and I got a very nice deer so stop saying the 1400.mark 2 is not a good gun


  2. I am in my 60’s an own a Winchester 1400 12 gauge for a very long time, had a lot of other shot guns, I do a lot of bird hunting, and when I go out. I have always taken the 1400, now that is me, and a lot of people have there choice, just like riding in a Porsche or a Chevy Volt… I on the other hand would not drive either.. I drive my H3 .But again that is my choice. After 20 Yrs Army.. I found What every make you happy then use it.. the 1400 was what felt good to me


    • Murray says:

      much underated gun, on sale in the UK for £150 in good shootable condition, must admit I am a fan of the old pre-FN winchesters – 101/23/1400 etc, always a lot of long lasting robust, reliable high quality good handling gun for not very much money.


  3. Tony Church says:

    if this Winchester where is out and I find another used one I’d buy it in a minute


  4. Tony Church says:

    I bought a Winchester 1400 ranger. At least 25 years ago. Best gun ever own no problem whatsoever with her. I couldn’t even tell you how many shells I put through it . I’m thinking somewhere in 8000 range. I upgraded to a SupX 2. just because a shoot 3 1/2 inch. My I nephews been using it for the last six years he loves the gun . I should give it to him when he turns 18 but I just can’t part with


  5. Bill says:

    Whoa! Before everyone who has owned and shot Remington 1100s gets too excited about that design; I can tell you that although it came out about 10 years later, the Winchester SX-1 was BY FAR a superior design. The Super X 1 was made mostly of steel forgings, and not a bunch of really cheap stamped internals like the 1100. Aesthetically, it was also a much more handsome gun than any 1100. Unfortunately for Winchester, they marketed the SX 1 as a field gun and it was really a bit too heavy for that purpose and would have been much more successful if sold primarily as a target gun. The other issue Winchester had is that the 1100 had already come out and had wide acceptance before the advent of the SX 1. What made the 1100 so popular vis a vis the SX 1 was primarily based on three factors. 1) The reduced felt recoil of the gas system 2) Stock dimensions that were very suitable for the vast majority of shooters, and finally and most importantly, the SX 1 cost about $200 more at the time than an 1100. I have owned at least 6 Remington 1100s and have repaired literally dozens, and all I can say is that anyone who reaches for an 1100 today, has not done their research as there are many, many others that are a better mechanical design and far more reliable with a lot less maintenance.
    As for the 1400 it was an is a very cheaply made auto but most that still own and shoot them seem to like them and isn’t that what it is all about? However, there are far better choices in autos out there and you don’t even have to spend the big bucks for the hard kicking Benellis or high priced Berettas. Just my 2 cents worth and not intended to offend anyone.


  6. STEVE WARD says:

    I have own[ed] a model 1400 Winchester since about 1978.


    • Don Gaines says:

      Hi Steve,
      I have a chance to pick up a 1400 that is about 20+ years old but in a 95 to 98% range from my very reputable gun dealer for around $400 +-. I have not seen this gun yet but would like your comments. I’ve seen lots of bad and good things about this gun. I’m not a knowledgable gun person but don’t want to get something bad either. Just planning to shoot occasionally at the trap range but not planning to get on a team, just fun shooting.
      Your thoughts.


  7. Ken Whaley says:

    I have had my model 1400 for over 30 yrs. never once has it failed me! I’ve had Remington, Ithaca, H&R, and none were any better than my 1400. I’m adding a slug barrell and scope to it now! Love that gun!


    • bill says:

      Ken, In your Oct. 2, 2015 post you stated you were adding a slug barrel for your model 1400. Is it a smooth or rifled barrel ? If it’s rifled, where did you buy it ?


  8. kris krakenberg says:

    i have had 6 1400s over the years all have shot well i still a 20 ga skeet and a12 ga trap made in the 60s 10s of thou of round its a go to gun for ducks or upland


  9. wayne rhodes says:

    New years day my dad gave me his never been fired 1400 12g ranger 28″ vent rib shot gun. What a wonderful surprise! Never been fired, brand new no dings or scratches. Went down to the local WalMart got some Winchester field game loads, heavy lead 7 1/2 load. And a 15 pack Winchester superX hollow point 1600 fps slugs 1oz. Rifled slugs Designed exclusively for smooth barrel shot guns. I will keep you posted


  10. Fred Fuss says:

    I Shot my first 25 straight at skeet with a 1400 12 gauge. I also used it duck and deer hunting for many years. The only problem I encountered was with the forend. It split down the middle and I have not been able to find a replacement. I’ve since repaired the forend with epoxy and refinished the stock. It is still serviceable and fun to shoot.


    • Fred m Fuss says:

      Same author, another comment…As a reloading enthusiast, I found it irritating to lose all the empty AA cases on the ground. When shooting in a league you were not allowed to pick up the empties. If you were shooting a 1100 you could use a clip that attached to the receiver to collect the singles. Winchester did not offer anything similar. I had to design a catcher that screwed to the side of the receiver that used a heavy duty rubber band that formed a “V” near the exit port. It worked quite well. These days it’s cheaper to buy shells rather then reload them due to the high cost of lead. So when I dust off the 1400 every now and then I let the empties fly. Still fun to shoot though.


  11. L.E. Williams says:

    I grew up with Iver Johnson singles from my grandads collection- mostly a 28g- my first semi was a 1400. It seemed everyone had an 1100, or by this time the 11-87. from my first memories I remember my dads 1100 from the 60s- Well, 25 years later I still have that 1400 with not a scratch on it hardly and let me just say thousands upon thousands of rounds later- I got the fancy walnut with cut checkering and it still looks great. But last year I ran across an older 1100 so I grabbed it up. Bought a new barrel and stripped it and made it current. And after shooting trap with both of them this year, I still don’t know what all the fuss was about the 1100, I know it’s heavier and that’s about it. But I love my locking rotating bolt on an alloy frame 🙂


    • Bob says:

      I’ve been shooting the 1400 12 ga off and on since 1967. Roy Rogers gave me a matched set of winchester special factory produced – Skeet & Trap set. Fixed choke barrels labelled skeet and trap. Two complete guns. 1000’s of rounds thru both – just keep cleaning them every few years whether they need it or not.
      I was 13 and never looked back:)


  12. D. Chinn says:

    Amen! Don’t waste your ca$h on any Winchester 1400 (or 1200) shotgun. The ultimate misuse of a ‘name brand’ (think Cadillac Catera). What was Winchester thinking?


  13. Mike Ferber says:

    my worst overall shotgun ever was a Winchester 1400 Ranger. It was a 20 gauge with 28″VR barrel and extended choke tubes. The wood alone reminded me of balsa. The overall construction was mostly pot metal and plastic. The 1100 is like comparing a Porsche 911 to a Chevy Volt. FTF was a very common occurrence…


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.