Equipping for disaster

Review: Winchester 1300 Marine

By Blaise Uriarte

The Basics:

The Winchester 1300 is a pump action shotgun evolved from the earlier model 1200. This is a sturdy time proven design, having been in production for over 40 years. Winchester introduced the 1200 series in 1964, and gave way to the 1300 in 1981.

Here is an example of the Marine model, which features; an inertia-assisted pump mechanism, 4 lug breech locking rotary bolt, alloy receiver 18 inch barrel, synthetic Monte Carlo style stock, nickel finish, and a five round magazine.


The bolt is designed to recede into the bolt carrier when the gun is fired thus assisting the pump action making for a very fast firing gun. This design is copied in the current production “speed pump” shotguns made under the Winchester name.

This firearm is designed for use in extreme salt water environments, and the finish is very rugged and resistant to the elements.

The Ammo:

Winchester Model 1300s feature has a 3 inch chamber which means any shot-shell up to three inches can be fired from this gun.

I fired this gun with 2 ¾ inch Winchester Military 9 pellet 00 buck shot, Rio Royal Buck 2 ¾ inch 00 buck, Winchester PDX1 2 ¾ inch “buck and ball” rounds, as well as Remington “Slugger” 1 ounce rifled slug rounds.

As you can see, there is a lot of versatility with what you can fire from a shotgun.

The Range Test:

The action on this gun is smooth and fast. After shooting a couple rounds one cycles the gun without thinking, it is just such a smooth action. No doubt this is due to the inertia assisted pump.


As you can see this gun is relatively accurate with slugs. This is a three shot group from 25 yards. These are the PDX1 loads, which feature rifled slugs and several pellets of 00 buck.


Here is the target after several rounds of 00 buck. The pattern covers a man sized target at 25 yards. Not entirely unexpectedly, as this is an 18 inch cylinder bore barrel. Even with this type of pattern, this would be effective at that distance. The problem is you must be very aware of your surroundings when using this gun for defense, because of the spread.

The Pluses:

This is a very reliable, light weight platform. Recoil is manageable, and all and all it is comfortable to shoot. The versatility of a shotgun is also a major plus. Having such a wide variety of ammunition will mean you can use what is needed dependent upon the situation.

The Minuses:

The recoil of a 12 gauge with an 18 inch barrel can be jarring. You also only have five rounds with this particular gun, but there are models with 8 round magazines on the market. The limited capacity combined with the inertia assisted mechanism means you are out of ammo quickly. 12 gauge rounds are also heavy and take up quite a bit of space in your bug-out bag. The bright nickel finish, though rugged and easy to clean, can reflect light and give away ones position.


Overall this is a fine shotgun for use in an incursion against the undead. I strongly advocate having a shotgun as part of your kit, and this model is a good choice. It patterns well for the size of the gun, has a smooth quick action and most importantly is reliable. Winchester 1300 shotguns have served police and sportsman well for three decades, so there is no reason to doubt this weapon. As with any weapon, one must train vigorously and master all aspects of it in order to be effective in a self-defense scenario. As always, stay vigilant and be prepared.

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