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Gun Reports - News

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Courtesy, Elkman

The Winchester Model 1897 became the most popular outside-hammer, slide-action in history.

GunAuction to Watch: Winchester Model 97 16 Gauge

April 10, 2012

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(GunReports.com) — The Model 1897 was a slide-action shotgun designed for the new smokeless powder when it was introduced more than a century ago. According to the Winchester Collector website, Winchester made more than 1 million 1897s, with production from 1897 to 1957. Replacing the Model 1893, the 1897 was offered in 12 gauge with a 30-inch barrel until 1899 in solid frame or takedown. The 16 gauge was introduced in 1900. Oregon-based “elkman” has a Winchester Model 97 16 gauge 2 3/4-inch-chamber pump-action shotgun listed for sale in Auction #10999652.

The seller describes the bore as “is bright and shiny, real decent.” “Elkman” adds, “The finish is worn on the receiver and is a bit better on the barrel. The takedown pin is missing and needs to be replaced, and there’s some deep scratches in that area. The wood has plenty of handling marks and a extra coat of finish.”

The Winchester Model 1897 became the most popular outside-hammer, slide-action in history. Special features include fancy checkered walnut stocks and engraving. According to a 1916 catalogue, the plain-finish example sold for $25, while an engraved receiver with checkered and finer wood sold for $100. The gun at auction has a barrel that’s 30 inches long. The choke is Full. LOP is 14 inches.

If you’re interested in owning a piece of history, there are already 23 bids (at least) for Auction #10999652, which ends April 22, 2012 @ 18:00:00 PT.

To see the full auction listing, click below:


GunAuction to Watch


Reader Comments

While Winchester 97s are great pieces, they are difficult to find in really good condition, and when found, they often command some pretty high prices. Several years ago, I satisfied my yearning for one by purchasing a Norinco clone. It is also known by its model number 97, and it is an inexpensive way to have the fun of the original 97 that is made of modern steel and is also affordable.

I was fortunate enough to have found a 1913 manufacture 12g takedown from a gentleman local to me. I learned a good bit about these shotguns while shopping for the one I lucked into. A sight unseen, or a purchase without inspection return is a crapshoot with these guns. The takedown guns have thier own additional potential for problems that can only be determined by a knowledgeable buyer or smith. If your plans are to actually shoot the gun, you really need to figure the cost of lengthening the chamber & forcing cone to accommodate modern ammunition, otherwise the abuse that the frame is going to suffer will ultimately lead to ruination. These are great firearms, completely suitable for use with modern ammo, even 100 years after manufacture. But if you are unwilling to perform the needed modifications, you will end up producing a wall-hanger in short order- or worse,a useless damaged gun & possibly injured to boot.

Interesting information, unknwn. I was personally unaware of those ramifications concerning the original M97. That further substantiates my reason for purchase and use of a Norinco clone.


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