Any Winchester 97 savant's out there?


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cpirtle
September 12, 2008, 09:06 PM
Hey all, I have been looking for a newer production 97 for CAS as I am currently shooting a 1903 that is going to be retired to backup duty.

So my LGS had one come in and I picked it up for an un-disclosed good deal.

This gun is:
- made in 1940
- has a 20" cylinder bore barrel
- takedown model with amazingly tight joint
- original wood that looks amazing
- 95% blue with a nice bright finish

At first I thought it was a cut down re-blue but upon closer inspection I believe it is a factory riot model that was just kept in amazing condition. The gun has no signs of being reblued and the blueing wear is in line with the wear on the furniture.

So, can anyone tell me for sure if Winchester made a takedown 20" Riot model in 1940?

I see a guy on gunsamerica selling one that is not in quite as nice condition as this one for something like $1,700 which I believe is pretty high for any 97. Even if it's worth half that price am I crazy for shooting this in CAS?

I'll get some pictures up in a bit.

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cpirtle
September 12, 2008, 09:31 PM
Pic's...

http://www.pirtleranch.com/images/Guns/97_riot/100_2537.jpg

http://www.pirtleranch.com/images/Guns/97_riot/100_2547.jpg

http://www.pirtleranch.com/images/Guns/97_riot/100_2538.jpg


Here's one of the old boy just for good measure ;)

http://www.pirtleranch.com/images/Guns/Vaqueros_%26_97/100_2431.JPG

ScottsGT
September 13, 2008, 12:18 PM
Cannot answer your question, but that is one FINE looking '97!! Mine looks a lot like your old one, but ut is nice and tight. Have you see one done up in hard chrome?

rcmodel
September 13, 2008, 12:56 PM
So, can anyone tell me for sure if Winchester made a takedown 20" Riot model in 1940?Yes.

It appears Winchester made over 15,000 97's between 1940-41. Many of those would have been civilian guns, and some of them would have been 20" Guard & Riot guns.

Even if it's worth half that price am I crazy for shooting this in CAS?If it letters correct from Cody Museum, YES! Maybe!

It is probably worth well over a grand to a collector in that condition.

rcmodel

Sistema1927
September 13, 2008, 08:46 PM
Guns were made for shooting. If it becomes a safe queen, you can bet that one of your heirs will trade it off for something stupid.

In other words, shoot the heck out of it and enjoy it at every match.

cpirtle
September 13, 2008, 11:19 PM
Thanks for the info. I'll check into getting it lettered and shoot it in the mean time.


If it becomes a safe queen, you can bet that one of your heirs will trade it off for something stupid.


Who said I would keep it? I have plenty of safe queens that mean something to me, this one would be sold off and rolled into a few other guns.

cpirtle
September 13, 2008, 11:22 PM
Thanks ScottsGT!

I have seen one hard chromed 97 and it was a fine looking gun for sure. The guy had like $300 in the finish though and was having a hard time getting $550 for it.

Jack2427
September 14, 2008, 11:22 PM
Yes Winchester did make a take down model in the 40s. I do not know if any were produced as "riot" guns, but it would not be unreasonable to think so.

The price of the 97 Winchester has gone through the roof, primarily bcause of CAS. I bought a 97 clone from Coyote Cap, and had him slick it up. I do not do CAS, but I did not want to keep carrying my 97 in the squad car, but I still wanted to have the kids I work with see old time guns(yeah I carry a revolver sometimes also).

The clone works so well that I then got a 87 clone from them, and a double. Now when I want to "go vintage" I use the import replicas and do not worry aout damaging my collectables. The 1887 replica is really interesting, and fun to shoot, and is very fast handling, falls down on reloading though, kind of slow.

If you get any Coyote Cap clones, have them do an action job, most of their guns are sold with the action package, and it is well worth it.

ScottsGT
September 15, 2008, 08:16 AM
BTW, my '97 is a take down model and it was made in the '40's, but I don't think it was a riot gun, just cut down.

Tom D
September 16, 2008, 03:21 PM
Cpirtle, you should be able to tell if the gun has been refinished by looking at the Winchester proof marks on the top of the reciever and barrel. They should show burnishings. If they do not, the gun was likely refinished.

What is the serial number range of your gun? Many of the Winchester serial number tables are incorrect, particularly those for the War years.

As far as lettering the gun, I don't think the Cody Museum only has documentation on the early Model 97s up to about the 300,000 serial number range.

cpirtle
September 16, 2008, 09:23 PM
They should show burnishings.

Hmmm, thanks for the info. Based on that, I'm going to say these look burnished to me - what do you guys think?

The pictures don't really show it but you can tell the proof marks were rubbed over in person.

It's sn 833xxx which puts it in 1940 according to several lists I've seen.

http://www.pirtleranch.com/images/Guns/97_riot/111.jpg

Tom D
September 17, 2008, 01:33 PM
Yes, the proof marks look burnished.

The gun may be earlier than 1940. Look on the underside of the barrel where it meets up with the receiver. There should be a two digit number there that is the barrel date (e.g., 38, 39, 40, etc.). It is sometimes hard to see because the magazine tube gets in the way. You might have to shine a flashlight in between the barrel and mag tube to see the number.

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