Value of old Winchester Model 1897 pump shotgun


September 13, 2010, 11:12 AM
A coworker of mine is looking to sell a Winchester 1897 shotgun and I'd like to know it's value. It was made in 1906 and it's the standard model (not a riot or a trench gun... that would be nice) with the plain/non-checkered wood and a 28" barrel. The condition is very good to excellent considering its age, with no cracks in the wood and no rust/pitting on the metal parts aside from slight bluing wear and age. The finish is original but unfortunately there was a rubber recoil pad fitted to it sometime in the past - that's the only modification.

I've looked at lots of online sources for the value of the 1897 but the numbers vary from $300 to over three grand depending on age, variation, and condition. I know the standard model isn't worth near as much as the riot and trench guns are, but any ballpark estimate would be nice. Unfortunately he hasn't taken pictures yet, but if he does I'll get his permission to repost them here.

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September 13, 2010, 11:22 AM
Try looking at the CLOSED auctions to see what they ACTUALLY sold for - typically a big difference in what someone is asking versus what they get.

September 14, 2010, 12:56 PM
these shotguns are VERY popular with the cowboy shooters..cas.. crowd,and thus the values have held up for quite some time now.I'd say it would bring 400.00 to the right party,350.00 minimum.

September 14, 2010, 01:53 PM
I just returned from a large match in Northern Washington state and one of the vendors had several Model 97's for sale from $350 to $700, depending on condition. I own 7 Model 97's and I've paid as little as $150, and as much as $450 for them. The $450 shotgun was a Black Diamond Trap, with a replacement bolt, but in pretty good condition.

I would say from your description that you're looking at a $350 to $400 gun, depending on wear. There are threads on THR that describe what you should look for. The chamber will have to be lengthened, so figure in another $50 or so for that.

Hope this helps.


Red Cent
September 15, 2010, 12:05 PM
When Winchester came out with the Model 1893, the chamber was 2 5/8". When the "improved" 1893 was introduced in 1897, hence Model 1897, the chambering was offered in both 2 3/4" and 2 5/8". I am sure there is on the the web information about certain shotguns.

The guys advice of having the chambered lengthened is wise. Simply having someone who knows how to "lengthen the forcing cone" with a long forcing cone reamer will take care of the chamber length and it will produce a gradual introduction of the wad into the .925" barrel. This reduces "felt recoil" by spreading the pressure curve over a longer period of time.

I recently sold a very good condition M97 that was in the white. It had been draw filed, sanded, sand blasted and bead blasted. Lengthened forcing cone and back bored and an action job. $375.00.

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