Winchester 1897 problem and interesting barrel


June 5, 2011, 03:11 PM
My new to me 1906 manufactured winchester 1897 has a problem. When I pop out the takedown pin and rotate the magazine tube it fails to extracate itself from the receiver body. More aptly said.. it's stuck. It moves a fraction of an inch. when rotated back there is no movement.

It also came with what at first appeared to be a riot barrel. Further I made perhaps an interesting discovery. My riot barrel appears to be modified for a heatshield and bayonet lug attachment? I've attached pictures of the barrel along with the various markings in order to help with identification.

Here she is in her glory

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June 6, 2011, 12:22 AM
The short barrel is a trench barrel sure enough, grooves for bayonet mount as you suspected. It may be a model 1912 trench barrel, I have not seen them completely dismounted so I don't know for sure. The picture of the full gun, shows a very early style of stock for a 97, in fact from this angle it looks like an 1893. If I could see the end of magazine or the receiver from the top ,I could tell for sure. But that could be your problem on take down. If that barrel is 26" marked cylinder choke its a Brush Gun.

No I can see it, its a 97, if the take down pin was replaced or put on backwards, it can do that. Just going by memory I think it will turn about 1/4-3/8" the wrong direction, if you can get it to turn a full 1/4 turn, the other way, then pull forward on the fore arm about 5 inches, then turn barrel and mag 1/4 turn clockwise and pull apart.

It may help to move slide to about half mast, before you turn the mag tube.

June 6, 2011, 07:37 AM
Thank you very much for your reply. Firearm is marked winchester model 1897. Serial number is in the D 299XXX range which puts it around 1905-1906? The take down pin was originally in backwards but I fixed that. It seems to turn fully.

The barrel is marked 12 Full.

Tried the half mast. No go yet. Will keep at it.

Red Cent
June 6, 2011, 03:38 PM
There is a small screw at the front right bottom edge of that side of the receiver. This screws retains the mag tube by having a dead head that fits into a hole in the tube.

The tube has split/interrupted threads and will come out no matter which way it is turned.

Apparently everything is apart. Did you take the receiver extension off and removed the barrel from same?

June 6, 2011, 03:53 PM
Are you saying I just take that screw out in order to help with the disassembly process?

June 6, 2011, 04:03 PM
I've only had about 3 or 4 of these ,but I don't recall any thing about a screw for take down. He might be talking about taking the barrel off completely. Which he may well be right , I've never pulled the barrel from the assembly.

The threads are interupted, thats true, but there is a pitch to them, so I think it will only turn 1 way. I see what your saying.I'm talking about the receiver extension.

You said magazine tube. Yeah maybe you can turn it either direction, but I was thinking the pin kept it from turning far enough the other direction.

June 6, 2011, 04:19 PM
Looking at the pic of that barrel, it doesn't appear to have interrupted threads so I'm guess it's not the "takedown" model, or easy takedown.

June 6, 2011, 04:31 PM
The barrel doesn't have the interrupted threads on it.

The receiver extension that should remain attached to it does.


June 7, 2011, 12:39 PM
I recenlty read about the history of WWII Marine fighting in the Pacific Islands. The 97 shotgun was often used in battles. Marines had brass cased buckshot ammo instead of common cardboard hulls. Apparently, plastic hull shotgun ammo hadn't been invented yet. The 97 knocked down scores of Japanese soldiers.


June 7, 2011, 01:12 PM
Plato, Get it yet? I've been thinking about this. If you were looking at the muzzle end of the magazine tube. The mag tube should turn 90 degrees, clock wise,after you push th TD pin out. If you can get that much, you should be able to pull forward on the fore arm. Thats the way my model 12 does, I'm sure its the same.

June 7, 2011, 04:27 PM
Hello again everyone. The mag tube turns 90 degress counter clock wise once I push the pin out. However the magazine tube will not come out.

June 7, 2011, 05:05 PM
Are you sure you have a take-down version, or a solid-frame model?

I can't tell from the picture you posted which it is.

If you have a solid-frame model without the receiver extension joint at the front of the receiver, It does not have interupted threads like the take-down model.

The mag tube has to be unscrewed all the way out of the receiver, after you take the screws out that hold the mag plug and pin in the tube.


June 7, 2011, 05:12 PM
With the mag turned, bolt closed, hammer down full, not on safety notch, you can't pull forward on fore arm?

On the bottom of gun right ahead of the loading port. Are there two sets of numbers or only one? If 2, do numbers match?

June 7, 2011, 06:28 PM

Indeed that is correct. It won't come out when all of those steps are taken. I'm looking at where you indicated and see no numbers.. I see the serial number on the very bottom of the shotgun on the receiver and on the takedown portion. The two serial numbers do match.

June 7, 2011, 06:41 PM
Thats the numbers I was talking about. I was starting to think you didn't have a '97. You do. On the end cap, of the magazine there is a kind of Y shaped yoke,
that keeps the mag centered with the barrel. There should be faint lines in the blue showing where it rubs when the mag is pulled forward for takedown. Do you see any? It's just possible its never been apart!

Hey in the picture with the serial numbers. just left of the numbers. on the ejection port side it looks like a screw head, right at the joint!

June 7, 2011, 06:49 PM
Howdy, I own 2 different Winchester takedowns, and the only time I had a problem with it is when one of my nephews (all have been over 21 for longer than I care to admit) turned the disassmebly the wrong direction, in fact he kinda forced it...

Try turning the tube in the other direction, push the pin the other way and then gently try turning it in the new direction a little more.

If that doesn't work, ask around at several gunshops in your area about who would they recomend for an older shotgun. If two or more give you the same name, I would take that old girl to him for some TLC.

Good Luck, Tim

June 7, 2011, 07:00 PM
Holy #$%^, thats what RedCent's talking about.:eek: Take that screw out. and try it. That must be something they changed later. None of mine had that.

RedCents probably got a dozen like that. I think he's the guy that shoots cowboy with them.

June 7, 2011, 07:14 PM

What does the screw head signify?

RugerMcMarlin and Tim.mineshine,

So I made a video showing what is going on with the take down. I really do appreciate you guys helping me so much!

June 7, 2011, 07:21 PM
I took that screw out and no change. :(

June 7, 2011, 07:53 PM
It looks like the screw if its very long at all, will go into the mag tube. But I don't see the point of it. The book says some 97s were not takedown models. Maybe
you got one. My brother says if you unscrew the magtube too far, it will put it into a bind. I don't know how thats going to help though.

June 7, 2011, 08:06 PM
The screw did not appear to be particularly long. I thought non-take down models didn't have the take down pin at the end of the magazine tube?

June 7, 2011, 08:08 PM
You sure wouldn't think so.

OK I watched the vid. push the pin turn the tube,just like you did then pull on the wooden pump grip, forward smartly. tell me how that works. you won't be able to just pull the tube forward. There is a flat piece on the mag tube, about 1/2 by 3/8" that keeps it as part of the assembly

Red Cent
June 7, 2011, 08:09 PM
How are we seeing the threads of the barrel? If that is true, the receiver extension has been unthreaded from the barrel. That is impossible unless the barrel, magazine tube, fore end and action bar has been removed.

The '97 in the picture is a takedown. Solid frames do not have the mag pin. Solid frame mag tube simply screws out once the barrel band holder is removed as RC said.

The proper sequence is to rack the slide back. (Takedown) push mag pin through to the other side, rotate mag tube 1/4 turn, mag should come out partially. Rack the slide to locked position firmly and the mag tube, fore end with action bar attached should come out of the receiver. Rotate barrel 1/4 turn and entire assembly is removed from the receiver.

June 7, 2011, 08:47 PM
RugerMcMarlin, tried what you said. Still a no go.

Red Cent, the barrel above pictured is a spare that came with the gun. I tried the proper sequence and still a no go. The mag tube does not come out. It only moves as much as shown in the video.

June 7, 2011, 08:58 PM
RedCent glad your here, this is gonna take a 7 level.;)

June 7, 2011, 09:05 PM
I've been watching videos of other people doing it and theirs seem to pop out real simple like.

June 8, 2011, 12:12 AM
Confusion verily abounds.

I will try to assemble the pertinent points that some have caught, and some left unsaid.

The spare barrel shown is a solid frame barrel, but the shotgun in question is a takedown version.
The Model 12 had no solid frame version until decades later, a simplified and less dressy appearing version called the Model 25.
That barrel could not be for a standard Model 12 or a takedown model 97.
The appearance of the solid frame threads is a good bit coarser pitch than the threads of a disassembled takedown barrel without the barrel extension, but has the same thread pitch (but not diameter) as the external threads of the adjusting sleeve used on the takedown, but with dissimilar features.

Notice that the gun pictured has a magazine takedown pin and magazine band; both are hallmarks of a takedown version. The solid frame has a plug end in the magazine tube that enters a hole in the barrel band that does not surround the tube - just the barrel, and naturally is also absent the barrel extension.

There is a magazine retaining screw only on the solid frame version M-97, so any screw in that general area on the takedown version would be either the chamber ring retaining screw (about 3/32" dia.) by the ejection port or the takedown adjusting sleeve lock screw (about 1/8" dia. headless) in the side of the barrel extension.
That's the screw noted by R-McM in post #15 and 17, but as figured out, is not a mag. tube retaining screw.

The stock round knob configuration was a common style on early 97's, along with the metal buttplate in Neidner configuration. That was one of the stocks I carved in gunsmithing school.

"The proper sequence is to rack the slide back. (Takedown) push mag pin through to the other side, rotate mag tube 1/4 turn, mag should come out partially. Rack the slide to locked position firmly and the mag tube, fore end with action bar attached should come out of the receiver."

There really is no need to open the bolt on a Model 97 or Model 12 during takedown procedures, and there should be no need to slam the forend/bolt closed after opening to get a magazine tube to slide forward. Why use the slide as a slide hammer? I've only seen that done by a clown masquerading as a gunsmith to prove an improperly assembled 97 that he had reblued could come apart without tools. The goof had improperly assembled the magazine tube components. I had to demonstrate in front of him that the assembly was wrong, and after rework of the assembly, the magazine tube freely slid out with two fingers. Taught an old horse a new trick that day.

By the way, no need to mention both the magazine locking screw (for the solid frame) and the interrupted threads of the takedown magazine tube in procedures, since the gun couldn't have both features. Also, the interrupted threads typically will not disengage in either direction, since usually the helix of the thread binds before passing the interrupted cut in the threads in the frame. In other words, expect that tubes only "back out"- and don't usually "front out".
The magazine plug/barrel guide also inhibits rotation beyond the inbuilt stop limits when assembled.

Here are your most likely answers.

The magazine tube plug (end cap) is improperly assembled and won't allow sufficient rotation to disengage the interrupted threads from the frame

The tube threads have been severely deformed or the edge of the barrel extension interferes with the withdrawal due to raised burrs or deformity

Some or all of the above

Winchester Specialist gunsmith

June 8, 2011, 02:27 AM
I've read your answer a couple times. I can't seem to make out what the screw is on the ejection port side, at the joint. Seems like an either or answer.

Holding the wooden fore end, and pulling forward was how I was taught to do it, by a Gunsmith.

I do appreciate you jumping in, I've been trying to get John Browning on my ouiga board for 3 days.:scrutiny:

June 8, 2011, 08:01 AM

wow thank you so much for coming in and typing all of that out! It is much appreciated sir. At this point I'm fairly certain the magazine tube was assembled incorrectly. From working on the gun so far I've been spotting things put in backwards. installed wrongly. etc.

I'm going to begin researching how to disassemble the magazine tube.

June 8, 2011, 08:12 AM
HOLY CRAP THANK KIRBY I GOT IT! The ignoramous who last had my gun had installed the magazine tube incorrectly and it just popped out when I took it apart! I could kiss you but my wife wouldn't be happy! Thank you thank you thank you!

Red Cent
June 8, 2011, 10:02 AM
kirby, since the thread was becoming a cluster and everything but hammers was used, I inserted the "clown" instructions to see if it would work.

I am aware of the solid frames having the mag tube screw (I have two nice specimens) but again, the bouncing ball was coming of the walls.

Your comparison of these instructions to a clown and a goof is an insult. Like most "gunsmiths", the "dont suffer fools" attitude exists whether needed or not.

June 8, 2011, 10:33 AM
Red Cent and McMarlin I as well thank you both for your patience with me as you took the time to offer fixes! Thank you all!

Update: After much swearing I finally figured out how to put my 1897 back together. Hurraaayyy. If I don't post after this it means I put it together wrong and it blew up and killed me while shooting skeet.

June 8, 2011, 07:49 PM
I am happy that the owner has figured out the details of his problem.

I might mention that certain particulars are incorrect or not necessary in proper mechanism assemblages, and if one technique is only going to work by the application of force, I am less likely to overlook that in favor of a disassembly procedure, rather than a hammeritis technique.

I do not lightly offer opinions pertaining to incorrect details or instructions, and my reference to one specific person as a clown was only meant for that person, since that specific one was in the side business of repairing and reblue through the shop I had formerly worked at in past times.

If someone wishes to imbue my statement with more than one spot of specificity, that can be their own assumption that was definitely unspoken and not mentioned as applying to anyone else for the reason that nobody else had represented themselves as a gunsmith.
Thus, the clown label applies where it was placed, and no other spot was chosen by me.

I am not going to make any implication left unsaid if I believe it applies, but any statement by me is not expected to be more than was stated.
The difference between an insult and a correction can correlate to the obvious experience level of the recipient, so don't take offense when correction is needed and sufficient.
I have been known to have mistakes in details and don't take insult if I slip in a description, so I will offer a pass on the intention to reverse the remark.

The information that I provide is in the realm of gunsmith instruction, so don't expect to get a lightweight response to a situation that requires an "information-heavy" posting.


June 8, 2011, 09:31 PM
I read it really slow. I got it.

Red Cent
June 9, 2011, 10:51 AM
Oh, I got it also. And it cements positon taken.

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