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Smith for 97 work

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by bosshoff, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. bosshoff

    bosshoff Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know of a smth who specializes in old 1897's? I have my grandfathers old gun, and the action is very stiff/firm. I'd like to have it disassembled, and cleaned, any weak parts/springs replaced, and reassembled. Who is up to the task?
  2. auschip

    auschip Well-Known Member

    Coyote Cap could probably do it. I haven't had any work done by him, but I understand the SASS guys swear by him (which is better then swearing at him).

  3. Bill B.

    Bill B. Well-Known Member

    I had Cap do a 97 for me and he does a nice job slicking them. That said it cost roughly the price of the 97 I sent him to have it done. Some of the things he does for the CAS guns are not needed on 97 that isn't intended to be used in competition. Make sure he knows what you want done to it and what you will use it for before sending it in. :)
  4. bosshoff

    bosshoff Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies guys. I sent Cap an email. He says my shotgun is from 1907. Here's a question, Should I not screw with this because of any value it might have? By "screw" I mean re-blue, refinish dark wood, replace cracked butstock pad, etc? I'd like it to function fgreat with a smooth slicked-out action, and look great as well, however, in ten years I don't want to regret having some work done to it. What do you think? Also, what is the value of this gun in maybe 75% condition?
  5. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Well-Known Member

    Coyote Cap is indeed the guy. He's the acknowledged '97 expert. If he works over your gun, it is recorded in his books and he engraves an action job number on the bolt. Your '97 just went up in value by $100-200 because it's a document "Coyote Cap" '97.

    There's no reason not to have it slicked up and refinished, unless it's a particularly rare and desirable variant, and there aren't many of those, or it has some special (and documented) provenance. 1897s were made by the hundreds of thousands, and are not by any means rare. Prices shot up in the mid-90s, not because of collectors, but because cowboy action shooting took off and they are about the only legal pump guns in that sport.

    The Black Diamond Trap variants command a premium, as do original military trench guns, but that's about it. You probably shouldn't mess with those, but anything else goes. Solid frame guns go for a little more than the takedowns, but not a lot. The 16 gauge versions are worth more than the 12's, but again not a whole lot (maybe a $100 premium for a 16).

    I have a C series (built 1901) takedown 12 gauge that started life as a goose gun (32" full choke barrel). Cap slicked it up and put screw chokes in it for me, and I now use it for all kinds of shotgun sports. His work doesn't come cheap, but it's worth every penny.
  6. Gunsnrovers

    Gunsnrovers Well-Known Member

    I have a 1920's take down that I bought for CAS in the early 1990's. When I bought it, the 30" barrel was bulged and the finish was trashed. I cut the barrel to 20" and otherwise left it alone. A few years of hard CAS use and the '97 started to stall. I put it aside and let is sit for almost 10 years.

    Last year, I called a friend who is a gunsmith, CAS shooter, and fellow Rover owner. After discussing the shotgun, he quoted me to have it refinished, the stock refinished, the internals cleaned up and all springs and worn parts replaced. Due to rust and pitting, it's a bead blasted finish. Polishing it would have been very expensive.

    About 8 weeks later, I got this shotgun back:
    (please excuse the gun oil finger print on the receiver)


    The hiccups are gone and she looks great. No regrets what so ever.

    Coyote Cap has a great reputation. There are one or two others that come highly recommended on the SASS.net.

    Go for it. Unless the gun has a known history, any history it gets now is the one you create with it.
  7. bosshoff

    bosshoff Well-Known Member

    Guys, thanks for the replies. I have been looking at two things. First having Cap do an action job on the internals to smooth everything up, polish the internals, and replace any worn parts.
    Secondly, I am looking at having the weapon refinished/reblued, as well as the stock redone. The butpad is missing a large chunk, and there are a few crappy gouges/scratches. I don't want to have the stock marks/character completely erased, I just want it cleaned up and re-oiled. I am looking at a company called Winchester Restorations in Buffalo Wisconson. http://www.winrest.com/
    Should I have the action job done first, and then send it off the be restored by Winchester Restorations? Or should I look into having Cap restore the shotty at the same time he does the action job?
    Does anyone have any close up pictures they can post of either Cap's or Winchester restorations restoration work? Thanks again.
  8. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Well-Known Member

    As soon as I get full custody of my family's M97 (1906 take-down ) I am going to replace the wood and refinish myself and put the original wood away. There are several places that sell replacement stock sets for the M97. I need to have the internals on my gun gone through as well as possibly replacing the barrel with a barrel that has choke tubes. I want this gun to in the regular rotation.

  9. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Well-Known Member

    My 97 hasn't been "restored." It still has the original wood, and the finish is almost all gone. It's more white than blue, now. I like it that way, as it has character.

    If you want a resto, though, my recommendation is Run-N-Iron Customizing in Nebraska. They're got some pics of a 97 resto on their website here: http://runniron.com/restoration/index.html

    I've seen and handled Run-N-Iron's work, and it don't get much better. Their carbonia blue and real charcoal bone case finishes are true works of art. They can also handle the slick-up and repair of that '97, so it would be a one stop shop.

    They also custom built 20 gauge 1897s, if you have a LOT of money to spend.
  10. bosshoff

    bosshoff Well-Known Member

    Anyone else have an opinion to share? I'd love to see some pictures if anyone has them, especially of any upgrades or work which was done.
  11. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Well-Known Member

    I'd post a pic of my Coyote Cap '97, but it's nothing to look at (as I said, it has the original wood and very little finish). It is slicker than you-know-what, however. You need to work the action to really appreciate it.

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