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Winchester 1897

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by AethelstanAegen, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Well-Known Member

    So I just ordered myself a Winchester 1897. It's a solid frame model from 1899 with a 30" barrel with a full choke. I've always wanted one but I don't know an awful lot about them. Anyone have any good tips on them? I'm interested in what loads people use/think safe in them.
  2. ozarkhillbilly

    ozarkhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Can I ask what you paid? I am looking at one myself that I will make an offer on tomorrow.
  3. Kp321

    Kp321 Well-Known Member

    97's are very rugged machines but have a couple do weak places. The left hand extractor has a thin rib that guides the bolt in the receiver. If it is broken or worn off, the bolt wants to move too far to the right causing jams. Also, the sear notch on the hammer gets worn and/or full of dirt which can let the hammer follow the bolt home or cause a very light trigger pull, both of which are dangerous. Remember there is no manual safety, only the half cock on the hammer.
    Have fun with your "new" shotgun. There is not another gun that sounds like a 97 being racked. More like a hay baler sound than a gun.
  4. AJumbo

    AJumbo Well-Known Member

    I love 97s! I think of mine as the Steampunk Defense System.

    Learn to clean it thoroughly WITHOUT stripping it down much- there are parts in there that most mere mortals can't reassemble into a working firearm. I run mine kinda wet, but not dripping with oil.

    I recommend you get it the fire control system looked over by a competent 'smith; there are plenty of guys working on CAS guns, and this has resurrected some of the "lost knowledge." Getting an owner's manual/care and feeding book might also be a good thing. Repeat- don't succumb to the temptation to detail strip your 97, as heartbreak results therefrom.
  5. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Well-Known Member


    Thanks for the other tips guys. I'm looking forward to getting it (it's enroute...yay C&R). I'll post some pics once it gets here.

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