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Old June 11, 2014, 07:34 PM   #1
loose noose
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'97 Winchester at LGS

I've just checked out a Winchester Model '97 at my LGS, he's asking $400.00 the bluing on the barrel appears to be about 85% and the receiver is fairly well patina, but no rust. The action is very smooth. The stock shows some wear, but not excessive, no cracks, chips or anything to deter from it. The barrel is (appears) full length and is full choked so I doubt that it was ever cut etc.

Now my question is should I get it at that price, or is that kind of high? It definitely could use some TLC.
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Old June 11, 2014, 07:38 PM   #2
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Those are really nice guns.

I can't help you on price, but if you do buy it, do please make sure the sear is in good shape. Get the gun checked out by a pro and repair as necessary.
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Old June 11, 2014, 07:46 PM   #3
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If it's as good as it sounds like?

Buy it post-haste!

They are few and far between in good condition anymore!

rc
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Old June 11, 2014, 07:55 PM   #4
243winxb
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Winchester M97

There are 27 for sale here, starting at $450 http://www.gunsinternational.com/Win...cfm?cat_id=788 They didnt bring this much before the Cowboy action shooting started. The ejector spring is easy to break, but it was a quick repair on the one i pick up years ago.
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Old June 11, 2014, 10:20 PM   #5
loose noose
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I got the serial number just a little while ago it is 202XXX which would have had it made between 1902-1903. Now is that 2 3/4" or is it 2 5/8"?
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Old June 11, 2014, 10:36 PM   #6
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My understanding is all 97 12 ga were 2 3/4".

The 16 ga were the ones short chambered then.

Same with Model 12's and Browning A-5's.

But, I could be wrong.

rc
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Old June 12, 2014, 10:19 AM   #7
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I thank you RC, in fact I'll be heading back down to that LGS to get that shotgun just as soon as it opens 0930 hours this morning. And thanks to all the other people that contributed, I'll be posting pictures just as soon as I get it back here.
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Old June 12, 2014, 03:58 PM   #8
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Went down to my LGS and picked up that gun, looked down the bore and it looked fairly smooth using a bore light. Got it home and took the pictures, not bad as you can see below.

DSCN1016.jpg

DSCN1017.jpg

DSCN1018.jpg

DSCN1019.jpg
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Old June 12, 2014, 04:45 PM   #9
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A sweet one for sure.

Be sure to get that sear checked!
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Old June 12, 2014, 06:39 PM   #10
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Thanks Moxie, I already completely disassembled it and every thing checked ok even the sear. Will take it out in the early morning and shoot it, (low base trap loads) as it is now 110 degrees out here. Be glad when winter gets here. Also I ran some dummy rounds thru it and they all cycled perfectly, so I think I'm in business. It sure had a lot of hard plastic in the bore just forward of the chamber, but I got all that out.
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Old June 12, 2014, 07:51 PM   #11
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Super!
With a worn sear, hammer cocked, a slight jolt can set that 97 off.
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Old June 12, 2014, 08:05 PM   #12
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Well at least with plastic wad residue in the barrel, you know somebody has been shooting 2 3/4" shells in it without incident.

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Old June 12, 2014, 08:37 PM   #13
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Takedown?

I have one from the 40's that is tighter'n dick's hatband. I shoot trap with it since it's a 32" full choke barrel and I can't hunt ducks with it anymore since it's not able to use steel shot. Beautiful guns, work of 19th century art
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Old June 13, 2014, 12:58 PM   #14
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Took the '97 out this morning 0630 (the temperature was already 85 degrees) shot some hand thrown trap thru my Trius One Step, hit all 10 with out a hitch. Problem is that thing sure does kick with that steel butt plate, but I'm going to leave it on as it gives it character. Note I was only using low base 1 ounce loads of number 8 shot. Any way I'm quite pleased with that little shotgun.
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Old June 13, 2014, 04:06 PM   #15
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loose noose: IMHO I think You got a deal on a great Shotgun. I think mine fit`s me as good or better than any shotgun, I have ever used. And I think a 97 WIN is one of the best looking and working shotguns ever made. I hunt with mine several time a year and love to shoot a few clay birds with it when I can. I am happy for You.
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Old June 13, 2014, 05:05 PM   #16
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Here is a little food for thought. i have a couple of the 1897s. one made in 1926. My gunsmith friend checked the chamber to see of it was short, and it was a tad shorter than it needed to be for 2 3/4". Doesnt mean yours is, but i had heard this was not uncommon.

He took a chamber reamer and lengthened it a bit to where it should be for modern smokeless shells. I was not worried about it on my 1897 made in the early 50s, but the mid-20s one i had checked out for piece of mind. now i use it and enjoy shooting it.
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Old June 13, 2014, 08:29 PM   #17
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Looks great, I've always wanted one of those.
Quote:
shot some hand thrown trap thru my Trius One Step
Never seen that trick before
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Old June 13, 2014, 09:32 PM   #18
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I should have clarified, foot thrown trap, as I do have to step on it in order to get to function.
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Old June 14, 2014, 10:17 AM   #19
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The term slam fire originated with the 97. I have one that belonged to my dad (1917) in about the same condition. Mine has 2 barrels that came from the factory as SN's match the receiver, a common option as many people used them as slug guns for deer. I'm sure you know that it is possible to fire the gun on the forward stroke with pressure on the trigger. Don't do that. If the chamber is 2 5/8" it won't matter if you use 2 3/4" shells. It's been proven by tests that short chambers increase chamber pressure by only about 10% max. If you have a 8000 psi load, your PSI increase will be about 800 or less. Try to stay below 9000 psi. Be safe.

http://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/...r=35050&page=1

http://doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbt...11&type=thread

I don't pay a lot of attention to prices but I think you did fine.

Last edited by CoalTrain49; June 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM.
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Old June 14, 2014, 02:07 PM   #20
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I don't intend to shoot anything but low base dove and quail loads, and occasionally my 7/8-1oz. trap loads, so far the 2 3/4" shells seem to work perfectly fine as far as ejecting, and feeding, and firing goes. Note when I disassembled the receiver I found a lot of dried oil/grease and whatever, inside but no rust. I'm seriously thinking about completely restoring this gun to like new condition, as I have no intentions of ever selling it.

Further I noted that most model 12's and model 97's need a forend wrench to get the fore piece off, mine is simply attached via 3 screws, kind of neat, if I do say so myself. I guess that was the advanced ingenuity of 1902-1903.
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Old June 15, 2014, 01:29 PM   #21
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Tell me what is the opinions from the collectors of completely restoring this arm to like new condition?
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Old June 15, 2014, 01:35 PM   #22
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IMO: That ones a little far gone in the finish department to make a whole lot of difference collector wise if you refinish it.

I have done a lot of similar condition Winchester .22 pumps for a friend & myself, but not refinish them.
Just card all the rust and dried oil off.

The 'Grey Ghost" look of a well used but perfectly operating old gun has a certain appeal to me.

See this about that:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...highlight=1890


If you do it, make sure the refinisher knows you don't want a high-gloss polished 'Weatherby" bluing job and high gloss stock finish.

There is a guy here in Kansas who does that to every old Winchester he gets hold of, then tries to sell them at gun shows at inflated prices.
And they look simply horrid!

rc
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Last edited by rcmodel; June 15, 2014 at 01:42 PM.
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Old June 15, 2014, 01:45 PM   #23
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The reason the '97 (and clones) is so venerated in Cowboy matches is because it is the only repeater allowed.
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Old June 15, 2014, 01:49 PM   #24
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Yea!
And then they use it as a single-shot and manually load it each shot.

rc
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Old June 15, 2014, 06:43 PM   #25
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Believer me I'm quite aware of the Cowboy Action Shooters, it's actually called a "tactical reload". The bluing I'm going to have done with a local gunsmith, I'll do all the polishing etc, as I know the better the polishing the higher the gloss. As far as the stock and fore piece go, I'll completely do that myself as I like a satin type finish, in fact I just started the wood, which has some nice character once you get thru the crud build up on it. I've got some Formby's Tung Oil finish that I will use on it when I get it ready.
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