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Brownells Retro Idea

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by giggitygiggity, May 19, 2019.

  1. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

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    Seeing how Brownells seems to be taking the gun industry by storm with their Retro Line, I think they should create a retro 1897 Trench Gun. I know companies (Norinco, etc) have cloned the 1897 in the past, but they did a poor job or are no longer imported.

    I’d pay probably $1000 for a reliable clone (heat shield, bayonet lug, slamfire capable, etc). So far, it seems like Brownells has been mostly true to original specs, their guns have received favorable reviews, and while their retro guns might be a couple hundred dollars more than a modern gun with similar capabilities, it beats paying a premium for a real McCoy or Frankensteining a bunch of old parts that you salvaged in hopes of making a respectable clone (at least in my opinion).

    Anyways, would anyone else be interested in an 1897 Trench Gun enter Brownells Retro Line?
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    i would and just the normal 1897 to.
     
  3. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Before I ever tried to produce anything that specialized I would want a list of pre-paid reservations.
     
  4. Dustbowl

    Dustbowl Member

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    I understand the cool factor of a 1897 trench, have handled a real deal one before and they ooze cool. Dunno if I would pay too much for one but I know some people that would pony up in a heartbeat. But I could see a “Home Defense” 1897 trench in my future.
     
  5. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    I once had a near-mint U.S.issue '97 trench gun. I wasn't very impressed with it. It seemed to me that it wasn't rugged enough for the trenches. (Judging from the exposed hammer, blued finish, slim stock, etc.) It's something that would belong better in the Spanish-American War era than in WW1.
     
  6. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    As a trench gun, I think the Stevens 520/620 was superior in design if not in numbers produced. Can even be slam fired. Even though it began production in 1909 I believe it was never officially used in WWI. Like the humpback too.

    As to producing an 1897 clone, I think their time, R&D, and resources are much better served with a AR based product line. We all know why it is much easier and more profitable to stick with this.

    Maybe if they were able to buy Norinco’s tooling and assembly line (I know) instead of having to start from scratch.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  7. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    It accounted for itself quite nicely in WWI, so well, that Germans protested that it was inhumane under the Hague Conventions. On the line, a few U.S. troops using them were subject to battlefield executions by Germans who captured them. Like snipers, shotgunners were regarded as not quite cricket compared with the honest machine gun, rifle, pistols, and bayonets. When engaged in trench warfare, the 1897 shotguns did quite well including keeping the trigger back and chain firing to clear a trench. It was also used against the Moros in the Philippines with significant success.
     
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  8. Thunderchicken

    Thunderchicken Member

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    The only meaning of “slam fire” I’m familiar with doesn’t make sense here. Can someone explain what slam firing a shotgun means? Thanks.
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    It means you can hold the trigger down and cycle the slide and it will fire each time the bolt closes without your releasing the trigger between shots to reset the hammer or unlock the bolt.
     
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  10. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    And it’s an interesting novelty and brings along some fun nostalgia since no pump guns have this feature anymore without modifications....but it is highly over rated as a “feature”.

    I believe Ithaca 37s May have been the last production gun to have that feature and they changed that in the mid 70s IIRC.
     
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  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    boom boom

    Yes indeed those poor defenseless Germans; the same people who brought you unrestricted submarine warfare, poison gas, flamethrowers, and Gotha bombers and Zeppelin terror attacks! The Germans trying to invoke the restrictions of the Hague Convention was hypocrisy at it's highest level!

    I believe the Secretary of War Newton Baker put the Germans on notice that if any U.S. soldier was executed for having a shotgun or shotgun shells, a similar fate would befall an equal number of German prisoners of war. As far as I know the Germans never carried out their threat.
     
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  12. 40-82

    40-82 Member

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    I love the old '97. I have a solid frame made in '98. It was a bit dirty when I bought, which meant I had to take it apart and get a good look at the action while doing it. As much as I love it, the '97 probably isn't the gun the Model 12 is. The '97 just has too many parts.

    Still, it will run, and run fast. It was good enough that Winchester kept it in production until the 50's.

    Trench warfare theory was that in the close quarters, a small automatic like the Fabrique Nationale version of the little Colt M .380 was just ideal. Then the Americans showed up with the '97 Winchester. I think, even if you're not a student of history, that you can guess how well those little European autos fared against a doughboy with a '97.
     
    boom boom likes this.
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