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Win model '97 strength

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by tbob38, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. tbob38

    tbob38 Member

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    Jan 17, 2005
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    Location:
    Utah's Dixie
    I recently checked the mfg date on my 97 and found it was built in 1912. Is this gun strong enough for modern shot shells?
     
  2. darkcloud

    darkcloud Member

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    Unless someone fit a Damascus barrel on it yes.
     
  3. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    Québec
    Which does not mean you can shoot steel through it. I would not.
     
    darkcloud likes this.
  4. darkcloud

    darkcloud Member

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    Steel through an old full choke barrel will ruin the gun in a heartbeat.
     
  5. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    3,594
    Location:
    north central indiana
    Some were chambered for 2 1/2" or 2 9/16" shells, especially the early ones. That has never stopped people from shooting standard 2 3/4" shells through them, but it might be something that needs to be checked. I believe the one I have is a 1931 model and it is 2 3/4", it also has the slightest of a ring or bulge about an inch in front of the barrel attachment point just in front of the forearm. It is so slight that I almost missed it when I looked the gun over initially. Since then I have shot over 4000 rounds through the gun and no additional problems.
     
  6. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Should be easy to research. I know they were used by doughboys in WW2 with buckshot to liquify enemy troops in trenches, those were old brass shells. In fact, they were used by the US military until after VN in some cases.
     
  7. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    On an island in WA.
    I have takedown model with two barrels built in 1917. It has a 2.75" chamber. The last time I shot it was sometime in the 60's. Ammo pressures were about the same back then as they are now. The 97 was designed to use smokeless powder. The only difference is steel shot which should be avoided. I would shoot mine today if I needed to but the old girl is retired.
     
  8. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
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    2,148
    Location:
    Wyoming
    I'm familiar with a very specific failure of a 97 Winchester that happened at a SASS/Cowboy Action Event. The shooter had been reloading his own shot shells using plastic shot cups and black powder. The burn characteristics of black vs. smokeless resulted in melting the shot cups and fusing the residue in the barrel. Eventually the residue raised the pressure enough to split the barrel.

    I have a 97 that I used for SASS matches. It consumed lots of cheap WalMart loads with no problems.
     
    equin and CoalTrain49 like this.
  9. tbob38

    tbob38 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
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    260
    Location:
    Utah's Dixie
    Thanks all. I was wondering if there was any material or heat treating upgrade during the mfg. run. For example S&W began heat treating revolvers about 1919, as I recall.
     
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