Avatar
Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon
Inter-war M1897 in trench gun configuration?
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
March 20, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
March 20, 2023 - 10:59 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Dear Esteemed Winchester Gurus. 

Now that I’m registered as a guest hopefully my question will get posted this time. 

I’m looking at an M1897 with 20” barrel; heat shield attached correctly (floating at the receiver end); bayonet lug which appears to be factory fitted (3 screws) and which supports the end of the tube magazine as it should; no sign of a previous magazine band on either barrel or mag tube (i.e. no sign it used to have one before bayo lug being fitted).

And yet it has no military proofs or cartouches (no U.S., no WB, no ordnance bomb), and the serial number (E 7342xx) makes it 1924 by my source (though some of you guys quote date ranges that differ from my source, either way it’s definitely inter-war).

That serial number is very close to another guy who posted here about his “WWI” (and also “WWII”) “trench guns”, which the resident gurus here dismissed as fake. But his had loads of military proofs (y’all said to be fake) whereas the one I’m talking about has none. Like it’s not claiming to be one yet definitely looks like one (less the markings). 

And in this forum I’ve read there were no trench gun variants made between 1919 to 1942 anyway so how could there be a trench gun with or without military proofs, dated around 1924?

So either it’s a good fake with a lot of trouble taken to cut the barrel, add a bayonet lug, alter the magazine tube and erase all evidence of the standard commercial barrel / tube band, but for some reason they didn’t go the final much easier step and add fake markings. 

Or, maybe it’s a RIOT gun not a TRENCH gun – but I can’t find any reference to riot guns having the exact same configuration as trench guns, including the bayonet lug. Did police forces really fit bayonets to riot guns? Police making bayonet charges would have been controversial, surely?!

Only other thing I can think of is maybe Winchester made trench guns inter-war for the National Guard and maybe those didn’t get the military proofs like a regular military contract?  Or made them for overseas military orders, without the US proofs?

Any help gratefully appreciated!

Best,

Tim

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4528
Member Since:
March 31, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
March 20, 2023 - 5:13 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

You really need to post some pictures.  If you are not using the “When Was Your Gun Made under Resources” you may not be getting the correct production date.  734299 was made in 1920.  The records that are from this website are from the Winchester records in the Cody Firearms Museum.  Not someones best guess.

Anything is possible because these guns can bring a lot of money.  Easiest way is your 2nd guess.  Start with a riot gun and add the trench gun features.  If you take the heat shield and bayonet lug off an original trench gun barrel it will have notches on the underside of the barrel to hold the (I’m sort of guessing here) either the bayonet lug or the heat shield in place. 

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 2297
Member Since:
December 31, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
March 20, 2023 - 7:32 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Riot guns had a brass bead front sight. Also a device to screw the upper band into. Very hard to hide these features. Trench bbls. are devoid of these features although some WW2 Trenchguns had the beads factory ground off, but still had no device to screw an upper band into. There are more fakes out there compared to the real deal. FWIW, some pre WW2 civilian Trenchguns had brass buttpates.  Big Larry

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 104
Member Since:
November 26, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
March 20, 2023 - 9:01 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Does the barrel have these takedown notches?  If so, it’s a riot barrel.  The trench gun barrels do not have these notches.

M97_takedown-barrel-notch.jpgImage Enlarger

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 2297
Member Since:
December 31, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
March 21, 2023 - 12:41 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Civilian-M97-Trenchgun.jpgImage EnlargerA civilian between the wars Trenchgun. Made in the 30s.    Big Larry

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
March 20, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
March 21, 2023 - 10:55 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Chuck said
You really need to post some pictures.  If you are not using the “When Was Your Gun Made under Resources” you may not be getting the correct production date.  734299 was made in 1920.  The records that are from this website are from the Winchester records in the Cody Firearms Museum.  Not someones best guess.

Anything is possible because these guns can bring a lot of money.  Easiest way is your 2nd guess.  Start with a riot gun and add the trench gun features.  If you take the heat shield and bayonet lug off an original trench gun barrel it will have notches on the underside of the barrel to hold the (I’m sort of guessing here) either the bayonet lug or the heat shield in place. 

  

Thank you so much Chuck, appreciate that.

Can’t post photos as a guest, I’m considering becoming a paid member.

So my actual E 734242 is also 1920? Or could it fall into late 1919?  I read in this forum WWI trench gun production went right up to Armistice Day?

Yes I had also read in a book that the trick is to take off the bayonet lug and check for those channels in the barrel for its 3 screws. I will see if the seller is open to that. 

Thanks

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
March 20, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
March 21, 2023 - 11:05 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Big Larry said
Riot guns had a brass bead front sight. Also a device to screw the upper band into. Very hard to hide these features. Trench bbls. are devoid of these features although some WW2 Trenchguns had the beads factory ground off, but still had no device to screw an upper band into. There are more fakes out there compared to the real deal. FWIW, some pre WW2 civilian Trenchguns had brass buttpates.  Big Larry

  

Many thanks Big Larry, and your historic posts elsewhere in this forum have also been most helpful. That’s two more things for me to look out for tomorrow when I go for a second look. Can’t tell from the photos I took the other day if those features are present or not. I forgot to mention this gun is NOT a takedown (a good sign) and also has the CYL stamp (also a good sign), BUT looking at my photo of it on its side I think the heat shield is only 4 rows of holes, maybe 5 (bad sign).  It should be 6 for a TRENCH, yes? Did the RIOT version even have a heat shield at all?  Let alone one wIth 4 or 5 rows?  Let alone a bayonet lug?!

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
March 20, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
March 21, 2023 - 11:11 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Tom D said
Does the barrel have these takedown notches?  If so, it’s a riot barrel.  The trench gun barrels do not have these notches.

M97_takedown-barrel-notch.jpgImage Enlarger

  

Thanks Tom! Something else to look for tomorrow. I didn’t notice any takedown features, like the button thing end of magazine tube to twist that off, not the join in the receiver where a take down comes apart, like you see in the regular long barrel commercial models. Hard to tell which part of the barrel your photo shows but I’ll look for notches! Appreciate it! Go well. 

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
March 20, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
March 21, 2023 - 11:30 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Big Larry said
Civilian-M97-Trenchgun.jpgImage EnlargerA civilian between the wars Trenchgun. Made in the 30s.    Big Larry

  

Thanks again Big Larry. So civilian trench guns did exist? Even with heat shield and bayonet lug?? Now I’m hopeful again it may be legitimate (only non-military issue which is a shame but it will do for now).

Yes your one looks much the same as the one I’m looking to buy, including the sling swivels, and you also seem to only have 4 or 5 rows of holes not 6? Looking good for me.  You have the brass buttplate though unlike “mine” which is the black plastic embossed Winchester Repeating Arms etc. 

BTW I love that your bayos have the correct old model scabbards. “Mine” is selling with a correct Remington M1917 bayonet, but with a WWII era OD plastic scabbard (though it is stamped M1917 which is odd). 

Mine also comes with an M1907 leather sling (as in M1903 Springfield or M1 Garand) – albeit marked BOYT 42. Is that even the correct sling type for a military trench gun?

Thanks again Big L – you rock. 
Tim

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
March 20, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
March 21, 2023 - 11:33 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Tim Walton said

Big Larry said

Civilian-M97-Trenchgun.jpgImage EnlargerA civilian between the wars Trenchgun. Made in the 30s.    Big Larry

  

Thanks again Big Larry. So civilian trench guns did exist? Even with heat shield and bayonet lug?? Now I’m hopeful again it may be legitimate (only non-military issue which is a shame but it will do for now).

Yes your one looks much the same as the one I’m looking to buy, including the sling swivels, and you also seem to only have 4 or 5 rows of holes not 6? Looking good for me.  You have the brass buttplate though unlike “mine” which is the black plastic embossed Winchester Repeating Arms etc. 

BTW I love that your bayos have the correct old model scabbards. “Mine” is selling with a correct Remington M1917 bayonet, but with a WWII era OD plastic scabbard (though it is stamped M1917 which is odd). 

Mine also comes with an M1907 leather sling (as in M1903 Springfield or M1 Garand) – albeit marked BOYT 42. Is that even the correct sling type for a military trench gun?

Thanks again Big L – you rock. 

Tim

  

(Oh… forgot to add… if mine is a 1920 version of yours… an inter-war civilian trench gun – which I wasn’t sure existed – and if original not fake or modified from a riot gun… then what value / price would you guys put on it…?) 

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 2297
Member Since:
December 31, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
March 21, 2023 - 3:19 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Original Winchester Trenchguns from any era can bring big bucks. The US marked WW1 M1897 will bring big bucks. I sold one for $13,500, that was drippy mint. I sold an Ithaca WW2 M37 Trenchgun for $17,500. When I collected these, the only one I didn’t have was a WW1 Rem. M10. No mid war guns. All were WW1 and WW2. Over the years I bought a few fakes, before good books came out on the subject. Mr. Canfields are the best. Hard to make a judgement call on your gun without seeing it. BTW, don’t knock the Rem. M1917 bayonets. The 1918 dated Rems. are the scarcest. The WW2 scabbards are very hard to find too. WW2 Pouches and brass ammo are very pricey as well. Watch for fake pouches. They can run to $300+.   Big Larry

Avatar
Kingston, WA
Admin
Forum Posts: 10641
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
March 21, 2023 - 4:39 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Tim,

Model 1897 S/N 734242 was manufactured September 10th, 1920.  It is positively not a WW I Trench Gun.  Winchester did manufacture a very small number of inter-war Trench Guns for Police and Prison contracts.  The majority of that small number of guns will be found with markings indicating what entity owned them, and I would expect to find them equipped with a bronze butt plate.

Your gun (based on the serial number) is extremely likely to be an intentionally built Fake Trench Gun.  Is your Model 1897 a Solid frame or a Take Down?

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4528
Member Since:
March 31, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
March 21, 2023 - 6:00 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Early trench guns had 6 rows of holes on the heat shield.   Some early WW II had 6 rows but most had 4.

 

Hey Big Larry.  I have a 1917 Rem bayonet that I would gladly trade for a Winchester.

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 2297
Member Since:
December 31, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
March 21, 2023 - 6:49 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Over the years, I have had them all. Even the Viet Nam issue that appears to be unfinished. My last M97 Trenchgun was shipped in 1943 and I put together most all the optional bits and pieces that are used with them. I have a minty Winchester bayonet with a WW1 scabbard, a 1943 JQMD shotgun shell pouch, a box of paper US 12 gauge 00 buck, and a box of WW2 US  brass 00 buck. I gave my US cleaning rod away many years ago. Even with some ridiculous offers for my M97, I have held off selling it. This and a genuine USMC M1903 are the only US guns I own. All gone.   Big Larry 

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 2297
Member Since:
December 31, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
March 21, 2023 - 6:53 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Oh, I forgot. A real nice Inland M1A1 carbine with jump case. It’s going to my Grandson when he moves from Calif. They are illegal there. Big Larry

Avatar
Kingston, WA
Admin
Forum Posts: 10641
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16
March 21, 2023 - 6:56 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Chuck said
Early trench guns had 6 rows of holes on the heat shield.   Some early WW II had 6 rows but most had 4.

 

Hey Big Larry.  I have a 1917 Rem bayonet that I would gladly trade for a Winchester.

  

Chuck,

Approximately 50% of the WW II Trench Guns had the 6-row holed heat shield, and 100% of the “early” WW II Trench Guns were so equipped.

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4528
Member Since:
March 31, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17
March 21, 2023 - 7:06 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Very cool stuff Larry.  I have some Military stuff from the Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish American War, WW I and WW II. I have a jump bag for a M1 Garand.  Most of what I have is Army except the Navy issued Lee rifle that could have been used in Cuba, the Philippines and other Pacific Islands by the Navy or Marines.  

I live in Ca. too.  I have a Carbine and 2 Garands.  All 3 are registered in Ca. Why would yours be illegal? I haven’t kept up on the latest determination on magazines of the era that can hold more than 10 rounds though.  Illegal then not then????  I use 10 rounders at the range but nobody checks.

Avatar
Member
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
March 20, 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18
March 21, 2023 - 7:17 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Bert H. said
Tim,

Model 1897 S/N 734242 was manufactured September 10th, 1920.  It is positively not a WW I Trench Gun.  Winchester did manufacture a very small number of inter-war Trench Guns for Police and Prison contracts.  The majority of that small number of guns will be found with markings indicating what entity owned them, and I would expect to find them equipped with a bronze butt plate.

Your gun (based on the serial number) is extremely likely to be an intentionally built Fake Trench Gun.  Is your Model 1897 a Solid frame or a Take Down?

Bert

  

Thanks Bert. Yes it’s starting to look that way, made to look WWII with the 4 row shield and the WWII dated sling and the WWII scabbard. It’s solid frame not takedown, if that makes a difference to fake or genuine inter-war police or prison contract? Oh I guess if so would be six holes still. 
Thanks again, much appreciated. 
Tim

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4528
Member Since:
March 31, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19
March 21, 2023 - 7:22 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

WW I stocks did not have the flutes and were solid frames.  WW II stocks have the flutes and were takedowns.

Avatar
Kingston, WA
Admin
Forum Posts: 10641
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20
March 21, 2023 - 7:27 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Tim,

The 4-row heat shields were introduced mid-way through the WW II production run.  Based on the configuration you mention, your Model 1897 is definitely not factory original.

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

Forum Timezone: UTC 0
Most Users Ever Online: 778
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
clarence: 6168
TXGunNut: 4889
Chuck: 4528
1873man: 4270
steve004: 4108
Big Larry: 2297
twobit: 2284
TR: 1699
mrcvs: 1673
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 17
Topics: 12526
Posts: 108827

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1731
Members: 8738
Moderators: 4
Admins: 3
Navigation