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1897 action slide stampings
September 7, 2021
12:45 am
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I have an 1897 which was made in 1918 and the action slide is without any of the “Winchester Model 1897” stampings on it.   Most photos I have seen on guns made around this time frame have the action slides with the stamping.   A few do not have it.   Did Winchester manufacture shotguns without the stampings on some shotguns at this time of production or is it likely that the slide on my gun was replaced at some point with a later action slide?

Any thoughts out there?

September 7, 2021
1:28 am
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Kingston, WA
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Bruce,

First, please provide the serial number on the gun in question. 

If do indeed have a 1918 production gun, the original slide bar was marked with a Type 4 or a Type 5 marking as shown in the pictures I have attached.

Bert

Type-4-698902-E-series.jpgImage EnlargerType-5-725330-E-series.jpgImage Enlarger

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September 7, 2021
1:38 am
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Bert,

The serial number is E 684022.  It is a solid frame gun

 

Bruce

September 7, 2021
2:04 am
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Bruce,

April 1918, and it should have the Type 4 marking on the slide bar.

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September 7, 2021
2:09 am
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Bert,

 

Thanks for the information!   Now all I have to do is find a type 4 action slide for this gun.   What was the main reason for one having been changed at some point?   Was this due to breaking or were the later unmarked ones stronger and would someone have “upgraded” it?

 

Also, would you be able to tell me the manufacture date of serial number E 1004427?

 

Bruce

September 7, 2021
3:06 am
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Bruce,

More than likely the entire barrel assembly was swapped on your Model 1897. There are a lot of reasons people swap them, but no way to know why on your gun.

S/N 1004427 was manufactured in July, 1952.

Bert

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September 7, 2021
12:43 pm
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That might explain why the bore on this shotgun is pristine like a mirror.   It was a 32 inch barrel with full choke.

I had Bull Creek Arms do a Trench Gun Conversion recently and now it is a 20 inch barrel with of course the bayonet lug mount and heat shield and sling swivels, one of which is beautifully inlet into the stock.

The front stock is not the three screw version, its the no screw stock which is stronger; that is what came with the gun.   The chamber was reamed to accept plastic shells vs. only paper.   Tom went through the entire gun and it’s in really nice shape.  I left the original finish intact as it is about 90 percent with some wear on the receiver from carrying.  The original walnut stock was in excellent condition only it had 103 years of gun oil/hand oil build up.   Since I do a lot of woodworking and furniture work I decided to rub the wood for several hours with rubbing alcohol to remove the old build up and brought it down to the original wood.  Once down to the original wood, I started to apply Bush’s Oil which is a fine hand rubbing oil finish for furniture which will build and create a nice satin finish.   I put about 5 coats of Bush oil on the stocks, fine steel wool passes between coats and then let it cure/dry for 24 hours.   It came out like a fine high grade gun from the factory.

Tom did some work on the bluing of the heat shield/bayonet lug to wear it in normal wear spots to match the finish on the rest of the gun.  When I got it, I polished out any casting marks on the bottom of the bayonet lug mount to look like the originals which were machine finished and then I blued it.  I am pretty happy with the outcome all around.

Bert do you have any photos of the barrel markings from a 1918 vintage gun?   I’d like to compare against this barrel to see if perhaps it was replaced with something of a later vintage or if it is the original barrel which came with the solid frame gun.

 

Bruce

September 7, 2021
1:52 pm
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Bruce,

Winchester ceased manufacturing the 3-screw slide handle stocks in when they introduced the “D” series guns.  All “D” and “E” series guns were equipped with the solid (no screws) stocks.

Send me a picture of the barrel markings on your gun.

Bert

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September 7, 2021
1:53 pm
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Bert,

Here is another question with regards to manufacture dating on the 97:   I have found many of the lists online are not very good for dates of production.

The one site I did find which was good was the Winchester site which has a pdf file for many models they produced with the dates of manufacture.   It stated that some of the ranges are ‘estimates’ as the records didn’t exist.   The dates listed for serial numbers such as my gun which was listed as 1918 and you confirmed from your sources as April of 1918, so that is accurate.   The serial number of 1004427 falls into the area of the list where they say the records are not complete, but they listed this serial number as manufacture date of 1954.  Your message lists it as July 1952.  Are you working from a more complete list vs. what Winchester has in their pdf file?  Or would either list be more of an estimated production date?  I am hoping 1954 is the more accurate date 🙂

 

Bruce

September 7, 2021
2:10 pm
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Bruce,

The .pdf list you found on the “Winchester” website is grossly in error for many of the models listed on it. The truth of the matter is that the “Winchester” website is owned and operated by the Browning Arms Company, and for the most part, the list they have is a carbon copy of the DOM tables published decades ago by George Madis. It was not derived from the actual (original) Winchester records (now in the archives at the Cody Firearms Museum). So Yes, I am working from a “more complete” list. Based on my personal review of the original factory records, S/N 1004715 was the last Model 97 manufactured on July 31, 1952.

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September 7, 2021
2:37 pm
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Bert,

Is the ‘corrected’ list posted in any of the resource pages ?

Bruce

September 7, 2021
2:43 pm
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Bruce Marton said
Bert,

Is the ‘corrected’ list posted in any of the resource pages ?

Bruce  

Dates | Winchester Collector

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