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1897 shotgun, mfg 1917
February 21, 2015
1:21 am
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California
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 Can this year of manufactured shotgun be shot safely with todays ammo ?

Winchester Model 1897 Pump Action Shotgun,  12 ga., barrel cut to 19'' Mfg'd 1917. 

February 21, 2015
2:36 am
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Kingston, WA
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Yes, just as long as it is a 2-3/4" shell.

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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February 21, 2015
4:31 am
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Bert,

Was there a specific year the 2 9/16" was discontinued ?

Also, was there a specific year the barrel steel became acceptable to today's shot shells ? 1914 or 15 ?

Bill

February 21, 2015
8:26 am
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Kingston, WA
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Bill,

All Model 1897 12-ga shotguns were chambered for a 2-3/4" shell... right from day one of production in July of 1897. No other shell length was ever made for the 12-ga guns (which is what you asked about).

The barrel steel alloy remained unchanged from July 1897 through end of production in December 1957... again no changes were made.

As long as you do not feed it a regular diet of Magnum shells, you can shoot any standard 12-ga 2-3/4" shell you want to, including those loaded with steel shot. Now, if your barrel was still original (uncut), you would not want to shoot it with steel shot loaded shells.  However, with the barrel cut down to 19-inches, it has no choke constriction what-so-ever, and is perfectly safe to shoot with steel shot.

What are you reading that led you to believe the barrel steel alloy was changed, or that a 2-9/16" chamber was ever made?

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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February 21, 2015
5:51 pm
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Bert, thanks for the data.

Regarding sources, a previous discussion on the M1912  16ga. made in 1913  had the 2 9/16" shell.  The early M1897 16 ga. had 2 9/16" shell.

Blue Book says this:

" MODEL 1897 SLIDE ACTION
12 or 16 ga. (introduced 1900), improved Model 1893 action, 26-32 in. barrels, visible hammer, various chokes, takedown or solid frame, plain pistol grip stock. Over 1,024,700 mfg. between 1897-1957.

Early 16 ga. Model 1897s were chambered for 2 9/16 in. shotshells, and are not as valuable because of the 2 3/4 in. shell length currently manufactured. This model was marked "Model 1897" on the slide action rails until circa 1912 (approx. ser. no. 500,000). After approx. ser. no. 500,000, the marking was moved to the barrel and changed to Model 97. The Model 1897 was the first Winchester shotgun chambered for 2 3/4 in. smokeless ammunition. This model was also manufactured with a damascus barrel for a short period of time, and is rare. "

The damascus statement may be just the 16 ga., but the beginning description says "12 ga or 16 ga. ", and damascus was used. ( but rare ).

Bill

February 21, 2015
8:22 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Bill,

You asked us about a Model 1897 12-gauge...  not about a 16-gauge, and not about a Model 1912.

The Blue Book does a horrible job (in my opinion) of providing clear concise accurate information.  This is my recommendation... spend more time reading your copy of the RED BOOK!  Additionally, it would help if you stayed on topic... focus grasshopper!

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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