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1897 should I remove a poly choke
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February 10, 2022 - 4:21 pm
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Good day to everyone,

I recently came into possession of an 1897 standard shotgun serial number 791343, from what I can tell that would put it as being manufactured in 1927-1928. It is in very good working condition, with the original barrel but it has been cut to 28” and a poly choke installed. I’m wondering what the best course of action would be in regards to this. 

Since the barrel is already cut:

Should I leave it how it is?

Cut the barrel and leave it as cyl and install a bead?

Try to find another barrel, install it and keep the original as is?

Cut the barrel install a screw in choke and have it fully refinished?

I will be using for some target shooting and light hunting (rabbits and dove). 

i don’t want to hurt the original value too much but since it’s already been cut I’m torn on what to do. 

Thank you for any input and opinions.

Tyler

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February 11, 2022 - 4:22 am
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Tyler,

I would be inclined to cut it down to 26-inches and install a correct bead sight on it. Winchester manufactured a fair number of “Brush Guns” which were made with a 26-inch CYL bore barrel.

Bert

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February 11, 2022 - 5:08 am
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Tyler Wadas said
I will be using for some target shooting and light hunting (rabbits and dove). 
 

In that case, why not leave it alone, for the time being at least?  If your intention is to shoot it, not sell it, the Polychoke serves a useful purpose. Don’t think you want a Cyl. bore for dove hunting! 

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February 11, 2022 - 3:07 pm
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Thank you both for the replies.

I do intend to shoot it. To me a nice gun that doesn’t do what it’s made for is sad. Unless it’s a mint collectors piece which this is not.

 

My father had an old shotgun with a poly choke and it didn’t ever seem to pattern well so I don’t have too much faith in them but maybe this one will pattern better. And yes for dove Cyl. bore world be far from ideal. I suppose if it doesn’t pattern well I’ll cut it to 26” like Bert suggested and figure it out from there. Also, seems like installing a screw in choke is not a popular idea (didn’t really want to do this anyway).

Another question though, any opinions on lengthening the forcing cone? I’ve read conflicting things about this from being necessary and/or helpful in reducing chamber pressure in these older shotguns to reduce stress and wear to being completely unnecessary and makes no difference whatsoever.

Is there anything else I should be aware of or look out for?

 

Thanks again fellas,

Tyler

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February 11, 2022 - 5:10 pm
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Tyler Wadas said
 Also, seems like installing a screw in choke is not a popular idea (didn’t really want to do this anyway).
 

It might increase the versatility of the gun, but it would DEFINITELY hurt its value.  I wouldn’t expect a Polychoke to deliver patterns as good as a swaged choke, but it does give you some control of the pattern.  First shotgun I owned had one, & it used to give me a great feeling of confidence (even if I was deceiving myself!) to “dial-in” for the range I wanted. 

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February 11, 2022 - 6:00 pm
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Tyler Wadas said
Thank you both for the replies.

I do intend to shoot it. To me a nice gun that doesn’t do what it’s made for is sad. Unless it’s a mint collectors piece which this is not.

 

My father had an old shotgun with a poly choke and it didn’t ever seem to pattern well so I don’t have too much faith in them but maybe this one will pattern better. And yes for dove Cyl. bore world be far from ideal. I suppose if it doesn’t pattern well I’ll cut it to 26” like Bert suggested and figure it out from there. Also, seems like installing a screw in choke is not a popular idea (didn’t really want to do this anyway).

Another question though, any opinions on lengthening the forcing cone? I’ve read conflicting things about this from being necessary and/or helpful in reducing chamber pressure in these older shotguns to reduce stress and wear to being completely unnecessary and makes no difference whatsoever.

Is there anything else I should be aware of or look out for?

 

Thanks again fellas,

Tyler  

The fact that it has a poly choke has already hurt the collector value.  If you cut the barrel it will be a cylinder bore.  A cowboy action gunsmith can do any of the work you want.  They used to cut these down, re-install the bead and then install screw in chokes.  You never did tell us what choke the barrel was originally?  I assume Full.  Like Bert said a 26″ barrel was one of the original lengths. 

I have shot a lot of lead shot in my 97’s without any modifications.  These barrels aren’t for use with steel shot.

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February 11, 2022 - 6:50 pm
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Appreciate the responses,

 I’m going to test the pattern soon as I can and give the poly choke a fair shot.

 Yes it was a full choke before being cut.

I know it already took a hit when the poly choke was installed and it’s not a collector’s item. It’s probably only of interest to people like me who just like to hunt with and shoot old guns and those into CAS. It’s very doubtful that I will ever sell it though. I don’t tend to part with guns too often, so I guess anything I do is mostly value to me. I do like to keep things as original as possible though it’s not quite original anymore. If the poly choke doesn’t work out I’ll cut it to 26” and go from there.

 Any other advice or recommendations are always appreciated.

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February 11, 2022 - 9:23 pm
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Tyler Wadas said  It’s very doubtful that I will ever sell it though.

Just in case you change your mind, you might be able to pick up a replacement brl. that would restore the gun to its full value; whereas any money spent on further mods would be hard to recover.  Here’s one that I think is overpriced, but if you put in a saved-search for one, you could probably find something cheaper, esp. since you’re not in a hurry.  Or offer the seller $200 & see what happens.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/275155584505?hash=item40108d05f9:g:chkAAOSwAFth~voT

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February 11, 2022 - 10:14 pm
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I was thinking about finding another uncut barrel, I saw that one, that I could put on it to bring it back to more original but most I’ve seen the finish won’t match. Is having it refinished (blued) a good idea.

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February 11, 2022 - 11:57 pm
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Tyler Wadas said
I was thinking about finding another uncut barrel, I saw that one, that I could put on it to bring it back to more original but most I’ve seen the finish won’t match. Is having it refinished (blued) a good idea.  

Yes, that’s always a problem when using replacement parts.  But refinishing opens up another can of worms.  I think if you keep looking on ebay, using a saved search, one that would be a better match will turn up, if you’re patient. 

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February 12, 2022 - 12:35 am
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First thing I would do is pattern it and see how it shoots.  The cost involved is a couple of shells.  I know of a gunbroker seller who would chop your gun down to 20 inches and sell it for more than the same gun with a full length barrel – with no polychoke!  I know this defies convention wisdom.  However, surely we can agree that there are a great many gunbroker buyers who are in complete defiance of conventional wisdom.

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February 12, 2022 - 12:56 am
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Shoot it, have some fun. If you like the way it shoots, great! If not you can get it cut down as described above, a 26” Cyl bore gun would be fun for skeet and maybe quail. 

 

 

Mike

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February 12, 2022 - 1:20 am
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steve004 said  However, surely we can agree that there are a great many gunbroker buyers who are in complete defiance of conventional wisdom.  

“Wisdom”?  I think you meant intelligence.

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