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1897 Tournament Takedown Combo, circa. 1899
December 17, 2020
5:48 pm
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December 17, 2020
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Hello all, and thanks for giving me the opportunity to take advantage of the collective knowledge of this forum,

I have a Model 1897 that I believe has been in my family since its original purchase.  I believe it’s an early Tournament model.  Here’s the particulars:

-Series “C” mark above serial number of 86058 (from what I’ve seen, this probably puts its manufacture in the later half of 1899)

-12 ga takedown model with 28″ Full Choke and 30″ Full Choke barrels;  both barrels have the serial number found on the receiver

-Both the stock and forearm have checkering and are made of select, nicely figured walnut.  The stock also features two black diamond inlays near the receiver end.  

-There is a slight texturing on the rib of the receiver that I am assuming is the “matted surface” featured on Tournament models.

-The receiver features no engraving, and I can find no “Trap” or “Trap Gun” markings on the receiver or bolt slide.

Overall, I would say the gun is in good condition and that it is, for the most part, original.  The only thing that jumps out at me is that one of the magazine/forearm assemblies on one of the barrels appears to be of a later vintage.  I was wondering if anyone knows if both barrels would have been originally fitted with a magazine/forearm assembly when purchased as a two barrel Tournament model combo in 1899.  My first thought was that someone replaced the magazine on that one barrel.  But, then I began considering the possibility that it only came with one magazine/forearm assembly which would be switched over when the barrels were switched.

Also, I was wondering the general value of these Tournament models with matching barrels, particularly an early “C” series like this one.

Jon

December 17, 2020
6:05 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Hello Jon,

The serial number confirms that it was manufactured in the year 1899 (November).  Winchester did not introduce the Tournament grade shotgun until the year 1910.

There are two things that I recommend for you to do;

1.  Contact the Cody Firearms Museum (CFM) records office and obtain a Factory letter – Cody Firearms Records Office – Buffalo Bill Center of the West

2.  Send me a set of clear pictures of the gun and barrel assemblies.  Contact me at – Win1885@msn.com

Bert

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

December 17, 2020
6:41 pm
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December 17, 2020
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Thanks Bert,

I’ll start working to get those records from the CFM right away.  And I’ll send you some photos of the gun when I get a chance to take a few photos of it.

Also, thanks for pointing out that the Tournament grade didn’t come out until 1910.  I just mistakenly assumed my gun fell into that “Tournament” grade or model of the 1897 because that’s the closest thing to it I’ve seen online relative to my gun.

Jon

December 17, 2020
6:51 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Jon,

Does you gun have a Pistol Grip butt stock, or the English style straight grip? What type of butt plate does it have? Do both barrel assemblies have the exact same marking on the side of the slide bar? Pictures of all these areas would be great.

Bert

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

December 17, 2020
9:38 pm
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December 17, 2020
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Bert,

It has the straight grip stock.  The butt plate is a hard, dark brown substance with checkering and a circular Winchester Repeating Arms Co. seal in the middle.  It is nearly 1/3 of an inch thick at the peak of the arch in the middle and tappers down to about 3/16″ at the edges.  I took the butt plate off to look at the back side, and it surprisingly has the appearance of a dense, tropical wood on the back surface even though I initially assumed it was synthetic.  As for the slide bars, the one that I think is original has “Winchester Model 1897′ on it.  The second slide bar, part of the magazine assembly I think is much newer, has no markings.

I just sent ten photos to your email also.

Jon

December 17, 2020
10:37 pm
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Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 11776
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April 15, 2005
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The butt plate is actually hard rubber and was black in color.  They often turn a greenish brown with age.  The second barrel assembly is most likely not original to the gun.  Winchester discontinued marking the slide bars in the mid 1920s (circa serial number 795200).  I will check my email for the pictures.

Bert

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

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