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1897 Trench Gun
March 18, 2017
11:39 pm
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I was in a small gun shop last week, and they had a '97 Trench gun for sale for 1500.00. I've never been in a position to get one of these, as this was the first trench gun I've ever found for sale. It looked really good in the rack, but I was in somewhat of a hurry. I asked them if the price was negotiable, and the answer was no. If everything is correct on this gun, wouldn't that be a real bargain? It was actually the only "used" gun in the store! Thanks for any input.

March 19, 2017
12:29 am
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Kingston, WA
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Yes, if it is authentic, the price is exceptionally good.

Bert

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March 19, 2017
12:51 am
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Richard Whitmore said
I was in a small gun shop last week, and they had a '97 Trench gun for sale for 1500.00. I've never been in a position to get one of these, as this was the first trench gun I've ever found for sale. It looked really good in the rack, but I was in somewhat of a hurry. I asked them if the price was negotiable, and the answer was no. If everything is correct on this gun, wouldn't that be a real bargain? It was actually the only "used" gun in the store! Thanks for any input.  

If everything is correct and the stock has proper cartouches, a 95% 97 Trenchgun is a very valuable commodity. Probably worth near $5,000 if in 95% or better condition. A mint one will bring $10,000. Here is a picture of a very mint one.   Big Larry

 

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March 19, 2017
1:03 am
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Early ones do not have any cartouche markings do they? Need to know serial number.

March 19, 2017
2:46 am
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lund2075 said
Early ones do not have any cartouche markings do they? Need to know serial number.  

Model 1897 Trench Guns do not have a cartouche on the butt stock.  Model 97 Trench Guns do have a cartouche, "WB" for the early WW II guns, and "GHD" on the later WW II guns.

Bert

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March 19, 2017
3:59 pm
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Bert H. said

Model 1897 Trench Guns do not have a cartouche on the butt stock.  Model 97 Trench Guns do have a cartouche, "WB" for the early WW II guns, and "GHD" on the later WW II guns.

Bert  

A few have been noted with RS cartouches. Very,very, early M97's. Probably riot guns too as they were produced prior to the trench type. Big Larry

March 19, 2017
5:12 pm
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Larry,

Why do you believe that Model 97 Riot Guns were produced prior to Trench Guns? My research survey on them says otherwise.

Who was "RS"? Do you know what the serial number range for them was?

Bert

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March 19, 2017
10:14 pm
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Robert Sears Chief inspector before Waldemar Broberg. He also inspected the blued M1911A1's at one time. Time frame around 1938-41.

AFAIK, the riots were mfg. long before the trenchguns. A Trenchgun is basically a riot with a handguard. The period between wars saw little production of Trenchguns and the riots were used by many PD's. They had no use for handguards with bayonet adapters. Sure, some had Govt. owned trenchguns, but most removed the handguards and converted them to riots. Those M1897's that came up for sale years ago had most of the guards removed and someone had the presence of mind to keep them. They were reassembled and sold. None had any US markings whatsoever.

Good clean, original handguards for any US Trenchgun, is a hard item to find. They damaged easily and many were removed as not needed.

If my friend, Bruce Canfield were to read this, he would correct any misgivings. No one knows more about the subject than him. I am going on my limited memory as I sold all my US shotguns off years ago. I did have quite a nice collection.  Got but one left.   Big Larry

March 19, 2017
10:37 pm
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Many years ago on the coast of James Bay a fur trader and goose hunt camp owner that I worked for had a Model 12 Trench gun with the hand guard etc. The frame was marked with the flaming grenade and US. It was probably about 90%. He sold it for $ 50 to a native trapper. I tried to buy the gun from the trapper about two years later to carry on my snowmobile for wolf hunting but he had left it in his remote trap cabin with the explanation. "No good no more."  What's left of it is still in the black spruce somewhere! 

March 19, 2017
11:07 pm
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Big Larry said
Robert Sears Chief inspector before Waldemar Broberg. He also inspected the blued M1911A1's at one time. Time frame around 1938-41.

AFAIK, the riots were mfg. long before the trenchguns. A Trenchgun is basically a riot with a handguard. The period between wars saw little production of Trenchguns and the riots were used by many PD's. They had no use for handguards with bayonet adapters. Sure, some had Govt. owned trenchguns, but most removed the handguards and converted them to riots. Those M1897's that came up for sale years ago had most of the guards removed and someone had the presence of mind to keep them. They were reassembled and sold. None had any US markings whatsoever.

Good clean, original handguards for any US Trenchgun, is a hard item to find. They damaged easily and many were removed as not needed.

If my friend, Bruce Canfield were to read this, he would correct any misgivings. No one knows more about the subject than him. I am going on my limited memory as I sold all my US shotguns off years ago. I did have quite a nice collection.  Got but one left.   Big Larry  

Larry,

Again, my research survey indicates that the WW II Riot Guns and Trench Gun production was coincident.  The Riot Gun precedes the Trench Gun for the WW I production.

Bert

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March 19, 2017
11:49 pm
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Thanks for the replies!!! May try to go snag it up after another inspection!

March 20, 2017
5:30 am
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Bert H. said

Larry,

Again, my research survey indicates that the WW II Riot Guns and Trench Gun production was coincident.  The Riot Gun precedes the Trench Gun for the WW I production.

Bert  

At one time, I had a minty M97 riot gun with a 40 dated bbl. It had the early factory sling swivels, the hand applied flaming bomb on the bbl., a WB cartouche with the larger ord. wheel. and no bomb on the receiver. I do not have my notes on my guns. I threw them away. It was the lowest WW2 US Winchester shotgun I ever seen. I sold it for $5,000 lots of years back. I have heard of Riots in the 800,000 range with the RS cartouche.   Big Larry

March 20, 2017
7:38 pm
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Were any of the 1897 Trench Guns Parkerized?

March 20, 2017
7:55 pm
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Ted,

No they were not. Winchester made them with a high polish blued finish. Some of the WW II production Trench Guns were parkerized after WW II during armory rebuilds.

Bert

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March 21, 2017
12:17 am
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Tedk said
Were any of the 1897 Trench Guns Parkerized?  

Actually, no. The only factory parkerized Winchester Trenchguns were very late M12's. Big Larry

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