April 15, 2005
The only likely source for a replacement barrel would be to find another complete gun from that same time period. Another safety issue for a 16-ga Model 1897 of that time period, is the fact that the chamber length is only 2-9/16". It is not safe to shoot them with modern manufactured 16-ga shells (2-3/4").
In regards to the barrel removal, all 16-ga Model 1897 shotguns were made with the Take Down feature, which allows the barrel assembly to be unlocked and removed from the receiver frame with a 1/4 turn (twist). I suspect that the Take Down feature on your gun is not properly locked in place. I highly recommend that you take the gun to a qualified gun smith and have him inspect the gun.
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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