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Model 97 trench gun project
March 21, 2013
8:31 pm
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WACA Member
Forum Posts: 99
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February 10, 2007
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Hello, Winchester folk,

I’ve taken on the project of conserving a 1917 vintage M97 trench gun, on behalf of one of our local "Calguns" group.

This one has a provenance of many years’ use as a prison guard weapon, apparently given to the prison staff member upon his retirement, and since given to its present owner. It is generally in good condition, but has some problems.

Its a solid frame, as all the WW1 trench guns were (according to the references I’ve found so far, anyway)

Unfortunately, it was mis-handled at some point, and the stop screw for the mag tube became loose, the mag tube itself became loose, and the mag tube threads were scarred, as the tube was dragged out past the stop screw.

The original bayonet lug/handguard assembly was replaced by a shop-made mag tube band, which wasn’t made correctly, and allowed the mag tube to loosen relative to the barrel. The mag plug screw is missing.

Would anyone know of a source for a magazine tube, WRA P/N 13897 and mag plug screw P/N 15397 in good serviceable condition?

I looked up M97 parts on the Numrich site, and noticed that they offer a ‘reproduction’ bayonet lug/handguard assembly. Has anyone seen that part, and, if so, are they of acceptable quality?

Alternatively, has anyone bored out a magazine band for the standard or riot version of the solid-frame M97 to accept the larger diameter of the trench gun barrel? I know this would seem an incorrect repair, but, if feasible, would have the M97 ‘functional and preserved’ for display in the context of its civilian use.

cheers

Carla

March 21, 2013
9:15 pm
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December 3, 2012
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You should use period-correct parts if possible. Folks round here get knots in thier stomachs when you start talking about reproduction parts for iconic firearms. There are plenty of m1897 collectors here, hope they can part ways with the hardware you seek.

good luck

March 21, 2013
10:55 pm
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Ken S. said
You should use period-correct parts if possible. Folks round here get knots in thier stomachs when you start talking about reproduction parts for iconic firearms. There are plenty of m1897 collectors here, hope they can part ways with the hardware you seek. good luck

Hi, Ken,

Yes, I understand, and surely wouldn’t want anyone to have their stomach upset.

I have the impression that trying to find an authentic, original bayonet lug/handguard assembly for a trench 97 would be pretty near impossible. I just can’t imagine that anyone who might have a loose one would be willing to sell it…….could I be mistaken?

If I’ve offended anyone by asking about a remake part, well, I do apologise, its not my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings, not even the least little bit.

The ‘originality’ value of this particular gun, missing that original component, may well be nil, from a purist collectors’ viewpoint, I suppose, but it is a prized possession of its owner, and a genuine piece of history in its own right. I’d like to put it together for him, in a condition to display other than in pieces.

If the way to have it together is to modify a standard solid frame mag band, to replace the improvised one fitted to the gun when it was used in prison guard service, that’s better than still having it in pieces, from my point of view. After all, that one does have two forms of active-duty service in its history, military in WW1, and in the prison service, and either configuration is ‘historically correct’ in a way.

Aside from that, maybe someone might know where I might find the mag tube and mag plug screw. Those parts, at least, are common to the rest of the solid frame production.

cheers

Carla

March 21, 2013
11:38 pm
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Forum Posts: 23
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December 3, 2012
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Noones feelings will be hurt. Just pointing out that the diehard winchester collectors might point you to the period correct parts over the reproductions because they know someone with 5 or 6 M1897 trench guns that have 2 or 3 parts guns with the items you need to rebuild period correct

December 17, 2014
7:44 pm
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Brad Cosby
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of all, the “experts” I have seen. – most cobble shop butchers.. – happy to take your money.. in my 30+ years as a aerospace machinist, / armorer. the only one that I have personally. seen. that actually. does. know. the “97`s” & ends up “fixing” what all the others have “worked” on, & has most of the parts available. – he buys them all.. is TOM THORESZ. aka, “Squibber” in cowboy action shooting circles.. he Owns, “OLD WEST REPAIR” in Maricopa Az. 602-309-4198 he would be happy to correct all, your problems. – including the “SHORT CHAMBER” – nobody mentioned, all the old guns, were made for the shorter “paper” shells.. so the chambers “ALWAYS”.need to be “reamed” deeper, for todays standards, & a longer forcing cone, as well to keep pressures down. or, when the crimp of the shell opens into the chamber it creates a “BOTTLENECK” for the wad to have to “jump”.causing the pressure to “spike” to unsafe levels.. I cannot believe nobody mentioned this.. all the cowboy action shooters use. & know tom..

December 18, 2014
5:38 am
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WACA Member
Forum Posts: 33
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December 12, 2011
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east taylor out of georgia makes the best quality repro bayonet lugs.no one is going to sell a original heat shield for under a $1,000.the solid frame magtubes come up on ebay and gunbroker from time to time.i have built several just for looks.a guy named gordon advertises in gun digest his number is 701-255-0534.he says he has most parts for the 97  you will need.good luck and good shooting. 

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