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Few 1897 Questions
December 26, 2020
1:54 am
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AH
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Hello, Im looking at another 1897 from the mid-1930’s (serial 849xxx) and have a few questions.

  • Action slide bar does not have any stampings.  I have reviewed a post that talked about the different types of action slides.  Is this correct for this year?
  • It has a buttpad (black spacer/reddish pad) instead of the normal hard buttplate I see.  Is this an aftermarket pad?
  • In reviewing several posts, the serial number lookup years dont always add up to what the couple sites I have found, show.  Are they just working on incomplete info?
  • Was it an option to have a 22″ CYL barrel, or was this cut down?
December 26, 2020
5:23 am
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Kingston, WA
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AH,

First item… when asking questions about a Winchester, always post the entire serial number if you know it.  Often times more (or better) information can be provided by our panel of “experts” here on the WACA forums.

Second item… serial numbers 849000 – 849999 were not manufactured in the “mid-1930s”.  You are apparently using one of the many incorrect references found in various books and on the internet.  The correct date of manufacture for serial number 849000 is April, 1929.

Third item… The slide bar should be blank on the gun in question.

Fourth item… More than likely it is an aftermarket recoil pad.  What (if anything) is molded into the end of the rubber pad?

Fifth item…see the second item above.  The couple of websites you found used copied data from the erroneous information published by George Madis in the late 1970s.  The information on the WACA website was derived from the original Winchester factory records at the CFM records office.

Last item… you did not mention which gauge gun it is, but assuming that it is a 12-ga (85% of them were), the standard barrel length was 30-inches, and  FULL choke.  Optional barrel lengths were 26, 28, and 32 inches.  The 26-inch barrels were mostly made in CYL bore.  The 28-inch barrels were most often made with a MOD choke, and the 32-inch barrels were 99% of the time made with a FULL choke.  If the barrel is just 22-inches and is marked CYL, it is extremely likely that it was cut-down from 26-inches.  That stated, it is remotely possible that somebody special ordered a Model 97 with a 22-inch CYL bore barrel.  A quick method to identify a cut down barrel is to measure the exact distance from the nuzzle face to the center of the sight bead.  Winchester always located the sight bead precisely .5 inch (½”) from the muzzle face.  99% of the barrel hackers out there did not know exactly where to position the sight bead, and they typically just “eye-balled” it.

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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December 26, 2020
5:51 am
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AH
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I’m learning a lot, thanks! It is 12ga,  The closest I can get on the serial is 8495xx and I don’t have access to the buttpad to check. I have a side view pic but my pics don’t post.

December 26, 2020
6:16 am
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Kingston, WA
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AH said
I’m learning a lot, thanks! It is 12ga,  The closest I can get on the serial is 8495xx and I don’t have access to the buttpad to check. I have a side view pic but my pics don’t post.  

Until you can absolutely prove otherwise, you should assume that the barrel has been chopped, and the recoil pad on the butt stock is an aftermarket installed item… the odds are very high that it is a safe assumption.

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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December 26, 2020
8:24 pm
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Ser #849599 was manufactured in 1929.  If the barrel is marked Cyl it most likely should be 20″.  Bert will know if Cyl marked barrels came in the longer lenths.

December 26, 2020
8:31 pm
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Chuck said
Ser #849599 was manufactured in 1929.  If the barrel is marked Cyl it most likely should be 20″.  Bert will know if Cyl marked barrels came in the longer lenths.  

Chuck,

See post #2 in this topic.  The Model 1897 Brush Guns were made with a 26″ CYL bore barrel as standard.  CYL bore could have been ordered in all available barrel lengths, it was relatively rare for the longer barrel lengths.

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December 26, 2020
8:40 pm
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Bert H. said

Chuck,

See post #2 in this topic.  The Model 1897 Brush Guns were made with a 26″ CYL bore barrel as standard.  CYL bore could have been ordered in all available barrel lengths, it was relatively rare for the longer barrel lengths.  

My bad Bert. I did read it but only parts stuck with me. I forgot about the brush guns too. 

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