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Info on model 97
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April 27, 2016 - 12:32 pm
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Big Larry said

Bert H. said

Kip,

The serial number is in the correct range for a military contract Riot or Trench Gun, but all of the details you mentioned point towards it being a faked Trench Gun.  The serial number identifies it as late 1941, and the barrel matches it.  However, in the year 1941 and through May of 1942, all of the military contract guns were inspected and stamped by Col. Waldemar Broberg, and have a “WB” in a box with crossed cannons marked below his initials.  All of the “WB” cartouched Trench Guns were equipped with the 6-row ventilated heat shield.  With no “U.S.” and bomb on the left side of the receiver, a GHD cartouched stock, and a 4-row heat shield, something is definitely fishy smelling!

Bert

And to that, you are 100% correct my friend. Where did you get your Trenchgun schooling? I was glad to have Mr. Bruce Canfield as a friend. I used to have them all sans the M10 Remington, but I did have a very nice WW2 Ithaca M37 Trenchgun. The rarest of them all.    Big Larry

Bert:

Thank you for the information. I was relatively certain it was not an “original” trench gun when I purchased it. Only have $625.00 in it so I do not feel like I got hurt.

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April 27, 2016 - 2:50 pm
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Kip,

At just $625, you got a good deal. All of the individual parts are worth at least that much, and probably a bit more.

Bert

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April 27, 2016 - 3:13 pm
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Bert:

 

Thank you again. I know I have a parts gun and I am ok with that. I hate a puzzle and would like to know the original configuration of this gun.

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April 27, 2016 - 4:17 pm
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Bert H. said

Kip,
At just $625, you got a good deal. All of the individual parts are worth at least that much, and probably a bit more.
Bert

Yep, the handguard is worth near $1,000 to someone who needs one. Lots of bogus guns out there and that keeps the values of a 100% correct gun up. Big Larry

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August 14, 2022 - 2:21 pm
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Trying to date our Win Mod 1897 with serial number 2000081. Any help greatly appreciated. 

matthew

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August 14, 2022 - 5:05 pm
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Matthew Karpoff said
Trying to date our Win Mod 1897 with serial number 2000081. Any help greatly appreciated. 

matthew  

You have at least one too many digits in the serial number.  Production of the Model 97 ended at S/N 1024701 on September 30, 1957.

Bert

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August 17, 2022 - 2:11 am
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S/n 200081 was manufactured in March 1903.

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August 17, 2022 - 1:34 pm
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Bert H. said
S/n 200081 was manufactured in March 1903.

  

Many thanks sir!!?? It is a nice weapon.

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March 18, 2023 - 10:43 am
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Warm Greetings, Gents (and Ladies if applicable). I wonder if I may ask, could anyone tell me if they’re aware of any reason why a non-military proofed, Winchester M1897 whose serial number dates it 1924, might have the shortened trench gun barrel with heat shield and bayonet bar normally found on military contracts. Only thing I can think of so far is a police contract or maybe issued to the national guard and they didn’t get the usual military proofs – US, WB, Ordnance flaming bomb etc.? Did the police take the trench version with bayonets? The obvious answer is it’s one of the many “fake trench guns” converted from a normal commercial M97. But it seems straight and no sign of screw mark where magazine tube band would’ve been, yet does have the 3 screw indents where the bayonet bar is attached. Also, if making a fake, wouldn’t you also add fake military stamps and cartouches etc., which would be the easy part? Any wisdom much appreciated. Kindest, Tim

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March 18, 2023 - 4:09 pm
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Hello Tim,

Without the benefit of actually inspecting the gun in hand (or viewing a series of clear digital pictures of it), it is nearly impossible to determine what the story is behind that gun in question.

Are you sure that it was manufactured in the year 1924? Did you use the When was your Winchester made look-up tool here on the WACA website?

Is the gun a Solid frame or a Take Down? Most of the WW I Trench guns did not have any cartouches or other military markings.

Bert

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March 18, 2023 - 10:54 pm
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Collector Tim said
Warm Greetings, Gents (and Ladies if applicable). I wonder if I may ask, could anyone tell me if they’re aware of any reason why a non-military proofed, Winchester M1897 whose serial number dates it 1924, might have the shortened trench gun barrel with heat shield and bayonet bar normally found on military contracts. Only thing I can think of so far is a police contract or maybe issued to the national guard and they didn’t get the usual military proofs – US, WB, Ordnance flaming bomb etc.? Did the police take the trench version with bayonets? The obvious answer is it’s one of the many “fake trench guns” converted from a normal commercial M97. But it seems straight and no sign of screw mark where magazine tube band would’ve been, yet does have the 3 screw indents where the bayonet bar is attached. Also, if making a fake, wouldn’t you also add fake military stamps and cartouches etc., which would be the easy part? Any wisdom much appreciated. Kindest, Tim

  

Tim, some of the 30’s Trenchguns made for civilians, had brass butt plates There is one for sale on the net right now in excess of $8,000. No military markings on these, and they are quite rare. Yes, they have handguards for bayonets. Faking cartouches has become an art. Garands, carbines, M1903’s, and just about every military gun ever made. Anything that will enhance the value of a firearm, can and will be faked. That’s what drives the values of the real deals up. I have a near mint 1943 Trenchgun, that I have turned down $10,000 for. Big Larry

 

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March 21, 2023 - 7:16 am
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I have a 1897 and was wondering if someone could tell me what the letter E in front of the serial number stood for. Thanks

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March 21, 2023 - 4:15 pm
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Airborne98 said
I have a 1897 and was wondering if someone could tell me what the letter E in front of the serial number stood for. Thanks

  

The “E” that was stamped on the bottom of the receiver frame above the serial number was the model sub variation designation.  In this case, it tells you that it is an “E” series production gun.  Throughout the production run of the Model 1897, Winchester made a significant number of physical changes/improvements to the original John M. Browning patent.  When a major change was made to the design/function, a new series designation letter as used.  The “E” series was the final major change, and it entailed adding magazine (shell) release buttons to allow unloading the gun without the need to cycle each round through the chamber.  The “E” series was introduced in late June 1908.

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March 21, 2023 - 9:29 pm
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Thank you, Bert. Serial number shows E438429 which gave me a date of manufacture 1908. My grandfather was born in in 1919 and I remembered being fascinated over this shotgun when I was a kid. My grandfather had told me growing up that he himself used this shotgun to put food on the table as a youngster. Don’t know much about its original origins other than the fact that it was owned by my great grandfather, grandfather and my Dad who passed away in 2021 and killed many of birds with it. I am now 52 and plan on passing it down the family tree.

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March 22, 2023 - 1:00 am
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Airborne98 said
Thank you, Bert. Serial number shows E438429 which gave me a date of manufacture 1908. My grandfather was born in in 1919 and I remembered being fascinated over this shotgun when I was a kid. My grandfather had told me growing up that he himself used this shotgun to put food on the table as a youngster. Don’t know much about its original origins other than the fact that it was owned by my great grandfather, grandfather and my Dad who passed away in 2021 and killed many of birds with it. I am now 52 and plan on passing it down the family tree.

  

Your Model 1897 was manufactured on December 23rd, 1908.

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March 22, 2023 - 8:51 pm
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On my! Thank you very much! Do these handle modern loads well?

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March 23, 2023 - 1:21 am
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Airborne98 said
On my! Thank you very much! Do these handle modern loads well?

  

As long as the modern loads are not longer than 2-3/4″, and they are not loaded with steel shot, then Yes, your old Model 1897 can shoot modern shells assuming that it is in safe mechanical condition.

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April 20, 2023 - 2:58 am
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Hello Bert, I have came across two 1897’s and was wondering if you could date code these for me as well. 1st one has a six digit number 483351 and 2nd one has five digits 58303 with a letter C above numbers. Both receivers and barrels have the same matching numbers. Guns are in decent shape and unrestored. The one with 5 digits has really got me intreged. Any information as usual would be highly appreciated. Will post pictures tomorrow. Thank you Bert.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Sincerely, Tyson

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April 20, 2023 - 3:17 am
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Airborne98 said
Hello Bert, I have came across two 1897’s and was wondering if you could date code these for me as well. 1st one has a six digit number 483351 and 2nd one has five digits 58303 with a letter C above numbers. Both receivers and barrels have the same matching numbers. Guns are in decent shape and unrestored. The one with 5 digits has really got me intreged. Any information as usual would be highly appreciated. Will post pictures tomorrow. Thank you Bert.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Sincerely, Tyson

  

S/N 58303 is a bona fide “Antique” as it was manufactured in late October, 1898.  It is listed in the records as a two-barrel set (32″ FULL choke & 26″ CYL bore).  Which barrel is with it now?  Does it have a steel butt plate, or a hard rubber butt plate?

S/N 483351 was manufactured in April 1910. It should have an “E” above ther serial number on the receiver assembly.  Can you tell me hat length barrel it has, and what the choke marking is?

If possible, please send pictures of both guns to my email address – [email protected]

Bert

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April 21, 2023 - 2:25 am
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