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Model 1897 forearm question
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January 8, 2022 - 6:22 pm
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I have a D series takedown Model 1897 from about 1907 that has what appears to be a Model 12 forearm wood installed on the slide. The entire slide assembly may have even been replaced because the slide bar is not marked with the model number, so it appears to be from a much later gun. My questions are did the style of forearm wood ever change to the flat-bottom style later in ’97 production, and is it possible to interchange the entire slide assembly from a Model 12 to a ’97? I don’t have a Model 12 to compare to. I am basically wondering if just the wood was changed or it’s possible the entire slide assembly was swapped.

Edit: The wood looks the same as this 1957 gun:

https://classic.gunauction.com/search/displayitem.cfm?itemnum=16249779

Here’s another one like it:

http://littlegun.be/collection%20privee/amerique/a%20us%20winchester%201897%20cal%2016%20gb.htm

So that probably answers my own question. Still curious about the Model 12.

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January 8, 2022 - 7:05 pm
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Matt,

The slide barrel assembly on your “D” series gun is most likely from a late “E” series production gun. Winchester transitioned the Model 97s to the flat bottom style slide handle stock in 1946 (shortly after WW II).

Bert

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January 8, 2022 - 7:21 pm
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Thanks. I don’t remember seeing the flat bottom style before, but now that I am looking, it seems there are plenty out there. 

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January 8, 2022 - 7:59 pm
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Matt,

Production of the Model 97 Shotguns took a real nose-dive after the WW II Military contracts ended. From 1946 through December 1956 (end of production), just 56,541 guns were manufactured. For comparison, the total production for the Model 1897/97 was 990,522 guns.

Bert

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January 8, 2022 - 8:04 pm
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The forearm was changed to a flat bottom style after WWII just like the ones on the shotguns in the two links.   Your shotgun would have originally had a non-screw type corn cob forearm marked “Model 1897” over “—Winchester—” over “Trademark”.

I don’t know if a Model 12 forearm/slide assembly will work on a Model 1897.

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