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Model 1897 Quandary
August 8, 2020
3:56 pm
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Central Florida
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August 8, 2020
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Hi,

I recently acquired a Winchester Model 1897. The serial number puts it as being made in 1907 and has a letter ‘D’ above the serial number. It is a takedown model, but what is confusing me is that there is a screw instead of a button in the middle of the receiver as I see when I searched takedown models. I am not sure if this is normal for this year of production or not. Also, the magazine tube is very hard to rotate and it will not move forward. I then loosened a screw on the magazine band and then I was able to move the magazine tube forward. Is there a correct way to tighten the screws on the magazine band so that it is not binding or may there be incorrect parts on the gun?

I am hoping someone here may know the answers to my questions and look forward to any and all responses!

August 8, 2020
5:56 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Ron,

The “D” series guns did not have the magazine release buttons… that was the primary change that resulted in the “E” series guns. It should not be possible to over tighten the magazine band screw to the point that it binds up the magazine tube (prevents it from rotating or moving forward). I suspect that “Bubba” decided to work on his gun at sometime in the past, and damaged something. The screw should be hand tightened to the point it stops turning.

For my research survey, I would like to know what the serial number is on your “D” series gun, the barrel length, choke marking, butt stock configuration (e.g. round knob pistol grip or semi pistol grip), and which specific type of butt plate it has (e.g. smooth steel, checkered steel, or hard rubber).

Bert

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August 11, 2020
7:31 pm
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Central Florida
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August 8, 2020
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Bert,

I figured the gun has been messed with, as it has a recoil pad on it and it looks to have been re-blued and the stock/forearm refinished and a recoil pad installed.

The serial number is 36941 D

The barrel measures 26″ and is marked cylinder.

The stock has the flat semi pistol grip.  The current length of pull is 14 11/16″ (13 11/16″ to where the pad is mounted).

I figured it out the disassembly issue:  The magazine band was positioned near the forearm over a small ‘bump’ (I am guessing it is a stop of some sort).  I moved it forward to be off this bump, re-tightened the screws and now it disassembles without binding!  However, the magazine band is now a bit loose. 

August 11, 2020
11:21 pm
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Kingston, WA
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You are missing one digit in the serial number… it should have 6-digits (not counting the “D”).  The 26-inch CYL choked barrel indicates that you have the “Brush Gun” variation of the Model 1897.  Originally, it had a black hard rubber butt plate with a widows peak at the top.  Does the butt stock still have a triangular shaped inletted area on the top?

Bert

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High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

August 12, 2020
11:56 am
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Central Florida
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Oops! The full serial number is 369417 D, and no, the stock no longer has the triangular shaped inlet on the top.

August 12, 2020
1:58 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Piranha451 said
Oops! The full serial number is 369417 D, and no, the stock no longer has the triangular shaped inlet on the top.  

It appears that you have a May, 1907 production Brush Gun with a cut down butt stock.  If the magazine band is too loose, it should not be difficult to find a replacement.

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

August 12, 2020
9:19 pm
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Central Florida
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Bert,

Thanks so much for the information!  I really appreciate you taking the time to look it up!

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