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Model 97 12 Gauge Shotgun
September 7, 2020
8:46 pm
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September 7, 2020
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My dad passed away and left me an old full 12 gauge pump shotgun in excellent condition that my grandfather gave him.  It has a serial number that is 91000+ range.  Above the serial number is the letter C.  It looks like a 28” barrel.  It has a wood stock, but the butt plate is melted onto the wood stock.

Researching it online, there are 5-6 different types and over 1m of these guns produced.  The serial number shows that it was made around 1898???

Anyone have a clue how to figure out which gun configuration it is based on these below?

Model 1897 could be ordered in several different configurations:

1. Standard Gun: 12- or 16-gauge; 30″ barrel 12-gauge and 28″ barrel 16-gauge; plain walnut modified pistol-grip stock; grooved slide handle; steel buttplate standard.
2. Trap Gun: 12- or 16-gauge; 30″ barrel 12-gauge and 28″ barrel 16-gauge; fancy walnut stock; oil-finish checkered pistol-/straight-grip stock; checkered slide handle. Marked “TRAP” on bottom of frame.
3. Pigeon Gun: 12- or 16-gauge; 28″ barrel on both gauges; straight-/pistol-grip stock; receiver hand-engraved.
4. Tournament Gun: 12-gauge only; 30″ barrel; select wal­nut checkered straight-grip stock; checkered slide han­dle; top of receiver matted to reduce glare.
5. Brush Gun: 12- or 16-gauge; 26″ barrel; cylinder choke has a slightly shorter magazine tube than standard gun; plain walnut modified pistol-grip stock; grooved slide handle.
6. Brush Gun, Take-down: same as above with take-down feature; standard length magazine tube.
7. Riot Gun: 12-gauge; 20″ barrel bored to shoot buckshot; plain walnut modified pistol-grip stock; grooved slide handle; solid-frame or take-down.
8. Trench Gun: same as Riot Gun, but fitted with barrel hand guard and bayonet.

 

Thank you.

September 7, 2020
9:11 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Steve,

Model 1897 serial number 91000 was manufactured in January, 1900.

The standard barrel length for a Model 1897 Standard (Field grade) gun was 30-inches, but a 28-inch and a 32-inch barrel were optional lengths.  When you measured the barrel, did you include the portion of the barrel inside the receiver frame?  The correct way to measure the barrel length is from the bolt face to the muzzle face.  Close the action (empty chamber), and then run a rod down the bore until it bottoms out on the bolt face… then mark & measure it where it exits the bore.

You did not mention if it is a Solid frame or a Take Down frame gun, and both were common in the year 1900.  Based on your limited description, it is a standard Field grade gun.  If you can post some pictures, it will be easy to confirm.

The butt plate should be steel (smooth, and with a widows peak at the top inletted into the stock).

Bert

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

September 7, 2020
9:17 pm
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Okay I think it is a 30 inch barrel.  It is a solid frame.  Here are pictures of the engraving.  I will try to post full pictures of it tomorrow when I am back home.

https://postimg.cc/gallery/cJKJZyZ

September 7, 2020
9:38 pm
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Kingston, WA
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S

steveforlife@outlook.com said
Okay I think it is a 30 inch barrel.  It is a solid frame.  Here are pictures of the engraving.  I will try to post full pictures of it tomorrow when I am back home.

https://postimg.cc/gallery/cJKJZyZ  

Steve,

Based on those pictures, the gun is not factory original.  The barrel is at least 6-years newer than the receiver frame, and the slid bar is at least 20-years newer than the receiver frame.  It is a “piece” parts gun, a.k.a. a “Frankenchester”.

Bert

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

September 8, 2020
7:22 pm
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Bert,

Here are more pictures.

https://postimg.cc/gallery/dwjyfyG

Thanks, 

Steve

September 8, 2020
7:55 pm
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Kingston, WA
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steveforlife@outlook.com said
Bert,

Here are more pictures.

https://postimg.cc/gallery/dwjyfyG

Thanks, 

Steve  

Steve,

The pictures show that it is a Take Down versus a Solid frame.  The original steel butt plate is missing and an aftermarket recoil pad (in poor shape) was installed.  As I previously mentioned, the barrel is not original, and the slide-bar is not original (both were scavenged from later production guns).

In your shoes, I would remove the recoil pad and have a new one installed, and have the gun checked out for any safety issues.  If it is safe to shoot, it is worth approximately $300 due to this model being popular with a Cowboy Shooters crowd.

Bert

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

September 8, 2020
8:01 pm
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Thank you.

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