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Newly acquired Model 97
July 28, 2019
9:08 pm

This last week I acquired a Model 97  takedown, yesterday I noticed a very small LE on the front right side of the trigger guard (it is done very neatly). I'm wondering if that's a factory mark or something done later?  Gun is in the 1,011,xxx range so I'm thinking '56 production? Barrel has a 53 stamp on it. Nice gun clean for its age, most of the dings, rubs and scratches seem more like they come from storage than use.

It took and little dead blow encouragement to take it down the first time cleaned threads and surfaces  and it worked fine after some lubrication.

The only surprise was that the action slide lock release; doesn't seem to be working, I'm wondering if anyone here might give me a ballpark of what I might expect to pay a gunsmith to fix that? 

July 28, 2019
11:28 pm
Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 9957
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
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Hello Gene,

The partial serial number you mention (we prefer complete serial numbers) indicates that it is a 1953 production gun.

The "LE" is a factory inspection stamp.  You have to push the slide handle slightly forward to unlock it.


WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member

July 30, 2019
5:58 pm

Bert, thank you for your quick reply. I had already replied once but it never posted, I must have done something wrong.

I didn't do a good job of explaining the problem, the gun functions fine when you push slightly forward and pump the action to chamber a round; but if you push the release button on the right side of the receiver to eject an unfired round the lock is not being released.

I've watched three or four videos, since my first post and have a better understanding of how its supposed to work, but I haven't decided if I'm comfortable going in to try and fix it myself. I've talked to one smith so far and I'm not sure he really understands the problem.

August 2, 2019
1:14 pm
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 289
Member Since:
January 27, 1992
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Try cocking the hammer and then try the release. Worked on my '97.  RDB

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