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"Real Deal" Trench gun?
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Central Kansas
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January 28, 2023 - 1:40 pm
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https://www.gunbroker.com/item/967620347

Is anyone here able to definitively prove or disprove the authenticity of this fine looking re-arsenaled gun? 

Darrin

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January 28, 2023 - 4:38 pm
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Darrin Smith said
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/967620347

Is anyone here able to definitively prove or disprove the authenticity of this fine looking re-arsenaled gun? 

Darrin

  

If it was truly redone, it would have a rework cartouche . The “W” on the handguard is a sign of being reworked, but that same handguard is also seen on late M12 Trenchguns. I would not buy this gun. It may go for big bucks. Never buy a gun you have to make excuses for. Looks like a parts gun to me. Proofs are not shown.   Big Larry

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January 28, 2023 - 4:47 pm
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I do not like the location of the crossed cannons stamp on the butt stock, and I am not convinced that it was arsenal refinished.

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January 28, 2023 - 5:55 pm
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Thanks guys, I respect your opinions. I have read there are more put together/faked guns than authentic so I highly suspected this one would fail the sniff test .

Darrin

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January 28, 2023 - 6:10 pm
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It’s definitely been refinished.  You can see there is no burnishing around the proof marks.  But who knows who reblued it.

It has a W marked parkerized bayonet adaptor/heat shield.  That can’t be original to the gun because the last 97 trench guns were delivered in early 1943, and they did not start marking the adaptors with a “W” until late 1943.  And if it was rearsenaled, it is unlikely they would put a parkerized adaptor on a blued gun.  There were W marked blued adaptors that could have been used instead.

It also has the large ordnance wheel mark on the stock to the right of the WB mark.  That large ordnance mark is usually found on 97 riot guns.  The trench guns were usually, if not always, marked with a smaller ordnance wheel underneath the inspector’s mark.

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January 28, 2023 - 11:09 pm
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Tom, if it was Arsenal rebuilt wouldn’t it have some Arsenal marks?

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January 29, 2023 - 5:22 am
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Hi Chuck.  The last photo shows a P proof mark on the pistol grip.  And there’s a weird looking open box SA on the right side of the buttstock.  I can’t recall seeing an open box SA mark like that one.  So, I don’t’ know if it is legit.  But I think at least the P mark is a rebuild mark.  Original 97 trench guns don’t have P proof marked stocks.  So, the gun, or at least the stock, has gone through a rebuild.  There also are punch marks on top of the receiver and barrel which may be evidence of an arsenal or factory rebuild.  Winchester had a contract late in WWII to rebuild a bunch of shotguns.  I think they re-blued them, and they were very nicely done.  Big Larry used to have one, and if I recall correctly, the only marks on it that were possibly rebuild marks were the punch marks.  Hopefully Big Larry will see this thread and can comment further.  But I’m not convinced the subject gun was arsenal rebuilt.  It does have issues.   

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January 29, 2023 - 7:54 pm
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Maybe the SA is for Springfield Arsenal?  I know one of the books I have shows all of the wartime arsenal marks.  I thought the P was a proof mark?

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January 29, 2023 - 8:06 pm
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The SA could be a Springfield Arsenal mark.

The P is a proof mark, but they did not apply P proof marks on the stocks of original 97 trench guns.  Stocks were only marked with the WB or GHD inspector’s mark and Ordnance crossed cannons mark.

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January 30, 2023 - 12:45 am
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It’s been so long, and at 80 years, I have forgotten much of what I knew. The reowk cartouche may be authentic, but Springfield never blued any shotguns for rework. They were not set up for it. They parkerized them. That cartouche also has been applied to M1’s and M1903’s. A circle P was also applied on reworks if they tested a gun with proof loads. Lots of Springfield M1 and M2 22’s have P’s and never had them originally.   Guns sent back to Winchester may have been reblued as their reworks are found with punch marks. Good advice here, if you have doubts, pass. Never buy a gun you have to make excuses for. Big Larry                     

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January 30, 2023 - 6:52 pm
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Tom D said
The SA could be a Springfield Arsenal mark.

The P is a proof mark, but they did not apply P proof marks on the stocks of original 97 trench guns.  Stocks were only marked with the WB or GHD inspector’s mark and Ordnance crossed cannons mark.

  

Tom, I don’t own a WW II shotgun, only a WW I.  Both my Garands have the P.

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January 30, 2023 - 7:33 pm
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Chuck said

Tom D said

The SA could be a Springfield Arsenal mark.

The P is a proof mark, but they did not apply P proof marks on the stocks of original 97 trench guns.  Stocks were only marked with the WB or GHD inspector’s mark and Ordnance crossed cannons mark.

  

Tom, I don’t own a WW II shotgun, only a WW I.  Both my Garands have the P.

  

I had 3 WW1 Winchester M1897 Trenchguns. All three with the US and bomb. One was the finest one known that was US marked. Got it from the Felix Bedlan collection. Sold that shotgun for $13,000. I have a near to mint M97 Trenchgun from 1943 that I would be willing to trade for a 100% correct US marked WW1 Trenchgun.  Big Larry

 

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January 30, 2023 - 10:54 pm
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  And there’s a weird looking open box SA on the right side of the buttstock.  I can’t recall seeing an open box SA mark like that one. Tom D said

  

There’s a similar “open box” shown in one of Brophy’s photos, but the sides of the box don’t extend lower than the letters.  There’s even one with “sides” only–no top or bottom marks. 

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February 3, 2023 - 12:15 am
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Evidently there’s a few bidders who didn’t get the memo, I just noticed the bid topped 9k with over 3 days left.

Darrin

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February 3, 2023 - 12:37 am
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Darrin Smith said
Evidently there’s a few bidders who didn’t get the memo, I just noticed the bid topped 9k with over 3 days left.

Darrin

  

The two potential buyers bidding on it are newbies (or Shill bidders).  One of them has a “NR” rating, and the other has a “1” rating.  If they are not Shill bidders, one of them is about to make a very expensive mistake.

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February 5, 2023 - 7:15 pm
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I see bidding is now over ten grand.  And, the seller must be reading this forum (and perhaps other forums) and he is hopping mad.  I was alerted today by e-mail (because this is on my watch list) that the seller had, “updated item description”.  Go to the link and you’ll see a large and colorful (yellow) rant.

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February 5, 2023 - 7:44 pm
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ooooo, I am scared. I wonder who his experts are? I know some real experts and they agree with our Forum experts. At that kind of $$$, I will just keep mine in the safe until it reaches $20,000. Holy Moly.   Big Larry (has been expert). Maybe I never was.

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February 6, 2023 - 11:27 am
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Better get it out and oil it up Larry, $18,025 + tax & shipping is $19,527. If credit card is used, another 2.9% brings it to $20,093.28. Crazy!

Darrin

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February 6, 2023 - 12:40 pm
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An explosion of bidding at the end.  But what kind of bidding? Take a look at the bid history and draw your own conclusion.

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February 6, 2023 - 1:41 pm
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It’s getting to point for me that when someone asks me I think their gun is worth, my response is to ask:   to who – a buyer or a shill bidder?  Because there seem to be more shill bidders out there than buyers.

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