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Real of Fake Winchester 97 Trench Gun?
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April 19, 2024 - 1:44 am
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Hello all, my first post here. I am being offered this shotgun and would like to know if it’s real and it’s value. I figured it was easily worth the fee to join the collectors association to ask real experts before I got burned if it isn’t real. Here is the gun in question. The last owner before the current one was a WWII pilot. The only thing that caught my eye was there there had been a bead on the barrel that was ground down, but I’ve read that this could be correct for a WWII example. Here are the pics. 

 

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April 19, 2024 - 2:02 am
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Welcome to the Forum.  From the photos, it appears to be a real WWII trench gun.   Other than finish loss, the issues I see are that it does not have a cartouche on the stock and the butt plate has been replaced.  But the butt plate it now has is the type that was used as a replacement on many Winchester Model 97 trench and riot guns.  The SAA mark on the bottom of the pistol grip is the mark of San Antonio Arsenal which may very well be the arsenal who replaced the butt plate.   The filled front bead sight is found on many late production WWII Model 97 trench guns, although this gun is definitely at the lower end of the serial number range for that feature.  It’s the lowest numbered trench gun I have seen with the filled sight hole.

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April 19, 2024 - 2:38 am
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Welcome, William. Great pics, if the experts around here agree with Tom I’d buy the gun and a few Powerball tickets. Fake Trench Guns greatly outnumber genuine and some fakes are more convincing than the genuine. Regardless of this deal, stick around and share your collectible Winchesters with us, or learn more about what interests you. 

I’m guessing you’re from Arizona or Philadelphia. 

Mike

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April 19, 2024 - 12:58 pm
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Another thing that is confusing me is when I look up the serial number on this gun I keep coming up with 1950? This would be too late for WWII. 

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April 19, 2024 - 1:27 pm
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I show 1942 as manufactured date for serial number 950275.

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April 19, 2024 - 3:32 pm
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It’s real. A total rework. Tom D. has it explained. Now, how much for this treasure? Condition is lacking as it may have seen service. Big Larry

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April 19, 2024 - 6:45 pm
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Big Larry said
It’s real. A total rework. Tom D. has it explained. Now, how much for this treasure? Condition is lacking as it may have seen service. Big Larry

  

What is it worth? He is asking $3,000. 

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April 19, 2024 - 7:56 pm
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Arrowhead1976 said

Big Larry said

It’s real. A total rework. Tom D. has it explained. Now, how much for this treasure? Condition is lacking as it may have seen service. Big Larry

  

What is it worth? He is asking $3,000. 

  

I may be way behind times, but it is no $3,000 shotgun. In it’s present condition, it will not evaluate. It is, at best, a excuse gun. You will be forever making excuses for it. Sure, a nice one will set you back several more bucks, but then you have a no excuse gun. Correct Trenchguns are very elusive and very expensive. Seems like most are put together, or just outright fakes. My advice, save your $$$ and buy a nice one. They are great investments. Big Larry

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April 19, 2024 - 8:12 pm
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Big Larry said

Arrowhead1976 said

Big Larry said

It’s real. A total rework. Tom D. has it explained. Now, how much for this treasure? Condition is lacking as it may have seen service. Big Larry

  

What is it worth? He is asking $3,000. 

  

I may be way behind times, but it is no $3,000 shotgun. In it’s present condition, it will not evaluate. It is, at best, a excuse gun. You will be forever making excuses for it. Sure, a nice one will set you back several more bucks, but then you have a no excuse gun. Correct Trenchguns are very elusive and very expensive. Seems like most are put together, or just outright fakes. My advice, save your $$$ and buy a nice one. They are great investments. Big Larry

  

So are you saying some elements of the gun have been faked/messed with? Is that why you are saying I would have to make excuses or is it solely the condition?

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April 19, 2024 - 11:01 pm
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Arrowhead1976 said

Big Larry said

Arrowhead1976 said

Big Larry said

It’s real. A total rework. Tom D. has it explained. Now, how much for this treasure? Condition is lacking as it may have seen service. Big Larry

  

What is it worth? He is asking $3,000. 

  

I may be way behind times, but it is no $3,000 shotgun. In it’s present condition, it will not evaluate. It is, at best, a excuse gun. You will be forever making excuses for it. Sure, a nice one will set you back several more bucks, but then you have a no excuse gun. Correct Trenchguns are very elusive and very expensive. Seems like most are put together, or just outright fakes. My advice, save your $$$ and buy a nice one. They are great investments. Big Larry

  

So are you saying some elements of the gun have been faked/messed with? Is that why you are saying I would have to make excuses or is it solely the condition?

  

No fakery here. Just condition, condition, condition. Also, it is a rework, and they tend to bring a lot less money. I learned a long time ago. never buy a gun you have to make excuses for, and never buy junk guns. Sorry, but it is a creed I have always collected by.  Big Larry

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April 20, 2024 - 3:00 am
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Arrowhead1976 said
Another thing that is confusing me is when I look up the serial number on this gun I keep coming up with 1950? This would be too late for WWII. 

  

You are not using an accurate data source… 98% of the Winchester date of manufacture information sources you will find in a book or on the internet are grossly inaccurate, including the .pdf you can view on the so called “Winchester” (really Browning Arms Company) website.  Per the actual Winchester factory records, Model 97 with s/n 950275 was manufactured on December 24th, 1942.  It would have been delivered to the U.S. Springfield Armory in early 1943.

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April 20, 2024 - 2:55 pm
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One would have to look long and hard to find an another real M97 Trench Gun for that price. 
Might never happen.

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April 20, 2024 - 3:15 pm
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Tedk said
One would have to look long and hard to find an another real M97 Trench Gun for that price. 

Might never happen.

  

Yes, but the possibility exists. A friend sold me mine for less than $3000 and he didn’t want to take my money. $3000 for that M97 is not a good deal. Sorry. Big Larry

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April 20, 2024 - 6:06 pm
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It might be that the original poster would be helped by a clarification of what is meant by the term, “reworked’ in the above posts.  I’ll leave this to someone more versed in military guns than me.

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April 20, 2024 - 7:21 pm
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steve004 said
It might be that the original poster would be helped by a clarification of what is meant by the term, “reworked’ in the above posts.  I’ll leave this to someone more versed in military guns than me.

  

I am by no means an expert on Trench guns, but I do agree with Steve that the OP needs to know what reworked means.  Afterall, he is seeking expert advice here. 

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April 22, 2024 - 1:18 pm
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So what is the consensus on this gun?

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April 22, 2024 - 3:48 pm
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I am assuming reworked means repaired/updated by a military arsenal after the war?

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April 22, 2024 - 4:58 pm
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Arrowhead1976 said
I am assuming reworked means repaired/updated by a military arsenal after the war?

  

That is how I take it too.  Except no one knows when it actually went back to the arsenal.

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April 22, 2024 - 5:24 pm
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Chuck said

Arrowhead1976 said

I am assuming reworked means repaired/updated by a military arsenal after the war?

  

That is how I take it too.  Except no one knows when it actually went back to the arsenal.

  

Do arsenal records exist for individual guns? Is it actually possible to know when a gun went back to an arsenal?

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April 22, 2024 - 5:30 pm
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Tedk said

Chuck said

Arrowhead1976 said

I am assuming reworked means repaired/updated by a military arsenal after the war?

That is how I take it too.  Except no one knows when it actually went back to the arsenal.

Do arsenal records exist for individual guns? Is it actually possible to know when a gun went back to an arsenal?

No and No.

It appears that it was an arsenal reworked gun, but without definitive proof, one would be wise to view it as a “non-original” Trench Gun and adjust the price tag accordingly.

Bert

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