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three digit SN Model 1897 12 Ga riot shotgun
September 18, 2020
9:26 pm
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j. vincent
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I have an model 1997 Winchester riot model. The serial number is three digit 4XX. It has an 1893 model barrel with a 2 3/4 chamber. The barrel has the “Model 1893” and the two pat dates 90 and 92 and 12 on the receiver end. It has about 90% of the blue finish left, and looks as if it has never been taken apart.

I believe if I request a Cody letter it will show is as an 1893. It has the 1897 receiver and not the 1893.

Can someone help me out please if the shotgun was shipped with the wrong barrel, and strange SN for a Model 1897.

September 19, 2020
12:08 am
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Kingston, WA
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April 15, 2005
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What is the complete serial number?  You are correct in that the Cody letter is going to tell you that it is a Model 1893.  Further, there were no Model 1897 shotguns made with a serial number less than 34141.  Because the Model 1897 was simply an improved Model 1893, Winchester did not restart the serial number sequence.  Instead, the serial numbers began where the Model 1893 production ended.  Serial number 34141 was the first Model 1897 manufactured, and it was received in the warehouse on June 4th, 1897.

Now, with that stated, there were a small number of Model 1893 shotguns that were upgraded by Winchester after being manufactured and shipped.  The factory ledgers contain at least a few hundred entries where a Model 1893 was returned and repaired or upgraded.

Bert

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

September 19, 2020
2:23 pm
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J Vincent
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Thanks for your reply. The shotgun is not an upgrade I am sure. It has the 1897 receiver and two patent pending stamps on the inside parts. Forgot to say is a solid frame with the correct stock with the steel butt plate. I have several other 1897’s and appears to be an original 1897. If it was an upgrade Winchester would have had to take a new 1897 receiver frame and restamp it with the same number of the 1893. If it was upgrading why would they not use the newer 1897 barrel instead of rechambering the 1893 barrel.

With the three number serial number I thought someone may have filed of the first and last numbers off of a 13000 range shotgun but assure you that is not the case. The numbers are stamped fairly deep and very prominent. Also, there is no letter above the serial number.

One of the previous owners for Illinois stated 30 years ago it had been a Chicago Police department shotgun.

Thanks again, J V

September 19, 2020
4:25 pm
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Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 10452
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April 15, 2005
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JV,

Can you post (or send me) pictures of this gun?  

In regards to your question about the Model 1893 barrel versus a Model 1897 barrel, other than the patent markings on the barrel, and the chamber length, they are identical.  If fact, Winchester used a fair number of Model 1893 Riot length barrels on the real early Model 1897 shotguns, simply cutting them with longer chambers.

The early Model 1897s did not have a letter “C” above the serial number until 48649 was reached.

Bert

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

September 19, 2020
8:52 pm
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j vincent
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I copied several photos and sent them but did post. Sorry, is there another way to get them to you. Not very good with computer knowledge.

 I might add for someone to exchange an 1893 which I believed they offered for an 1897 they would not care what Sn they received back unless maybe it was in an organization inventory. This shotgun has me scratching my head. Is it an 1893 or 1897 if I was to sell it? The hand guard is stamped ‘Winchester” and below that “Model 1897”

I really appreciate all you help. Great Forum

September 20, 2020
12:39 am
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Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 10452
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Please send the pictures to me at – Win1885@msn.com

Bert

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

September 24, 2020
11:09 am
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j vincent
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Want to give folks up on my post. There is some skepticism the serial number has been altered. That being said, the Winchester appears to be a mismatch of 1893/1897 parts. The solid frame receiver is 1897 of the early type, the barrel is stamped with the Winchester logo and Model 1893 and the 90 and 92 patient dates, a riot length barrel and marked CYL on the underside and the pump handle, noticed today has a possibly 1893 wood pump handle tapered on the front a bit more than the 1897. It does have the Pat applied for stamps. On inside the receiver. The three serial numbers appear of the unique font type I believe Winchester made and broach marks on the complete frame only visible with high magnification which is consistent throughout. I suggested to have an acid test (serial number restoration) and contacted ATF by telephone and email with no success. If anyone know where I might get the test completed I would appreciate it.

I understand Winchester keep good documentation but I believe I heard of a fire that destroyed some part of them.

The previous owned stated a person by the name of George Maids had told him many years ago “that a few hundred transitional guns in their own serial number range between 93 and the 97”?

I hope to solve this but if not the shotgun is of mint condition quality and stands on its own merit.

September 24, 2020
9:49 pm
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J Vincent
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Sorry folks for the early morning reply, not that the afternoon is any better, But I failed to mention Bert. He has helped me tremendously wanting to solve this. He answers all my questions very professionally and has a wealth of knowledge. Thanks’, Bert

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