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What have I got and how do I confirm it?
February 26, 2016
10:55 pm
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lodiuser
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Bought an 1897 takedown shotgun.28" barrel, full choke, with Williams peep sight (Sn950552). Martially marked, with sling swivels on the stock and tube end. Winchester can tell me it was made in 1943, but nothing else. I would like to take it back to original configuration, if I have any way to tell how it was shipped. I don't want to tamper with it if it was original, but I suspect not. How do I get any further info on this?

February 27, 2016
10:47 am
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Kingston, WA
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Unfortunately you can not get any additional verifiable information on it.

Based on the serial number, it was actually manufactured very late in the year 1942. The fact that it has the "U. S." and Ordnance bomb rolled marked on the lower right-hand side of the receiver frame suggests that it was either a WW II Trench Gun or Riot Gun. My research survey suggests that it was most likely a Trench Gun. Does the butt stock have a cartouche on the left side with "GHD" inside a box?

Bert

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

February 27, 2016
1:49 pm
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Outlaw Gambler
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IF in fact this gun has the proper markings on the barrel and receiver and does not have the GHD stamp on the wood does not mean it is not a trench gun. More than likely it seen action in Viet Nam as well as possibly WW II. Does it have the three slots cut in the bottom front of the barrel? What choke stamp is on the barrel, anything other than "CYL" indicates the barrel started life as a non trench gun barrel. How long is the barrel? If only 20" it would more than likely be a riot gun as trench gun barrels were about 21" so the end stuck out past the bayonet lug. Pictures would be helpful but since the barrel is stamped "full" the gun, at least the barrel started out as a field grade hunting gun. The military stamping were probably added by someone trying to pass it off as something it was/is not.

February 27, 2016
6:25 pm
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Lodiuser
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It did have a cartouche on the left side of the butt stock, but this has either been defaced or carved out

February 27, 2016
8:17 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Outlaw Gambler said

IF in fact this gun has the proper markings on the barrel and receiver and does not have the GHD stamp on the wood does not mean it is not a trench gun. More than likely it seen action in Viet Nam as well as possibly WW II. Does it have the three slots cut in the bottom front of the barrel? What choke stamp is on the barrel, anything other than "CYL" indicates the barrel started life as a non trench gun barrel. How long is the barrel? If only 20" it would more than likely be a riot gun as trench gun barrels were about 21" so the end stuck out past the bayonet lug. Pictures would be helpful but since the barrel is stamped "full" the gun, at least the barrel started out as a field grade hunting gun. The military stamping were probably added by someone trying to pass it off as something it was/is not.

Did you miss the fact that lodiuser clearly stated that it has a 28" FULL choke marked barrel? If not, why all of the extraneous questions?

The serial number clearly puts it in the correct timeframe for a ordnance marked gun, and Winchester was not manufacturing standard sporting Model 97 shotguns in late 1942.  Very clearly, it was once a Trench or Riot Gun, and sometime in the past, somebody converted it to a sporting gun with a 28" Full choke barrel.

Bert

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

February 27, 2016
8:20 pm
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Kingston, WA
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Lodiuser said

It did have a cartouche on the left side of the butt stock, but this has either been defaced or carved out

OK, my bet is you r Model 97 was once a Trench Gun, and somebody converted it to a Sporting shotgun by replacing the barrel.  Not unheard of, but a shame none the less.

Bert

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

February 27, 2016
9:38 pm
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Lodiuser
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Thanks for the insightful advice.I can upload pics if that would be of value. I just wanted to see if the gov't would have ordered full choked, long barreled shotguns for any good reason at that time.

February 28, 2016
5:09 am
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Kingston, WA
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Lodiuser said

Thanks for the insightful advice.I can upload pics if that would be of value. I just wanted to see if the gov't would have ordered full choked, long barreled shotguns for any good reason at that time.

They did offer a few, but for the most part, they were Model 12 shotguns.  Winchester manufactured both the Model 97 and the Model 12 for the U.S. Government during WW II, and the few that were made in the Sporting configuration were Model 12s.

Bert

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

February 28, 2016
6:46 pm
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A lot of the 30" M12's were actually used for Special Services so the serviceman could check one out and use it for hunting or whatever. These also have the ord. bomb on the bbl. and are quite rare today. Much rarer than Trench or Riotguns, but do not bring the high $$$'s that the trench or riots bring. If you are considering restoration, let me tell you, a original handguard will be near impossible to find, and may run over $1,000 should you find an original blued guard. Big Larry

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