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Winchester 1897 Riot
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June 25, 2023 - 6:40 pm
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 I have been looking for years for a M97 Trench. Finding a great example has proven to be hard. Seems like their are quite a few in the market with “Full” choke’s. Found a few that appeared to be converted riot’s with filled front sight hole’s. Finally found a copy of Joe Poyer’s book at a local book store 2nd edition in LN condition. Decided to instead of trench, to look for a riot that was affordable to this hobby collector. Long story short I was driving to work a couple of weeks ago and happened by a older lady putting out a yard sale sign. As I was the first person to be their I decided to stop. In talking to the nice lady she stated that her Father in Law had passed and she was clearing out the house to sell it. Seem like he had been a Michigan State Trooper his entire life. What a collection of State police items she had. I picked up a Colt Police Pos in 38 special that had been his carry gun for years. As I was looking over the collection of long guns she continued to bring out more. She laid out two 12ga shot guns on the table. A model 1897 Riot and a model 12 Riot. Decisions, Decisions what to grab. The 1897 was calling to me and the price was right. Joe’s book confirmed I have an original riot but that is about all. Was wondering if you all here can shed more light on what I have. I tried to look up the serial numbers and believe it was made in 1924. Can I get an educated opinion from someone as to what condition they see. The bore is perfect, and hardly any wear on the loading gate. Looks like it spent it’s life riding along with a State Trooper. Thanks for looking guy’s can’t wait to hear the good an bad about my Winchester.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/AEacCHLWw3u1ReeaA

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June 25, 2023 - 6:54 pm
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Hello Richard,

That is a very nice Model 97 Riot Gun.  It is easily in the 90% graded condition range.  Per the official Winchester records, it was manufactured in early June 1922.

Bert

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June 25, 2023 - 7:32 pm
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Thanks Bert, so 101 years old. She is in really nice shape for an older girl. When I looked at the bolt face their is barely a mark on it. Don’t think she has been fired much at all. Oh and I paid a bit more than that price on the stock. That was on it when I got it so I just left it in place. 

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June 25, 2023 - 7:44 pm
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richard dunham said
Thanks Bert, so 101 years old. She is in really nice shape for an older girl. When I looked at the bolt face their is barely a mark on it. Don’t think she has been fired much at all. Oh and I paid a bit more than that price on the stock. That was on it when I got it so I just left it in place. 

  

I would have happily paid 6X the number on that price tag!

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June 26, 2023 - 4:01 am
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You did quite well.  Great looking riot gun.

FYI, some of the late production Model 97 trench guns were made using riot barrels with filled in front sight holes.

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June 26, 2023 - 3:02 pm
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Tom D said
You did quite well.  Great looking riot gun.

FYI, some of the late production Model 97 trench guns were made using riot barrels with filled in front sight holes.

  

Yes, my M97 Trenchgun is # 955552 and has a filled sight hole. Not sure they were riot bbls. as they do not have the provision for a bbl. band. I believe they were machined on. The hole is very professionally filled.   Big Larry

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June 26, 2023 - 10:00 pm
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Good to know, I was under the impression that none of the issued gun’s had front sight holes in them. Not the only reason that I had passed on some of them, just added to it. Whenever someone has to say to me that, according to the story or I was told, when selling something I tend to back off. Part of the reason I decided to go with riot’s was all the nuances that go with the Trench’s. I’m just informed enough to be relieved of my funds. Seems like their are 2 fakes for every real one out there. From what I’ve seen some of them are really good. Poyers book is really great to sort out most of them. I’m still hoping to run across one at an estate sale or small auction from some old timer that has had it in the safe for 50 years. Used to hunt rabbits at the farm..lol

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June 26, 2023 - 10:55 pm
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As a US Militaria collector in my younger days, specializing in US WW1 and WW2 shotguns, I found Poyers book to be seriously lacking. Do yourself a favor and pick up a couple of Bruce Canfields excellent books. No one knows more on the subject than him.  Big Larry

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June 27, 2023 - 1:15 am
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Big Larry said
As a US Militaria collector in my younger days, specializing in US WW1 and WW2 shotguns, I found Poyers book to be seriously lacking. Do yourself a favor and pick up a couple of Bruce Canfields excellent books. No one knows more on the subject than him.  Big Larry

  

Just like I said, enough to be lightened of my funds. Glad that I only paid $ for the book an not the $$$ hundred many are asking. I will check those books out, you can never have enough knowledge. Thx Larry 

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June 27, 2023 - 3:09 pm
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richard dunham said

Big Larry said

As a US Militaria collector in my younger days, specializing in US WW1 and WW2 shotguns, I found Poyers book to be seriously lacking. Do yourself a favor and pick up a couple of Bruce Canfields excellent books. No one knows more on the subject than him.  Big Larry

  

Just like I said, enough to be lightened of my funds. Glad that I only paid $ for the book an not the $$$ hundred many are asking. I will check those books out, you can never have enough knowledge. Thx Larry 

  

Collecting US Martial shotguns can be a rewarding experience. You are correct that there are more put togethers out there than legit guns. This happens with many high dollar Winchesters. All brands of Trenchguns are very expensive, especially the M10 Remington and M37 Ithaca. If you do intend to buy one, seek info out from those who know these guns.  Tom D. and of course Bert H. ,are a couple that know their stuff. Watch for fake cartouches. One of the biggest area of fakery. IMHO no cartouche, pass.  I kept this one. Too nice to sell. Been offered over $10,000. for it.   Big Larry

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June 27, 2023 - 4:40 pm
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Nice gun, congrats! I’ve been casually looking for an 1897 riot gun for awhile but not in any hurry. I’m not interested in a trench gun because some of the fakers are very good at what they do and I simply can’t tell. Books are a good investment in time and money, I have two of Canfield’s books on the subject but haven’t taken the time to read them. I would read all I could find, study lots of guns and consult with trusted collectors before buying a trench gun these days!

 

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June 27, 2023 - 7:32 pm
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TXGunNut said
Nice gun, congrats! I’ve been casually looking for an 1897 riot gun for awhile but not in any hurry. I’m not interested in a trench gun because some of the fakers are very good at what they do and I simply can’t tell. Books are a good investment in time and money, I have two of Canfield’s books on the subject but haven’t taken the time to read them. I would read all I could find, study lots of guns and consult with trusted collectors before buying a trench gun these days!

 

Mike

  

Years ago, I had the nicest WW2 M97 Riot gun I have ever seen. It was mint, probably unfired, had the hand stamped ord. bomb on the bbl., and a early WB cartouche with the large wheel. It also had the ultra rare factory swivels. Should have kept that one. Got it out of Shotgun News. Big Larry

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June 28, 2023 - 1:57 am
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Big Larry said

TXGunNut said

Nice gun, congrats! I’ve been casually looking for an 1897 riot gun for awhile but not in any hurry. I’m not interested in a trench gun because some of the fakers are very good at what they do and I simply can’t tell. Books are a good investment in time and money, I have two of Canfield’s books on the subject but haven’t taken the time to read them. I would read all I could find, study lots of guns and consult with trusted collectors before buying a trench gun these days!

 

Mike

  

Years ago, I had the nicest WW2 M97 Riot gun I have ever seen. It was mint, probably unfired, had the hand stamped ord. bomb on the bbl., and a early WB cartouche with the large wheel. It also had the ultra rare factory swivels. Should have kept that one. Got it out of Shotgun News. Big Larry

  

That is one fine example of a M97 trench. I have seen guns that look nearly as nice but are just put together copies. While having a copy to run and Play around with is not bad. Knowing selling one as an original to a another is wrong on many levels. A few years ago I posted on here a 1895 win in 38-72. I was fed a line and I took the bait. I didn’t get beat up to bad, but it made me very skeptical going forward. 

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