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Winchester 1897 Slug Barrel Question
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February 2, 2023 - 2:07 am
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I had installed this past weekend a Winchester factory made slug barrel made by Winchester for the Model 1897 shotgun . I had been thinking it was a rifled barrel but gunsmith said it was slug barrel. Does anyone know if Winchester sold the 1897 out of the box with the slug barrel or if some 1897 were sold as a two barrel set consisting of a regular barrel and slug barrel or if it was simply distributed and sold as an stand alone barrel. Info as to years available and production numbers would also be appreciated. Thanks

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February 2, 2023 - 3:06 am
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During the 60-year production run for the Model 1897/97, it was never offered or catalogued with a “Slug” barrel. What is the length of the barrel that was installed on your gun? What is marked on it?

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February 2, 2023 - 5:26 pm
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Any non choked barrel can be a slug barrel.  Winchester, as far as I know, never made a rifled slug barrel for the 1897’s. I do shoot slugs through my modified choke but I am talking about a Modern shotgun.  Make sure you check the Manufacturers data on which choke to use, better yet which ones not to use, for slugs.

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February 2, 2023 - 5:34 pm
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What about the, “Brush Gun” with the 26 inch barrel? (I know it wasn’t rifled).

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February 2, 2023 - 7:04 pm
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Bert H. said
During the 60-year production run for the Model 1897/97, it was never offered or catalogued with a “Slug” barrel. What is the length of the barrel that was installed on your gun? What is marked on it?

  

The barrel length is 19 and 1/2 inches exactly. 
The barrel is marked as follows:

MODEL 97 — WINCHESTER  12 GA

                 2 3/4 CHAM.

                      CYL.

What made me think it was a rifled (which it is not) or a slug barrel is that it has a back metal sight about 7 1/2 inches from the breach of the barrel and an iron sight near the end of the barrel. Also as I have a couple or so more 1897 shotguns they all have FULL (choke) to designate choke. This barrel has no choke designation. 

Definitely a WINCHESTER barrel for the Model 97.  You have got me now wondering if it is a riot barrel that someone put iron sights on.   I have equipped one of my 1897 with an aftermarket riot barrel from numrich so I cannot compare there. 

Thanks 

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February 2, 2023 - 7:07 pm
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steve004 said
What about the, “Brush Gun” with the 26 inch barrel? (I know it wasn’t rifled).

  

Barrel is precisely 19 1/2 inches. Please see reply to Bert. I should have included in original post more info. 

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February 2, 2023 - 7:12 pm
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Chuck said
Any non choked barrel can be a slug barrel.  Winchester, as far as I know, never made a rifled slug barrel for the 1897’s. I do shoot slugs through my modified choke but I am talking about a Modern shotgun.  Make sure you check the Manufacturers data on which choke to use, better yet which ones not to use, for slugs.

  

Thanks for the info and advice. I will only use low brass buckshot in it. See my reply to Bert. I am thinking it may be a riot barrel someone put iron sights on  

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February 2, 2023 - 7:42 pm
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[email protected] said

Bert H. said

During the 60-year production run for the Model 1897/97, it was never offered or catalogued with a “Slug” barrel. What is the length of the barrel that was installed on your gun? What is marked on it?

  

The barrel length is 19 and 1/2 inches exactly. 

The barrel is marked as follows:

MODEL 97 — WINCHESTER  12 GA

                 2 3/4 CHAM.

                      CYL.

What made me think it was a rifled (which it is not) or a slug barrel is that it has a back metal sight about 7 1/2 inches from the breach of the barrel and an iron sight near the end of the barrel. Also as I have a couple or so more 1897 shotguns they all have FULL (choke) to designate choke. This barrel has no choke designation. 

Definitely a WINCHESTER barrel for the Model 97.  You have got me now wondering if it is a riot barrel that someone put iron sights on.   I have equipped one of my 1897 with an aftermarket riot barrel from numrich so I cannot compare there. 

Thanks 

  

Bert H. said
During the 60-year production run for the Model 1897/97, it was never offered or catalogued with a “Slug” barrel. What is the length of the barrel that was installed on your gun? What is marked on it?

  

Bert I measured incorrect. Barely is 20 inches was July 5 10

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February 2, 2023 - 7:48 pm
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[email protected] said

Bert H. said

During the 60-year production run for the Model 1897/97, it was never offered or catalogued with a “Slug” barrel. What is the length of the barrel that was installed on your gun? What is marked on it?

  

The barrel length is 19 and 1/2 inches exactly. 

The barrel is marked as follows:

MODEL 97 — WINCHESTER  12 GA

                 2 3/4 CHAM.

                      CYL.

What made me think it was a rifled (which it is not) or a slug barrel is that it has a back metal sight about 7 1/2 inches from the breach of the barrel and an iron sight near the end of the barrel. Also as I have a couple or so more 1897 shotguns they all have FULL (choke) to designate choke. This barrel has no choke designation. 

Definitely a WINCHESTER barrel for the Model 97.  You have got me now wondering if it is a riot barrel that someone put iron sights on.   I have equipped one of my 1897 with an aftermarket riot barrel from numrich so I cannot compare there. 

Thanks 

  

Can you send me clear pictures of the sights on the barrel and the factory markings on it? 

The marking “CYL” on the barrel is the choke designation and it indicates Cylinder Bore.

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February 2, 2023 - 7:54 pm
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Steve,

The Brush Gun was standard with a 26-inch CYL bore barrel, but it could have been ordered with a MOD or FULL choke. That stated, the Brush Gun barrels were identically marked to the standard production barrels. Winchester discontinued the Brush Gun variation in 1931 (I believe)

Bert

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February 2, 2023 - 8:55 pm
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Chuck said
Any non choked barrel can be a slug barrel.  Winchester, as far as I know, never made a rifled slug barrel for the 1897’s. I do shoot slugs through my modified choke but I am talking about a Modern shotgun.  Make sure you check the Manufacturers data on which choke to use, better yet which ones not to use, for slugs.

  

I have a Winchester M1897 set up as a slug gun – I acquired it that way.  It has a receiver sight and a barrel band front sight (both Williams Gun Sight Company as I recall).  It was manufactured in 1905 and has a 30 inch full choke barrel – no modifications.  I have shot some generic slugs out of it (50 yards) and was surprised that they grouped exceptionally well.  They weren’t even all the same brand!

Is shooting this piece a concern given the choked barrel?

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February 2, 2023 - 9:03 pm
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steve004 said

Chuck said

Any non choked barrel can be a slug barrel.  Winchester, as far as I know, never made a rifled slug barrel for the 1897’s. I do shoot slugs through my modified choke but I am talking about a Modern shotgun.  Make sure you check the Manufacturers data on which choke to use, better yet which ones not to use, for slugs.

  

I have a Winchester M1897 set up as a slug gun – I acquired it that way.  It has a receiver sight and a barrel band front sight (both Williams Gun Sight Company as I recall).  It was manufactured in 1905 and has a 30 inch full choke barrel – no modifications.  I have shot some generic slugs out of it (50 yards) and was surprised that they grouped exceptionally well.  They weren’t even all the same brand!

Is shooting this piece a concern given the choked barrel?

  

No, it is not.  Winchester specifically stated that their shotguns (the Model 1897 and Model 1912) were designed for “Buck & Ball” unless marked otherwise.  Slugs shoot perfectly fine through Full choke barrels.  It is an urban myth when you read or hear somebody say it is unsafe to shoot slugs in a Full choke gun.  Winchester did make some shotguns with extra Full chokes, and they are marked “Not for Ball”.

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February 2, 2023 - 9:13 pm
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Bert H. said

steve004 said

Chuck said

Any non choked barrel can be a slug barrel.  Winchester, as far as I know, never made a rifled slug barrel for the 1897’s. I do shoot slugs through my modified choke but I am talking about a Modern shotgun.  Make sure you check the Manufacturers data on which choke to use, better yet which ones not to use, for slugs.

  

I have a Winchester M1897 set up as a slug gun – I acquired it that way.  It has a receiver sight and a barrel band front sight (both Williams Gun Sight Company as I recall).  It was manufactured in 1905 and has a 30 inch full choke barrel – no modifications.  I have shot some generic slugs out of it (50 yards) and was surprised that they grouped exceptionally well.  They weren’t even all the same brand!

Is shooting this piece a concern given the choked barrel?

  

No, it is not.  Winchester specifically stated that their shotguns (the Model 1897 and Model 1912) were designed for “Buck & Ball” unless marked otherwise.  Slugs shoot perfectly fine through Full choke barrels.  It is an urban myth when you read or hear somebody say it is unsafe to shoot slugs in a Full choke gun.  Winchester did make some shotguns with extra Full chokes, and they are marked “Not for Ball”.

  

Thanks Bert!  Now if I could just get the younger version of me back – when it didn’t hurt as much to shoot it!

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February 2, 2023 - 11:11 pm
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I shoot modern guns and the literature with the guns say never shoot slugs with a full choke.  So I change the choke.  If I were to shoot slugs in an 1897 I would want a cylinder barrel.  That’s just me.

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