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Winchester 1897 with its barrel in the trenches
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September 8, 2021 - 10:31 pm
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Hey there, been a long time reader and gleaned much from this forum. 

I recently picked up a 1906 C series “trench gun”, except that the trench part is bogus. Serial dates it to 1906, but the barrel itself, based on commentary from Bert H. I’ve read in similar threads, has markings from years in the future. I’ve attached pictures. I didn’t pay trench gun prices, but closer to that of a chopped version, so I’m happy with it.

What I’d like your opinions/speculations on is why. The barrel itself is clearly a trench barrel; its marked cyl and even has the three relief cuts for the bayonet lug. Perhaps someone tried to pass it off as such to turn a buck at one point? But as you can see by the wrench markings it was clearly done by not the best smith. 

Just seems like a waste of a perfectly fine trench barrel/trench gun. 

Any input would be appreciated. Cheers!

 

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-n-

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September 8, 2021 - 11:59 pm
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Hmmm… the barrel is definitely much later than the receiver, and it is not authentic military Trench Gun barrel.  The fact that it has the chamber length marked on it tells me that it was manufactured after 1930.  The remainder of the markings on it tell me that it pre-dates the WW II production Trench Guns (which were all Take Downs).  My educated guess tells me that the barrel was manufactured sometime after 1930, but before 1940, and that it may have been intended for one of the Police Department or Prison contracts.  There should be a 2-digit year (date) stamped on the bottom of the barrel just forward of the receiver frame.

Bert

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September 9, 2021 - 12:39 am
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Hey Bert! Thanks for the reply! Youre right, theres a 41 under there. Such a strange configuration. 

I know Winchester values have been kinda nuts lately, but do you have an educated guess as to the value of something like this? 

 

Cheers!

-n-

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September 9, 2021 - 2:22 am
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Noah Kite said
Hey Bert! Thanks for the reply! Youre right, theres a 41 under there. Such a strange configuration. 

I know Winchester values have been kinda nuts lately, but do you have an educated guess as to the value of something like this? 

 

Cheers!

-n-  

Maybe $300 – $400 for some needing a home defense gun.  It has no value in the “collector” market.

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September 9, 2021 - 7:44 pm
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Bert H. said

Maybe $300 – $400 for some needing a home defense gun.  It has no value in the “collector” market.  

Yeah I figured. Thank you Bert for the info, and also for all the other info you’ve contributed throughout this forum. 

I have one request: Could you either direct me to, or create a list of the exact changes as they occurred from C to D to E? By now I’ve cobbled together my own list, forearm changes, mag release buttons, etc. but I’ve found it very hard to find a comprehensive list anywhere on the internet, and I feel that having that info readily available for new 97 enthusiasts would make a huge difference not only in understanding and appreciating the versions but also avoiding scams. 

 

Thanks again for all your help! 

 

-n-

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September 10, 2021 - 12:01 am
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Noah Kite said

I have one request: Could you either direct me to, or create a list of the exact changes as they occurred from C to D to E? By now I’ve cobbled together my own list, forearm changes, mag release buttons, etc. but I’ve found it very hard to find a comprehensive list anywhere on the internet, and I feel that having that info readily available for new 97 enthusiasts would make a huge difference not only in understanding and appreciating the versions but also avoiding scams. 

 

Thanks again for all your help! 

 

-n-  

I do not (yet) have a comprehensive list of all the changes that Winchester made to the Model 1897 throughout its production run.  What I do know is this… there were numerous changes made within each series of guns.  Specifically, not all of the “C” series guns were manufactured with the exact same mechanical configuration.  Hopefully I will someday find a document tucked away in the boxes of files stored in the vaults at the Cody Museum.

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September 10, 2021 - 12:53 am
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This list of changes to the 1893 and 1897 shotguns may be of some help.  I do not know how accurate it is.

Model 97 Version Changes (homestead.com)

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September 10, 2021 - 4:51 pm
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Tom D said
This list of changes to the 1893 and 1897 shotguns may be of some help.  I do not know how accurate it is.

Model 97 Version Changes (homestead.com)  

Interesting information, Tom.

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September 14, 2021 - 6:13 am
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Bert H. said

I do not (yet) have a comprehensive list of all the changes that Winchester made to the Model 1897 throughout its production run.  What I do know is this… there were numerous changes made within each series of guns.  Specifically, not all of the “C” series guns were manufactured with the exact same mechanical configuration.  Hopefully I will someday find a document tucked away in the boxes of files stored in the vaults at the Cody Museum.  

Darn. I could have sworn years ago I stumbled across a bare bones list of the major changes from letter to letter, but I musta made that up because I haven’t been able to find it since. 

Hahaha that would be awesome! 

Thanks again for all the info!

 

Tom D said
This list of changes to the 1893 and 1897 shotguns may be of some help.  I do not know how accurate it is.

Model 97 Version Changes (homestead.com)  

This has some great details, thank you Tom! 

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