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Winchester 97 butt plate color
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September 29, 2022 - 12:23 am
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I have a dark, reddish brown, hard rubber Win 97 butt plate. Flat, with standard logo and checkering. Can anyone tell me if this is a Winchester-manufactured style or not, and if so, is it from a particular time period? Thanks!

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September 29, 2022 - 2:35 am
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Can you post a few clear pictures of the butt plate?

Bert

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September 29, 2022 - 6:21 am
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I took a few photos, but it looks more black than brown in them. Was just wondering if anyone had heard of dark brown butt plates and, if so, had any info on them. Thanks for reply.

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September 29, 2022 - 12:36 pm
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Frank Hollingshead said
I took a few photos, but it looks more black than brown in them. Was just wondering if anyone had heard of dark brown butt plates and, if so, had any info on them. Thanks for reply.

  

Under certain conditions, the original black hard rubber butt plates could change color to an off colored brownish or greenish color.  Again, I need to see pictures of your butt plate.  You can email them to me at – [email protected]

Bert

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October 2, 2022 - 4:24 pm
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The so called hard rubber butt plates used by Winchester, were actually made of gutta-percha.  It was used in many firearms applications, back in the day.  Most “plastic” grips on old revolvers including Colt were made of gutta-percha.  You can tell the difference between this material and plastic, because the gutta-percha will often turn brown and when wet, it will have a very subtle green hue to it.  It also has a very pungent odor to it when damp.

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October 2, 2022 - 7:43 pm
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While I don’t disagree that gutta percha may have been used on some center fire Winchesters, compression molded “Hard Rubber” was in fact used on many of the bolt action Winchester .22s from 1900 until about 1937.  The hard rubber used on the .22s of that era is jet black, even in bright sunlight and when wet.

I have seen the discolored butt plates on some of the center fire Winchesters and agree, it is likely a different material than the hard rubber used on the .22s, I just didn’t want any confusion about the actual usage of genuine “hard rubber” on the .22s.

Best Regards, 

WACA Life Member #6284 - Specializing in Pre-64 Winchester .22 Rimfire

http://rimfirepublications.com/  

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October 2, 2022 - 11:03 pm
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Quick test for gutta percha:  a red hot needle will penetrate the surface, but not hard rubber.  Black is not the “natural color,” but the result of adding carbon black to the raw product; both can be dyed almost any color. 

There’s no single “rubber tree,” but many different species; the sap of one is used to produce gutta percha, the sap of a different but closely related tree is turned into rubber.

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