+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Help with Winchester Trench pls...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    Member kagero43's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Last On
    10-23-2013 @ 05:11 PM
    Posts
    4
    Local Date
    04-06-2020
    Local Time
    01:41 PM

    Help with Winchester Trench pls...

    Hello all. I hope this is right place for my question and not inundating you all with this. As part of my research in learning as much as I can on my new Trench 97, I would very much appreciate any help on ID'ing/confirming this piece from the wealth of knowledge here. Note: I am not new to WW2 milsurps and own a few other rare WW2 firearms, but have NEVER owned or fired any mililtary vintage shotguns - let alone a Winchester 97 Trench (of which I have only seen one previously in person, in all my collecting years where I live). I have some basic acquired knowledge of Trenches but nowhere near what some here possess. I also do not have any books on the Trench 97 - not "yet" anyways. So bare with me in my post and again much thanks to any info you can provide.

    I took a chance in buying this last week with my limited knowledge as I know there are a lot of "fake" Trench 1897's out there. The price however was right, and it came from a reputable and very nice dealer who just got this firearm from an estate sale, which he in turn sold to me for near what he paid as his interest is not in military pieces. In short, I paid about $250 more than a NORINCO TRENCH repro which I have coincidentally been eyeing under the logic that that is not too much extra $ for a gun with at least "some original parts" that still works. So if it turns out to be a fake, at least it only cost me a couple 100 bucks and not over $1000, with at least some provenance. Here's a text description followed by pictures:


    Overall, the finish is very old and with lots of patina (except heatshield and bayo lug assembly which appear “younger” than the rest of the gun). Some very minor surface pitting on the barrel, tub mag, and receiver sides but no major rust. Internals and bore however show that it was nurtured and taken care of (bore is almost 100% with absolutely no pitting and very bright). Gun shows “rigorous” use externally with handling marks, small dents and gouges in the stock, and some minor dents on some edges. Trigger half-cock safety works perfectly with no play and very strong. Slide action is smooth and operates as it should, as well as action release button. There is however some looseness on the handguard and slide action which I hear is normal for a gun that has seen a lot of use for almost 100 years. There are no cracks in any of the wood parts. A clue as to history may be with the web sling as it has a tiny date on the clasp (sorry no pics), of 1961 suggesting use in Vietnam???? I really wish it could talk!

    Details:
    • serial # 674xxx - w/ “E” above the serial #
    • solid frame
    • made in early 1918 or late 1917. Verified by comparing to other trench guns in the serial range at Buffalo Bill Center in Cody Wyoming – no other data was available when contacted, so could not obtain a Winchester letter for this gun.
    • US ordnance flaming bomb marked on the r-side of the receiver
    • length and is just over 39” in total
    • 20” barrel - no year stamp on barrel but has CYL and proof markings on barrel and forward receiver, with side barrel markings complete but partially hidden by heatshield
    • “appears” to have parkarized receiver but applied many years ago
    • parkerized 4-row ventilation hole heatshield and bayonet lug with “W” Winchester marking
    • Winchester butt plate appears black and made of hard plastic/rubber
    • GHD cartouche and cross cannons faintly visible on left side of butt stock

    Photos tell the rest...

    THANK YOU AGAIN!












    THANK YOU!


  2. Thank You to kagero43 For This Useful Post:


  3. # ADS
    Friends and Sponsors
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Posts
    All Threads
     

  4. #2
    Really Senior Member GUTS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Last On
    03-23-2020 @ 04:10 PM
    Location
    South Dakota
    Age
    62
    Posts
    556
    Local Date
    04-06-2020
    Local Time
    12:41 PM
    It looks real to me, it's exactly like the one I sold recently, #689971 made around 1918.





    Last edited by GUTS; 08-13-2011 at 05:37 PM.

  5. Avoid Ads - Become a Contributing Member - Click HERE
  6. #3
    Member scosgt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Last On
    12-28-2016 @ 05:22 PM
    Location
    Valley Stream
    Posts
    70
    Local Date
    04-06-2020
    Local Time
    12:41 PM
    You asked so here is the bad news...
    The serial range is correct for a WWI trench.
    Parkerized is never correct for a M97 trench
    The stock is from WWII
    The adapter is from WWII
    The markings do look right, but being hand stamped in the first place, can be faked pretty easy.
    So, in my opinion, what you have there is what was once a WWI trench, but was probably incomplete and someone decided to put it back together to make money. I can't see enough detail of the adapter to know if it is real or a repro, but I can tell you that even if Ord had redone the gun for WWII, it would be blued, and the stock would NOT be proofed. Replacement stocks do not have inspector marks but may have arsenal marks.
    I hope you didn't pay too much, because the gun has no real collector value at all. Sorry to tell you that, but collectors want original and condition is everything. You have neither condition or originality.

    As far as guts gun, it does appear correct, although worn (at almost 100 years old, it should be worn). Look at yours and his, especially in light of what I posted was wrong, and I am sure you can see the differences.

  7. #4
    Member kagero43's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Last On
    10-23-2013 @ 05:11 PM
    Posts
    4
    Local Date
    04-06-2020
    Local Time
    01:41 PM
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for your insights thus far. What I suspected but not that bad...

    Truth be told is that I paid $800 and figured I'd be shooting it alot anyways so dont want pristine one nor can afford 3- 4k. I noticed that there are a few WW1 "parkerized" ones now on auction sites going for around $600 to about $1000 (some older posts with a few sold ones even way way beyond that!). I just did not want a Norinco (no insult to you fellas that have one) as those are neat pieces, but I just have this thing for at least "some" original parts even though it is made up of combined original parts and not paying original price for a piece that is not entirely original. It is ironic in that all the Norinco 97s where I live are rare now and all shops here have been out of stock for some time. As a result, even they second hand, are now going from b/ $350, and even some later models of better quality, for around $600.

    Oh and as for keeping honest, I think we all have obligation to do "right" when we one-day resell and mention such info - thus my quest to find correct info as well - thx
    Last edited by kagero43; 08-15-2011 at 06:31 AM.

  8. #5
    Member scosgt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Last On
    12-28-2016 @ 05:22 PM
    Location
    Valley Stream
    Posts
    70
    Local Date
    04-06-2020
    Local Time
    12:41 PM
    The adapter, if not rebuilt, is probably worth the $800 you paid.
    I am glad you did not pay a big price for this gun.

  9. #6
    Really Senior Member emmagee1917's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Last On
    Today @ 01:38 PM
    Location
    Yuma , Arizona
    Posts
    1,361
    Local Date
    04-06-2020
    Local Time
    10:41 AM
    I have a WW2 trench that was all orig. but had been carried alot and used little. It had been carried so much that the markings around the front of reciever and rear of barrel had worn to almost gone. The previous owner had had it refinished and cleaned and tuned to new . I bought it as a shooter for $1,000 and I've had a ton of fun with it. I also picked up one of those better made Norico trenches and , after going through it and smoothing it up / cleaning off the burrs / etc. , it's almost as good as the original . Enjoy it for what it is.
    Chris

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Winchester M12 trench gun questions
    By Berwyn in forum Military Shotguns
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 01-13-2013, 06:28 PM
  2. Winchester 97 Trench Shotgun
    By alamo308 in forum Military Shotguns
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-13-2010, 07:33 AM
  3. winchester model 12 trench
    By danb in forum Military Shotguns
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-15-2010, 12:53 PM
  4. Winchester model 12 trench question
    By jjh in forum Military Shotguns
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-30-2009, 12:55 AM
  5. Winchester Model 1897 WWI Trench Gun M97
    By sleepla8er in forum Military Shotguns
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-06-2009, 12:22 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts