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Thread: Newly inherited Winchester 1897, could use info

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    Member Fourtyfive's Avatar
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    Newly inherited Winchester 1897, could use info

    Inherited an 1897 take down that belonged to my great grandpa. I don't know much about these, but have been doing some research to find as much as I can.

    Serial # is E941xxx which I found dated to 1942, barrel is also stamped 42. It has the US Flaming bomb markings on the receiver as well as the bomb on barrel with what appears to be WP markings, but they're pretty rough and hard to make out. The stock has the "WB" cartouche and ordinance marking, but almost completely worn off. I actually didn't even notice the ordinance mark until it showed up in the camera. Not sure if it was ever a Trench/riot gun or what. There is no barrel shroud, sling swivels, or bayonet lug. The barrel is just under 20" cyl bore and doesn't have a bead site.

    The things throwing me off on this is, There isn't a bead on the barrel, and the coloring is more of a brown than blued, which may just be discoloring from sitting in a corner for 25ish years.


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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    It would appear as though grandpa chopped all the military bits off the barrel shroud.
    What you have there is what's left after cutting off the heat shield and bayonet lug (and this took the bead with it).

    If the guard was simply discarded when the shotgun moved into civilian life, there would be nothing holding the magazine tube to the barrel. This is a pretty clever alternative to having to buy more parts. Neat!

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Agreed, you have the third transverse groove for the forward screw of the bayonet adapter present so if you manage to find a replacement shroud you have a proper trench gun again.

    Regards, Jim

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    Member Fourtyfive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    if you manage to find a replacement shroud you have a proper trench gun again.
    Thank you for the replies. Haven't really looked to much for the shroud, but did find a reproduction on numrich and a few other sites. I have no interest in selling the gun, but would like to restore it to former glory. It sucks because we got this, a 1937/38 1903 Springfield and an Arisakaicon type 99, and he sporterized all of them. the Arisaka was re-chambered to 300 Savage.

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    This one would be definitely worth paying up for an original. Preferably one with the same "been there, done that" look as the rest of the shotgun.
    I wouldn't mind seeing some pics of the sporterized stuff. Especially the 1903.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtyfive View Post
    did find a reproduction on numrich and a few other sites
    You'll need to look hard, not at Numrich. There are other repros that are good but you CAN find originals if you seek them. You should figure out which exact one you need and then the search begins. Gunbroker for instance...here on a WTB...
    Regards, Jim

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    Member Fourtyfive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    You'll need to look hard, not at Numrich
    Yea I just googled barrel shroud to see what came up and found the one at numrich. Wasn't looking there specifically. hopefully I can find one.
    Edit: I did find one that claims to be "Unissued government replacement parts". but how true that is is a different question. UNISSUED Winchester 1897 heat shield with bayonet lug

    Another thing I am curious about is the missing swivel on the stock. There doesn't seem to be any where it was attached. So if someone did repair that section of the stock, they did a damn good job.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcathey View Post
    I wouldn't mind seeing some pics of the sporterized stuff. Especially the 1903
    Here are a few photos of the Springfield. Serial # 870xxx and has US on the left side by the front scope mount. No other markings that I saw. My dad still has the Arisakaicon.
    Last edited by Fourtyfive; 12-08-2019 at 10:31 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtyfive View Post
    the missing swivel on the stock.
    I'm wondering if someone has altered the angle of the belly of the stock...what is the buttplate, brass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtyfive View Post
    "Unissued government replacement parts".
    Even in the '70s when I last saw an original it was more than that. An original will be more than $149...I promise.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Even in the '70s when I last saw an original it was more than that. An original will be more than $149...I promise.
    One sold on eBay 4 days ago for $400.

    To the OP, that's not a bad looking sporter! It would improve things considerably, looks wise, if it had a vintage scope on it. An old Weaver K4 or something like that would be just the ticket.

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    Member Fourtyfive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I'm wondering if someone has altered the angle of the belly of the stock...what is the buttplate, brass?
    No. Its a discolored white plastic.
    Last edited by Fourtyfive; 12-09-2019 at 11:32 AM.

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