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Thread: EARLY WWII M97 TRENCH GUN HELP

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  1. #1
    Legacy Member Madcap's Avatar
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    EARLY WWII M97 TRENCH GUN HELP

    I found a M97 Trench Gun for $1700. The seller states it's an early WWII. I'm considering but really need more knowledgeable help.

    Partial description:

    It has the 6-row heat shield that is typical of early WWII production (i.e. it is not Patent-marked like the WWI guns and is attached using larger rivet heads than the WWI guns). Left side of receiver is marked U.S., without the flaming bomb, as is typical of early WWII production. The barrel is dated 1940 and has the plugged front sight, as is typical of early WWII production trench guns. (NOTE: This is NOT a converted Riot gun--the barrel and magazine tube show no evidence of having had a magazine/barrel band on them. Rather, the barrel was originally intended for a riot gun but was used in trench gun production. This trench gun is metal and wood finish are almost of commercial-production quality--another trait of the early production trench guns. The butt stock is correctly marked with the boxed WB and small ordnance wheel.

    I am in contact with the seller and he wants to know what I'd offer. If further photos might help please let me know and I'll request them

    I appreciate in advance for any help
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    Last edited by Madcap; 02-07-2022 at 07:09 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Tom Doniphon is one of the ones here you ask... https://www.milsurps.com/member.php?u=6224
    Regards, Jim

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    Legacy Member Tom Doniphon's Avatar
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    It looks good. But I can't recall an early 97 trench gun that had a barrel with the front bead sight hole filled. That is a characteristic found on many of the very late WWII production 97 trench guns. Anything is possible, though. Can't tell from the photos if the bayonet adaptor fits properly. The rear of the heat shield on these guns usually partially covers the word "Model" on the barrel. This one does not. Of course, there could be several reasons for that.

    Can you get a side view photo of the bayonet adaptor including the muzzle end of the barrel?
    Are you sure the barrel is dated 1940? That's pretty early for a trench gun.
    And do the serial numbers match on the receiver and barrel extension.

    If it checks out as the real deal, then it's a steal at that price.

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    Legacy Member Madcap's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for you reply - I thought the price was a bit suspicious hence the inquiry. I'll follow up with additional photos and any info ASAP.

    edit: standing by for reply to request photos of the bayonet adapter, date and plugged sight - soon as anything shows up I'll be back. Meantime a front view of the adapter is attached if that might be helpful.

    edit: serial No. 925551 was suposedly produced in 1946 which contradicts the seller's "...early WWII trench gun production."

    Dick
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    Legacy Member Madcap's Avatar
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    Neg response from the seller for requested photos....not too surprising I'm thinking. If it were authentic it should have sold by now anyway for the asking price but if anything further comes of it I'll post and update.

    Dick.

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    Legacy Member Tom Doniphon's Avatar
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    If 925551 is the serial number, that would be an early WWII shotgun, not 1946. Winchester stopped making Model 97 trench guns well before the end of WWII.

    You would want to make sure that it was not originally a riot gun that someone put a bayonet adaptor/heat shield on. That could account for the filled in front sight hole. But there could be other reasons for that too.

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    Legacy Member Madcap's Avatar
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    Right Tom - I was looking at the M97 serial numbers....sorry. If it were a riot gun initially, I've read somewhere the military converted them and filed the front sight down or filled the hole in or was that for M97's?

    Regarding the Model12 I have I'd like to ask if you could take a look at a question about it in another thread if you don't mind.

    Thanks

  10. #8
    Legacy Member Tom Doniphon's Avatar
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    I am not aware that the military converted Model 97 (M97) riot guns to trench guns. They did convert Model 12 riot guns to trench guns.

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    Legacy Member Madcap's Avatar
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    Most likely you're correct - I get confused between differences on the 97 and the 12 WWII production yet.

    I'm not sure if you noted my latest post (#24) concerning the thread on the recent M12 purchase. If you could take a look I think I might replace the action slide sleeve cap.... https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=76092&page=3

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    Legacy Member James B.'s Avatar
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    That's an interesting gun. It has all the main features of early production WWII M97 but for the barrel. The serial number range, stock markings & receiver markings seem to be correct. However the handguard would need closer inspection. I'd say if the finish was original (hard to tell from pics.) & handguard is correct it's got to be worth the asking price even with the wrong barrel. Wouldn't any '41 '42 dated barrel be correct for this gun or was there a different bomb mark on the top?
    As a side note, does the barrel have the pinch marks where the magazine band would have indexed?
    JB

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