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  1. #1
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    1897 Project No. 1

    Picked it up today. Here is what we have...


    I took the forend apart. You can see how the magazine ring portion of the extension is deformed, and the huge crack in it. Whatever damage it suffered, I think the barrel is slightly bent upward starting about 12 inches from the breech. This got me worried that the receiver may have been damaged. Well, I took the forend of the other 1897 takedown I scored over the weekend, and it locked in fine and tight so I think we are good. New extension in the mail. Repro trench gun barrel already here. I'll get started fixing the crack in the stock, and making a repair piece for the slide handle. Looks like the action was stuck, and someone beat on the slide with a drift, exploding out that little sliver.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Humble beginning are...the single blow of a hammer.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    I haven't seen a very good explanation anywhere yet...just why and how does the forend "wear" over time to become loose in these takedown models?
    My hunch is that the adjustment sleeve is purposefully made softer than the receiver threads (so not to wear those), and with repeated taking off and putting back on, the threads on the adjustment sleeve just aren't as tight. Adjusting to another notch presses the sleeve threads into the receiver threads just a bit more, taking up rearward play in the forend. Does that sound right?

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    Does that sound right?
    That's right, tightens it up. You'll immediately feel it.
    Regards, Jim

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    Legacy Member baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Nice project ‘97, looking forward to seeing your work progress. Never did much with my ‘97s except shoot them and replace the bad wood on my mismatched sn gun.
    “Give’em hell, Pike.”

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baltimoreed View Post
    replace the bad wood
    I thought about new wood, then looking for the slide handle made me think twice - unobtainable. That "crack" on the wrist is a splinter lifting up. I'll use some epoxy to fix it. I've seen some drill for pins to fix it, but since it's not really a crack I think I'm fine.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Day-job work caught up to me, and things have been real slow in the shop.
    My lucky-find streak back in march gave x2 1897's and one model 12, and all the parts I needed, with only 3 digits of dollars spent across all. Just as I had everything collected up and ready to go, my order for heat shields was canceled - said he wasn't taking new orders, which made it easy to shelve the projects for other priorities.
    I happened to check his site today, and it says new orders for 97 shields accepted, so I pounced again. Hasn't been cancelled yet so fingers crossed!

    Playing around with the model 12 for the last several months, I really don't like the design as well as the 97. I cleaned it up, and put on a new barrel sleeve on it so it fits up nice-n-tight now. With only 10% or less finish left, I'm thinking of just slow-rust bluing and selling it as is. For the 97's, I've decided to do one a trench gun, and keep the other one 30" full choke.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I'm on the other side, I like the mod 12 better, I guess for looks.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I guess for looks
    I'm partial to a sexy firearm myself, but that has to take 2nd place to what I like about functionality. Personal preference, but I suppose I prefer the 97 for the same reason I don't like striker-fired pistols or why I would like having a lever safety over a pushbutton one. Of course one must make exceptions with old guns. Call me what you will, but I like to be able to see and feel what condition a weapon is in, especially in the dark. The model 12 does have some improvements, but I don't find "hammerless" as one of em.
    Then again...how many times have I racked my hands with the bolt flying back? Meh...someone once said "you can't always get what you want, but you try sometimes". I say I'll refinish and sell it...but I often think better, in this case if I did then well my kids would have to duck or turkey hunt with a trench gun! See so I spose I need 2 longuns then, and I'll have to find this post for reference when my wife yells at me for having too many shotguns now.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    took some vacation days this week. was tearing the receiver on this one down to get it ready for re-finishing. The inside is full of dull reddish brown sludge. Will get a good scrub before boiling. The bolt face shows wear - but no shiny spots. Some other areas / parts lead me to believe this shotgun has been re-blued before. The serial, however, of the broken extension matches the receiver - so I don't think it's a parts-rifle.


    Looking the receiver over after disassembly, it should clean up real nice!...except the chamber ring screws are already buggered. Now we can't have a beautifully slow-hand-blued receiver with ugly buggered screw heads now can we. One side came out ok. The other side is frozen in, and not enough screw head left to bite on. I tried soaking overnight in kroil. tried some heat too, and no. One of my nice screwdriver bits even bent trying to get it. It will likely need to be drilled out and then chase the threads clean. This will be dicey work as there is a shank below the threads, just undersized. I'll have to drill very carefully to the minor diameter of the threads, not too big to enlarge the hole, but big enough to separate the bottom half of the screw.
    I'm trying to guess the thread pitch. On the screw that came out, the diameter is 0.118, and I think I counted 6 threads in 1/8 inch. This makes me guess it's #4-48...or maybe #5-44. Hard to tell as the threads go all the way up the head and the top few are buggered. #5-44 are unobtainable to test...but a tap set is cheap and easy to get.

    I'm not worried...yet. Let's get the receiver metal prepped and keep plugging along.

    EDIT: The chamber ring screws are indeed x-xx . I found a screw at the bottom of the odd bits jar, and...perfect fit. Maybe the original measured a few thous. wider because it was over tightened.
    Last edited by ssgross; 07-10-2022 at 10:45 PM.

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