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Winchester Model 1897


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Old 07-04-2010, 01:56 AM   #11
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I need to clarify my above statement on barrel lengths and choke markings. I posted above from memory. My memory isnt near as good as it used to be, and it used to be terrible. Anyway after rereading my reference books the model 1897 had 4 lengths of barrels. Twenty inch riot and trench both cylinder choked, 26" cylinder bore "brush gun" 30" and 32" modified and full.
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 30-30remchester View Post
Hello UNDERFIRE in your statement above you warn against using modern sized ammo? The 2 3/4" shotshell is the standard shotshell used throughout the world.
In 12 gauge, in the US, yes the 2 3/4" shell is the standard, and has been so for a LONG time, since before 1897.

16 gauge is a different story. The more common shell before WWII was the
2 9/16". Firing 2 3/4" in a 2 9/16" gun works, but has the potential for
high pressures. I've got a 1913 16 ga '97 in the shop right now getting the
chamber lengthened to 2 3/4".
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:57 AM   #13
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In 12 gauge, in the US, yes the 2 3/4" shell is the standard, and has been so for a LONG time, since before 1897.
Standard length until the 30's was 2 1/2 inches. There's plenty of original 97's around with 2 1/2 inch chambers.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by 30-30remchester View Post
Hello UNDERFIRE in your statement above you warn against using modern sized ammo? The 2 3/4" shotshell is the standard shotshell used throughout the world. It is the most fired and reloaded round in the world by a vast margin, military use excluded. What do you consider modern sized? Are you one of those guys that like shotshells as long as a maidens leg? Anyway I have enjoyed your previous posts.
It was just a warning...
Yes, the 2 3/4" 12ga. shell has been around for probably a century now. Before the 2 3/4" length, 12ga was 2 1/2" length (good luck finding that size). When using a vintage shotgun one needs to know that these model 97s are for low base or field loads only, not for high velocity ammo! high velocity ammo = modern shotshells
Although 3" shells have been around for 40+ yrs. they should not be attempted to be used in this shotgun (Win. model 97) either.

Don't get me started about 3 1/2" shells, because yeah that's my favorite load. So I guess I am "one of those guys that like shotshells as long as a maidens leg".
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As to barrel length of 1897 Winchesters I have never heard of a factory 18" (doesnt mean they dont exist its that after my fairly extensive reading I have never heard of this length).
I never stated there was an 18" barrel length for the model M97.
steve666 did. I only agreed since he said he owns one, but I believe it would be more of a Law Enforcement model rather than the M97 military model. Either way there would be markings on the receiver depicting LE or GI.
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Originally Posted by 30-30remchester View Post
I need to clarify my above statement on barrel lengths and choke markings. I posted above from memory. My memory isnt near as good as it used to be, and it used to be terrible. Anyway after rereading my reference books the model 1897 had 4 lengths of barrels. Twenty inch riot and trench both cylinder choked, 26" cylinder bore "brush gun" 30" and 32" modified and full..
Actually, there is a 28" barrel for a civilian model 97. My experiences with reference books is that they don't give a full account of what is actually original equipment for a particular product from the past, but are more of a good basic reference.

Last edited by UnderFire; 07-04-2010 at 09:45 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:19 PM   #15
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UNDERFIRE while many people use these forums for "chest thumping, Im smarter than you are" ego trips, I view them for exchanging imformation. This leads many times into heated exchanges. This is not my thing. I learn much, but actually go on searches for more imfo on a particular subject. Your above posts about modern ammo doesnt ring true from my research. The 12 guage 2 3/4" and 3" were always loaded to a MAP of 11,500 psi, from my research. Does anyone have any other imfo? The model 1897 has been using modern ammo for many years. The 97 wasnt discontinued till 1957 well into modern times. The shorter shells werent standard till WWII, Winchester changed over to 2 3/4" in both 20 and 16 guages in 1926. I read a study once that was done in a labratory about using 3" shells in a gun chambered in 2 3/4" chambers. From my memory this didnt significantly increase pressures. This really shocked me. I wish I could remember where to find this data. I will agree that many reference books simply repeat others words. However I try to find the best imfo avaliable. I am not a very knowledgable 97 authority. However the barrel lenghts I quoted came directly fron The Winchester Book. Very little imfo was available on the 97's. Can you direct me to a site that states a 28" barrel? I always viewed any barrel length not listed in factory litrature as a cut gun. This is just MY OPINION. I have myself over the years cut off aftermarket choke devices thus leaving the barrels slightly shorter than standard.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:31 PM   #16
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Standard length until the 30's was 2 1/2 inches. There's plenty of original 97's around with 2 1/2 inch chambers.
Interesting. From my Blue Book of Gun Values, 30th edition: "The model
1897 was the first Winchester shotgun chambered for 2 3/4" smokeless
ammunition"

Not saying they don't exist, but I've seen a few hundred 97's from
pre 1900 through the mid 50's and I've never seen one marked 2 1/2".

They MIGHT have done some 2 1/2" guns for export--the 2 1/2" 12 bore
was a common upland gun in England. If they did it was very few--The English
really liked their double guns.

You have any documentation to back up your statement?
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:28 PM   #17
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Interesting. From my Blue Book of Gun Values, 30th edition: "The model
1897 was the first Winchester shotgun chambered for 2 3/4" smokeless
ammunition"

Not saying they don't exist, but I've seen a few hundred 97's from
pre 1900 through the mid 50's and I've never seen one marked 2 1/2".

They MIGHT have done some 2 1/2" guns for export--the 2 1/2" 12 bore
was a common upland gun in England. If they did it was very few--The English
really liked their double guns.

You have any documentation to back up your statement?
Bill thanks for making me do some research. I found I was mistaken on origin of 2 3/4 shells. They've been around longer than i thought. They were standard from the 30's on but even 4 inch shells were around at the turn of the century. The 97 came in 2 5/8 and 2 3/4 until 1929. You wont see a gun marked for 2 1/2 or 2 5/8 because they weren't marked until shell lengths were standardized.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:45 AM   #18
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UNDERFIRE while many people use these forums for "chest thumping, Im smarter than you are" ego trips, I view them for exchanging imformation. This leads many times into heated exchanges. This is not my thing.
Not my intensions at all. Hoping we're just having a discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30-30remchester View Post
I learn much, but actually go on searches for more imfo on a particular subject. Your above posts about modern ammo doesnt ring true from my research. The 12 guage 2 3/4" and 3" were always loaded to a MAP of 11,500 psi, from my research. Does anyone have any other imfo? The model 1897 has been using modern ammo for many years. The 97 wasnt discontinued till 1957 well into modern times. The shorter shells werent standard till WWII, Winchester changed over to 2 3/4" in both 20 and 16 guages in 1926. I read a study once that was done in a labratory about using 3" shells in a gun chambered in 2 3/4" chambers. From my memory this didnt significantly increase pressures. This really shocked me. I wish I could remember where to find this data. I will agree that many reference books simply repeat others words. However I try to find the best imfo avaliable. I am not a very knowledgable 97 authority. However the barrel lenghts I quoted came directly fron The Winchester Book. Very little imfo was available on the 97's. Can you direct me to a site that states a 28" barrel? I always viewed any barrel length not listed in factory litrature as a cut gun. This is just MY OPINION. I have myself over the years cut off aftermarket choke devices thus leaving the barrels slightly shorter than standard.
Not sure if I'm being misunderstood?
2 3/4" high velocity is what I'm referring to
when I mention modern ammo.

I disagree with you about modern 2 3/4" high velocity ammo is ok to be used in vintage shotguns. 12 gauge magnums put 10 gauges on the decline because of compared performance. So I can't agree that the performance between 3" shotshell and 2 3/4" shotshell are the same. Also, that High Brass loads & Low Brass loads perform the same either. I disagree. Do you recommend Steel Shot load use in a vintage shotgun? Modern designed ammo applies more pressure to the barrel, action and more stress is placed on the muzzle. Vintage shotguns require a reduced pressure load.

I don't advise the use of modern high velocity ammo in vintage shotguns.
I've seen the adverse effects of it. This has been my experience. You say it's ok. If the OP decides to use modern high velocity ammo on a continuous basis in his vintage shotgun he should come back and talk about the damage that was done to his gun.

Federal Ammunition has an ammo line for Vintage Shotguns just for this particular reason.


The model 1897 was offered in a variety of models: Standard Field; Fancy; Standard Trap; Special Trap; Pigeon; Tournament; Brush; Riot & Trench Gun. This gun ran in production for many years. A 28" barrel was offered at a time for one of these models I listed above, but 1897 was before my time so maybe I'm just blowing smoke through this whole thread.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:20 PM   #19
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UNDERFIRE, and I have been having a discussion on modern HIGH VELOCITY ammo compared to low velocity ammo. It would be nice to hear from others on this subject. As I understand it High Velocity ammo is loaded to the very same pressure as standard trap loads. From my memory many of the standard mild trap loads are loaded to close to 11,000 psi. This is the same chamber pressure as the High Velocity ammo. Velocity doesnt matter at all in the wear on a gun. Chamber presssure is the culprit. Since the 12 guage 2 3/4" shells have always been loaded to 11,500 psi from its inception in the late 1890's I see no reason why they would be harmful to the 97's. You also need to remember the 97 is a John Browning designed block of milled steel. No plastic, stamped tin parts or potmetal castings. As to steel shot as I understand and practice, it is never ok to shoot steel shot in any older tight choked guns but not because of pressure problems but because steel cant compress like lead does when it goes through the choke. Steel will swell the end of the barrel of anything more constrictive than improved cylinder. Would others chime in?
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:11 AM   #20
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Default High Velocity vs. Low Velocity

Standard Loads/Low Velocity keep chamber pressures down.

The typical High Brass 12 gauge shell is the 3 3/4 dram 1 1/4 load traveling a 1,330 ft per second. In shotshells anything approaching or exceeding 1,300 fps. of muzzle velocity is very fast indeed. High velocity loads allow for longer ranges with more effective impact. They carry more energy. To reach these characteristics chamber pressure has to be increased. Increased powder means more noise and recoil as a side effect of high velocity loads.

High Brass loads of the late 1800s & early 1900s should not be confused with today's high brass loads. 100+ years ago high brass hulls were required to keep the powder from burning through the base of the paper hull. A century+ ago did have it's heavier loads than the standard of that time, but those heavier loads can not be compared to today's High Velocity loads in any shape, form or fashion.
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