winchester model 97

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by jimogden1984, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. jimogden1984

    jimogden1984 New Member

    863
    0
    0
    What do you guys know about the model 97? Had a 30 inch barrel, my biggest question is can you use any modern shells? I believe mine was made in 1928...I've never shot it, was my grandpa's and now it's mine. Took it to a smith to get cleaned up and looked over to make sure its safe to fire, here said it probably had 40 years of dust and dirt but its good to go. Thinking about taking it turkey hunting this year. Its the e series which from what I read but any other interesting info would new greatly appreciated
     
  2. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

    6,489
    0
    0
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013

  3. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

    812
    1
    0
    The Winchester 1897 is one of my favorite shotguns. You'll see them in many westerns like The Wild Bunch, The Professionals and early gangster films. Mine's the riot version "C" series made in 1900 and normally I use birdshot, but I've shot oo buck as well. They're fine with modern ammo, but do not use steel shot, only lead. For home defense I'd recommend oooo buckshot.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
  4. fortinsj

    fortinsj New Member

    59
    0
    0
    Gunsmoke what kind of butt stock shell holder is that?
     
  5. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    They are great old guns. Modern shells are fine. Do not use steel shot, however. One of John Browning's greatest inventions.
    ct
     
  6. jimogden1984

    jimogden1984 New Member

    863
    0
    0
    The website said if it doesn't specify a chamber length then it may be 2 9/16...since mine doesn't would it be better to try and find some of that length? Would 2 3/4 be bad for it at all?
     
  7. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

    812
    1
    0
    I had gotten one for my shotgun as well as for my 7mm Steyr Mannlicher, but it was quite a while ago and I can't remember who I purchased them from and their name isn't on it. There are others very similar on the internet like the Fox Butt Stock Cheek Rest Cartridge Carrier and one made by Blackhawk. Check Amazon, which seems to have the best price and type in Butt Stock Ammo Pouch Cheekpiece. You have plenty to choose from.
     
  8. akers06

    akers06 New Member

    1,195
    0
    0
    Modern shells are fine I have a Winchester 1911 made in 1919 and I have shot the 2 3/4" baby mag Turkey shells out of it just fine
     
  9. elfmdl

    elfmdl New Member

    401
    0
    0
    My grandpa gave me his 97 as well, I removed more dirt from that gun than every other gun I have cleaned in my life put together. I took it to my local gunsmith to have it check and he told me to shoot light loads only, so I wouldn't use it for turkey hunting, you wouldn't be able to safely use a powerful enough shell, it would have to much pressure.
     
  10. jimogden1984

    jimogden1984 New Member

    863
    0
    0
    I just don't wanna do anything that could hurt the gun in any way, its too old and been in the family for too long to take any chances. I also took mine to a gun smith to be cleaned and gone over by a pro, he said it probably had 40 years of dirt in it. And there's no telling how long it sat in many grandpa's attic below he passed a few years ago. It probably hasn't been fired in atleast 20, quite possibly much longer
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
  11. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

    812
    1
    0
    I don't know how good a gunsmith you have, or what the condition of your shotgun is, but mine's 113 years old and I've fired oo buck through it with no problem. You won't find one much older. It's got character, but the action's like butter and it functions like new. I don't believe in using a steady stream of heavy loads in any gun, cause you're only putting unnecessary stress on it, but an original '97 is a strong shotgun that's been used by LE, military and prisons for many years and there's no reason if in good working order why it couldn't be used for turkey. There are still some being used by these entities today. Heck, I carry mine in the woods because of black bear. But they weren't meant to be used with lead shot, or overly powerful loads, which is only common sense.
     
  12. ruddy

    ruddy New Member

    12
    0
    0
    The 12 gauge Model 1897 chamber has always been 2 3/4" in length. The early 16 gauge chambers were 2 9/16" long. Many are confused by the fact that chambers had shorter forcing cones for paper shotgun shells back then.

    A simple way to test the chamber length in a 12 gauge gun is to make a chamber gauge by shortening a fired 20 gauge shell so it can be inserted into the open end of a fired 2 3/4" 12 gauge shell. If it will fit all the way into the chamber, you're good to go. If not, the chamber is too short.

    If you try this with a Winchester Model 97 or Model 12, make sure the barrel is correctly installed in the receiver to get a correct measurement.
     
  13. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,344
    222
    63
    Thank you, Ruddy. Nice shotguns- they made more than 1 million of them.

    One little quirk about the 97 you should know- these do NOT have a disconnector mechanism. On MOST shotguns, it is pull trigger, BANG, pump, release trigger, pull trigger, BANG.

    However, in a gun with no disconnector, if you pull trigger, BANG, hold trigger while pumping, you get BANG as soon as bolt goes fully closed (into battery). You do not need to release trigger and have reset for a second shot. Matter of fact, you can hold trigger down and empty the mag.

    And yes, would stay away from steel shot, but should do just fine with any standard 2 3/4" 12 g shell.

    There IS a little difference in unlocking the slide- if not fired, push FORWARD then back.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Model_1897
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
  14. ruddy

    ruddy New Member

    12
    0
    0
    Good point about the disconnector (or lack thereof), since modern shotguns have them. This warning applies to Model 12 Winchesters and I believe to early Model 37 Ithacas.

    As for unlocking the slide, don't you mean when the hammer is down, push forward then back? If the hammer is at full cock, you have to push the slide release button on the right side of the receiver. If at half cock, it's locked.

    Great Wiki link. Thanks.
     
  15. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,344
    222
    63
    Yep. As said, really like them.