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Winchester 1897 project

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by upstate88, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. upstate88

    upstate88 Member

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    I have a winchester 1897 takedown I am doing some work to and was wondering if anyone could help answer a few questions. The gun looks like it was carried a lot but not shot to often. I have stripped it down to bits and pieces and I will be doing a strip and re-blue here next week. I am actually not re-bluing but using Birchwood Casey plum brown to give it a neat patina look. The stock looked ok but not great but its staying as is for now. I am replacing a few odds and ends such as a new butt plate with new screws and whatnot. Being a takedown I figure if I cut the barrel to 20" and have it tapped for chokes it would truck/camp/travel gun.

    I plan on cutting the barrel from 30" to 20", but wanted to send it off to get tapped for chokes. Should I just have the place that taps the barrel do the cut and add a bead? If i do the cut and bead myself I am worried it will interfere with the choke install.

    Does anyone know of someone in the PNW that does good work as far as tapping a barrel for chokes?
     
  2. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    Those guns in original condition are valuable.
    Re-blued. And chopped up?

    Not so much.
     
  3. upstate88

    upstate88 Member

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    The original trench guns are worth a lot or a riot version, but there a a ton of the 1987 takedowns are still in circulation. The 1897 was in production from 1897 to the 1950s. An all original in good shape is still less than a $500 dollar gun mine in good shape but with a bad finish is only worth $250.
     
    mjbskwim and Medic! like this.
  4. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    Sorry. I stand corrected.
    Do as you will.

    Even I can take a $250 hit. To build something I like. :s0092:
     
  5. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Here's what I did with my '97.
    I ordered the barrel shroud from Numrich and re blued it with a cool product from this company.

    http://www.store.laurelmountainforge.com/

    You can rust brown metal to a real nice plum color or a graduated dark blue depending on how many times you run it through the rusting process.

    win pump 12 001.JPG
     
  6. upstate88

    upstate88 Member

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    Yeah $250 plus a few hours and another $150 in parts and refinishing for a takedown 12 gauge that can slamfire is a fun little project.
     
  7. upstate88

    upstate88 Member

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    I have considered the trench stuff but i really want to keep it light and simple plus from what i inderstand you can no longer break it in half. Correct me if i am wrong about the takedown part?
     
  8. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The shells were originally shorter then the modern ones bought today, so I installed a special ammo tube spring and follower that allows for an extra shell.

    You are correct, it would be a little bit of work to break it down, that's why the original riot/trench guns were a fixed receiver, but I wanted to be able to have a bayonet lug and sling attachments.
     
  9. TCOV

    TCOV OLYMPIC PENINSULA Active Member

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    You should verify that the chamber is for 2 3/4 shells or just have a gunsmith ream it to make sure.
     
  10. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    They are 2 3/4 chambers.
    May I ask why you would bother cutting down the barrel and then choke it?
    A longer barrel choked would be worth while but when you cut it down you are taking away any advantage for bird hunting.
    When you cut it I believe it will be an "improved cylinder"
     
  11. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I read this article on the web explaining why 2 3/4" shells work in the old '97 shotguns.
    I retrofitted the ammo tube so it would hold one extra round (6) instead of just the five that will load when using 2 3/4" shells.


    "Winchester started changing it's chamber lengths in the Model 12 pump to the standard 2 3/4" around 1926/27 12,16 and 20 gauges.
    I'd assume they changed the 97 to the same 12ga standard about the same time.
    However. I wouldn't be too concerned with the use of modern plastic case 2 3/4" shells in an older chamber ( 2 5/8") 12ga '97.
    The gun originally used and was made for paper shells that were much thicker at the mouth than the current plastic. Also they've shot countless thousands of rounds of 2 3/4" ammo since that time with no problems.
    Another thing to remember is that most all current factory shells are not quite 2 3/4" in length when measured (fired OAL).
    Either they are just cheating and saving plastic or are aware of the short chamber thing."
     
  12. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Barrel length has very very little effect on pattern. the only thing that does is the choke. A full choke in a 30" barrel will pattern almost identical to a full choke in a 20" barrel. The velocity will suffer a little in the short barrel and of course the site distance will be much more advantageous with the long barrel.

    I own a 1897 Take Down made in 1905 its chamber suits 2 3/4" shells just fine (keep in mind a very high percentage of these guns were adjusted by gunsmiths back in the day to suit the then new 2 3/4" shells. I'm not real sure how putting a shroud on it (to make it look like a Riot) would effect the TD feature. There is nothing that would bridge over the joint. and as long as you could reach the TD lever and rotate the Mag I don't see how that would be a problem.

    I hunt jack rabbits with a 20" Rem 870 and it appears to just fine at ranges out to about 40 yards (I tend not to shoot at them father out).

    YMMV
     
  13. upstate88

    upstate88 Member

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    is there a better source i could find resources on local gunsmiths?
     
  14. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Riot guns didn't have a shroud, it was the military trench guns had them along with the bayonet lug attachment.
    The shroud is clamped tight to the barrel with three screws right above the bayonet lug.
    The bottom of the barrel has three half radius grooves cut into it for the clamping screws to remain in a fixed position. Real trench/riot guns had "Cylinder" bore barrels and were non take down models.
     
  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Sub Light Speed Well-Known Member

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    Correct if you do the trench conversion and intend to use the heat shield "as is." That said, If you also cut down the heat shield and re peen the anti rattle buttons to fit, it can work. Sarco sells new heat shields and bayonet lugs pretty cheep! I have done several conversions of these both standard and take down. I have found I don't really care for the heat shield on my take downs, so I leave them off! As far as a screw in choke goes, I like mine at cyl bore to allow the use of slugs. Alison Cary would be a good bet for doing the threads and if they can, I recomend using the Remington style as there are so many kinds of chokes available! I just did a take down with a "breacher" choke and it turned out awesome. I also did the gost ring sights on it with a trit front sight post, This is my "tactical" shotgun!
     
  16. TCOV

    TCOV OLYMPIC PENINSULA Active Member

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    A 2 3/4" shell will chamber in a short chamber as it is only about 2 3/8" long unfired. I was told that when fired the shell is slightly crimped on the end if the chamber is not cut the full 2 3/4" length. Not so much a pressure issue as much as it can affect the pattern quality. I'm not really a shotgun guy so just repeating what was told by a gunsmith that was a shotgun guy. Not a big deal to verify the actual chamber length and ream a little if called for.
     
  17. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Sub Light Speed Well-Known Member

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    Another thing I have found, A lot of the bayonet lug/heat shields from Savage/Stevens, Ithica, and Winchester all interchange. All are slightly difrent, but all will work. Another that you don't often see is the Winchester mod 10 and mod 12. There were some made as trench guns as well. Often when these were armory reconditioned, the trench gun parts would get switched. The Savage/Stevens was used up to at least the Vietnam war and some were used well after. You can find the diffrent length heat shields and try them out for fit if you wanted. The bayonet lug was the same through out until at least the 1970's I did a retro Stevens trench from the Vietnam area complete with the duck bill choke that was supposed to flatten out the pattern, Looks kind of wild! These old fighting shotguns are a lot of fun and building them is a trip into the past, what made a fine fighting gun then, still makes a fine fighting gun now! Other then the "new" Remington 870 and Mossy 500 series with there 3'' chambers, these old scatter guns hold up just as well or better then the newer guns! Will get some pictures up soon!