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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9332 Posts

Posted - July 04 2014 :  09:54:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote I'm not buying many guns these days but I was working on fixing up an old Winchester '97 for a friend who wanted a handy take-down for traveling.

It was made around 1903 but is really tight. The bore is pretty rough and I could not take out all the pits with emery cloth so I may have to hone it...I may even back bore it?

Anyway, he called and needed money so I bought the thing off him. 18 1/2 inch barrel and it has a 1" Kick-eaze pad on it with a 12.75" L.O.P.

I took it out to see if it would function with the rough bore (fortunately the chamber is smooth) and it patterned Winchester 9 pellet 00 Buck into about 9" at 12 yards and S&W 12 pellet 2 3/4" "magnum" 00 buck in to the same 9" at the same range.

Now to figure out some sights that won't look out of place on a 100 year old gun.

I really like this thing! Very easy to top off and I like the hammer.

Jim
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dubiousone
Senior Member

628 Posts

Posted - July 04 2014 :  4:34:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote A 1903 probably has a short chamber. Some of the early ones were 2 9/16 but the 2 3/4 were shorter than what we have today because the shells back then were more commonly roll crimped and shorter than a folded crimp.

A long forcing cone reamer will maybe help that depending on the actual chamber size or just ream the chamber too.

Check the barrel ring and make sure you still have more than 50% lockup. a lot of the ones I see in cowboy action shooting have been adjusted way too far and there's not much thread holding the barrel into the chamber. The few I have seen let go didn't hurt the shooter but the look on their face was priceless when they realized the barrel, mag tube and forend were downrange!

The 97 is an excellent action and those winnies were very well made. A keeper I'd say!
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miragetex
Junior Member

USA
100 Posts

Posted - July 06 2014 :  7:07:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote I don't know of any shotgun that matches a short 97 for "cool" factor (remember the movie "Bullitt"?). I had a real 97 trench gun for many years, finally sold it when somebody offered me a lot of $ for it. However, despite the gun's hefty weight, the stock apparently was designed to maximize recoil - even with lighter loads, it could hurt. Go to Top of Page

TimM
Senior Member

USA
916 Posts

Posted - July 06 2014 :  11:13:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote First 12 ga. I shot was a 97. 12 years old at the time, left quite an impression on me then. Don't see them much anymore. Great shotgun with quite a history.

Tim
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serialsolver
Senior Member

667 Posts

Posted - July 07 2014 :  09:23:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote I had a takedown Winchester 97. It was made in 1911. Pretty rough but still worked. The barrel was pitted also. I just shot buckshot in it. The 97 stars in the movie bullitt, the wild bunch, the mummy and the professionals. I used mine on the thin blue line. Taken down it fit in a backpack real handy to tote around and not alarm folks. One time there was a business that was threatoned. I went in with the 97 in my backpack, put it to gather an loaded it under the counter, then sat with it in my lap at the counter waiting for the bad guy while I worked on reports. If the bad guy had come in every body but me would have been surprised. I liked showing it to the rookies, they would all say "WOW". I let somebody else take care of that 97 since my shoulders can't take the recoil. Go to Top of Page

Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9332 Posts

Posted - July 10 2014 :  07:51:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote quote: Originally posted by dubiousone

A 1903 probably has a short chamber. Some of the early ones were 2 9/16 but the 2 3/4 were shorter than what we have today because the shells back then were more commonly roll crimped and shorter than a folded crimp.

A long forcing cone reamer will maybe help that depending on the actual chamber size or just ream the chamber too.

Check the barrel ring and make sure you still have more than 50% lockup. a lot of the ones I see in cowboy action shooting have been adjusted way too far and there's not much thread holding the barrel into the chamber. The few I have seen let go didn't hurt the shooter but the look on their face was priceless when they realized the barrel, mag tube and forend were downrange!

The 97 is an excellent action and those winnies were very well made. A keeper I'd say!


After more research I find it was made about the middle of 1902. It may have been reamed since it takes the early S&B buckshot which actually has that roll crimp like the old ones and it is like 2.9" long (modern S&B is back to 2 3/4").

This is a very tight gun - no adjustments have been made that I can tell and there is not a bit of wiggle when the barrel locks in.

I'm liking it a lot!

Jim
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9332 Posts

Posted - July 10 2014 :  08:00:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote quote: Originally posted by miragetex

I don't know of any shotgun that matches a short 97 for "cool" factor (remember the movie "Bullitt"?). I had a real 97 trench gun for many years, finally sold it when somebody offered me a lot of $ for it. However, despite the gun's hefty weight, the stock apparently was designed to maximize recoil - even with lighter loads, it could hurt.


I told my son I bought a '97 and the first thing he said was "You mean like the on in Bullitt?"

I saw the interview with Steve McQueen on Ed Sullivan back in 1968 before the movie came out and my best friend and I cut class to go see the first showing in Louisville - that was the only class I ever cut in High School!!!! I saw the movie 27 times by the time I was in College - and by then had a 1967 Mustang Fastback with a rjoimejv. أوميغا كوكبة الرجال ووتش 390 in Highland Green (I know the one in the movie was a '68)

Wish I had never sold it but both my '95 and '07 have had a higher top end and handled better - but nothing looks as good as a 67/68 Fastback Mustang

Jim
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wolfgang2000
Advanced Member

USA
3720 Posts

Posted - July 10 2014 :  12:57:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote I had a 68 fast back in blue. Had to sell it when I joined the army. It was a very cool car.
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