G. Willikers and Hawk - thanks very much. That is 100% of the information I was looking for. I'll go back and confirm, but am pretty sure the Marlin is the original 1898 version, since there is nothing inscribed at the rear of the receiver. Seems to be a wallhanger, but is interesting-looking.
As for the "D" series 1897, one more question: the barrel is long - 28-30", possibly more (haven't measured yet). The top of the barrel near the receiver is stamped "Cylinder". Why would a long-barrelled shotgun, made around 1910 or so, have an open choke? The only thing I could guess at was that it was intended for buckshot. Second guess would be very heavy turkey shot or slugs, if slugs were used back then. Any thoughts?
Last edited by FloridaVeteran; November 6, 2012 at 01:07 AM.