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Old December 27, 2012, 11:16 PM   #10
James K
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Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,654
I had a heck of a time trying to reconcile the 97 production figures as given by Madis (and those who copied him) with numbers from other sources, including that 920,000 to 960,000 serial number range from WWII.

Finally, I figured out that early on, Madis' numbers slipped some 54,000 guns. If we add that number to the rest of the list, the WWI and WWII numbers come out about right.

But then the total production does not add up, nor does the 1957 end date make sense to me. In 1957 I was hanging around gun shops and working in one in 1960, and I never saw a new Model 97. All I saw were used guns, almost always well worn, not guns that were still in production or discontinued only a few years. They were considered obsolete and even by 1960 parts were getting hard to find.

So did Winchester really make over a million of those guns? Does anyone have 97 with a serial that high? If we accept the 960,000 serial as the end of military production, and assume it would date to 1945, did Winchester really sell some 64,000 units of an obsolete design between 1945 and 1957? or is the supposed total wrong? Or did they stop civilian production in 1942 and stop 97 production entirely at the end of the war to concentrate on the very popular Model 12?

Thoughts?

Jim
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