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Old May 17, 2012, 07:00 AM   #1
grumpa72
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Join Date: April 5, 2009
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Winchester Model 97

I have a couple of questions on my Model 97. My brother came into town bringing along a much used and abused 97. After verifying that it was empty, I worked the slide and it is REALLY slow and gunky feeling. The barrel and pump action came off with a bit of PB Blaster and some interesting words. However, I am reluctant to mess with the receive so my question is whether or not these guns are "user friendly" with regard to taking the receiver apart. I followed this link to ensure that I remembered how to take the barrel off of the action - http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Model97down.html . However I find nothing in the archives on dis-assembly of the action.

For the record, the wood on this 97 is very nice but the metal is virtually devoid of any bluing. It has very minor surface rust but no pitting that I can see. I am inclined to put the receiver into a bucket of mineral spirits or kerosene, let it soak for a while and then spray the action with a good gun solvent. Bad idea or ok idea? Or can someone point me in the right direction of taking the action apart. My father picked up two 97s that were being sold by the Rock Island Arsenal police years ago but I have no idea if this is one of them.

thank you,
grumpa72
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Old May 17, 2012, 02:57 PM   #2
Dave McC
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Location: Columbia, Md, USA
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John Moses Browning never heard the term"User-friendly".

Like many of his designs, the 97 depends on intricate machining and tight tolerances. In your shoes, I'd get this to a qualified smith for a deep clean and lube, and a checkover for things like sear engagement, etc.

That should help clean up the shuck, though I've always found that 97s (Which I like a lot) require a bit more arm than newer designs.
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Old May 17, 2012, 10:14 PM   #3
jrothWA
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Sound like you have a "take-down" 97, not the solid-frame.

Therefore, reassemble the barrel to action.
Next, look at hammer and lower left is small screw head (slotted), remove it.
Pull forearm back to start cycling the action and stop. Now look at right hand side of bolt head, note the screw head, remove it.
Remove the barrel assembly from action. Work on it later.

On left reciever side in a third small screw, remove it, [this block the movement of the carrier downward, in normal use, now removed it allows the carrier to drop out after the cross pin at rear of carrier is push out. This was held by first screw removed.
With carrier out [ from bottom] the bolt is push out thru action rear.

The rest in simple.

Suggest go to: www.shotgunworld.com and select the gunsmithing / restoration menu, there should be a downloadble procedure.
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Old May 21, 2012, 09:14 AM   #4
grumpa72
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Thank you for your comments. I was out of town and doing family events so no email/Internet.

The 97 is cleaned and reassembled thanks to your comments and this site
http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Model97down.html. The action is smooth and fully functional BUT I cannot get the magazine tube to engage the threads in the receiver! I have verified that the tube threads are roughly 90 degrees off so that they should align when the tube is rotated. It appears that they are the equivalent of one thread too high to engage the receiver threads. Ideas? Is it possible for the magazine tube to assembled to the fore grip 180 degrees out?

Today is a gorgeous day for shooting and I was hoping to take the 97 out.
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Old May 21, 2012, 04:12 PM   #5
jrothWA
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Take the barrel assembly off and..

see if the mag tube extends all the way.
Some time the line-up from frequent take-down get out of align and has to "found" for everything to sit correctly.

Best way to describe it.

Go to www.shotgunworld.com and under the "winchester (lovers)" forum you may fine a .pdf for more information or register and post a question. They love to respond there.
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Old May 22, 2012, 05:46 AM   #6
grumpa72
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The 97 is together and the test at the range shows a nice smooth action. It turns it that the top of the tube was (almost) imperceptibly out of round! Resulting in binding when I tried to slide the tube into the receiver. This poor shotgun had been used and abused and retains zero bluing except for the bolt and the clamp that secures the magazine tube to the barrel. A previous owner had boogered up one of the screw holes at the top of the tube and somehow put the top out of round. Careful and slow adjustment with a wooden dowel and light taps with a ball peen hammer adjusted it properly.

This shotgun is so heavy that it absorbs the recoil like I am shooting low power loads. Now, the big question (and I believe I know the answer) - should I have it reblued or leave it alone. Again, zero blue left with darkening of the barrel and receiver that look to be decades old marks left from dirty hands.

Ideas?

Thank you for your replies.
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