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Old February 18, 2010, 09:02 AM   #1
dick jones
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Model 97 "trench" gun

I just gave a guy $400 for a Model 97 :trench" gun with bayonet and handguard. The gun is nickel plated (yuck) but is at least a genuine riot gun with a cyl stamped barrel. I'm assuming it's a made up gun from a commercial riot gun. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe all reall trench guns had the flaming bomb stamp.

Anybody know what is this thing worth. Other than the nickel, it's in really good shape. Made in 1908. Any ideas?
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Old February 18, 2010, 10:40 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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If it was made in 1908 it is definitely a made up trench gun. Lots of parts out there to do it with.

The nickel plating REALLY slams the value, unfortunately.

As it's a made up gun it has no actual trench gun collector value, either.
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Old February 18, 2010, 03:45 PM   #3
HiBC
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I am not at all knowledgeable on 97 variants.I will toss a wild card to consider.Might it be possible it be a Coast Guard or Naval variant?Salt water,rust and all?Or a coastal LEO version?.Pirates?Repel boarders?
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Old February 18, 2010, 05:38 PM   #4
dick jones
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I'm with Mike, I hadn't thought of it but the trench gun was purpose built for WWI and 1908 rules that out. I don't think any 97s were military until WWI.

I think i have a converted nickeled M97 riot gun that would be worth about twice as much if it was unconverted and original blue.

Cool gun though. If you've never handled a 97 it makes you realize what a marvelous gun it was to be, in the case of the one I have 102 years old. Slick and fast. Hammer falls when you hold the trigger down.
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Old February 18, 2010, 07:46 PM   #5
bobn
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going out on a limb here> is it nickel plated or just all the bluing gone and seems polished? i have seen more than one 97 like that. bobn
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Old February 18, 2010, 08:51 PM   #6
30-30remchester
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Can you post some pics? If you take the ventalated handguard off it should be easy to determine if its real. Yes every original trench gun should have US and flaming bomb stamps on the reciever and barrel plus a cartouche on the buttstock. The year gives it away as non original. Would love to see pics of it and bayonet.
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Old February 18, 2010, 09:34 PM   #7
Mike Irwin
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"Might it be possible it be a Coast Guard or Naval variant?"

As far as I know, no such creature.

No nickel plated Model 97s were ever made by the factory, and as far as I know, none were ever produced specifically for naval or Coast Guard service.

Also, it's not uncommon for Model 1897 riot guns, which WERE made in 1908, to be altered and passed off as "trench" guns. Some are very obviously marriages of parts, while others are quite elaborate fakes.
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Old February 19, 2010, 12:23 AM   #8
Lee Lapin
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According to Swearengen, they started making 97 Riot guns in March of 1898. 1908 was the transition year from a high comb stock with a round bottom English style pistol grip to a fluted comb, flat bottom pistol grip.

There were military 97s earlier than WW1, but they were Riot guns and not trench guns. They were procured for duty in the Philippines, and Canfield says there's no guarantee all had military markings but at least some did. The guns were procured from about 1900 to about 1910, and serial numbers of known specimens had a C prefix and ran from about 150000 to about 200000.

Nothing I have seen indicates any were finished in other than the factory blue.

fwiw,

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Old February 19, 2010, 02:33 AM   #9
Tom Doniphon
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30-30remchester said, "every original trench gun should have US and flaming bomb stamps on the reciever and barrel plus a cartouche on the buttstock."

While the WW2 Model 97 trench guns have cartouched stocks and martially marked receivers and barrels, none of the WWI Model 1897 trench guns have cartouched stocks. And most of those same WW1 1897 trench guns are not martially marked (no "US" or flaming bomb marks).
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Old February 19, 2010, 02:58 AM   #10
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It was my trusty 97 parts gun that I had with me in AK when that pesky bear was a problem
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Old February 19, 2010, 10:57 AM   #11
30-30remchester
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About martially marked WWI guns not being martially marked, they were kept in inventory and used and rebuilt by the government arsenals for use in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Didnt they get stamped in the rebuild program? Always take the handguard off to check to see if it is an original trench gun if ever in doubt prior to purchase.
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Old February 20, 2010, 11:06 PM   #12
Tom Doniphon
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Guns that went through rebuild probably did get marked with the rebuild facility's mark and a proof P mark. It is doubtful that any of the rebuilt guns had their receivers marked with a "US" or flaming bomb. But not all shotguns went through rebuild. Some probably remained at various bases, with National Guard units, and the like; and some were sold off shortly after WW1 including new unissued trench guns that were never martially marked by the Govt'.
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Old May 17, 2011, 11:16 AM   #13
piperl4
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plated 97 trench gun

I do nickle plating of guns and fortunatly what goes on with electrical current can come off with electrical current. Do some research on reversing plating process and you can bring it right back to copper normally but being as you cannot reblue the copper you must remove it also. Some people just nickle plate over the bare metal as the copper is just more rust protection but it is a step that can be omitted if you are trying to do a cheap job. So if you have an original gun and knowing the plating really knocks the value as would a total reblue job I would opt for the lesser of the evils and reblue it. You will still reduce the value but if you go to sell it and are honest with the buyer about it being reblued which most will spot right away you may get a better price than a plated gun. I have reversed many 1911 45's that were plated including gold plated which goes right over the nickle. If you have a original trench gun I really envy you as I have looked for years and not found one yet that is truely original at any price. I would not mind but almost all have said the famous words I don't know much about it as this is how it was when I got it. Now anyone getting a real trench gun is going to know every square inch of it and I cannot beleive anyone would be that naive as to not know exactly what they have with that type of gun. OK Guys start the bashing ha ha.
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