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Old May 22, 2015, 12:26 AM   #1
burb122
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Winchester 1897 identification please.

Hi Guys. I live in New Zealand and want to know if any of you know what COLA S.C. P.D means stamped on my 1897. And is it more valuable than just a regular 1897. Im guessing pd means police department, being a riot gun and all. 1920 year of manufacture any ideas guys? Attached are some pictures.
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Old May 22, 2015, 02:37 PM   #2
burb122
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Hello?
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Old May 22, 2015, 05:38 PM   #3
Tom Doniphon
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Hello burb122. My guess is that the mark stands for Columbia, South Carolina Police Department.

Are you sure it's of 1920 mfg.? Can you give us the serial number or at least a partial of the number? Reason I ask is because just about every production table for these guns found on the Internet is incorrect.
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Old May 23, 2015, 04:09 AM   #4
burb122
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Sure, i can give you the serial number. Its funny. Some websites say it was made 1918 others say 1920. I dont know what to believe. I wish it was 1918 though The s/n is 688498. What do you think? I wonder. was this shotgun on the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde
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Old May 23, 2015, 06:13 AM   #5
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With their notoriety

All mainland American law enforcement agencies had a BoL (be on the lookout) for them.
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Old May 23, 2015, 07:48 AM   #6
Crunchy Frog
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Columbia is the capital city of the state of South Carolina. "Cola" is a common abbreviation for Columbia, so unless this is faked, the shotgun was once owned by the Columbia, SC police department (I don't know why anyone would fake it).

Looks like this came from the factory in "riot gun" configuration since the barrel is stamped with cylinder bore. I think those have a little more collector's value, although it appears that yours has perhaps been refinished and the wood replaced which would hurt its value to a collector.

Shoot it and enjoy it!
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Old May 23, 2015, 12:04 PM   #7
Tom Doniphon
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S/N 688498 would have been made around mid 1918. So it was made during WW1.
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Old May 23, 2015, 03:01 PM   #8
burb122
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Tom, thanks for that. May i ask what you used as a referance for finding year of manufacture?

How can you tell if this gun has been refinished? Should the stock be all shiny or should it just have a blo finish?
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Old May 24, 2015, 10:06 PM   #9
Lurch37
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My personal opinion would be be that the metal seems to be unfinished, and that the wood, most notably the butt stock, has been refinished. I can't see the forearm good enough to make a statement on that although it does look darker than the butt stock. From my experience, the wood should not be shiny or glossy at all.

As for your serial number of 688498, both ProofHouse.com and my own personal Winchester Dates of Manufacture book have the starting serial number of 668058 beginning in 1920 and the starting serial number of 689790 beginning in 1921, so according to those references your 1897 was built in 1920.
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Old May 29, 2015, 02:04 PM   #10
Tom Doniphon
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The Proofhouse production tables as well as the Winchester Serial Number book, and just about every other production table out there for these guns, are incorrect.

The shotgun was made in 1918. That date is from the Winchester Polishing Room records. Those records are the date that the serial number was applied to the receiver.
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