View Full Version : Looking for M97 trench gun

July 7, 2008, 04:56 PM
Are there good repros out there?

July 7, 2008, 05:05 PM
Norinco makes one or made one I looked on the net, but did not see one for sale. I know of no others.

July 7, 2008, 05:36 PM
yeah...thought about Norinco, but heard they made crap so I have stayed away.

July 7, 2008, 06:00 PM
i have a real winchester 97 and a later iac version of the importated crap. i would perfer another winchester too. but the iac version of the earlier norinco gun is just fine. ahlmans in morristown minn is where i got mine. fwiw bobn

July 7, 2008, 06:08 PM
I have read good things about the IAC Norinco version. SASS members use them and they are used hard and fast. Saw one at a local gun shop for $250 the other day. Felt and worked good but I already have a '97.
There is a Winchester 1897 Trench gun on Gunbroker now with a starting bid of $1250.00. I think I will pass on that one too.

July 8, 2008, 02:13 AM
The Winchester 97 clones are made in Communist China, which is guilty of all sort of human rights abuses against its population. Freedoms that we take for granted here simply don't exist for Chinese citizens.

In addition, they have been strong backers of the brutal military dictatorship in Burma. And they have occupied Tibet and abused its people, virtually destroying their culture and religion.

Furthermore, they are a close ally of Iran, and have blocked stronger sanctions in the UN from being taken to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons. They are likewise very close with Sudan, and have also helped to block more effective UN measures to stop the genocide that has been taking place there.

I do my very best to avoid buying Chinese products whenever it is feasible or possible to do.

Unfortunately, this is about impossible these days when it comes to computers, so the computer that I am typing this on says MADE IN CHINA on it!!! ARGGHHH!!!

I hate the Chinese government, and encourage everyone to boycott Chinese products as much as humanly possible.

I just saw a nice WWI vintage Winchester 97 sell for just over $550 on gunbroker.com a few days ago. If you are patient, and take your time, they can be eventually found.

The problem is that the Winchester 97 has become very popular with Cowboy action shooting. And they stopped making the gun in 1957, so it has not been produced for the last 51 years.

I wanted one for Cowboy action shooting, and I wanted an authentic "Brush gun" model, which was the popular self-defense model back then, with a 21 inch barrel. It took me about two year of looking, but I eventually found a really nice one in great condition a few years ago for $800.

However, what a lot of folks are now doing, is buying hunting model Winchester 1897's that have long 28 to 32 inch barrels that are in good shape, and then have a gunsmith reduce the barrel down to 21 inches, making it a Brush gun.

Here is a link to one of these gunsmiths, who will do such a conversion for only $45:


You could probably find a good Winchester 97 hunting shotgun for a good price if you looked for awhile. And then for another $45, turn it into a nice combat shotgun.

The Winchester 97 has been featured in a number of famous movie gun battles, including the popular car chase in the movie "Bullit" staring Steve McQueen. It was also featured in the popular western "The Professionals", which starred Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin:


44 AMP
July 9, 2008, 05:39 PM
With the markings, heat shield bayonet lug, etc. tend to go for $800 up at the guns shows (last years prices) around here, when they show up.

Cutting down one of the sporting 97s is an option, but don't do it to one of the early guns, as they are a bit collectable. A friend has one of the solid frame guns (non-takedown) which is either first year production, or very close. He wanted to have it cut down to make a trench gun, but fortunately, I talked him out of it. He eventually got his hands on one of the chinese repros and is happy with it, especially since he still has his original.

The chinese guns were snapped up by the cowboy shooters, and are seldom seen on the market, but they do turn up once in a while, usually when a cowboy shooter gets tired of that particular game.

If you pick up an old 97, please check its age before you have it cut. Cutting one of the pre 1900 guns is a foolish waste.

July 11, 2008, 05:30 PM
I carried a Trench Gun on occasion while in the Army in 1970. I liked it, and felt very comfortable behind it, especially at night.
I have seen and handled the Norinco version, and, if you want it as a shooter/defense gun, I'd recommend the Norinco.

I think Centerfire Systems has something that might interest you - I don't know prices but you can buy a Norinco for a lot less than a Winchester, and don't have to worry about dinging a $1200 shotgun.


July 13, 2008, 06:47 PM
Both the wife and I have Norinco 1897 shotugns. She has the riot gun version and I have the trench gun. She used hers for SASS shoots and I used mine when I was farming to shoot blackbirds in the sunflower fields. They've seen a LOT of rounds! They keep right on going though without any problems. They are stiff when you first get one but the smooth out after enough use. They aren't machined as well as an original but really, what today is made with the same craftsmanship that was made years ago? The only real problem I had with mine was that the heat shield slips with recoil. I cured that problem by putting a dusting of Brownells rosin on the barrel then clamped down the heat shield tight and I've had no more problems. I'd have no problem buying another one.