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Old April 14, 2010, 04:04 PM   #1
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Winchester Model 1897 12 gauge

I have a guy who gave me an old Winchester model 1897 12 gauge. If there was any blueing on it, it is all gone, what is left is a silver finish. Is this gun worth anything, he is inquiring about reblueing it or just hanging it up. There is a very small indent on the barrel where it got hit against something. Can this be taken out? Should I have it reblued for him? Or is it worth more just as it is above the mantel?
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Old April 14, 2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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IMO, it's worth at least a deuce ($200) - but WAAAAAY more desireable & valuable than the Chinese copy for CAS.

The dent can be ironed out from the inside with the proper shotgun tool - some gunsmiths have 'em, some don't.

Those 97's are hell-for-stout, and on the wall is the last place I'd put one.


Last edited by PetahW; April 14, 2010 at 08:27 PM.
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Old April 15, 2010, 12:30 AM   #3
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FWIW, CASS shooters are driving up the prices on those old pump guns, and just about any 97 Winchester is going for close to $400 or more.
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Old April 17, 2010, 02:51 PM   #4
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The dent can be fixed

Any good gunsmith should have the tools.

Even with no blueing, 97s are worth money, I have seen them go $350 like that, due to the fact that they are about the only pump gun allowed in Cowboy Action Shooting.

Hell for stout (meaning nearly impossible to wear out), 97s do have a couple of features you need to be aware of. The most common part to break is the ejector (easy fix, parts are still around). Be aware they have no disconnector! Pull or hold the trigger back and close the action, and it WILL FIRE!!!!!

Also, be careful where you put your thumb!!! Either the hammer or the bolt can give you a nasty painful bite if you put your thumb in the wrong place when you work the action!
And don't get your face too close, either!
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old April 17, 2010, 07:12 PM   #5
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they are about the only pump gun allowed in Cowboy Action Shooting.
They are THE only pump shotgun allowed.
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Old April 17, 2010, 09:42 PM   #6
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1897 in 16 Ga

I picked up a 1897 in 16 Ga. @ an estate auction for $425.00. It's a take-down model made in 1898. The blue is gone but it is in good working order, and the wood looks great for it's age. I learned on a 12 Ga 97 that was made in 1957. They are very bare bones for a pump. That said if they are cared for they always work.
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Old April 17, 2010, 09:53 PM   #7
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In this area (Allentown, PA), we had two 1897TD's, one in 16 and one in 12 gauge with little or no metal finish remaining. Each was priced at $470. The 12 sold last week, the 16 is still there.
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Old April 18, 2010, 08:07 PM   #8
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I learned to shoot shotguns with a pair of my great grandad's 1897s - and I'm lucky enough that my grandpa and my dad saved them and eventually gave them to me. 1908 and 1904:

They may be the most durable shotguns ever made. Both of them have been through the wringer, but they look and work just great!
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Old May 15, 2010, 10:37 PM   #9
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97 winchester

One thing I would strongly suggest is eye protection when shooting these. I saw a primer rupture on one and got the guy right in the eye.
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