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Old November 13, 2016, 08:41 PM   #1
Clem Paradise
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Winchester Model 1897 Shotgun Mystery

I have a standard Model 97 that was made in 1917. It has a 30" barrel and full choke. There is a small metal tab attached to the magazine tube which prevents the shotgun from being broken down. When the magazine tube has been rotated and detached from the receiver this tab prevents the magazine from being moved far enough forward for it to clear the receiver, thus preventing the magazine and barrel assembly from being rotated and the barrel from being removed.

Does anyone know if this is a factory modification or why it would have been done?

[IMG]{img}http://s1126.photobucket.com/user/cl...oegx.jpg.html][/IMG]

[IMG]{img}http://s1126.photobucket.com/user/cl...3rrp.jpg.html][/IMG]

Last edited by Clem Paradise; November 16, 2016 at 04:45 PM. Reason: The links to the photos were not working.
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Old November 14, 2016, 09:57 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Your photo links are broken/incorrectly formatted, Clem.
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Old November 16, 2016, 02:14 PM   #3
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Welcome to tfl!

picture link no workee...so its tough to say,

The very early Model 97s were "solid frame" and not meant to take down, but by 1917, it should be the "standard" takedown version. How sure are you about the date??

Tab on the magazine tube doesn't let the tube move forward enough to clear the receiver..hmmm what could the tab hit but the barrel magazine tube clamp? (again, without a pic tis just a guess) Remove the barrel clamp (or just loosen it so it can move) and you should be able to move the mag tube forward enough to take down the gun.

No idea if it was factory done or a modification after, I'm not really into model 97s, though I have had a little experience with them (be very careful where you put your thumb on the wrist of the stock when working the action!!!)

I have extensive experience with the Model 12, which is very similar in several aspects.
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Old November 16, 2016, 05:57 PM   #4
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Looks like the barrel clamp at one time had a habit of walking back .Apparently it was enough to interfere with the pump action and someone got tired returning it to it's correct position. They installed the tab to keep it in place. Probably have to remove it every time you take it apart. Just my opinion.
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Old November 17, 2016, 11:20 PM   #5
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I think rightside nailed it. I've had two '97s, and still have my grandfather's 97. Never had that problem, but it certainly makes sense.
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Old November 18, 2016, 01:54 AM   #6
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That tab is on a lot of 97s It keeps the mag tube from going too far forward when you take it down. If your mag tube does not clear the receiver when unscrewed and pulled out, undo the screw that holds the mag tube to the barrel.
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Old November 19, 2016, 10:55 AM   #7
Clem Paradise
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Thank you to everyone who replied.
First, the dated of manufacturer was confirmed by Winchester.
I'm glad to know that the tab was a common feature on this shotgun.
The barrel band may have slipped back a bit but buy the the way the finish looks it has been in the current position for a long time.
Loosening the screws on the barrel band allowed me to pull the magazine tube clear of the receiver, but it is going to take some penetrating oil and time before the barrel will unscrew. It may have not been removed in 99 years.
This shotgun stood in the corner of a closet in the Pacific Northwest for many decades and had light surface corrosion. I found that 24 hours after applying WD-40's Rust Release Penetrating Spray the surface rust was loosened and could be removed with a good rubbing.

Thanks
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Old November 19, 2016, 01:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Loosening the screws on the barrel band allowed me to pull the magazine tube clear of the receiver, but it is going to take some penetrating oil and time before the barrel will unscrew.
Just a small point, but you aren't unscrewing the barrel from the receiver. With the magazine tube pulled far enough forward, and the forend, so the rear end of the action bar clears the receiver, you twist the RECIEVER EXTENSION a quarter turn and the gun separates into two pieces.

If you have the barrel clamp off (or loose enough to freely move) check the barrel and see if it has a lug on it for the proper position of the clamp. I know the model 12 does, I don't remember about the 97. The mag tube clamp CAN be installed on the barrel in the wrong place, which could explain why your gun's "mag tube stop plate" hits the band before the tube is free.

Good Luck, and let us know how it goes!
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Old November 19, 2016, 06:01 PM   #9
Clem Paradise
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There is a 'tab' on the barrel, more like a pinch in the metal, to locate the clamp. The clamp feels like it wants to be centered over the tab, the screws go in easily this way, but that locates the clamp in its original position, about 3/8" too far to the rear. Perhaps the clamp is supposed to stop against it and it has been worn down. I need to take a close look at how the clamp is built (it is somewhat complex, like the rest of the gun) too see why the screws do not want to start if the clamp is not centered on the tab.
I can get a slight amount of rotation from the receiver extension. With some more penetrating oil and gentle persuasion I expect that it will eventually loosen up and come apart.

Getting closer.

Clem
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Old November 20, 2016, 04:30 AM   #10
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The tab (or lug) on the barrel is the locator for the clamp. The inside of the clamp is relieved for it.

Wear could account for things being in the wrong position, another thing that occurred to me is that since the receiver extension is "frozen" with age (maybe rust), PERHAPS you are able to pull the mag tube out enough (to the stop) and not being able to turn the extension led you to think the tube wasn't far enough forward.

This will be easy to tell, once you do get the extension freed up.

I find it difficult to credit that the factory put the stop on the tube in the wrong place, but when it comes to firearms, I've learned to never say "never"...

Good Luck, and let us know how it goes!
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Old December 12, 2016, 06:54 PM   #11
Clem Paradise
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Thank you for all of the replies and the useful information. I got wrapped up in work and traveling and have not pulled this gun out in a while.
In answer to a question that was posted, the problem is that when the magazine tube is rotated and then slid forward until the metal tab hits the barrel band, the magazine tube has not moved far enough forward to clear the face of the receiver extension, so the barrel cannot be rotated and removed. The magazine tube needs to move forward another 3/16" to clear the face of the receiver extension. I do not see how the gun could be assembled and result in this problem unless, perhaps, the barrel is not original to this shotgun and it has the tab located slightly differently. Are Model 12 barrels interchangeable with Model 87's? Are they different in this way? The manufacture date of the shotgun is 1917 and the last patent date on the barrel is 1910.
The question is a rhetorical one at this time since the receiver extension is frozen to the receiver. With the barrel band and magazine tube removed I cannot get any hint of rotation with just my hands and I've been unwilling to try a padded vice and monkey wrench. My wife's grandfather bought this shotgun new in 1917, the year it was made, and her father does not remember them ever removing the barrel. Over the past 99 years those two parts have gotten very comfortable the way they are.
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Old December 12, 2016, 11:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
to clear the face of the receiver extension,
OK, to be clear, so we are both talking about the same thing, the mag tube (and the action bar) have to move forward enough to clear the joint between the receiver and the receiver extension. They don't have to come out of the receiver extension.

I'll try and drag out one of my model 12s tomorrow and check but as I recall they use the same system of takedown, though the parts are not interchangeable.

Soak the receiver in a good penetrating oil for a few days (kroil, liquid wrench etc.) and see if that frees things up. IF not, there are other things to try, before going to the vice and wrench.

Also helps to turn it the correct direction,

And no, I don't currently recall which way that is, but my model 12 will remind me, when I get to it.
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Old December 13, 2016, 09:35 AM   #13
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in over 60 years and looking at alot of win 97,s i never saw one with the tab being on one, i have seen a few that had the reciever and barrel solderd together. eastbank.
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Old December 13, 2016, 07:40 PM   #14
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Clockwise

Turn the receiver extension and barrel clockwise to separate the two halves. It's a quarter turn that allows the interrupted barrel thread to release from the receiver. The mag tube and the slide handle must be fully forward.
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Old December 14, 2016, 03:57 AM   #15
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I found 3 different links on youtube for you.
This one is Hickock 45.He does the takedown at 10 minutes into the vid.
https://youtu.be/_OukmFnhUCM
Ol' Hickock is NOT quite as practiced at the takedown routine.

Potterfield at Midway does it so fast you can't see,but here he is

https://youtu.be/MrNFle6ICCI

And,one more

https://youtu.be/SUQ4kJ7ThXU

Last edited by HiBC; December 14, 2016 at 04:58 AM.
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Old December 23, 2016, 01:04 PM   #16
Clem Paradise
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Thanks to your replies and the links to the videos I now understand just how the shotgun breaks down. It all makes sense now that I realize that the mag tube does not need to clear the receiver extension, so everything about this gun is correct, the problem is the receiver extension is frozen to the receiver. I will continue to work on it with penetrating oil. If that doesn't free it up I'll be open for alternative suggestions.
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Old December 24, 2016, 02:18 PM   #17
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Heat is your friend

Kroil is the best penetrant IMHO. A little heat, like a heat gun or hair dryer. The heat helps with the penetrating oil.

The third ingredient is tincture of time, don't rush it.
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Old January 13, 2017, 01:24 PM   #18
Clem Paradise
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Success!

Thank you to Ricklin for recommending KROIL as a penetrating oil, it worked like a charm. After 5 minutes to let it penetrate a firm twist rotated the barrel assembly and I had separated parts in my hands. After some cleaning to remove some very old and stiff oil the shotgun assembles and breaks down like it was intended to.
KROIL is more expensive than other more common penetrating oils but this one use has paid for the entire can.

Thanks for the help.
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Old January 13, 2017, 05:19 PM   #19
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Awesome!

Glad to hear it. My commercial fishing buddies turned me on to KROIL a long time ago.

The worst environment for metals is a salt water fishing boat. Lotsa rusty stuff. It's more expensive than the others, and very very worth it.
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Old January 13, 2017, 06:32 PM   #20
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Hey, I said it before he did!

I just wasn't as ..expressive.. about it..

Glad you got it apart ok. Now just keep your thumb out of the way when you shoot it! (trust me..)
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