Winchester Model 1897 Shotgun

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Introduction | I. History of Winchester Guns | II. Models |  III. Variations | IV. Outline of Features | V. Condition  | VI. Diagrams


Which Model-Configuration of 1897 shotgun do You Have?

Step 1: Determine the Model of firearm

There are 8 Model Configurations with two gauge and several variations of those models.  The standard 1897 shotgun was a pump action and had a walnut stock, with a shotgun-type metal butt-plate.  Deluxe varieties had checkered forearms and stocks, and have fancy walnut stocks, or other added features as many different options were available directly from the Winchester factory. 

Exposed hammer on  an early 1897 shotgun

Stock and Butt-plate on an early 1897 shotgun

Barrel length is the first criteria that will be used to differentiate among the 8 different Model Configurations of the 1897 Winchester.  Barrel length is measured from the end of the barrel tip (below the front bead sight), to the end of the barrel threads (beyond where the barrel inserts into the receiver in the middle of the gun).  In the 1897 Winchester, you can measure from the top of the receiver from where the bolt opening ends, to the barrel tip, to get an accurate overall barrel length.  As an example, in the riot gun which has a 20" barrel, the measurement from the barrel tip to the receiver front is only 19 1/4 ".  In order to add the distance of the barrel threads, you need to keep measuring into the receiver until you reach the end of the threads at the receiver opening (see where arrow points to in picture below).  This will give you the correct barrel length measurement.

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Use the following Key to determine which model (configuration) of gun that you have.  Start at "a" and then select one of the "a" choices.  Follow the STEPS through the key to determine your shotgun type.  Then confirm your selection with with the overall descriptions and variations in the Outline of Features section.  These 1897 Winchester shotguns were very popular and some have gone through many hands.  Each owner had an opportunity to modify the gun, add parts, change parts, and remove features.  Be alert for such modifications, and remember that any modification from the original probably decreases value of that gun.

If you need help determining names  used for the parts of your gun, examine the Parts Diagram by Clicking Here.

Easy Key:

a. My gun is an 1897 pump action with a barrel that is GREATER THAN 20" in length .  ---  Go to section b

a'. My gun is an 1897 pump shotgun with a barrel that is 20" LONG. 
  ▪ If the barrel  is fitted with a hand guard and there is a bayonet with the gun, You have a Trench Gun.

Enter the Model of your gun in the column to the right 

>>>>>>>>>

 Go to STEP 2

a''  ▪ If there is no hand guard and no bayonet, You have a Riot Gun.

Enter the Model of your gun in the column to the right 

>>>>>>>>>

 Go to STEP 2

 
b. My gun has a barrel that GREATER THAN 26" long ---  Go to section c


Winchester 1897 with barrel over 20" in length

b'. My gun is a pump action 1897 shotgun with a barrel THAT IS  26" long.    The barrel will be round, 26" with the stock plain walnut with a modified pistol grip (see picture below), and the butt-plate will be shotgun-style (metal early and black hardened plastic later with a Winchester logo).  The forearm is also plain grooved walnut, with a single barrel band.  You have a Brush gun

b".  If the gun matches this description and is a takedown variety, You have a take-down Brush gun. 

1897 Brush Gun Barrel

Brush Gun semi-pistol grip stock


Enter the Model of your gun in the column to the right 

>>>>>>>>>

 Go to STEP 2

 
 

c. My gun has a 28" or 30" barrel,  is a 16 or 12 gauge and the top of the receiver DOES NOT have a black MATTED surface to reduce the sunlight glare.  The gun does have a walnut stock and shotgun butt plate.     Go to section d

An 1897 standard magazine

Enter the Model of your gun in the column to the right 

>>>>>>>>>

 Go to STEP 2


c'.  My gun is a 12 gauge, has a 30" barrel. The stock and forearm are checkered and made of select walnut.  The walnut stock is a straight grip. The butt plate is metal or hard black rubber with the Winchester Logo on later production guns.   You have a  Winchester 1897 'Tournament Gun. '

Enter the Model of your gun in the column to the right 

>>>>>>>>>

 

This is an example of a Winchester 1897 checkered forearm

 

d. My gun has a 28" or 30" barrel,  is a 16 or 12 gauge and the gun has a fancy walnut stock WITH CHECKERING.  Go to section e

 

d.' My 1897 shotgun has a plain (WITHOUT CHECKERING) pistol-grip stock with a grooved forearm (slide handle).  If the gun is 12 gauge the barrel is 30" long and if a 16 gauge it has a 28" barrel.  It can either be a solid frame or takedown.  You have a  Winchester 1897 'Standard Gun. '

1897 Grooved Forearm

Enter the Model of your gun in the column to the right 

>>>>>>>>>

Go to STEP 2

 

e. My 1897 shotgun has a fancy walnut checkered stock and the word "TRAP" is stamped on the bottom of the frame.  If the gun is 12 gauge the barrel is 30" long and if a 16 gauge it has a 28" barrel.  It can either be a solid frame or takedown. The forearm and stock-neck are checkered. You have a  Winchester 1897 'Trap Gun. '

 

Enter the Model of your gun in the column to the right 

>>>>>>>>>

Go to STEP 2

e'. My 1897 shotgun has a fancy walnut checkered stock and the word "PIGEON" is stamped on the BREECH BLOCK.  A picture of a pigeon is stamped just behind the trigger on the frame.  If the gun is 12 OR 16 gauge the barrel length is 28" long.  It can either be a solid frame or takedown. The forearm and stock-neck are checkered. You have a  Winchester 1897 'Pigeon Gun. '

Enter the Model of your gun in the column to the right 

>>>>>>>>>

Go to STEP 2

 

 

You have now completed STEP #1 of this Appraisal.  Be sure that you have marked off in the box at the right for the appropriate model (configuration) of 1897 that you have.

When you have determined your Model, Go to Step 2


 


Introduction | I. History of Winchester Guns | II. Models |  III. Variations | IV. Outline of Features | V. Condition  | VI. Diagrams