Repair for Winchester 1897 16ga shotgun?2018-01-17T18:06:11-05:00

Home Forums Hunting Firearms Repair for Winchester 1897 16ga shotgun?

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  • Avatarbaccusboy
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    Post count: 404

    Anyone near Ankeny good with repairing shotguns?

    I am about a year out from returning to the USA (I live overseas), but I’d like to look into repairing an heirloom gun of my grandfathers — a 16ga Winchester model 1897. It was functioning fine as late as 1990, when I last shot it. It has been stored in a safe, since. Last I got a look at it was 3 years ago, when I oiled it. There weren’t rust issues, or anything like that. My father is afraid to fire it, being that it is older. I do remember that the last time I fired it, back about 20 to 25 years ago, something sprayed me in the face, lightly. I’m not really sure what? Felt like dirt or powder. It scared me a bit, although it seemed pretty minor, at the time. It could be just fine, but I want to get it looked-over.

    Also, as I am reading is not uncommon with 1897’s, the wood forestock is split through, about 1/2 of the way down the wood. We always went ahead and fired it, anyway.

    From what I read, typical 1897’s aren’t worth a heck of a lot, but this one is sentimental, and I’d like to put it up in a rack above a mantle to show it off, perhaps with the dual purpose of keeping it around for protection. I like the hammer, and being able to keep a round in the chamber with the hammer already down. I’d like to repair it with a good used part that looks the age of the gun. At the very least, I’d like to get it checked-out for safety, and maybe fire it once and a while — even if I cannot change the wood forearm.
    Thoughts?

    ECFirearmsECFirearms
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    Post count: 1346

    Controlled Chaos Arms in Baxter, IA.

    talk to Micheal, they should be able to take a look at it.

    β€œSecond Amendment – Either you are helping pull the wagon, getting a free ride in the wagon, or trying to take away the wagon. Which one are you?” -- IAShooters

    Avatarkenhump
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    Post count: 12768

    Loads of parts available. Over a million made. Been in military use since Spanish American war to Gulf War. Wouldn’t surprise me if there are still a few in military inventories. That full choke 30″ barrel was a beast.

    bowfisherbowfisher
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    Post count: 2200

    If memory serves me correctly that model of gun was well known for blowing holes in the floor board of cars! 😯

    We had one growing up on the farm.

    AvatarMr.Seaguar
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    Post count: 1364

    Oil it, put it on the wall and buy a better gun.

    Avatarlittlealfet
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    Post count: 739

    My Dad had one back in the 1960’s that my brother still has, I believe it is a 12 gauge with 32 inch barrel and full choke. It was a beast to carry and if you put cheap plastic shells in it when you went to pump a new shell into the chamber once in a while it would just go off as you slid the fore arm action up or closed. We quit using it about the same time for that reason and because of the weight of it to carry. The thing I remember most was wait till everyone else was done shooting and than shoot, it would reach out there forever. I think I would just hang it on the wall as a keep sake and not worry about shooting it. Buy a Remington 20 gauge youth 870 for home defense if you think you need something. Safer as I would never trust the 1897 hammer even in the” safe position “which is not all the way closed up against the firing pin.

    AvatarJoy
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    Post count: 237

    sent you a email

    Avatarbaccusboy
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    Post count: 404

    Thanks, all.

    I was talking to my dad about it. Sounds like my uncle may want first dibs on the gun, which is fine.

    I also learned that this gun breaks down into 2 pieces, but grandpa rarely did it, because they could go loose from doing it.

    It may become a wall-hanger somewhere, at least. Got some good names for restoring it, if needed.

    Much appreciated, and glad to get the 20ga home defense suggestion. Any thoughts on a 410 for home defense? Sonething my tiny wife would be less afraid of?

    AvatarTin Roof
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    Post count: 526

    Quote by: baccusboy

    Much appreciated, and glad to get the 20ga home defense suggestion. Any thoughts on a 410 for home defense? Sonething my tiny wife would be less afraid of?

    Do you mean less afraid of as in recoil or over-all size of the weapon? If she is small framed and doesn’t like recoil she will not like shooting youth model 20 gauge shotguns. I have an 870 and a friend of mine had a mossberg 500, both in youth model 20 gauge, and they both kick like a mule with his danglers tangled up in a briar patch.

    I wouldn’t see anything wrong with using a .410 for a home defense gun. A 3″ #6 shot from a .410 will do some damage.

    AvatarBrad Phillips
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    Post count: 3188

    If you end up with it, I know a guy that can restore it.

    I just had work done on an 1889 Marlin. Barrel lined, re-stocked, and a few screws made. Later dropped off a S&W #3 and had the hammer notches re-worked. Will drop off a 1921 Nitro Special in the spring for a good tune up. πŸ˜€

    AvatarBushFamilyNine
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    Post count: 354

    A lot of firearms run afoul when the lubes get old and dry up. One that old should be cleaned up after a long storage as thoroughly as one can before it gets shot. Often the action screws will seize up, and this is when the wise gunsmith comes in handy for complete disassembly. A skillful eye can also spot parts which are worn or that may have had home repairs that were done without regard to safety.

    I have the 1897 my great grandfather owned in the early thirties (and even an Iowa hunting license from 1936 with his name on it), and the ownership may go back in the family farther than that. It is a long barrel full choke 12 gauge, and a punisher to shoot if you don’t have thick clothing on. It is kept functional and is a trusted heirloom that still sees time in the field. I wouldn’t think twice about using this model if it has been inspected for wear and kept functional. This shotgun will slam fire with the trigger held down, so keeping the trigger/firing mechanism clean is important to prevent unintentional discharges. It may sound strange, but my great grandfather stored his shotguns barrel down to keep dust/dirt (and mainly beetles) from getting down into the barrel and the action.

    AvatarDT
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    Post count: 21

    The timing of this thread is interesting. I have had my great grandfathers model 1897 sitting in my safe for a lot of years, and just decided to hang it up on the wall as a display this past weekend. It is a 12 ga, 30 inch full choke. I always planned on shooting a pheasant with it but decided using the hammer as the safety mechanism was not for me.

    I did remove the firing pin from the gun before I hung it on the wall so no one can do something foolish with it. They are neat old guns that could tell a lot of stories.

    AvatarBrad Phillips
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    Post count: 3188

    ’97’s don’t “slam fire” in the sense that they go into battery and fire on their own. If YOU hold the trigger back and pump the action, they will fire each time.

    Using the “hammer” as a safety, or half *censored* as it is known, has been used for quite a long time. πŸ˜€

    Avatarkenhump
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    Post count: 12768

    I would cut to the chase and take it to good gunsmith and get it cleaned and an opinion of the trustworthiness. FWIW I have an 1895 Mauser, 7.65 carbine that is solid and tight. Shoots good.

    AvatarBrad Phillips
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    Post count: 3188

    Winney ’97’s are one of the preferred shotguns for cowboy games.

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