Sunday, June 15, 2008

Winchester Model 1897

That picture up in the header is a military version of the Winchester 1897,  known as the "Trench Gun" during World War I.
It saw service right on into the '60s.

Pictured here is a civilian model from 1909. It has a 30" full choke barrel and fires 2 3/4 inch 12 gage shells. I know everybody's big on those 3 + inch magnum loads of "double ought" buck ...but you put a load of #4 turkey shot down a full choke barrel into anything and then tell me it won't get the job done.

You need to be extraordinarily careful around the '97. The only safety is a half cock position on the hammer and the firing pin is heavy enough to set off a primer if the gun gets a good jolt.

There's also no disconnect for the firing pin, so if you're on the trigger when you rack the slide, the gun goes off when the bolt goes home.

This is impressive if you're the type that likes to fan off a few rounds from the hip, but out in the real world it's a serious safety issue. This particular gun isn't a good choice for a novice, but it's a big hit with the "Cowboy Action" set. 
Thank god for competent range officers

This one is a "Take-down" model, the barrel and magazine separate from the action and shoulder stock. 

In deference to the guns age, (and my torn rotator cuff) I rarely fire it. But it will be featured in an upcoming YouTube vid on shooting and and accuracy, so check back.

1 comment:

Herman Spoto said...

Thanks for the info, I have had a Model 97 (mfg 1898), standing behind my bed room door for years, I knew it was OLD but that was about it lol