I have a Winchester Model 1897 16 Ga. Pump Action Shotgun, Its old (Made around 1915) and is in Dire Need of a Complete Disassembly and Really Good Cleaning of every part.
It still shoots but every now and then a shell gets stuck in the chamber after firing. Pumping it back in battery and back out of battery doesnt work, I actually have to pull it out with needle nose pliers or a push it out with a cleaning rod. I shot it today and was told by some its actually in pretty good shape on the outside and all the working parts, wood is in excellent shape im told. BUT the barrel is pitted and the Chamber is Filthy lots of power burned in. (Chamber needs polishing after cleaning im told) Its been owned by every member of my grandfathers family at one point in time untill it came into my uncles hand in the mid 70's and he gave it to me in 2003.
My questions are this;
Does anyone know of a good gunsmith in the Northwest Georgia (Atlanta Area) that has experience with the 1897 or VERY familiar with shotguns?????
Would it be better to just send it back to Winchester to have it disassembled and Cleaned up???
Shipping would be about $50.00 UPS Next Day Air. Then what winchester would charge to do the work.
What would be my best bet? Most Effective and best results wise..??
I know its going to cost me some money no matter which way I go with it.
What is this 'cleaning' thing you are talking about?!?!?
Call Zack Rabun at Deercreek.
Him and his Dad (Pat), are the best I know of when it comes to old guns.
I have some firearms that are so old they have no serial numbers, and I let them work on those.
Tell them Doc Tom sent you!
It probably has some pitting in the chamber,that wouldn't be a problem with paper shells,but how often do you see those anymore.
As old as it is,
It may have a chamber that is shorter than 2&3/4".That would make it a lot worse for the stuck case problem,and increase recoil.
So if it is suggested to lengthen the chamber or the forcing cone,go for it.
I had a '97 Trench Gun that kicked way too hard,and had another problem that the gunsmith said was headspace.It might have been headspace,but it might have been chamber length too.I traded the gun before I started learning about things like that.
I would contact Winchester. I'd tell them the shotgun is a family heirloom, and ask them if I could send it in for inspection. I would think that Winchester would take care of it for nothing more than public relations value. I would run a bore snake down the barrel so it doesn't look like it's been abused or neglected.
You might also think about submitting your shotgun to the National Rifleman for use in their favorite guns column. It would be interesting to see a 100 year old shotgun that's still in service. I might accidentally mention my intention of doing this Winchester.
Thanks guys Youve given me more help in 4 post than the Guys at Glock Talk Gave me.
The 89 year old date is kinda iffy though. Going by the serial number Blue book of gun Values list it made in 1914 or 1915. Winchester says 1915 to 1916 due to a fire or something that burned all the records. So I tell everyone 1915 to be fair and split it down the middle, so thats how I get 89 years old. And from what im told its in real good shape on the outside. This gun however probably hasnt been cleaned in 30 years. Given what all my uncle has told me. Everytime I take her out I get looks of all kinds and people wanting to shoot it. Its a real hoot shooting a gun that was made before my grandfather was born. He was born in 1919. Go Figure.
Ill give Zack a call at Deercreek. Thanks Jarhead Chiro.
I was shooting Remington 16 Ga. 2 3/4" Shells, so the Chamber thing may be right on the money. Thanks Gamachinist.
I just may call Winchester and see what they say. It might be interesting to see what they might do. Just hope I dont wind up like Al Bundy when his Dodge Hit 1 million miles, and they were going to give him a new VIPER.
One thing I forgot to mention,
The Remington "promo""Dove and Quail loads" are actually about 1/16" shorter than a regular 2&3/4" shell and everyone elses promo loads.
I'm not sure the reason for this,it could be to discourage reloading (that was how I found out they were shorter!) or it may be to use a cheaper shot cup vs. a cushion wad that is longer.
One other note on shotgun shells,the promo loads are usually higher pressure loads than the regular priced ones.
It could be the use of the shot cups,cheaper (and usually dirtier burning ) powder,or maybe the grade of plastic in the case takes more force to open the crimp.These are all theories of mine,I'm not really that smart!
And I do have headspace gauges,chamber reamers and long forcing cone reamers too,if needed.
Hope this helps,Robert.
Amos at Autry's Armory in fayetteville 770-719-2454 is a shotgun genius! I'd give him a call and see what suggestions he has.
Ehh. If you send it to Winchester they may replace the barrel or stock or other parts that make it valuable to your family. I would get some break cleaner and hose the shit out of it. then clean it well with CLP. Use LPS III liberally as a preservative and put the gun away.
I know it shoots fine but save it for future generations.
Go out and buy a Mosberg for $140.00 and shoot that.
But save your heirloom!
Check out sassnet.com
That is the Single Action Shooting Society and those cowboys know and love the 1897's
I think you should fix it up and shoot it,most great old guns are really meant to be shot. It seems sad to put it away and never shoot it,but....
You can more than likely buy an every day blasting shotgun on the ammo savings if you found a 12ga
Those 16ga shells can be costly and of course everybody has cheep 12ga shells.
In other words-GET BOTH
Fix up the 97 and treasure it,get a 12ga for everyday blasting!
My father had a 97. Worked great. But you coudl only use low brass shells. High brass shells woudl get stuck in the chamber. His was 12 GA, but i'm guessing it might be the same problem.