I am thinking of picking up a Norinco 97, a copy of the Winchester 97 made for cowboy action shooters. The cool thing about it is this idea I have of building one into a copy of the WWI & WWII military version, if I could find parts. What do y'all think of that? Are there pieces out there to do such a thing? Here is a bit of an article I found on them.
Designed by John M. Browning as a product-improved variant of the
pre-existing Model 93, the Model 97 Winchester was a classic design that
almost singlehandedly led American shotgunners from the era of the double
guns into the modern age of mechanical repeaters. In fact, more than one
million of these guns were produced by Winchester over a nearly 60-year
Officially adopted in World War I, the Winchester "Trench Gun, Model 1917"
utilized the pre-existing Model 97 Winchester shotgun with a number of
"improvements" specifically designed for warfare. These included a
ventilated steel overbarrel handguard and a Springfield Armory W-type
bayonet adapter, designed to accept the then-numerous Model 1917 Enfield
The Model 1917 trench gun featured a 20-inch cylinder bore barrel and a
five-shot magazine. The action was bottom-loading and side-ejecting. As
the gun used an exposed hammer, no secondary safety was necessary. The
inertia-locking slide was retracted by first pressing the trigger, then
sliding the fore-end forward and then to the rear. Government-purchased
Model 97s were of the earlier, solid-frame variety. Unfortunately, the
trench gun order also included Model 12s and the numbers were never
separated. It is believed that of the 19,196 trench guns delivered to the
military during WWI, two-thirds were Model 97s.
The Model 97 trench gun was capable of tremendous firepower. Issued to
AEF soldiers with paper-hulled 00 buckshot loads holding nine pellets, the
97 could lay down 54 .33-caliber projectiles in a matter of seconds simply
by holding back the trigger and rapidly working the slide, as the gun did
not have a trigger disconnector.
Today's owner of a Model 97 trench gun is armed with a fighting arm that
has stood the test of time. Apart from their short 2 3/4-inch chambers,
these guns are as versatile and deadly today as they were almost a century
It's a cool idea, the heat shield and bayonet lug are going to present a problem though.
I was looking at a new one today. I am only speaking from handling and looking since I did not have a chance to shoot it but it seemed a little loose. The wood is cheap and the finish on the wood makes it look plastic.
I don't know what price you have seen but I suppose if it is under $300 and you put some work in it then it might be worth a buy.