Winchester Model 1897, Black Diamond Stocks, 1900 28″ 12 Ga. ’97, Cody Letter, “Close Shooter”

SOLD FOR: $1,375.00

Make: Winchester

Model: 1897 “Close Shooter”

Serial Number: 95490

Year of Manufacture: 1900. Please note that firearms must be produced in or before 1898 to qualify as Antique. This shotgun is C&R eligible, but not Antique.

Caliber: 12 Gauge, 2 1/2” Shells.

Action Type: Pump Action Takedown Shotgun With Tubular Magazine

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A. PAT. NOV. 25,90. DEC. 6, 92. JULY 21, 96. FEB. 22, 98. JUNE 14, 98”, “12 GA.” with an ovalled “WP” proof, the left is marked “FULL.”. The side of the action bar is marked “WINCHESTER / MODEL 1897”. The bottom of the barrel extension and receiver are each marked “95490” and the bottom of the receiver is also marked “C”, the top of the receiver is marked with an ovalled “WP” proof to the left of the rear sight groove.

Barrel Length: 28”

Choke: Marked Full, but our gauge measures Modified.

Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a bead front sight and a shallow groove at the front of the receiver which serves as a sighting plane. The rear sight groove and the top of the receiver are finely serrated to reduce glare.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks factory Black Diamond pieces, though not originally installed on the gun. The gun was returned in 1914 and we believe this is when the stocks were added as they are most certainly factory pieces, fit extremely well and have been on the gun a very long time… They are two-piece checkered walnut with straight grip, inset black diamonds on each side of the wrist, straight comb and solid brown rubber Winchester buttpad. The stocks have several scattered light compressions, bruises, scratches and scuffs. The checkering is generally well defined where not compressed, but does show smoothing from handling. The checker pattern on the wrist extends to the front edge at the receiver with the border pattern interrupted at the edge (please see photos). There are no chips or cracks. The length of pull measures 13 1/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttpad. The pad has scattered light wear and discoloration from age and oil, in about Very Good condition. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition. Again, these are factory pieces but were not put on the gun when it left the factory in 1900.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality:  Factory Original

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright. There are a few patches of very light erosion scattered in the bore.

Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 70% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The barrel has operational wear from the slide handle and wear from disassembly with some scattered light marks, a few areas of very light finish wear and scattered very faint freckling. The barrel extension has finish wear on the top, heavier on the left, with some light marks and light surface oxidation in the wear and marks. The magazine tube shows operational wear and wear from disassembly. The receiver has a patch of marring at the front-left edge, several scattered light marks and light finish wear with discoloration from oxidation in most marks and wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Very Good – Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp. We did not fire this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This gun is accompanied by a Cody research letter, confirming 28″ 12 Ga. and Takedown features… Additionally, it is referred to in the letter as a “Close Shooter”. We do not know what this references, neither does Jessica at Cody. Lastly, the gun was shipped 3/14/1900 and returned to the factory for “repair” 9/26/1914. We believe this 1914 repair was for the wood and is when the Black Diamond pieces were installed.

Our Assessment: The Winchester 1897 was designed by the famed John M. Browning and quickly became one of the most popular shotguns in the world, serving the United states military in both World Wars and popular with law enforcement agencies across the country. It should come as no surprise then, that it was also popular on the civilian market with many field guns produced. This example has gorgeous Black Diamond wood and is in great condition for a 19th century gun. The Black Diamond wood is certainly factory produced and given the wear and fit to the gun, though it was not installed in 1900, we believe it was installed in 1914! This would be a great addition to any Winchester, Shotgun, or 19th century firearm collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This C&R eligible shotgun can be transferred in California.

The choke measurement in the description was taken using a gauge which measures diameter at the muzzle. We have measured constriction and show a constriction of 0.037 in the last two inches of the bore. Given the muzzle diameter reading Mod. and the constriction being in-line with Full as marked, it’s possible that the bore is over-sized and this may have something to do with the “close shooter” designation.

Winchester Model 1897, Black Diamond Stocks, 1900 28" 12 Ga. '97, Cody Letter, "Close Shooter"
Winchester Model 1897, Black Diamond Stocks, 1900
28″ 12 Ga. ’97, Cody Letter, “Close Shooter”