SOLD FOR: $1,430.00
Make: Winchester Repeating Arms Co.
Model: 1897 Black Diamond
Serial Number: 484616
Year of Manufacture: Serial Number applied May 05 1910
Caliber: 12 Gauge (2 5/8″). According to Madis, “Both the old two and five-eigths black powder shells and the new two and three-quarter inch smokeless shells could be fired”.
Action Type: Pump Action Magazine Fed Shotgun
Markings: The left side 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. OCT. 16. 1900. DEC. 25. 06. / 12 GA.”. The Proof mark is on the left side of the barrel at the chamber as well as on the left upper radius of the frame. The right side of the barrel, at the chamber, is marked “FULL”. The action slide bar is marked “MODEL 1897 / – WINCHESTER – / TRADER MARK REG. IN U.S. PAT. OFF.”. The underside of the barrel assembly is marked “484616” and the underside of the frame is marked “E / 484616”.
Barrel Length: 30”
Choke: Full (0.035″ constriction)
Sights / Optics: The shotgun is mounted with a single brass bead front sight at the muzzle. The top of the frame and barrel are both matted.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are nicely figured and checkered walnut “Black Diamond” pieces, with black diamonds in both sides of the wrist at the frame. The stock is an english style straight stock with a solid Winchester red rubber recoil pad. The finish has thinned throughout, but most notably at the wrist and forearm from handling and operation. The wood has also darkened from oil and age. There is a small 1/2″ crack at the underside rear of the forearm, but no others found in the wood. The right rear for the forearm has a bit of a scrape/gouge. Additionally, there are scratches, dents and dings throughout. The chekering is pronounced, though there is a ding in the checkering in the right side at the wrist. The wood is original and has not been sanded, with great wood to metal fit. The LOP measures 12 5/8″ to the back of the added recoil pad, this was not original to the gun but it is a vintage Winchester pad that certainly does not detract. The pad remains in Very Good condition and the stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition as well.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright but just a little dirty. There is no erosion…
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 65% of its metal finish. The barrel has very few scratches or patches finish loss, most of the finish is retained on the barrel. The magazine tube has lost about half of its finish from operational wear, much of this is drifting to patina in addition to some bare metal. There is no finish remaining on the action slide, which is now a light brown. The frame has a few scratches, as well as thinning and edge wear. The underside of the frame has thinned the most and turned a little brown. There is a scratch from reassambly at the front radius of the frame on the left side. The screw heads are a bit worn, but all remain very serviceable. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Very condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this shotgun. The action slide is bent/tweaked a bit. This does not affect the functionality, this can just be felt when running your fingers along the slide bar but definitely not when cycling the action. As with all used fierarms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: A Cody search letter is included reading “WINCHESTER MODEL 1897 – SERIAL NUMBER 484616 – Serial number applied on May 05, 1910 – No configuration information available”.
Our Assessment: The 1897 was perhaps the best and most prolific shotgun ever made. It followed the 1893, which was the shotgun that Browning wanted to design even before the lever actions. He preferred the slide action to the lever action, only producing the lever action 1887 at Winchester’s behest. The 1893 is often referred to as the “wellspring” of all pump shotguns, even those manufactured today. It lead to the 1897, which eventually lead to the Model 12, 1200, etc. Over 1,000,000 Winchester 1897’s were manufactured through 1958. If you learned to shoot a shotgun in the United States, it was probably an 1897…
The 1897 saw several changes throughout production. According to Madis, during the first 12 years of production, Winchester made 37 major and 52 minor changes to the Model 1897. These changes culminated in the “E” guns, which had deeper 5/16th inch wide grooves on the receiver rings and a flat plug on the magazine tube cap. The “E” guns were the last itteration of the 1897’s and were the culmination in design.
This is a very nice and honest gun. There are a number of special features making it a Black Diamond, including matted barrel and frame, english wrist and checkered high grade stocks. Please see our pictures and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This shotgun can be transferred in California and is C&R eligible, though as of 1/1/2015 a C&R cannot receive direct shipment of a C&R in California.