SOLD FOR: $1475
Make: Winchester Repeating Arms Co.
Serial Number: 416839
Year of Manufacture: 1909
Caliber: 12 Gauge
Action Type: Pump Action Magazine Fed Shotgun
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. OCT.16.1900”, “12 GA.” and at the rear with an ovalled “WP” proof. The left-rear is marked “FULL”. The side of the action bar is marked “MODEL 1897 / -WINCHESTER- / TRADE MARK”. The bottom of the receiver at the front is marked “416839”. The top of the receiver has a faint “WP” to the left of the sight groove.
Barrel Length: 30”
Choke: Full, Fixed
Sights / Optics: There is a brass bead at the front of the barrel. The top of the receiver has a shallow groove for a sighting plane.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece walnut with grooved slide handle, semi-pistol grip, straight comb and checkered black hard rubber Winchester buttplate. The buttstock has notably higher grade wood than the slide handle. The slide handle has a long, thin repaired crack along the left side and pooled finish in the grooves. The buttstock has a couple of thin grain-line cracks in the top of the wrist, a nick on the left above the belly and a few scattered more minor handling marks. The LOP measures 13 5/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has well defined checkering and lettering. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good-Fine condition as refinished and/or original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blue & Damascus, the bolt has been mostly polished Bright
Finish Originality: According to the consignor, this shotgun was restored by Ken Hamblin of Missouri.
Bore Condition: The bore is light gray. There is light erosion scattered through the bore with a line of light pitting in the bottom of the bore and infrequent other minor pitting. The inside of the bore shows some reaming behind the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 95% of its current metal finish. Most of the balance is light operational wear on the magazine tube. There is some scratching on the bottom and right of the barrel in front of the magazine tube, otherwise showing strong damascus patterning. There are a few other scattered minor marks. There is some dishing around the screw and pin holes with infrequent minor erosion under the finish. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are generally clear, the barrel extension’s serial marking and the receiver’s “WP” are worn and incomplete. Overall, this shotgun is in Very Good-plus condition as refinished.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
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. This example is quite interesting as it has a damascus barrel. By the time the Model 1897 was introduced, fluid steel barrels were becoming more and more common as was the use of smokeless powder. The standard ’97 would have a fluid steel barrel, but the model could be ordered with a damascus barrel, but this feature increased the price by more than 50% when compared with a standard model! This would explain the reason why the option was not offered for very long and was seldom selected. The result of the damascus barrel, however, is a striking shotgun which would make a great display in a collection of Winchester shotguns. Please see our pictures and good luck!