SOLD FOR: $4476.50
Model: 1897 Trench Gun, 97
Serial Number: 934284
Year of Manufacture: 1941-1945
Gauge: 12 Ga. 2 3/4″ Shells
Action Type: Pump Action Shotgun, Tube Fed, Exposed Hammer
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “MODEL 97 – WINCHESTER – 12 GA. / -TRADE MARK-” and “2 3/4 CHAM. / CYL”. The top of the barrel is marked with a “WP” proof mark, found again on the top of the receiver. The top of the chamber also has a flaming bomb. The right of the barrel is marked “-MADE IN U.S.A. WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN, CONN.-” with patent dates. The bottom of the barrel extension is marked “934284”. The bottom of the receiver is marked “E / 934284”. The left side of the receiver is marked “U.S.”. The right side of the trigger guard is marked “17”. The bottom of the barrel is marked “41”. The left side of the buttstock has a “W.B.” in box cartouche above a crossed cannon cartouche.
Barrel Length: 20 7/8”
Choke: Fixed Cylinder
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a bead set on the base of the heatshield/bayonet lug.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are walnut, the slide handle is grooved and the buttstock has a pistol grip and straight comb. There are scattered nicks, dings, scrapes, and scratches. The majority of the defects are on the buttstock. Some of the defects are deep and have removed portions of surface wood but the majority have colored with age. There is a chip loss on the right side of the buttstock down by the toe. There is thinned finish, most noticeable on the forend. The LOP measures 13 5/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the checkered steel buttplate. The plate is shy to the wood and we think it is a replacement. The plate has a few spots of light erosion, finish loss, and some oxidation. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright but there is some discoloration and faint surface erosion at the muzzle. There are three little bumps in the bottom of the bore at the location of the three heatshield mount screws.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 85% of its metal finish. There are some nicks and scratches scattered on the receiver. There are some scattered spots of finish loss and pinprick erosion from previous oxidation on the receiver. There are some little scratches and scrapes through the finish on the barrel. There are some dings and tool marks, some of the deepest marks on the barrel are at the chamber. There are some little spots of oxidation scattered over the barrel. There are some scrapes, scratches, and tool marks on the magazine tube at the front. There are areas of light patina on the magazine tube and on the barrel. There are some spots of oxidation and light erosion on the magazine tube in addition to operational scratches and finish loss. There is oxidation on the base of the heatshield/bayonet lug. There is some wear to the edge of the base of the magazine tube on the right side. There is standard operational wear. There is some erosion under the finish on the bayonet lug and heatshield base. The magazine tube screw is a replacement. The screw heads show use with serviceable slots. The markings are sharp. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions properly. 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: Included is a Remington M1917 bayonet and scabbard & a canvas sling.
Our Assessment: After observing the Great War for the first three years, it became clear to the U.S. that serious close-range firepower was needed in trench warfare. The Model 1897 Trench grade was an evolution of this idea. The pre-existing Winchester Model 1897 was modified by adding a perforated steel heat shield over the barrel which protected the hand of the user from the barrel when it became over-heated, and an adapter with bayonet lug for affixing an M1917 bayonet. They were so effective and brutal in combat that the German high command once announced they would execute any US soldier captured with one in his possession. This one has some scattered wear but has a good bore, great mechanics, and nice markings. This is a nice military 97 that will be tons of fun to shoot at the range and will be a nice addition to your collection. Please see our photos and good luck!