Winchester Model 1897 Black Diamond Pigeon Gun 12 GA Pump Shotgun, 1906 C&R

SOLD FOR: $3125

LSB#: 230523RO002

Make: Winchester

Model: 1897 Black Diamond Pigeon Gun

Serial#: 315057

Year of Manufacture: 1906

Gauge: 12 Gauge

Choke: Full, Fixed

Action Type: Takedown Pump-Action Shotgun with a Tubular Magazine

Barrel Length: 28”

Sights / Optics: There is a brass bead at the muzzle. The top of the barrel and receiver have a strip of fine matting for glare reduction.

Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The stocks are two-piece checkered deluxe walnut with pistol grip, straight comb and solid orange rubber buttpad. The wrist has black diamonds inlaid on either side. The stocks have some scattered light nicks and scratches with more notable scuffing on the left of the comb and a cluster of dings on the right of the buttstock toward the rear. There is a small chip-loss at the front of the wrist to the left of the trigger guard and there is a grain-line opening up in front of the action bar on the left-rear of the forend. The LOP measures 12 5/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the pad, 11 1/4″ to the back of the wood, indicating that the stock has been cut. The pad shos minor wear and is still fairly supple. The pad is not original to the gun. Overall, the stocks are in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with evenly scattered minor erosion. There is a small dent visible in the bore about 8 1/2″ from the muzzle on the top-right. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 6 out of 10.

Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide.

Overall Condition: The shotgun retains about 35% of its metal finish. Remaining finish is scattered and mostly in protected areas. Most surfaces have worn to white or gone to a light patina. There is surface erosion on the right of the barrel in the front half and on the right of the magazine bracket. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches as well as the dent noted above. There are marks on the left-front of the receiver from the action bar during reassembly. There is some scattered minor surface oxidation. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear with good detail in the engraving. Overall, the shotgun is in about Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. This shotgun can be slam-fired which is done by holding the trigger and pumping forend to fire the gun, this is how the gun was designed. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box Paperwork and Accessories: This shotgun comes with a Cody Firearms Records Office records search which indicates that this gun’s serial number was applied February 5, 1906, received in warehouse February 13, 1906 and shipped February 21, 1906 on order number 43212. Winchester records indicate the gun was made as Pigeon Grade a 12 gauge with a 28″ barrel, pistol grip stock, Silvers pad, takedown and a custom LOP of 13 7/8″ to heel, 14 1/4″ to toe with drop at comb of 1 3/4″ and drop at heel of 2 3/4″. Also included is a black nylon zipper case with “WINCHESTER / 1897” embroidered in red.

Our Assessment: The Winchester Model 1897 was designed by the legendary gunsmith John Moses Browning. Browning improved upon his earlier Model 1893 with a stronger receiver that could sustain the pressure of smokeless powder shells. The gun is a “takedown design” meaning the barrel and magazine can be easily separated from the frame in order to make storage and transportation easier. Also, Browning designed the shotgun so that it can be “slam fired”, where the user keeps the trigger depressed and fires shells by cycling the forend. The gun has a large production run, from 1897-1957, and is still considered one of the most brilliant shotguns ever made.

This particular specimen is a Winchester Model 1897 Black Diamond Pigeon Gun made in 1906 with a 28″ Full choke barrel chambered for 12 gauge shells. The gun was special-ordered with a Silvers pad and specific length of pull as well as drop, though the stock has since been cut. It has beautiful engraving with a live trap scene on the left and a hunting scene on the right as well as a distinctive pigeon behind the hammer and “PIGEON GUN” on the bolt. It looks like it was someone’s favorite, having wear consistent with use in the field over the last century and change. For serial 1897 collectors, the Pigeon Gun is a must-have and this would be a great Winchester to add to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

Winchester Model 1897 Black Diamond Pigeon Gun 12 GA Pump Shotgun, 1906 C&R
Winchester Model 1897 Black Diamond Pigeon Gun 12 GA Pump Shotgun, 1906 C&R