Sold For: $5,669.00
Model: 1897 Takedown Frame Trench
Serial Number: 942603
Year of Manufacture: 1942; WWII Serial Number Range According to Joe Poyer’s U.S. Winchester Trench & Riot Guns book. Under the barrel just ahead of the receiver is marked “42” for the barrel date code.
Gauge: 12 Gauge 2 ¾”
Action Type: Pump/Slide Action Takedown Shotgun with Tubular Magazine
Markings: The left side of the receiver is marked “U.S.” followed by the ordnance flaming bomb, with correct dimensions. The barrel extension is marked “942603” The underside of the receiver is marked “E / 942603”. The top of the receiver is marked with the Winchester Proof. The top of the barrel forward of the receiver is marked with the Winchester proof and flaming ordnance bomb. The right 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. 28. 98. OCT. 16. 1900. DEC. 25. 06. JULY 5. 10”. The left side of the barrel is marked “MODEL 97 WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK – 12 GA. 2 ¾ CHAM. / CYL”. The left side of the buttstock is marked with the U.S Govt. Inspector’s initials “W.B.” (Waldemar Broberg) in a rectangle over the ordnance department’s Crossed Cannon cartouche. Under the barrel just ahead of the receiver is marked “42”.
Barrel Length: 20 ½”, this is a noted barrel length in Joe Poyer’s U.S. Winchester Trench and Riot Guns, page 17.
Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a steel bead on top of the forward portion of the handguard/bayonet lug attatchment.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The forend is ribbed walnut. There is light wear to the lacquer on the belly and the sides of the forend, with some faint oil staining. There are also a few light compression marks. The buttstock is smooth walnut with a sling swivel inlayed into the belly, the forward swivel is hinged on the bayonet attachment; the comb is fluted and the OAL of the stock is 14 ½”, as correct in Poyer’s book. There is a “W.B” inspector mark over the crossed cannons in a wheel proof described in further detail in the Markings Section. The buttstock shows a few scattered light compression marks and scuffs in the finish; the wrist and belly have a few gouges. The LOP measures 13 ½” from the front of the trigger to the back of the Winchester buttplate which rates in Fine condition. The stocks rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright but for a few spots of very persistent fowling, which should clean out to produce bright surfaces. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 91% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows some scratch and scrape marks on the receiver, tube extension and slide arm. The magazine tube and slide arm have operational wear, There is some handling rub wear on the receiver as photographed. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are deep and crisp. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Fine Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. This model of exposed hammer takedown shotgun can be ‘slam fired’ by holding the trigger down and pumping as fast as possible. The tube magazine holds 5 shells. 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: 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. American soldiers who were skilled at trap shooting were armed with these guns and stationed where they could fire at enemy hand grenade s in midair. This would deflect the grenades from falling into the American trenches and therefore protect American soldiers. 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. The amount of history that this gun could have seen and lived through is truly incredible. Our research and analysis leads to the conclusion that this is a true WWII trench gun and is absolutely without a doubt one of the most beautiful and well preserved examples we have ever seen. The walnut stocks are free of cracks and major damages, about 91% of the blue finish remains and the action is CRISP! This shotgun should meet the expectations of the most demanding collectors. Please see our pictures and good luck.