Model: Pigeon Grade 1897
Serial Number: C 53942
Year of Manufacture: 1899 – C&R
Caliber: 12 Ga.
Action Type: Pump Action Shotgun
Markings: 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.” And “12”. The slide is marked “Winchester / Model 1897”. The serial number is found on the underside of the frame and the flag is marked “Pat. Applied For”. The bolt is marked “Pigeon Gun”.
Barrel Length: 30”
Sights / Optics: The gun is mounted with a single brass bead and a checkered rib. This matches perfectly the patterns displayed in R.L. Wilson’s “Winchester Shotguns”.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are original checkered and high grade wood. The checkering is a bit worn, but present everywhere. The wood is sound and free of splits and cracks. The wood shows original finish – EXCEPT for the rear half of the stock, which was refinished. The butt pad has also been replaced. The LOP measures about 14 1/16”. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition – making me wonder the reason for the rear stock refinish.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright. There is no erosion or pitting in the bore..
Overall Condition: This gun retains about 80% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows thinning on the barrel, with a light drift to patina. There are a few scattered surface marks here, some through the finish. The frame shows much original finish, with the upper left radius of the frame showing light mottling in place of thinned finish. The typical marks from reassembly are present, as is some scattered thinning from handling. The gun is quite beautiful, and exceptionally well cared-for for its age. The Screw heads are very serviceable, though showing some light wear. The markings are crisp. Overall, this gun rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions as designed though we have not shot this gun. I know 97’s well, and this action on this is tight and smooth.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Winchester Model 1897 was the most popular shotgun of the late 19th and 20th century – used in numerous wars and almost every bird hunt in North America. Designed by John Moses Browning (my hero), I consider to 1897 to be the best pump action shotgun ever produced – including current production guns. This one is spectacular in rarity, condition and craftsmanship. The engraving, like all Pigeon Guns, is hand cut and spectacular. This is certainly one of, if not the most desirable shotgun I have seen come throughout our little shop.
Sold For: $7,001