Winchester 1897 Mag Tube Support Clamp

This is a discussion on Winchester 1897 Mag Tube Support Clamp within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I currently have a Winchester 1897 shotgun. After some research, I've determined it's approximately a 1902 production date. It's a standard model (30" bbl non ...

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Thread: Winchester 1897 Mag Tube Support Clamp

  1. #1
    Member Array Spovik's Avatar
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    Winchester 1897 Mag Tube Support Clamp

    I currently have a Winchester 1897 shotgun. After some research, I've determined it's approximately a 1902 production date. It's a standard model (30" bbl non checkered wood, metal butt, C series 12ga full choke). The only thing that I can't seem to find any more info on is the mag tube clamp.

    All I've seen in my research are typically about an inch from the end, and if they are on the end, there is usually a sling attach point, but this one just seems odd. I was hoping someone with some better knowledge would be able to let me know if there was any significance to this (such as something missing to return to original) or if it is just one of those things that a manufacturer would have changed.

    Winchester 1897 Mag Tube Clamp

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    Easy enough. You have one of the uncommon solid-frame variants of the Winchester 97. Not a bad thing at all. It's not something seen all that often and the solid-frame design means less to wear and get loose. Much as I love the Winchester Models 97 and 12 I never was too keen on their take-down feature. One frequently finds the common take-down models "wobbly in the joint." While Winchester provided for a take-up adjustment for these guns to remedy the looseness I remedy it by scarcely ever using the take-down feature. I don' t break the gun down into two sections to carry it anyway. I'd prefer the solid-frame gun.

    Model 97 Take Down versus Solid Frame

    Sure wish you would post some more photos of your 97 Winchester. We love photos.

    An old scanned photo of a 1914 Winchester Model 97 take-down model and a brace of mallard taken our old place on a rare morning snowfall in Texas back in the early 1980s.
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    Member Array Spovik's Avatar
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    Wow greatly appreciated and thanks for that link! Not only does it answer my initial question, but there is a ton of other good stuff related to this shotgun. Every time I looked for anything I kept having to weed through info specific to the take-down model.

    This thing isn't much of a looker and has seen some rough use and neglect over the years. I'm not too good at determining grades (such as 70%, fair etc) so I can't adequately describe it, but I'll snap a few photos tonight. Thanks again BMCGILVRAY!

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    Photos attached.
    Attached Images
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    Well alright!

    That's a good 'un! Has a measure of blue finish remaining and the wear patterns and patina on the metal surfaces are soft and give a pleasing appearance. The walnut surfaces are still attractive. I'd be proud to have that one in my collection. A grand ol' John Browning design, way over-built for heavy service through several generations of gunners. Worth a pretty penny on the collector's market, it could command a low 4-figure sum!

    A quick tale on the Model 97 shown with the mallard above. I spent some years as a shooting coach with 4-H youth. Was rewarding and fun back then with all the parental involvement and participation. Anyway, one Saturday morning we took the kids skeet shooting at Alpine Shooting Range in South Fort Worth, Texas. A good time was had by all and some good instruction was had. After the kids had mostly dispersed the other coach and I along with a few remaining parents indulged ourselves in some skeet and trap shooting.

    I had the Winchester 97 along, just for fun. Didn't really expect to get it out of its case however, since it was a Black Diamond trap gun, I decided to shoot a round or two of trap with it. Seems like I ended up with 17 out of 25 as a best effort with it that day. We then took over one of the skeet ranges for the rest of the time we were there. I put up the 97 and shot my ol' favorite Winchester Model 12 at that time which had a ugly Poly-Choke fitted but could really hit when opened up to cylinder bore. The other shooting coach, with whom I also worked with, wanted to give the 97 a try at skeet and I said: "Have at it. The gun's full choke but it ought to really smoke 'em if you're on."

    He proceeded to shoot it on a few stations. Then he came over to me saying a shell was stuck in it. Also he was complaining how the gun kicked hard and made the knuckle of his thumb bark his nose. Don't know recall if his nose was bleeding or just a bit swollen and red. I took the 97 and peered into the ejection port to see a green Remington Express shell stuck in the opened action. No amount of effort could induce it to come out which was initially puzzling to me. Nothing to do but to take my pocket knife and cut the plastic shell in order to remove it. Upon removing the shell all was revealed. He'd reached in a game vest and loaded up my 1914 Winchester Model 97 with a 3-inch magnum Remington Express duck load! While the loaded 3-inch shell fed and chambered, the fired shell was too long to admit through the ejection port. So had to be cut out. Considering the heavier payload of the 3-inch magnum along with the extra resistance the crimp encountered trying to open up in the shorter 2 3/4-inch chamber, the pressures must have been something else.

    The ancient gun held it though with no obvious ill effects. My co-worker was lucky in this instance. I have a reference book around here somewhere that discusses Winchester's proof methods in the pre-World War I era. It says that each and every Winchester Model 97 and Model 12 was proof tested with shells generating a 40% overload.

    Classic Winchester products were, and are very good. I really like using 'em and am not too interested in making much use of current brands and models.
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    That is a good-lookin mod 97.

    All of them look good to me! I have a weakness for them, I choose mine to take hunting a lot, it's sort of nostalgic and impressive of an old antique gun shooting right next to more modern shotguns. I know that the fox squirrels surely rejoiced when Winchester quit making them.
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    Good to know the gun will take a beating and thanks for the sharing some real life history. This one was my great grandfather's, and it boggles my mind that he probably only paid $25 for this thing! I'd still like to see what I can do to tighten it up a little bit. If the gun is stood upright, the weight of the foregrip is enough to slide it back an inch or so, far enough to interfere with operation. Granted I wont be leaving it loaded and upright in a corner, but would like to fix that.

    Also the half cock "safety" doesn't work reliably. It's certainly a harder pull to make it go off, but that's one I can't see fixing without replacing some parts. No real hurry on either as this wont see tons of use, but just something to dabble around with. (my dad discovered the safety failure while hunting as a kid when he jumped over a creek and was greeted by a face full of dirt flying up into his face)

    Either way, it hasn't had a decent cleaning for a while so once that is done, I'll see what I'll need.

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