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View Full Version : Original 1897 finish... (pics added... :P)


CeeKay
July 22, 2007, 05:24
Well, it definitely wasn't parked... :p

I'm looking at refinishing the 1897 16g I bought from my great uncle's estate auction... Not the wood, just the metal... And there's plenty of it. :(

There's really only around 20-30% original finish, and that's being generous... Most of it looks like it would be a good candidate for browning... Nice light layer of rust all over most of it...

Anyway, I was wondering what the original finish was... I'd like to refinish it and make it look pristine again... Again, except for the wood, because that's a nice old dark look... After all, it's a 91 year-old firearm according to the numbers...

So, anyone know which finish Winchester used for these shotguns?


Thanks,
- CK

BTW: here are some pics, courtesy of MySpace and TinyURL.com...

Figured I'd throw them in, since I never really did get around to putting them up here since I bought it.


http://tinyurl.com/24j63o

http://tinyurl.com/2el2sn

http://tinyurl.com/2ce4m4

firefuzz
July 22, 2007, 07:23
Except for some military guns, which were park, all I've ever seen on a '97 is a very nice blue job.

Not a bad looking shotgun at 91 y/o. I've seen many a lot worse. If it were mine I'd clean the rust off, give it a good coat of oil and leave it alone. Re-bluing will hurt the value of the piece.

These old guns are strong as a vault, when they haven't been abused. Have it checked by a gunsmith familiar with them and then SHOOT THAT PUPPY!!! Don't forget they have no disconnect, you pump it with the trigger pulled back and it will fire when the bolt closes.

Rob

indy_Muaddib
July 22, 2007, 08:52
finish is slow rust bluing.

easy to perform, but hard to master.

heres how to do it.

http://www.winrest.com/blueinstructions.html

CeeKay
July 22, 2007, 08:58
Originally posted by rob branson
These old guns are strong as a vault, when they haven't been abused. Have it checked by a gunsmith familiar with them and then SHOOT THAT PUPPY!!! Don't forget they have no disconnect, you pump it with the trigger pulled back and it will fire when the bolt closes.

I would if I could find some old lead shot rounds... Quite a few people have told me that firing steel shot through it can possibly ruin the bore...

So, I'm going to go the safe route and try to find some older shells for it...

There's really no resale on this shotgun, at least the way it is... There's not much for original finish left, and someone screwed an aftermarket rubber butt pad onto it. I hope to find a regular hard plastic/steel one to throw back on it someday... Hopefully no one altered the stock length to fit that POS rubber...


- CK

bykerhd
July 22, 2007, 08:58
Just an old, worn blued finish. The blue that isn't worn off tends to turn a brownish color as it ages. Throw some surface rust in occasionally and a lot of handling and you get "character".
Some guns of the era had color case hardened receivers, hammers and other working parts. The brilliant original mottled colors fade out to about nothing over time. Not sure whether the 1897 had any color case hardened parts originally. It would be typical in that period of time.

shootist87122
July 22, 2007, 09:10
Originally posted by CeeKay


I would if I could find some old lead shot rounds...


- CK

Any modern factory loads in the "Target Load" class should be fine. 1 Oz lead "Light Target Loads" such as offered by Remington, Winchester, & Federal if you want to stay on the low end.

The '97s in the hands of a good shooter will run with the best of the simi-autos. You have a real treasure - I also vote for a regular oiling and no refinish.

JOHN E
July 22, 2007, 09:41
Looks great (for a Fudd gun) just the way it is.

CeeKay
July 22, 2007, 09:53
Indy: Thanks for the website!!

In fact, I think I'm going to order a bottle of their bluing stuff and do my M44 bolt first... Then if it turns out nice, I might turn on the FAL kit I decide to buy soon.

I am starting to vote against the refinishing of the 1897 for now... Maybe if it gets worse... Otherwise, a good cleaning and some rounds, and it should be looking pretty fine, at least until I get the FAL totally blued (yeah, keep dreaming, CK... keep dreaming...) :tongue:

What's the best method to removing rust from a firearm, and what oils do you reccomend? :)

Also, does anyone know of a good website that chronicles the 1897's disassembly from full gun to heap of parts? That would be SO helpful, as I haven't seen anything internal aside from the bore and the carrier thing (that thing that pops out and feeds the shell into the chamber... I think that's what it's called...)


- CK

indy_Muaddib
July 22, 2007, 10:01
your best bet is to do nothing.

oil it and shoot it, thats all you need to do.

bykerhd
July 22, 2007, 10:06
If you plan a complete disassembly of a Winchester '97 make sure you have a large, clean work surface, a good set of gunsmith's screwdrivers, NOT Craftsman !!!, and a whole lot of time.
There are an incredible amounount of parts in one of those guns. All beautifully machined and just waiting patiently for the unwary gun-owner to attempt a "cleaning".:rofl:

indy_Muaddib
July 22, 2007, 11:16
thats half the fun, its like a 3D jigsaw puzzle.

CeeKay
July 22, 2007, 11:23
I got the magazine tube open... Looks pretty spiffy inside... Doesn't look like it needs much attention in there.

The bore could use a good cleaning, but I don't have a shotgun cleaning kit right now, so that will have to wait...

Otherwise, everything moves pretty well...

I tested the "will the hammer fall while cocking with the trigger depressed..."

Yes, yes it will... every time... If I had a good stiff spring to put in there, I could have a recoil-operated fully-automatic 16ga.... In retrospect.

I'm sure there would be something that would go wrong during cycling... Jamming during ANY stage... two shells coming back to the carrier, no shell coming back to the carrier, bolt closing on a spent shell, etc. etc. etc... Still, the principle is there... The reality, however... Isn't... Plus, trying to put a spring behind the action (to close the bolt during cycling) would require a TON of work, and a S**TLOAD of engineering... All of which I don't care to do... Not because I'm lazy, but because I don't want to 1. get arrested, and 2. ruin a fine firearm...

However... "Bump firing" seems to be pretty easy... if I don't end up killing myself with a load still burning/firing as the shell ejects... This I won't try, simply because I'm not an idiot... I don't build FAL receivers with JB Weld and hand tools... ;)

Back to the subject at hand...

I'd like to tear it down to at least main components to do a good thorough clean and lube... After 91 years, 50 of which to be known owned by a hunter who only maintenance cleaned (not strip-cleaned) his firearms...

Boy did I have a hell of a time getting that mag tube back together... It's pretty simple on any other shotgun, but with that spinning tube for teardown, you gotta line the cap up directly with the action of the teardown -and- the barrel... Otherwise, it can be spun open at any time... But, I did get it back to normal, and everything spins a great deal smoother... I'm looking forward to getting into the receiver a bit more...

Also, I got the s**tty butt pad off and the stock off. Inspected it a bit, and put it back on. Everything is nice and uniform still... *whew!*

I did find a nice big dent on the bottom edge line of the stock, though. :'(

Better than most 90 year-old firearms I've seen, though... :tongue:

This shotgun has definitely killed its fair share of game over the century... But, it's in pretty -damn- nice shape despite that fact!!! :biggrin:


Thanks,
- CK

P.s. Anyone in North Dakota know if the shotgun chamber limit sticks are still required? I thought that was part of the Brady Bill's bulls**t... If so, I gotta replace it with a new piece... It's starting to get a bit worn. :\

P.P.s. Notice my Nagant pictures have a Soviet Russian flag, and these have an American flag... Not the 48 star flag as should be for its era, but you get the picture... I think I'm going to buy a South African or Brazilian flag for the FAL kit I decide to buy... That's an added cost that will be purchased with the Receiver... :tongue:

Just a trend I just noticed that I might have to turn into tradition... :rofl:

firefuzz
July 22, 2007, 12:35
Firing a '97 from the hip will leave a mark on your trigger hand you won't soon forget if you pump it, ask me how I know.

The no-disconnect feature was well loved by soldiers in WWI where the '97 got the nickname "trenchbroom", hold the trigger back, trombone the action while 'sweeping' the barrel sideways down a trench full of enemy, with buckshot loads. Germans filled a 'grievance' about the use of these guns by the Allies.

DO NOT SHOOT STEEL SHOT IN A '97 WINCHESTER. Look at how thin the steel of the barrel walls are. I had, wish I could say have, a pristine '97 riot, cut-down not factory, that was a tight as a drum. Had my Winchester gunsmith go thru it and then fired anything short of a magnum load thru it, including buckshot.

Unless you want to spend a lot of time pulling your hair out, do not take a '97 apart. Find a gunsmith that specializes in Winchesters and pay him to give the gun a complete cleaning and show you how to keep it clean. There's a special jig needed to re-assemble the gun that has never been made...it's called holding your mouth just right, and is hard to come buy. Again, ask me how I know.:D

Rob

AndyC
July 22, 2007, 14:27
http://stevespages.com/ipb-winchester-1897.html

elbo
July 22, 2007, 14:41
lnk (http://vintagegungrips.net/ao-w66.html)

CeeKay
July 22, 2007, 15:27
Wow... That teardown looks pretty neat... like 15 FAL teardowns, condensed into one! :D

Yeah, I think she's gonna stay together in my house... :p

Thanks, Elbo... I've bookmarked that page... Now I gotta measure the stock out and see if that plate will fit the 16 gauge... Also, I gotta hope to God the POS rubber junk someone cobbled on (doesn't even fit straight) didn't wobble the holes into oblivion...


- CK

firefuzz
July 22, 2007, 17:02
Originally posted by CeeKay
Thanks, Elbo... I've bookmarked that page... Now I gotta measure the stock out and see if that plate will fit the 16 gauge... Also, I gotta hope to God the POS rubber junk someone cobbled on (doesn't even fit straight) didn't wobble the holes into oblivion...- CK

If the screw holes in a wood buttstock are wallowed out you can tighten the original holes by inserting a piece of a wood tooth pick into the hole and then tightening the screw.

The threads on the screw will shread the tooth pick and the screw turning will distribute the wood around the screw filling in the loose spots. I know it sounds flakely, but it works very well.

Rob

Eightball
July 22, 2007, 21:18
please remove our flag from the floor :redface:

CeeKay
July 23, 2007, 05:21
It's not... That's on an air hockey table... And now, it's hanging in my stair well as a door between the basement and the upper level... It's the first thing people see when they enter my lair.... >=D

Also, I think I'm gonna pick up some of the Winchester restorer website's blue solution and try doing the bolt on my Nagant... I've never seen a blued bolt on a Nagant before.... :P



- CK