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olgunner
September 15, 2012, 14:11
Been a long time since I bought a shotgun, but I thought it might be fun to try some CAS matches. Considered a Norinco 97 but really prefer buying American. Found this old Winchester on GB and got it for $290. It was advertised as having had the stock refinished with a crappy buttpad installed, and having a barrel bulge at around 25". That was just what I wanted since I want to cut the barrel to 20" and shorten the stock slightly and am not about to modify an original in good condition.

When it arrived yesterday, though, it was even better than described. It'd be a great base for anything I want to do with it. Finish is better than it appears in photos--50, maybe 60% original blue, but it's changed to gray-brown.
The closest thing to a barrel bulge is very minor and out at around 27". If I wasn't looking for it, I wouldn't have noticed it.
The wood has a few nicks and scratches, but not a single crack.
And while I haven't detail stripped it yet, the action appears to be like new. Trigger is very crisp, the machining is razor sharp and everything is damn tight. Clean, polish and lube may be all that's required, mechanically.

Externally, she's showing her age (understandable, since she was born in 1906!), but she doesn't seem to have been heavily used.

The seller even packed it in an old mutton-leg takedown case. Unfortunately, it's seen better days, but if I replace the endcap and straps/handles, it could be good as new.

I'm very pleased with the purchase and looking forward to a new project. Have also been wanting to try my hand at rust-bluing and am thinking this could be a great candidate.

<img src="http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w407/Ol_JMB97/356e5f99.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

<img src="http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w407/Ol_JMB97/54096faa.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

<img src="http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w407/Ol_JMB97/0cf9fbdc.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

creekerdoug
September 15, 2012, 14:20
Nice score. I've always like the '97. Sounds like you have a nice base from which to start a great project.

Snakeshot
September 15, 2012, 15:38
I have a '97 that looks about like yours, 1911 mfg. and I love it!

Way too many of these have been cut down from original length, I urge you to reconsider chopping it.

bykerhd
September 15, 2012, 16:04
Nice old '97 !

Be VERY careful when you detail strip that thing.

There are more little parts and pieces than you would ever believe possible.
Beautifully machined and fitted, of course, but they can be tricky and complicated to both disassemble and reassemble.

You'll need some good screwdrivers and using your digital camera, if you have one, to document the process will make reassembly easier.

fire for effect
September 15, 2012, 18:04
DO NOT cut the barrel shorter than 20 1/4 inches. other wise the magazine will slide past the muzzle and mess up when you take it down.

bulletslap
September 16, 2012, 22:37
Consider leaving it as it is.

You could also piece together a short front end from parts - extention barrel action bar etc and have the best of both worlds.

olgunner
September 16, 2012, 23:58
I appreciate the viewpoints. Believe me, I understand the desire to keep old arms original. But in this case, if I were to make it a two-barrel gun, I'd find a 30" replacement barrel with no bulge and still cut down <i>this</i> one.

One way or the other, this one will never again be completely original. Having had some work already done on it, this old girl will never be a museum piece so I'm not going to feel guilty when I <i>re</i>-refinish the wood and fit a new pad, or when I replace old springs or any parts that might affect function. It's a small jump from those jobs to the barrel cut.

I have no idea what caused the bulge, but minor as it is, it's there and it annoys me. It might not actually have any adverse affect on the functioning of the shotgun, but it still needs to go!

Snakeshot
September 17, 2012, 19:12
Well then, we need pics when it's done!


I appreciate the viewpoints. Believe me, I understand the desire to keep old arms original. But in this case, if I were to make it a two-barrel gun, I'd find a 30" replacement barrel with no bulge and still cut down <i>this</i> one.

One way or the other, this one will never again be completely original. Having had some work already done on it, this old girl will never be a museum piece so I'm not going to feel guilty when I <i>re</i>-refinish the wood and fit a new pad, or when I replace old springs or any parts that might affect function. It's a small jump from those jobs to the barrel cut.

I have no idea what caused the bulge, but minor as it is, it's there and it annoys me. It might not actually have any adverse affect on the functioning of the shotgun, but it still needs to go!