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1897 questions


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Question for the room. What are the best years for the 1897 shotgun in Winchester configuration (reliability, performance) ?

What is the best brand after gunsmithing for reliability(Winchester. Norinco. IAC imports, clones)

Is it better to have the non breakdown or breakdown?

What is the best way to check the shotgun to see if it's a good shotgun? 

Who are some of the better gunsmiths out there?

Love to here of more experienced shooters since I only use a double and starting to do wild bunch Shooting..

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Spartan , all valid questions. I think condition should be number 1 on anything and especially model 97 Winchester’s. Solid frames are a little more scarce. As far a reproductions I have a 2010 trench gun that is flawless. The best 97? That’s easy! It’s called the model 12!  ;D
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Two of the best gunsmiths I know have widely divergent opinions of Winchester vs. Chinchester '97s.  One vastly prefers to work on American made Winchesters, as the parts are better made and fitted.  The other prefers the Chinese guns, as the steel is more consistent than the 59 year span of the American made guns.

 

Make sure they lock up tight and eject cleanly.  Chinese guns with coil spring left hand shell holders shouldn't need replacement as often.

 

And Model 12s are far simpler internally, and have far less to go wrong...

 

Cheers,

FJT

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I prefer the winchesters. I have shot a couple of chinese 97s and they just don't feel right. I wouldn't worry about the year as much as the condition. An 'E' series would be safe bet, as it was the last revision.
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