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Great timing on this. I was just shopping for a '97 at a gun show last weekend. I only had three choices: a piece that was in superb condition with everything matching and most of it's original finish, for around a thousand, and two old girls who had both seen better days, for a little south of $500. Since I was looking for a shooter that fell somewhere in between the two extremes, I passed. Still, when I find the right one I'm going for it.
 

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The 97 Winchester was a superb combat shotgun. What I love about it is how size efficient it was for its day. The receiver is thinner and has a lower height than most shotguns built even today. The pistol grip was subtle, and the forend nice and small. So when broken down, it fits in very small packages; which is just "f...ing" awesome!

The 97 was also VERY reliable even under really crappy conditions found in the trenches. Now it wasn't perfect. You had to hold it "just right" so your thumb doesn't get hit by the bolt during cycling, and it wasn't uncommon to have parts breakage after some time in service.

It wasn't created as a combat shotgun, and when you drive them hard, they do break. Top cowboy competitors have several so they're never without while their guns are being fixed. I read once where one of the top cowboy competitors had 6 '97's and a small bucket of spare parts.

Still, where pump action shotguns are concerned; it's a first rate combat shotgun even for today. I would love to have a takedown '97 in good solid mechanical shape just for the fact it can discreetly go almost anywhere. For a home defense shotgun, it would actually be my 3rd choice. My first being a High Standard K-1200, second choice an Ithaca 8 shot DSPS, and then the Winchester '97.

But if I were to find a Winchester '97 in good mechanical condition that was a takedown, I could be content with that as my only combat shotgun for the rest of my days. They're just freaking good!!
 

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Paul Harrell on the Winchester 1897. At the end he demonstrates rapid slam-firing
 

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Paul Harrell is one of YouTube's premier commentators.
Yep. About as unassuming as you can get, but his experience and quiet humor sneak up on you...:cool::smile:
 

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Many pumps will slam-fire. My Model 12, my Mossy 500s and Savage Model 28 all slam fire. I've wasted more than a little ammo that way. :rolleyes:
 

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Many pumps will slam-fire. My Model 12, my Mossy 500s and Savage Model 28 all slam fire. I've wasted more than a little ammo that way. :rolleyes:
The Mossberg 500's are a copy of the Remington model 31/High Standard Flite King. Neither of those had an auto sear. But both had a rather unique hammer where if you held the trigger back you'd get hammer follow through, but because of the shape of the hammer, it wouldn't go off until it was in battery. Now if you worked the slide just right, I imagine you could get one to fire out of battery, but you'd really have to work at it. When doing the slam fire thing, generally you're closing the action rather vigorously, and as long as you did that with the Rem/HS guns, you're good to go.

I'm assuming that's how the Mossy does it, because I don't recall an auto-sear like the Winchester '97/12 and Ithaca 37.
 
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