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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Folks:

Have been pondering the purchase of a M97 Trench gun (Norinco?), and am wondering how well the current repros would serve as a home defense weapon. I have a Remington 1100 with both bird/deer barrels. But since I also have the collecting bug, as many others here have, am strongly drawn to the traditional looks of the M97. Found a place that I could get one for less than $350 total. Having read many positive reviews on them, would appreciate any input on the practical application (hunting, home defense, etc). Thank you,

M1newbie
 
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I think a Model 97 in a trench gun configuration would make an excellent home defense weapon. A real trench gun has the heat shield, baynoet lug and an extended magazine. You may not want or need all of these items on a home defense shotgun. You could create a home defense variation with a standard length magazine. The external hammer on the Model 97 allows you to lower the hammer to the halfcock notch allowing safer storage of the gun with a loaded tround in the chamber. Lowering the hammer all the way can cause unintentional unlocking of the slide requiring you to rack another shell.

I've looked at the Norinco's and they have that "Fred Flintstone" fit and finish that I have come to expect of chicom products. Better to look around and find a Winchester that's been already been bubbad and prune the barrel back to ~20".

A lot of Model 97's are being cut down by the cowboy shooters. When this fad fades there will be a lot of bubbad M97's on the market.

The downside to the M97 is parts and accessories. You can get a dozen different tactical stocks, flashlights, lasers and probably a spiked mace for a Remington 870. Some of the latter items will fit a Model 97 but finding a tactical stock such as a Bill Davis Speed Feed for a Model 97 is not likely to happen. I can buy a stock bolt and receiver nut for an 870 for less than $10.00 and get it the same day if I don't mind the drive.
 

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Like the Colt 1911, old doesn't necessarily mean outdated and no good.

The '97 is still a quite viable defense gun, and will do the job just as well as the very latest fully tricked-out models.

For a home defense gun, I question the need for the heat shield and bayonet lock. In a non-military gun, these just add unnecessary weight, bulk, and complexity, plus being of questionable appearance in a court room.
There are, and will be, no aftermarket accessories, but in the real world, the lighter and simpler a defense gun is, the better.

The '97 does have some quirks, chief of which is the necessity of watching how you hold it. When the slide is racked, the bolt and hammer can and will rip your hand open, if you don't watch what you're doing.
Another charming quirk is half the mechanism popping in and out the bottom of the receiver when the pump is operated.

As for the current Chinese guns, quality of machine work, and heat treating of parts is always suspect.
I've not talked to anybody who's fired one enough to be able to judge whether the parts will be subject to battering and excessive wear caused by possible inferior heat treating.

For the price, it's kind of hard to say "no" to one of these, so unless you can find a good original, I'd probably say go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, think I will poke around for an original 97 (not trench gun config., much $) before splurging. It's a little way off, looking into a CETME & an M1 Garand.

Thanks,

M1newbie
 

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The Chinese 97's in Trench Gun style are the latest models with several significant upgrades.
I'd feel very safe with one at the bedside.
 
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M1newbie said:
Thanks guys, think I will poke around for an original 97 (not trench gun config., much $) before splurging.
I have two M97 Shotguns. One is a 1932 32" full that was expertly reblued sometime before I paid $450 for it. I've shot 23/25 with it twice. The second is a 1918 30" full with some of its original finish for $500.00 (I wonder how much original finish I'll have when I'm 86 years old :)

There's a lot of M97's being cut down and reblued for CAS these days which is driving up the price. I've seen some pretty rough ones for $400.00. When the CAS era runs out of steam and draws to a close (period costume and BP only requirements will discourage new participants) there will be a number of hacked up M97's on the market. I just hope I can get my hands on a coach gun replica before then.
 

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...BP only requirements ...
Where did you come up with that? There is no such thing!
And as far as "costumes" there is no requirement for "period" outfits, just no blue jeans, no ball caps, no tennis shoes.
 
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Herr Doktor said:
...BP only requirements ...
Where did you come up with that? There is no such thing!
And as far as "costumes" there is no requirement for "period" outfits, just no blue jeans, no ball caps, no tennis shoes.
There was a complaint about the attitude of the promoters and participants of a CAS event posted here about a year or so ago. The person who posted had gone to the range with his family and wanted to shoot in the event. They were turned away because they were not wearing period costumes and made to feel very unwelcome even as spectators. Another person commented to me about what he called the black powder mafia in CAS. This was news to me since I once knew a couple of CAS shooters who swore by Unique.

Levi Strauss started making jeans back in 1873 and was using blue denim by the 1880's so the no blue jeans rule you cite is most curious.
 

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the one i have is a trench gun winchester my grand pa used in ww2 shoots as good the day it was made plus its parkerized so i really dont have to worry about rust i say look for and original not a nock off...just my 2 cents
 
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BAR guy said:
the one i have is a trench gun winchester my grand pa used in ww2 shoots as good the day it was made plus its parkerized so i really dont have to worry about rust i say look for and original not a nock off...just my 2 cents
Old Winchesters shoot as good as the day they were made because they were built with forged steel parts, not soft metal stampings. The Nickel steel Winchester used for a long time was especially durable. I know people who have worn out parts of a Remington 870 shooting trap but their grandfathers old Winchester Model just got smoother after the same number of shots.

Even a parkerized gun can rust, it's a tough coating that delays the oxidation. Keep it clean and properly lubed so you'll have no regrets.
 

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my model 1894 wichester carbine in 30-30 is nickel steel it was made in 1897 and is prob the best gun i have it was my great great grand fathers and i plan to pass it on to my childeren :D :wink: and let them do the same
 

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the 97 is a very reliable gun. i recall reading about a winchester 97 test gun. that fired a whole bunch of rounds well over a million. it still functioned fine. the test was to see how many rounds would it take to shoot a shotgun barrel from one choke to the next.
 

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While a Model 97 Winchester may be hard to find, a Model 12 Winchester is much more common, and a better shotgun - no exposed hammer, more reliable, and good steel. Because most are 2 3/4 only, and will not shoot steel shot, their prices have come down considerably. You can probably find one for about $250. (And yes, several people will cry when you cut the barrel to 20 inches.) I found mine for $150 in a pawn shop. It needed rebluing, and a new stock. I still think it was a steal.

I found a 20 inch USGI barrel (bought used on e-bay), and reblued everything. It looks great - like a pre-war Colt .45. I recommend keeping the barrel at 20 inches - not 18. It just seems to balance better.

I know its not a Wilson Scattergun 870. But I really think the Model 12 is the most beautiful pump ever made, all steel, and just seems right. So I bought an old Xpress model, for 3 inch shells, and am putting a Colonial choke on it so I can shoot steel shot. It will outlast me.
 

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norinco

I wouldn't buy a norinoco even if it was exactly correct. I'd prefer not to finance the Chinese war machine. Too many better choices with Win, Rem, etc. Also, I'd not hold the Chinese ruggedness to high standards, too many peripheral parts (sights, etc.) I know have worn off after a hundred or so firings.
 

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model 97's are great

first off my 2cents worth cowboy action shooting is a long way off from fading. we have over 50000 members worldwide and growing larger every year. if you went a club that wouldn't let you shoot because of improper attire, thats crap. at our club we just won't let you shoot in shorts and dress like that. we encourage but don't require [proper attire]. they are some snooty clubs around, really have no use for them. well anyway back to the subject. i bought my 1919 built 97 solid frame trench gun[missing heatshield] for 235 dollars and its in about 80 percent, tight as new and just a blast to shoot. i have owned 8 model 97's and loved them all.
 
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