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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a Winchester 1897 trench gun coming to add to my WWII arms collection. It just happens to be my first shotgun.

I like to shoot my guns, but I don't know much about shotguns, so I don't really know what an 18" cylinder barrel is good for (other than sweeping trenches, of course).

Can I shoot skeet or trap with this thing? That looks like a blast.

I guess that's the only question I have right now.
 

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First of all, congratulations on your purchase. The 97 is an old but time proven design.
It is not as well suited for sporting games as home defense, but you will find it quite usable.
The first thing you need to do is a thorough cleaning and use good lube.
You can use the 97 for skeet but you have learn to be quick on the pump. I'm not that fast, but I know others who are. Takes some practice and don't be gentle on the the pump. They have to be worked aggressively for reliable extraction, especially if the gun is "tight".
You can also use it for trap, but you are pretty much limited to the 16 yd line if you have a cylinder bore. Mine has, I think, a modified choke and it is a dandy for trap up to 21 yds. It sure gets attention. It is necessary to get on the bird quickly.
If you get tired of it and want to sell it, you should have no problem. The 18 inch barrels make it perfect for the CAS crowd, myself included.
Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cool. I've really been wanting to try skeet, but I'm hooked on this WWII collection and it took a while to find a shotgun that fit in there.

The trench gun has no disconnect, so I suppose I could use that feature for quicker second shots. :wink:

I don't think I'll be selling this one any time soon. It took forever to find one that was reasonably priced. $1,600 is pretty much a bargain. I think it sold that low because it's been parked. Probably a WWII rearsenal job. I guess that drove off all the CAS folks.
 

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The sporting clays and skeet courses at my local club are on the short side. I usually shoot either cylinder or skeet (one step tighter) depending on the presentation. You shouldn't have trouble if you get them while they are closer in. Pump fast, aim true. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I got the gun on Saturday and tried it out today.

I used the patterning range first with the two different kinds of ammo I bought. Both were 1 1/8oz #7.5 shells and shot from 40 yards at a 30" target. The Winchester AA Super Sports gave me 140 hits (35%), while the Remingtons gave me 160 hits (41%). That's pretty much was my reading suggested I'd get so there were no surprises there.

So then I tried a round of trap (turns out the range doesn't have skeet). I was a little worried about this since the gun has no sights, basically. There is a tiny bead on the barrel, but it's completely obscured by the heat shield. Still, things went quite well. By the back half of the round I was hitting the easier birds pretty consistently and was getting about 2 of 3 (though that may just be my memory dropping a few misses).

The only hiccup is a problem with one of the magazine stops interfering with the carriage and preventing the action from cycling. That looks like it'll be easy enough to fix, though.

All in all, it was a lot of fun.
 
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