Rifleman Q&A: Model 1897 Frame Types

posted on September 5, 2023
Model 1897 Frame Types

Q. I have just started collecting U.S. military shotguns and am getting some conflicting information regarding Winchester Model 97 trench guns. Some sources state the guns were of the solid-frame configuration, and others say they were the takedown type. Which is correct?

A. The answer depends on the vintage of the gun. The Model 1897 trench guns manufactured during World War I were of the solid-frame variety (above), while the World War II-production guns were of the takedown configuration (above).

As a word of advice, before spending thousands of dollars on a purportedly genuine U.S. military trench gun, it would be wise to acquire some reliable reference sources. The Internet is filled with a lot of information—some accurate and some wildly inaccurate.

—Bruce N. Canfield, Field Editor


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