Excellent Scarce WWI Production Winchester Model 1897 Trench Gun

Currency:USD Category:Antiques / Firearms & Armory Start Price:2,000.00 USD Estimated At:5,000.00 - 7,500.00 USD
Excellent Scarce WWI Production Winchester Model 1897 Trench Gun
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This rare Winchester Model 1897 Trench Gun was manufactured in 1918. This particular Trench Gun has the distinctive features that identify it as the classic WWI Model 1897 Trench Gun: (1) solid frame, (2) high comb walnut stock and (3) six-hole hand guard/bayonet lug with thin wire sling swivel. The hand guard is roll-stamped with the second style patent marking: "PAT.JAN.15 & MAR.19.1918" on the left side near the muzzle. The receiver does not have the hand-stamped "U.S."/'Shell and Flame" insignia found on some WWI M1897 Trench Guns. Most original WWI M1897 Trench Guns lack any U.S. property markings. Some experts believe that the U.S. markings were applied to Trench Guns issued to the Post Office and Federal agencies but not to weapons issued to the military since the hand-stamped markings are identical to those found on Winder Muskets issued to rifle clubs and Model 1894 Rifles issued to timber guards. The consignor notes that this shotgun is one of the 100+ "Ivanhoe" Model 1897 Trench Guns that were acquired from the Richmond, Virginia, Police Department in the late 1990s. The "Ivanhoe" Trench Guns are documented, U.S. issue Trench Guns that were obtained by the Richmond Police around 1924 from the Virginia National Guard. The Trench Guns were issued to the National Guard by the U.S. Army shortly after WWI. The Police Department apparently rarely issued the Trench Guns; most of the "Ivanhoe" Trench Guns were in un-issued condition with only minor storage wear. The "Ivanhoe" Trench Guns were all in original configuration and none of the guns had U.S. property markings. The "Ivanhoe" Trench Guns are some of the best documented, original, Winchester M1897 Trench Guns. The shotgun has the Winchester commercial blue finish on the hand guard, barrel, magazine and receiver. The stock and forearm are oil-finished black walnut. The stock is fitted with a blued sling swivel and has a black, checkered, hard rubber buttplate with the encircled Winchester logo. The slide bar is roll-stamped with the legend: "MODEl 1897/-WINCHESTER-/TRADE MARK REG, IN U.S.PAT.OFF." in three lines. The left side of the barrel is roll-stamped with the elongated, two-line, New Haven address and patent dates followed by "12 GA.". "CYL." is stamped on the left side of the barrel immediately in front of the receiver. Oval, Winchester, "WP" proofmarks are stamped on the top of the barrel and upper left side of the receiver. The serial number "E/686668" is roll-stamped on the underside of the receiver.
BBL: 20 inch
Stock: walnut
Gauge: 12
Finish: blue
Serial Number: 686668
Condition: Excellent. The Trench Gun retains 95% plus of the bright original blue finish. Wear is limited to some cycling marks on the magazine and slide bar and some minor storage scratches on the sides of the receiver. The markings are crisp. The stock and forearm are both in excellent condition with scattered, minor, handling and storage marks. Mechanically excellent. This is an excellent, original example of a scarce and desirable WWI Winchester Model 1897 Trench Gun.