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I have a chance to purchase a Mod. 97 shotgun. My plan is to use it as a home defense gun. Let me know what you think. The barrel is 18.5 inches long.
 

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Can't think of a better gun for the job.
 

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Do you know how old it is? Metalurgy changed a bit from 1897 on. Even if it is a real oldie, it should be OK with medium power loads. I don't know that I would shoot super hot loads out of a very old 97. I would have to check the books to see how long they made them and find out if and when any changes were made.

A vast majority of shooters use the 97 in cowboy action shooting, and I have seen some pretty stout loads get used. I am not sure if the originals had a 2 1/2" chamber instead of the more modern 2 3/4" chamber. You shoud probably have that checked out. If it is a 2 1/2" chamber, using the 2 3/4" shells will result in very high pressures that could ruin the gun (and you!). They can be easily reamed out to 2 3/4" by a competant gunsmith if necessary. Someone with a lot more knowkedge then me with concern to 97s will probably jump on in here.

WG840
 

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My Flayderman's Guide does not mention chamber depth, only that the model 93 did not handle smokeless powder as well as they would have liked, so the came out with the '97 which stayed in production until 1957. 1919 may well have a 2 3/4" chamber, but don't take my word for it. Have it measured. Just because a 2 3/4 shell will fit, does not mean that the chamber is long enough to allow the crimp to fully unfold. Again, someone who knows a whole lot more than I can probably tell you what the chamber depth is for a 1919 date of manufacture. It is also very easy for a gunsmith to measure with a metal slug measuring device.

WG840
 

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I love the Winchester 1897, I really do.... but I have to say that I can think of better guns for the Home Defense Role..... the Remington 870 comes immediately to mind...

Drew
 

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Sebago Son said:
I love the Winchester 1897, I really do.... but I have to say that I can think of better guns for the Home Defense Role..... the Remington 870 comes immediately to mind...

Drew
+1

If you haven't purchased it yet, and unless it is a fantastic once in a lifetime deal, I would also opt for the Rem. 870, or the Mossberg 500/590

WG840
 

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The 97 is a true American Classic. It has a couple of unusual points. Holding back the trigger and pumping allows the gun to shoot as fast as you can work the pump. That is pretty fast with a little practice. Also, they have a very clever manner of unloading the magazine. There are two buttons on the side of the receiver, pressing them allows either one or all of the shells to be removed without chambering. The 97 is a very good gun, perhaps a Marlin 500 or 590 would be better for home defense? I have all three and use the 590 as primary, but I would not feel the least bit under gunned with the 97!
 

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With a '97, be very, very careful when racking the action.
IF you're choking up on the stock, holding it too close to the receiver, you can 'ventilate' the webbing of your right hand extremely easily! ;)
Don
 

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....and if the sear if worn you can ventilate the ground at your feet too. Or if you're really unlucky, you'll need a new shooting partner.

The very newest Model 1897 is now 52 years old. This example being discussed is 90 years old. New, Replacement Parts are just about impossible to find and accessory items such as magazine tube extensions or flashlight for ends are non-existent. Most 1897's were take-down guns anyway and a mag extension is therefore impractical.

As I said, I love the old 'Thumb-buster' but I wouldn't rely upon it if I had other, better choices...
 

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Surprisingly a shotgun is the one type of firearm that I do not own. I only own a few rifles, a .22LR, .17 HMR an SKS, and a M-1 Garand that my dad got from when he shot in DCM(or whatever it is called these days). My dad introduced me to shooting and he mainly shot handguns although rabbit and squirrel are always fun to hunt, and a lot more fun to eat. ;) I never really got into bird hunting.

When the gun buying mania started I thought about getting a shotgun. I have shot some that belongs to people I know. I learned from that experience I would be better getting either a semi automatic or a youth sized 20 gauge pump.
 

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WendyZXZ said:
Surprisingly a shotgun is the one type of firearm that I do not own. I only own a few rifles, a .22LR, .17 HMR an SKS, and a M-1 Garand that my dad got from when he shot in DCM(or whatever it is called these days). My dad introduced me to shooting and he mainly shot handguns although rabbit and squirrel are always fun to hunt, and a lot more fun to eat. ;) I never really got into bird hunting.

When the gun buying mania started I thought about getting a shotgun. I have shot some that belongs to people I know. I learned from that experience I would be better getting either a semi automatic or a youth sized 20 gauge pump.
Mossberg and Remington both make "tactical" 20Ga./ Youth models.
 

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Leighton said:
WendyZXZ said:
Surprisingly a shotgun is the one type of firearm that I do not own. I only own a few rifles, a .22LR, .17 HMR an SKS, and a M-1 Garand that my dad got from when he shot in DCM(or whatever it is called these days). My dad introduced me to shooting and he mainly shot handguns although rabbit and squirrel are always fun to hunt, and a lot more fun to eat. ;) I never really got into bird hunting.

When the gun buying mania started I thought about getting a shotgun. I have shot some that belongs to people I know. I learned from that experience I would be better getting either a semi automatic or a youth sized 20 gauge pump.
Mossberg and Remington both make "tactical" 20Ga./ Youth models.
I did check a few of those out. I am only about 5'3" so I do have kind of short arms. I knew for sure that with a full sized shotgun I would end up short stroking it. I may end up getting a youth model 20 gauge(12 kicks a bit more than I like) if the ammunition supply improves. I mainly wanted the 20 gauge to load with buckshot, and I have yet to find any. :shock:
 

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Mossberg and Remington both make "tactical" 20Ga./ Youth models.[/quote]

I did check a few of those out. I am only about 5'3" so I do have kind of short arms. I knew for sure that with a full sized shotgun I would end up short stroking it. I may end up getting a youth model 20 gauge(12 kicks a bit more than I like) if the ammunition supply improves. I mainly wanted the 20 gauge to load with buckshot, and I have yet to find any. :shock:[/quote]

Gun Test's recently di an artical on the Remington 870, and Mossberg 500 20ga tactical shotguns, both tied for first place, slight edge going to the Remington mainly due to the fact all their shooters were right handed, yet the Mossberg showed its colors in the fact that it came with a great shoulder pad, and its safety is ambi. To me I would get the Mossberg for the pad and safety since being a southpaw. As to Buckshot for a 20ga. most of what you find is #3 buck, at typical HD ranges the BG isn't going to know the difference, nor is he going to jump up and state to you that you should have shot him with 00buck. Even the Mossberg youth model comes with the same shoulderpad and ambi safety.

Leighton
 

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I have Winchester 1897's they would not be my first choice for a defensive shotgun. I still like old school for home defense. For me it's a 870. This one has been around awhile. This 870 has served my Father and I very well. It's setup for close quarters work. My first choice is the 870. I use my 1897's for hunting in the field.

 

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I would have no qualms at all about using a Model 97 as a home defense gun. I like the exposed hammer, and they point very naturally. My Dad has a short barreled one, and if it ever comes my way I'm going to load it up and slide it under the bed.
 

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I would love an original 97, ok, or even a copy. But for home defense, I would recommend an 870. I'd get the 97 and look for a used short barrel 870.
 

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Leighton said:
As to Buckshot for a 20ga. most of what you find is #3 buck, at typical HD ranges the BG isn't going to know the difference, nor is he going to jump up and state to you that you should have shot him with 00buck. Even the Mossberg youth model comes with the same shoulderpad and ambi safety.

Leighton
I always thought that either load in 20 gauge would completely ruin anybody's day. ;)
 
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