Winchester model 1893 & 1897 repearting (pump) shotguns






These models were a open hammer, pump operated shotgun.  The forearm was made with circular grooves around it.  One nickname for this gun was the "cornshucker".


The model 1893 was the predecessor to the 1897, with about 34,050 being made.  It originally used 2 1/2" black powder ammo, later lengthened to standard 2 5/8" in use at that time.   I know of a gun with an A series prefix in the 23,000 range, with a "B" stamped above the "A", which would indicate even a modification the the "A", so possibly this could have been the longer cartridge. ???


It can be readily identified by a "thumb cut" on the top LH side of the receiver, somewhat  like the model 98 Mauser rifles.


The model 1893 was Winchester's first pump shotgun, using a Browning patent.  This gun had limited sales because of mechanical weakness developed when shooting smokeless powder ammo.  At one time, Winchester offered a brand new shotgun of their choice when they returned their model 1893.


There is not a lot known about this model.  However in my comparing 93 parts to 97 parts, the 93 breech bolt is about .093" longer than the 97.  The 93 firing pin was a non retracting type and of course longer to match the bolt.  It seems that when the 97 was made, using many of the 93 parts and configuration, that part of the way to achieve the 2 3/4" longer length of the 12 ga. ammo was to shorten the bolt face along with whatever it took to modify the receiver to accept this length of ammo.


A & B Series :

In June 1897, the model 1897 was born & the following changes were made to the 1893.  Then the gun was called the Model 1897, with the serial numbers of the guns continuing from the 1893 at approximately 34,051.  Apparently the series A & B relate to the 1893.  Not sure if all "B" guns had rounded end magazine plugs.

(1)  New firing pin lock put in breech block.
(2)  Screw put in receiver to hold magazine from turning.
(3)  Release pin and plunger (for action slide lock)
(4)  Top of cartridge ejecting opening in frame made straight.
(5)  Spring placed on inside of action handle encircling magazine.
(6)  Collar put inside of magazine to keep spring and follower from coming out.
(7)  Top of breech block made straight.
(8)  Receiver holding bolt made shorter.
(9)  Buttstock made longer, drop changed, and outside shape changed slightly.
(10)Friction spring put in under cartridge guide.


C Series :

In February 1898, after about 47,000 shotguns had been made, more changes were made in the Model 1897.   After that date the gun was marked with the letter "C" over the serial number.

(1)  A small wire was put into the receiver and connected to the action slide lock release pin, to hold it from coming
         out when the gun was taken apart.
(2)  Receiver made 1 1/2 (one and one half) hundredths ??? thicker on each side. This was thought best on account of the increased cuts on the inside.
(3)  Action slide lock spring was changed.
(4)  The first Model 1897's had no ejector spring. (The ejector was a little block pinned to the LH receiver wall.) 
This spring is a small thin "L" shaped spring with a screw hole that is attached from the outside LH side of the
         receiver immediately in front of the "ejector".  


D Series :

The end of the magazine plug was flat on "D" guns.


E Series :

In April 1898, after about 50,000 shotguns had been made (Model 1893 & 1897) some more changes were made, and the model 1897 detachable barrel and magazine put on the market.  These were known as the "E" series guns.

"E" guns had slightly deeper 5/16 wide grooves on the receiver ring.

Prior to "E" guns, cartridge stops were fastened with screws through the receiver sides and shells were difficult to release from the magazine. For unloading, most shooters worked them through the action. On E models, the cartridge stops fastened through the bottom of the action and providing buttons which could be pushed to retract the cartridge stops.

These are not all the changes. Madis stated that 37 major and 52 minor changes were made in the first 12 years of production of the Model 1897.

Other items that may be of some interest:

1. Standard shotgun stock was 13 3/4 inches.
2.  Frame altered  on 1897 to use 2 3/4" ammo.
3. Brush gun was made available November 1897 to 1931. It had shorter stock with more drop and 26 inch barrel.
4. Standard gun was made with rolled steel barrels, full choke standard. Cylinder or modified choke on special order.
5. Standard barrel length 30 or 32 inch. 30 inch shipped if not specified.
6. Trap Gun 12 and 16 gauge (1897 to 1931). The gun had 30 inch rolled steel barrel, select fancy walnut handmade
        stock. Straight checked grip with oil finish and black diamonds in the grip, and checked rubber butt plate.
       It was first listed at $47.
7.  Trap Gun was engraved on the breech block and could be had with matted barrel.
8.  Within certain limits, purchasers could specify stock dimensions.
9.  Solid frame and takedown trap guns were made. After 1926 Trap Gun was not always engraved on the breech
10. Receivers on Trap, Tournament, Pigeon, Standard Trap, and Special Trap guns had matted groove.



Copyright © 2004 - 2016  LeeRoy Wisner  All Rights Reserved

Back to Ramblings

Originated 05-17-04  Last updated 08-28-2016
Contact the author