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 Post subject: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:33 pm
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We all know that Winchester made the Model 12 and the Model 97 simultaneously. One would think that the more moden internal hammer Model 12 would have supplemented the earlier hammer gun, but apparently it did not.

Why not? What was the attraction of the 97 when the new whiz bang 12 came out?

I own a nice old 97, but for some strange reason I cannot hit the broad side of a barn with it. Gun is tight and has turned a nice plumb color. Perfect bore. It is not as smooth as a 12 IMO, and that follower pops out of the receiver when you pump the action. Nor do I find the action very smooth. It clicks and clacks when you pump it. In addition if you aren't careful and let your shooting hand slide a bit forward when you jack the bolt open it can remove the skin from the top of your hand. My friend, who would shoot nothing else, always shot his with his shooting hand thumb placed along the right side of the receiver. This, to me reduces control.

Also has anyone ever heard of a 97 having a short chamber? If not then why is the early 12 supposed to have one?

What is/was the attraction of that clinky clanky hand skinning Model 97 anyway?


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:16 pm
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Location: New England
[What is/was the attraction of that clinky clanky hand skinning Model 97 anyway?]

There was no Model 12 yet, in 1897.

By 1912, a Model 97 would have been less expensive - no mean consideration, in those days.

Our forefathers weren't ones to jusp at the newest/latest - rather, they stuck with the tried & true.

.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:52 pm 
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One old guy I knew insisted that he "want ta see that gawdamn hamma, what ta hell good is a gawdamn hamma if ya can't see it?"... I avoided any discussion involving criticism of his model 97 from then on.......Art

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:13 pm
Posts: 127
There were model 97's with short chambers. The 97 was an improvement over the model 93 due in part to smokeless powder loads over BP loads. You stated that you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with your model 97. Have you patterned your model 97 to see exactly where it is hitting? The POI for it's best pattern may not be the same as the POA. I would also try using different sized shot to see which one your model 97 likes the best. Guns are like people, some like different diets than others. The only way you will find out what your model 97 likes is to try it on different loads to see. As for the clickity clack noise that you say your model 97 makes, you have to keep in mind that when J.M. Browning designed that shotgun I don't think he was taking noise into consideration. He was working on a dependable working pump action shotgun. I don't think J. M. Browning made a bad design on any gun he was involved with. Without question, he was one of the best designers in the gun world that has ever been or ever will be. Remember, there were no computers in his time and everything came from his mind, not a computer program or one to test the design on before production.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:33 pm
Posts: 736
CriscoKid wrote:
[What is/was the attraction of that clinky clanky hand skinning Model 97 anyway?]

There was no Model 12 yet, in 1897.

By 1912, a Model 97 would have been less expensive - no mean consideration, in those days.

Our forefathers weren't ones to jusp at the newest/latest - rather, they stuck with the tried & true.

.
Reading from the R.L. Wilson Winchester book. When the model 12 came out it cost $55 and the 97 could be had for $35. $55 then was considered very expensive. The 97 wasn't exactly cheap. For a long time the 97 was the nations most popular shotgun. According again to the Wilson book they stopped making the 97 in 1939. I thought they made them longer than that however. They stopped making the 12 as a stock item in 1980, again according to the same source.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 2:36 pm
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Location: MN
1957 was the last year for the 97.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:13 pm
Posts: 127
Logjam wrote:
CriscoKid wrote:
[What is/was the attraction of that clinky clanky hand skinning Model 97 anyway?]

There was no Model 12 yet, in 1897.

By 1912, a Model 97 would have been less expensive - no mean consideration, in those days.

Our forefathers weren't ones to jusp at the newest/latest - rather, they stuck with the tried & true.

.
Reading from the R.L. Wilson Winchester book. When the model 12 came out it cost $55 and the 97 could be had for $35. $55 then was considered very expensive. The 97 wasn't exactly cheap. For a long time the 97 was the nations most popular shotgun. According again to the Wilson book they stopped making the 97 in 1939. I thought they made them longer than that however. They stopped making the 12 as a stock item in 1980, again according to the same source.

I agree with spoonbill but, there are some on here that think it's a capital crime to question something that's written in a book.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Location: The Last Good Country
Remember that pumps used to occupy a different niche than they do, currently.

Why does Benelli make different auto designs? Why do Beretta, Perazzi, Browning, et al. make O/Us based on different receivers?

Most of the market for pump guns today is consumed with the cheap and durable. Surely Ithaca is an exception, and there are some Custom Shop and fancier Trap guns still. But you don't see the Remington catalog listing the 870 TB, TC, TD, etc. any more.

When you realize that the pump gun occupied the same niches as higher-end field and clay target semiautos and production O/Us today -- while simultaneously seeing use by police, prison guards, private security, and the military -- it makes more sense that they'd be offering different guns. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:12 pm 
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Location: Norman Oklahoma
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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:06 pm
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Location: ky
JMB was a genius but the model 93/97 wasn't one of his better ideas. I dislike just about everything on the 97. It was truly obsolete in the Winchester line the day the 1912 was introduced. It boggles the mind that it managed to hang on so long.

Of course, one could argue the pump was made obsolete the day JMB perfected the A-5. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:33 pm
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spoonbill82 wrote:
1957 was the last year for the 97.


Where those later 97's special order guns?


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:33 pm
Posts: 736
classicshotgunner wrote:
Logjam wrote:
CriscoKid wrote:
[What is/was the attraction of that clinky clanky hand skinning Model 97 anyway?]

There was no Model 12 yet, in 1897.

By 1912, a Model 97 would have been less expensive - no mean consideration, in those days.

Our forefathers weren't ones to jusp at the newest/latest - rather, they stuck with the tried & true.

.
Reading from the R.L. Wilson Winchester book. When the model 12 came out it cost $55 and the 97 could be had for $35. $55 then was considered very expensive. The 97 wasn't exactly cheap. For a long time the 97 was the nations most popular shotgun. According again to the Wilson book they stopped making the 97 in 1939. I thought they made them longer than that however. They stopped making the 12 as a stock item in 1980, again according to the same source.

I agree with spoonbill but, there are some on here that think it's a capital crime to question something that's written in a book.


I'd rather be shot than hanged.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:33 pm
Posts: 736
clayflingythingy wrote:
JMB was a genius but the model 93/97 wasn't one of his better ideas. I dislike just about everything on the 97. It was truly obsolete in the Winchester line the day the 1912 was introduced. It boggles the mind that it managed to hang on so long.

Of course, one could argue the pump was made obsolete the day JMB perfected the A-5. :)


John Browning was quoted as saying that the Auto-5 was his most difficult to perfect gun. It must have had to do with the rings inside that can be changed to shoot high and low pressure shells and still make the action function. Yes, he did design the 93 and 97 and I too have wondered at their popularity, but they were indeed very popular and pretty much put the double guns out of business since the pump was considered modern. Least that's my take.

The 93 was a BP gun and the 97 was made for modern smokless shells. Otherwise they are similar.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:56 pm 
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Location: Beyond the Pale
The model 97 lasted so long after WW-2 due to a large stock of left-over parts and a low but steady demand. Winchester would assemble a small number year after year until the parts were exhausted.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:26 pm
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Logjam wrote:
I own a nice old 97, but for some strange reason I cannot hit the broad side of a barn with it.


My grandfather's 1905 vintage Model 97 (now in the hands of the 4th generation), like other Model 97's, only shoots where its pointed. For many years it was my go to gun for buddy shoots at the back fence where it performed admirably. IMO, the Winchester full choked Model 97's throw a pattern equal or superior to that of high end German and Italian purpose built trap guns. I suspect that your Model 97 simply does not fit you or someone has bent the barrel or messed with the choke.

DF


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:13 pm
Posts: 127
clayflingythingy wrote:
JMB was a genius but the model 93/97 wasn't one of his better ideas. I dislike just about everything on the 97. It was truly obsolete in the Winchester line the day the 1912 was introduced. It boggles the mind that it managed to hang on so long.

Of course, one could argue the pump was made obsolete the day JMB perfected the A-5. :)

Yes, but you have to remember there was 15 years difference there between the two models. Besides, the model 12 was just a make off of the model 97 design. I can remember some old folks (and that's old considering my age) that disliked the pump action and the semi auto action shotguns regardless of maker and model. All they ever knew was SxS and single shot shotguns. It's what they knew and what they were use to using and depending on. I can't count the times I've heard those old men say I've never had my old Stevens Arms & Tool, Fox, Savage, Etc. SxS to jam up on me like those new fangled pumps and auto's do. One has to admitt, they were right in a way. As far a why some folks prefer the model 97 over the model 12, I guess it's all in what a person likes. Some prefer hammers on guns, some don't, and some don't care either way. My oldest son refuses to own, carry, or be caught with a striker fired pistol. He swears that if it doesn't have a hammer on it, it's not a pistol. I go with what works and gives me the end result I want. The Springfield XD9 and the model 20 Glock I CCW hit exactly where I aim them. What do I care if it takes a hammer or a striker style firing pin to make it go bang and hit where I aim. (no offense to folks that have pistols with hammers on them as I'm not degrading them. I own some fine 1911's, S&W 5906 & 4006, Browning High Power, and Sig pistols with hammers on them that work just as good as the XD and Glock). BTW, look at all the old classic, tried and true models, many of which are still in use today, as well as still in production. If you research the most of them, John M. Browning was involved with them. Who since John M. Browning to date has been involved with as many different models and action designs as him? And as I said we have computers today which helps greatly in designing, he didn't in his time. I still stand behind my statement, John. M Browning was and still is the best ever at gun designing.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:26 pm
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Location: Logan, Utah
I'm not an expert, but I do own both. My father only ever owned one shotgun- a model '97 that he shot for over 70 years.

I also have my grandfathers shotgun- a SxS hammer gun. I wonder if the attraction of the '97 was that most people were used to having hammers on the single shots and SxS common to that era? It wasn't until after the pump action "proved" itself that the other improvements or changes became acceptable? Just a thought I had as I read this thread. Hope it adds to the discussion.

I shot either one equally as bad by the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:30 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Montana
I'm gonna jump in with some speculation.

As others noted, the '97 was probably cheaper.

Think of all the other hammered firearms in circulation at the time; revolvers, rifles, SxS's & single shots. An exposed hammer was the norm and provided both tactile and visual indications of cocked status. Newfangled button safeties may not have been trusted yet.

It wouldn't surprise me if most '97's have/had short chambers. The earlier C & D series guns were probably designed for roll crimped ammo. I'm down to three '97's now, and have had the forcing cones lengthened on them all.

FWIW!

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:33 pm
Posts: 736
doppelflinten wrote:
Logjam wrote:
I own a nice old 97, but for some strange reason I cannot hit the broad side of a barn with it.


My grandfather's 1905 vintage Model 97 (now in the hands of the 4th generation), like other Model 97's, only shoots where its pointed. For many years it was my go to gun for buddy shoots at the back fence where it performed admirably. IMO, the Winchester full choked Model 97's throw a pattern equal or superior to that of high end German and Italian purpose built trap guns. I suspect that your Model 97 simply does not fit you or someone has bent the barrel or messed with the choke.

DF


Montani Semper Liberi


I tend to agree with you. The last time I shot my 97 we were shooting at hand thrown skeet, I mean with one of those skeet spring loaded throwers. I did not hit a single one, so something is amiss, not with the gun but with how I am shooting it.

I do agree that I need to take the gun more seriously, but I've been shooting my Ithaca 37 for several years now and haven't gone back to the old Winchester. I do know guys who swear by them. I would like to hearn to shoot it since they look so neat and mine is in great shape...old plumb and tight stock and long barrel full choke.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 12 vs. Model 97
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:17 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Smithfield, Pa.
I own a Winchester 97, it's been handed down 4 generations to great-grandson.
I've shot it one time in my life. Gun is still functional. I also have a Ithaca 37 that my grandpa bought. I use it to hunt with, the best gun I've use today.
The 97 make alot of noise when work pump action, but I have been told it shot tight pattern on game.

Face

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