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WW1 1897 trench gun on GB

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About the worst thing I can say about the Norinco M97s is that they work well. I bought two new when they came out. Can't remember what I paid for them, but they were very inexpensive. Both are still in their original boxes. Looks like now would be a good time to sell!


I had one years ago when they were new. It worked great and was a decent place holder until I bought a real trench gun. Once I had a real one I saw no point in having a replica. I sold it I think for about $700, I bought it for $475. Mine would slam fire.

That's the way to do it.


One of my Norinco M1897 replicas has a flaming bomb; the other doesn't. Why not? It's harmless and isn't intended to fool anyone. Both have very nice triggers and will slam fire.

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Hi Guys,

does anyone have an idea if this trench gun could be real or a fake? In the internet I found this serial number to be post war 1946 or 1947, so is this a bubba'd civilian gun or a real trench gun?

I have this gun in my collection since years, although my interest is not much about shot guns.



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Winchester S/Ns can be a bit confusing in the WWII era.


According to the Blue Book:

931142 on a real Trench gun is 1942 as Petroleum 1 stated

However 931142 on a civilian gun turned into a trench clone is 1946 which agrees with your source

They couldn't make it simple for us to figure out 75-80 years down the road :D

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The best way to date a Winchester firearm is by using the Winchester Polishing Room serialization records. Those records show when the serial number was applied to the gun's receiver. Any Model 97 with a serial number in the 931xxx range had the serial number applied in 1942, probably around May to June 1942. Even the WWII 97s can be accurately dated using those records. I have trench gun s/n 931939 that had the serial number applied on June 29, 1942.

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Petroleum 1, I live in Switzerland. I'm collecting full auto weapons since years, after buying a 1928 A1 Thompson I came to this forum searching for information about it.

It was really helpful, nice people here, thanks!!!

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