Winchester Model 1897

Winchester Model 1897

Winchester Model 1897

Type Pump Action Shotgun
Weight 3.175kg (7lbs)
Barrel Length 50.8cm (20in)
Capacity 5 shotshells
Caliber 12 gauge
Country of Origin United States

The Winchester Model 1897 shotgun was a replacement for the Winchester Model 1893 shotgun, which was primarily intended to shoot the black powder ammunition currently in use. With the introduction of higher-pressure smokeless ammunition, a stronger action was needed.

John M. Browning’s original pump action design on the Winchester Model 1893 worked well, but Winchester—realizing the long-term implications of the new smokeless ammunition—recalled almost all Model 1893s. Instead, they offered dealers and customers the opportunity to upgrade to the stronger “97” shotgun.

The earliest Model 1897’s were dependable frame shotguns, but later in production, they were made as takedown shotguns, allowing the shooter to partially disassemble their guns for storage and convenient transport. Some grades were offered: Field, Special, Trap, Pigeon, Brush, Riot, Tournament, and Black Diamond. The Black Diamond designation came about from the use of inlaid black diamonds set into the wrist of the buttstock for both Trap and Pigeon grades. In its long production from 1897-1957, well over a million Model 1897 shotguns were manufactured, making it the longest-lived external hammer shotgun built by Winchester.


In World War I, the Winchester Model 1897 quickly became known as the trench broom, for it’s ability to clear the trenches of opponents and sweep the skies of grenades. Using buckshot loads, US soldiers could deflect enemy hand grenades hurled through the air.

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