Manufactured in 1918, this World War I era U.S. marked Winchester Model 1897 trench shotgun falls into the approximate known serial range of E613000-E705000. This desirable example includes a U.S. government sales paper (DD Form 1398-1A dated 7/10/92) listing this shotgun by serial number as part of an eight gun sale of Model 1897 shotguns to an individual out of government inventory, verifying its authenticity. The Winchester 1897 was one of John Browning's many contributions to American sporting and combat arms, and in both the "trench" and "riot" configurations performed fine service for military and law enforcement users, seeing action as early as 1899 in the Philippines, and earning particular fame in World War I and World War II for it's potent close range firepower. Features a six-hole handguard/bayonet adapter with "PAT.APPL.FOR" on the right. The barrel protrudes 1/2 inch ahead of the bayonet adapter, which is considered correct for a World War I era Winchester 1897 trench shotgun. Cylinder choke marked barrel and receiver both stamped with a circled Winchester "WP" proof at the breech. The slide bar has the model and trademark information. "US" stamped on the right of the receiver ahead of the ejection port, likely applied during its continued military service life after World War I. Grooved forearm and smooth pistol grip stock with a Winchester branded checkered hard rubber buttplate. Length of pull is 13 3/4 inches. Also includes an olive drab green canvas sling and a "9-1918" dated U.S. canvas ammunition pouch. Reference page 50 of Bruce Canfield's book "Complete Guide to United States Military Combat Shotguns" for information on World War I era Winchester Model 1897 trench shotguns.
Exceptionally fine, retains 85% plus bright original blue finish with smooth brown patina on the balance, some light handling marks, and sharp markings and edges in the metal. Wood is very fine with some light handling marks and a few minor chips around the rear of the forearm. Mechanically excellent. The ammunition pouch is very fine overall with clearly legible marking.
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