• Las Vegas Shooting Center - Customer Appreciation Day 10/19/2019! - CLICK HERE for details!

I think Im going to build a (historically inaccurate) trench gun.





Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#1
I've got this "well loved" 1897 from 1910. It fuinctions fine but has some pitting at both ends of the barrel (mostly at the muzzle end), the barrel is bent (I cant hit clays with it), the barrel has a few dings, and overall the gun has no intrinsic value other than being cool. I'm aware these issues are all repairable, but being a 30 inch fixed full choke, I dont have a lot of use for it. Plus, it would cost more to have it repaired than to build a trench gun, and even that is going to cost more than what I paid.


I paid 150 for it, so even if it just ended up as a wall hanger it would be fine with me.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled


I plan to cut the barrel down to 20", file a locating notch, replace the magazine end cap and screw, add a reproduction heat shield that i will artificially age to match the condition of the gun, then add a sling swivel to the stock, and slap on an appropriate 1907 style sling.

I asked my father in law, who is a big militaria collector, if he had any spare 1917 bayonets laying around. He had one still in the original packagin, and I said no thanks, I dont need anything like that. The next closest thing he found was a 1892 Krag bayonet, which appears to be precisely similar aside from being several inches shorter than the 1917= (12 inches vs 17 inches). The price was right, and it looks the part, so it'll work just fine.

Untitled


So, thats where we stand. All parts are available for this project so I'm not worried about that. I just need to get to cutting, then order up the necessary bits. I think it'll be a fun project and result in a fun gun to play around with.
 

MAC702

LEGEN...wait for it... DARY!
Commercial Sponsor
Forum Supporter
#2
I've been thinking about doing something similar with an 1897. It's got the long full tube also, and the trench repro would much better fit in my collection. But just for grins, I took it out two weeks ago to the Tuesday night trap shoot at the Boulder Club. The first shot I ever fired through the gun went behind a lost clay. I then hit the last 24 consecutively. Now, I'm REALLY torn what to do with it...
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#3
I've been thinking about doing something similar with an 1897. It's got the long full tube also, and the trench repro would much better fit in my collection. But just for grins, I took it out two weeks ago to the Tuesday night trap shoot at the Boulder Club. The first shot I ever fired through the gun went behind a lost clay. I then hit the last 24 consecutively. Now, I'm REALLY torn what to do with it...
Sounds like yours is a little more useful than mine, haha.

I could just be using the bent abrrel as an excuse for not being able to hit crap, because I am certainly not good at it, but with my wingmaster I normally get several hit strings.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#4
Well, as if I hadn't spent enough money this month.....(new stag revolver grips, ordered a new shotgun, etc) I just went ahead and ordered the parts I need from Numrich. Heat shield, magazine plug, mag plug screw, and a sling mount for the stock.

The build will commence shortly.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#5
Everything arrived.

Unfortunately I discovered that a 1892 bayonet will not fit an M1917 mount. I could potentially mod the bayonet or the mount, but i think i'll have to just land a reproduction 1917 after the build is done.

 

Earthquake

Obsessed Member
#7
I have one of the Norinco Trench Gun Copies, It is about as smooth as a box of gravel. I am going to send to a guy in AZ that specializes in 1897 SG's for a action job, he will also check the chamber because some were only cut for 2 1/2" shells, he also does something to get 1 more round in the tube.
A buddy of mine gave me a Rem 1917 bayonet that some body cut it off about 7" long, I cleaned it up a bit and put it on my Norc copy, it looks a bit weird IMGP3165.JPG . IMGP3162.JPG
 
Last edited:

NYECOGunsmith

Obsessed Member
Staff member
Moderator
Forum Supporter
2019 Supporter
#8
I have one of the Norinco Trench Gun Copies, It is about as smooth as a box of gravel. I am going to send to a guy in AZ that specializes in 1897 SG's for a action job, he will also check the chamber because some were only cut for 2 1/2" shells, he also does something to get 1 more round in the tube.
A buddy of mine gave me a Rem 1917 bayonet that some body cut off about 7" long, I cleaned it up a bit and put it on my Norc copy, it looks a bit weird View attachment 45280 . View attachment 45282
Interesting, first I have heard of the Norinco 97 clones possibly having a short chamber.
Don't know why they would.
The originals (Original Winchester Model 1897's I mean) all had 2-3/4 inch chambers to my knowledge, but just not a MODERN 2-3/4 inch chamber.
The difference being the old 2-3/4" chamber was the correct length for a fired 12 gauge with a ROLL CRIMP, which, when fired, is a bit shorter than a more modern STAR CRIMP shell.
So the modern 2-3/4" chamber has a bit more length in the chamber and the forcing cone to give the shell lips a place to unfold into without raising the chamber pressure.

If the gunsmith you send it to knows his business, he can easily measure the chamber, and if by chance the Chinese did duplicate the old roll crimp 2-3/4" chamber, he can run a combo chamber reamer and forcing cone reamer in there and lengthen it for modern star crimp shells, and then polish the chamber while he's in there, some Norinco 97's I have seen and worked on had slightly rough chambers.

The reamer job usually runs about $30, add another $20 or so for the polishing part.
 

Earthquake

Obsessed Member
#9
NYECO
The story I heard was when the Chinese copied the gun they had it had a short chamber and after they had made a few thousand some body figured it out and they corrected it. Maybe it was the roll crimp chamber they were talking about, I had never heard of that kind of chamber. Here's the place I am going to send it too...
http://www.dustybunch.org/prices.htm

Casey
 

NYECOGunsmith

Obsessed Member
Staff member
Moderator
Forum Supporter
2019 Supporter
#10
Casey, I worked on some of the early ones, and have nothing in my notes about any of them being short (old roll crimp) 2-3/4 inch chambers and out of habit I have always checked the chamber length on ANY shotgun, no matter how old or new , that came into the shop, since when I started in the business there were still a lot of 2-1/2, 2-5/8, 2-9/16 chambers out there.
A hour long search of the internet just now turns up no anecdotal evidence of any kind about the Norinco 97's having short chambers, but it can't hurt to have it checked. I would be very surprised though if it is found to be short.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#12
So I got it mocked up. Removed the factory mag plug and the button rod thing for the takedown function, then installed the new mag plug (it’s an odd fit, one side of the plug isn’t threaded and the new screw has a thin non threaded end that protrudes, but the whole in the mag tube is way bigger so it keeps the spring but it’s wobbly. I guess it doesn’t matter since the bayonet leg holds it all in), the front sight and the barrel band.

Everything slid on and lined up fine.

I will mark and cut the barrel at the end of the bayonet lug as I believe that was customary. I think will will leave me with a 20.25” barrel.

Next I will do some aging on the bayonet lug and mag cap. I will remove most of the bluing and beat it up a little by dropping it a bunch (off the gun) then I will try to age it. I’ve got some ideas.

Lastly, I may just modify the bayonet lug to fit my 1898 bayonet. I know the rule is to work on the less expensive part, but I can either mod the $168 bayonet lug or buy a $100-$200 bayonet (replica or real). We’ll see what I decide. Should only take some basic filing to get it to slip on and lock.

40BE8034-71FD-4FE0-BC51-B6EC424DEEE0.jpeg
 

NYECOGunsmith

Obsessed Member
Staff member
Moderator
Forum Supporter
2019 Supporter
#13
Atlanta cutlery has replica M1905 Springfield bayonets for $69.95, M1917 for $79.95, M1907 $69.95, suggest you start with one of those.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#14
Atlanta cutlery has replica M1905 Springfield bayonets for $69.95, M1917 for $79.95, M1907 $69.95, suggest you start with one of those.
Yes, I saw from earlier but at $80 plus shipping (probably close to $100 in the end) I would rather hide my time and find a real one for $100-$120, but any of the above require more investment in a project that the damn bayonet lug cost more than the gun, lol.

I’ve more than doubled the amount I’m into the gun by buying 3 parts

I missed out on an authentic 1917 on ebay that went for $107.50 because I went to sleep with a max bid of $105.

Either way, I don’t know if I want to add another $100 to the project
 
#15
I've got this 1907 original with scabbard. Never been sharpened. I've owned it for 50 years - done nothing with it.
I'd part with it for $90. I'm in Henderson
L1040207.jpg L1040208.jpg
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#18
Okay, so I did a little choppy choppy with a hack saw and cheap miter box. Then I cleaned up and leveled out the cut with a few files. I think it still needs to be touched up.

2354AD37-8CE4-4052-B1BF-C5F439C98BE5.jpeg
3E5D5751-FB79-4AFC-BDE2-6F49B4C65FC3.jpeg
93C60DCD-D4F3-4399-9474-4573C7628F5F.jpeg
8A0BE3C7-7314-4314-8307-1799EA1698D0.jpeg

I then made sure the bayonet lug fit and went to work ‘antiquing’ it by throwing it in gravel, hitting it against bricks, rubbing it on rocks, and scrubbing it with a gray 3M pad.

After some work, I think the bayonet lug/heat shield fit the guns Original patina quite nicely!
E1EA0199-6DE2-4C7D-8CDD-169A6921EF0D.jpeg
B797ACC7-D03B-48DE-9A42-F32DCAD03B87.jpeg
 

Dr. Marneaus

Station Wagon Collector
#20
Nice work. Crown looks great, nice and square and the sharp edges nicely broken all the way around.
Good job!
Thanks! I’ve only ever cut one other barrel, which was also a 12 gauge.

Since I’ve got your attention can you recommend a type or style of file that I can use to cut the notches for the heat shield screws in the barrel? Is it a needle file I need?