Defensive Shotgun of the Week--Winchester Model 1897

Defensive Shotgun of the Week--Winchester Model 1897

As shotguns made today go, I consider the Remington 870 the very best choice for personal defense, but...

As shotguns made today go, I consider the Remington 870 the very best choice for personal defense, but the one standing in the corner of my bedroom as I write this was built about half a century before the 870 went into production. A Winchester Model '97 pump gun, I bought it sometime back for cowboy action shooting, but upon discovering that was not my game, the old pumper became my think-of and go-to gun when something goes bump in the night. No fancy bells, whistles, or blinking lights here, just a grease-on-glass smooth action capable of filling the air with double-ought buck in no time flat. Its balance and feel make for comfortable handling under uncomfortable circumstances, and its exposed hammer is not a bad idea.
--Layne Simpson, Executive Field Editor





Click Here for more Defensive Shotguns!

 

Like me, my favorite shotgun is old. My 12-gauge home insurance policy is a Winchester Model 1897 with a receiver built in 1930 and a Cylinder Bore riot barrel assembly produced in 1919. The factory stock was ruined, so I replaced it with a Boyds' stock duplicating the original. It's had a few parts replaced over the years, including a new magazine spring from Wolff.



I like it because it's short and handy with a 20.5-inch barrel, there's easy access to the chamber, and with the exposed hammer, you never have to guess if it's cocked and ready to fire. The finish is worn, and it's not pretty, but it'll do the job!
--Reid Coffield, Gunsmithing Editor


Recommended for You

The newest version of Beretta's A400, the A400 Xtreme Plus, autoloader employs all the latest in high-tech shotgun evolution. Shotguns

Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus Shotgun Review

Steve Gash - February 01, 2019

The newest version of Beretta's A400, the A400 Xtreme Plus, autoloader employs all the latest...

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but during his lifetime he was popularly called the “pioneer benchrester.”  Gunsmithing

Harvey Donaldson: Pioneer Benchrester

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but...

Using Ramshot Enforcer and 230-grain bullets, .45 ACP muzzle velocities over 1,000 FPS at safe, standard-level pressures are possible. Reloading

45 ACP Fast Loads

Brad Miller, Ph.D. - January 02, 2018

Using Ramshot Enforcer and 230-grain bullets, .45 ACP muzzle velocities over 1,000 FPS at...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

The Glock 21

The Glock 21

Frank and Tony from Gallery of Guns spice up the Glock test using their non-dominant hands.

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but during his lifetime he was popularly called the “pioneer benchrester.”  Gunsmithing

Harvey Donaldson: Pioneer Benchrester

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but...

How can a shorter-barreled revolver have higher velocities than a longer-barreled semiautomatic pistol? Handguns

Revolver vs. Semiautomatic Pistol: A Ballistic Oddity

Allan Jones - May 15, 2019

How can a shorter-barreled revolver have higher velocities than a longer-barreled...

Improved ballistic coefficients lead to greater performance downrange without upping blast and recoil. How-To

The Key to Shooting Far: Improving Ballistics

Rick Jamison - April 17, 2019

Improved ballistic coefficients lead to greater performance downrange without upping blast and...

See More Stories

More Rifles

Reliable, ergonomic, and accurate, the Winchester Model 1873 was unquestionably the most popular all-around rifle of its time. Rifles

Winchester Model 1873 .44-40 Rifle Review

Joesph von Benedikt - August 16, 2019

Reliable, ergonomic, and accurate, the Winchester Model 1873 was unquestionably the most...

Designed by John M. Browning, the Winchester Model 1895 was chambered for the most powerful rounds of its day. Once again, this classic rifle is back in Winchester's line. Rifles

Winchester Model 1895 Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - September 04, 2019

Designed by John M. Browning, the Winchester Model 1895 was chambered for the most powerful...

The newest Nosler Model 48 bolt-action rifle is precision engineered, lightweight, and capable of sub-MOA accuracy. Rifles

Nosler Model 48 Mountain Carbon Rifle Review

Joseph von Benedikt - September 02, 2019

The newest Nosler Model 48 bolt-action rifle is precision engineered, lightweight, and capable...

See More Rifles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.