Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Winchester 97 Project Part 1

This shotgun was brought to me by my Father in Law, it is a family heirloom and he asked me to refinish it.

It is a Winchester model 97 (1897) "Brush Take-Down" model in 12 gauge. According to the Winchester experts this model was made between 1897 and 1931. The serial numbers point to this gun being made in 1926.

Here is what the gun looked like when he brought it to me. 

fortunately the freckling is not too bad at the roll marks

The recoil pad is a 1960s/70s vintage Pachmayr, I will see if reproduction units are available

We'll start by taking the gun down into two parts

Close ups of the butt stock, you can see sanding marks and dents, we have a lot of work to do here

It was a little tough getting the butt stock off, but there was no rust on the bolt. Also not the black color at the wrist. This is from excess oil soaking into the stock

The screws were untouched, this gun has probably not been taken apart since it left New Haven back in 1926

Got the barrel & magazine assembly taken apart.

Next I remove the old varnish from the butt stock with Citristrip, this stuff is environmentally sound and safe for use indoors.

While the Citristrip was working it's magic, I stared cleaning and polishing on the magazine tube and action bar. The bluing was in decent shape and there was no pitting, so I just sanded it with 400 and 600 grit sand paper.  The arm on the action bar needed a little more work, but it is clean and smooth now

Stay tuned for part 2

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