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1897 receiver/headspace ring(s)


Red Cent

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A friend bought an 1897 in pieces the other day and asked me to put it together. Interestingly, the previous owner had taken the 28" barrel and, somehow, shrunk the diameter of the the dangerous end 4" from the muzzle and back. Maybe a couple hundereds. Must have been a turkey shoot gun or maybe a squirrel gun. Well, I have the gun running very smooth with a bunch of work and then I ran into a problem.

 

I apparently have a headspace problem. On random factory rounds the action will not close/lockup. You can shuck it forward pretty hard and simply (without hitting the button) shuck out the round. You can fire an occasional round and then you need a blunt instrument to cycle the slide.

 

Somebody tell me about receiver/headspace rings. Since the ring is held in place by screws, it is not adjustable. I understand they are available in #1 thru #6 size. Apparently I need to increase headspace so that means I need more room on the shell side of the ring. Does the correct ring create a very small space between the milled back of the receiver (where the ring stops in place)and the correct ring? If that is the caase, why can you not take some metal off the shell side of the ring I have?

 

This shotgun has taught me a lot more about the '97. I have three solid frames and a 93/97. Never had this problem. Please comment.

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I bought a old 97 at a gun show for a hundred bucks once.

Got her home and had the same problem!!

Ya had to slam it so hard to get it ta close, it felt like you were gonna dislocate the shoulder!!

And to open her you had to pull so hard, if your hand slipped youd break your own dang nose!!

I got to looking and probing and cleaning and taken things a part, I figured for a hundred bucks I could at least figure out how this thing works!!!

Well I spied something fussy in the extractor grove and with a pair of tweezers, pulled out 30 inches of old duck thread…probably from an old gun case.

Shot that old 97 a couple 3 years, till I switched to a double!!!

 

BH

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A friend bought an 1897 in pieces the other day and asked me to put it together. Interestingly, the previous owner had taken the 28" barrel and, somehow, shrunk the diameter of the the dangerous end 4" from the muzzle and back. Maybe a couple hundereds. Must have been a turkey shoot gun or maybe a squirrel gun. Well, I have the gun running very smooth with a bunch of work and then I ran into a problem.

 

I apparently have a headspace problem. On random factory rounds the action will not close/lockup. You can shuck it forward pretty hard and simply (without hitting the button) shuck out the round. You can fire an occasional round and then you need a blunt instrument to cycle the slide.

 

Somebody tell me about receiver/headspace rings. Since the ring is held in place by screws, it is not adjustable. I understand they are available in #1 thru #6 size. Apparently I need to increase headspace so that means I need more room on the shell side of the ring. Does the correct ring create a very small space between the milled back of the receiver (where the ring stops in place)and the correct ring? If that is the caase, why can you not take some metal off the shell side of the ring I have?

 

This shotgun has taught me a lot more about the '97. I have three solid frames and a 93/97. Never had this problem. Please comment.

 

Do the barrel and receiver match? From what I've learned from AGI, this "head space ring" (technical term is a chamber ring) is not to be toyed with unless you have the special reamer that blend reams the chamber ring to that particular barrel assembly. This is why switching barrels from different 97s may not work. The Could be your problem with chambering and extraction, just repeating.

 

Brim.

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The chamber ring has the rim recess cut in it as a fixed cut. If the ring is slightly small than the chamber in a given barrel then the shell could stick there and cause the shell to not chamber properly. Correcting this requires a chamber reamer. CUTTING THE RIM RECESS WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM. The only way to correct a tight headspace problem is to fit the bolt so it does not come "forward" as far by carefully fitting where the carrier locks behind the bolt; tha was the way Winchester did it when they assembled the guns.

 

 

RC,

Send me a pm if I can help in any way.

 

Sparky

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If you stop the bolt from its normal travel the carrier will not come into place. I have removed the chamber ring. There is no recess cut in either side. Flat and smooth as a pancake.

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RC

 

My thoughts on this are ,

 

You need to take it to a older SMITH , that has the 3 reamer set to fit it properly ,

I also called , the best smith in the area (nw ar) , and he confirmed it to be right .

 

Were it me , I would cut my losses and SEEK the help of a TRUE oldtimer that know how to do it RIGHT .

 

see ya down the trail

 

Chickasaw Bill

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Red, as usual, almost impossible to "arm chair gunsmith" a problem without seeing the gun, but as someone else mentioned there is supposed to be a chamfer or radius cut into the receiver side of the chamber ring. If there is none, it could be holding the round out far enough where it won't close ? If you have several 97's, look at them and you will see the difference. Could be a combination of problems if the gun is an assortment of "mix and match" or ill fitting parts ? ...........Mink...............

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I remember when Old Scout used to get on here and help folks out. There was another old timer that usually joined in....can't remember his handle right now.

 

I would think, Red, that you're gonna need a good 97 mechanic to look at it. My first guess would be that a chamber ring isn't going to be fiddled with much over the years and it's likely not to be the cause of the issue.

 

One of the "binding" and "not seating" problems that is pretty common is that the tail end of that slide bar is worn, including the tab, or the raceway in the carrier is worn, or both. And, knowing them card shooters (which this gun might be) you could have other high-pressure symptoms with this gun.

 

But, I'd look at that slide and raceway. But, other than that, yer gonna need a good mechanic.

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All good ideas.

 

The chamber ring does not have any recess cut into either side. With the barrel and slide assy off, I can insert spent hulls under the extractors and, maybe, one out of twenty will close the bolt and elevator.

 

The extractors are doing the correct thing. The ring is aligned with the cuts. The ring will go in one way only becuse of the screw holes. The slide/hook looks very good and does not look to be the problem.

 

The shotgun has issues because of its last owner but I believe I have worked them out. I removed the ring and taking .01 off at a time (two times), rounds finally chmbered. I had slightly beveled the bolt side of the receiver and the road to the chamber is smooth. I took the firing pin out and with a good file set the shoulder back .02 to make up for the additonal headspace. The pin had to be narrowed slightly allowing it to protrude from the bolt the correct amount.

 

I tuned and filed the left extractor. Not sure if I mentioned it but I had lengthened the forcing cone and honed the chamber.

 

Now the shotgun runs very well. Holds six rounds, shell stops work now, feeds them very well, fires them all, and kicks the hull about three left and barely in front of me. Learned a good bit on this ol' gun.

 

BTW, the barely noticeable space between the receiver and the chamber ring does not leave any indication of space and after miking the hulls befire and after firing, dimensions are the same. If the ol' gun was up to it I don't believe a high brass hot round would leave a mark.

 

Hey ol' Sea Cow. As mentioned I tried to chamber spent and live rounds with just the bolt, elevator and receiver. The elevator would not go into battery. It does now without force.

 

The gun is a "mixed breed" thats for sure.

 

I would still like to see some info on the 1-6 chamber rings. I do not have the capability of cutting a recessed ring. I guess that is why they are numbered. To identify the recessed ring I suppose.

 

Thanks every one. I will report later to let you know if it is still in one piece, so to speak.

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