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Gunsmith for repair of original Winchester '97

Rance - SASS # 54090

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Was visiting with my brother in law (he's 71 years old) yesterday..

He mentioned he had his Dad's original '97 pump 12 gauge shotgun

I don't know much about the original Winchester '97's..


He said he'd like to get it fixed back up to pass along to his grandkids..

He knew I shot SASS and he knew they were used by CA Shooters and asked my if I knew of a reputable gunsmith in Central Illinois area that might fix it up...


He said it needed some some stock work...

Had some big gouges in it that somebody had filled with wood putty and stopped at that point..

Didn't refinish any of it at all..


He said when he shot it the last time the barrel came off in his hand..

So I'm assuming it's a take down model and the threads are worn .. if not worn out..

I told him the threads might be able to be reworked/built back up.. I don't really know..


He'd like to have it reblued...

He said it had some pitting on the barrel and receiver..

I asked how is the bore inside the barrel.. He said he hasn't really looked yet..


I told him it's probably not worth the money he's gonna have to spend on it..

but he said "It was my Dad's.. I want to keep it and pass it down the family line."


I also asked him how much do you want to spend?

He said "I don't want to spend thousands of dollars on it ..

but would spend some hundreds on it to bring it back to life

as a serviceable safe shotgun as a keepsake."


Can I get some recommendations for a gunsmith in the Central States area that might attempt this type of work that I could put him in touch with??


Rance ;)

Thinkin' I put it in the search window and couldn't find anything.. :blush:

Thanks :)

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Around northern Indiana we use Rusty Finger. Paradise Pass. If you need contact info....pm me and I'll give you a phone number



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the barrel may have come off because it wasn't locked into the threads with the magazine tube thigamajig

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I had Coyote Cap work on two of mine and they just run and run.

Check with him before you ship it anywhere.

If you can hand it to a local guy, fine. IF it gets fixed right.

Talk with Cap tho, I think you will be glad you did.



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Rance........Jim Knapp in Colona, IL can do all the repairs as well as the blueing......... 309 441 5838.. He does all my stuff since Doug died. Need to call for an appt.. See you at Shady next week.........RT

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I know Coyote Cap..

I also know his work is great..and he's a great gunsmith on '97's..

I also know he's known Nation wide..

but... he's probably (because he's so darn good) got a waiting list a mile long..

My brother in law is not wanting a race gun.. just a keepsake rebuilt..


Rance ;)

Thinkin' Thanks fellers for all yer responses :)

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I would think there would be somebody at your club to look at the shotgun.

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I had both my original 97s were worked on by big Lou from the new. I think he was from Oregon but I'm not sure as I've not seen him in a few years.

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