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I was cleaning up some guns for my wife's family recently.  Of course my eye's are immediately drawn to the cowboy guns first.  This 1897 caught my attention then wait, this is different, it's not, it's an 1893.  Hmmmm.   I'm ashamed to say that I've never even heard of that model.  It's in fair shape, like most gun's from that era.  It has a little rust but that will clean up.  I was curious, is it SASS legal and is it very collectable?

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Not legal for SASS.

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It is not permitted in S.A.S.S.

The Winchester Pump Shotgun was designed by John Browning.  It was first designated as the Model 1893 Slide-Action. In 1890 Winchester bought the Browning design, hoping to capture the market that the Spencer and Burgess Shotgun companies had already introduced. John Browning had designed an outside-hammer gun with ejection to the side.  Due to the fact this shotgun was design only for black powder, and with the introduction of smokeless powder, improvements had to be made to the existing shotgun. The Model 1897 was first listed for sale in the November 1897 Winchester catalog as a 12 gauge solid frame. The Model 97 was offered to everyone owning a model 93 and was replaced with the model 97.However, the 12 gauge takedown was added in October 1898, and the 16 gauge takedown in February 1900. The Model 1897 Shotgun became an instant hit.

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The 1893 was Winchester's first slide action shotgun. The problem was it was made to be used with 2 5/8" black powder shotgun shells. However shortly after its introduction smokeless powder shotgun shells came into existence and the 93 couldn't safely handle the higher pressure smokeless powder shells. Winchester actually had a recall on the 1893 to swap them even up for the new Winchester 1897 that could handle the new smokeless powder shells. So in short because of possible safety issues they are not allowed in SASS, and it is recommended that they not be shot at all.

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Well, it's a black powder ONLY gun.....I've read they can ruin your day if you use smokeless.......built before metallurgy changes that were ok for use with smokeless, people turned them in and got a free '97 replacement 

 

Also I'm told it doesn't have a thing-ma-jig to prevent the bolt from coming back into your face in the event of a slam fire, or out of battery ignition....can't recall what that part is called..........I was gonna buy one, but upon hearing this, I closed my wallet.

 

 

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Here is a view of the ejection port of the Winchester 1893 shotgun.

It is the large cutout which contributed to the weakness of the action. One of the other improvements with the 97 was a button on the side to release the action to work the slide without the hammer being let down.

20160508_143727.jpg

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Not SASS legal but being a Winchester, it's going to be collectable for someone.

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1 hour ago, Jailhouse Jim, SASS #13104 said:

Not SASS legal but being a Winchester, it's going to be collectable for someone.

 

P:ossibly, but '97's were a dime a dozen before CAS came along and drove prices up.

 

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41 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

 

P:ossibly, but '97's were a dime a dozen before CAS came along and drove prices up.

 

While true, the '93 is far more rare and being that all Winchesters are commanding higher prices, it would be a nice addition to someone's collection.

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I have both a 93 and a 97.   If you compare the two shotguns to each other, you immediately notice that the 93 looks a lot "beefier" than it's successor model

 

Shooting 2-3/4" smokeless shells in it is not a wise thing to do, as it could lead to a very unpleasant problem.  But that being said, and assuming that the gun is in sound condition, shooting it with 2-1/2" shells loaded with black powder should be perfectly safe.  The only reason it's not allowed for SASS is because it's not a 97, and the 97 is the only allowed pump shotgun.

 

I do not buy the notion that it would be too dangerous to allow its usage.   Original 87s have the same "problem," you can only shoot shorter shells loaded with black powder, and yet they are allowed.  To think that someone would "forget" this just cuz it's a 93 doesn't hold water with me.

 

Heck, even 97's have chambers that are too short.  They are stamped 2-3/4" but they measured the length differently back then.   By modern definition, 97's have 2-5/8" chambers.   That's why I run 2-1/2's in my 97's.   Yes, you can lengthen the chamber, but shooting the all brass shells is just too cool.  :)

 

As far as the assertion that since the live shells can have their back end fall out of the ejection port while being chambered, thus allowing the extractor to hit the primer and cause an out of battery discharge, I don't buy that either.  Using snap caps. the only way I could get this to happen was to tilt the gun well over 45 degrees to the right while working the action.  Tilting it that far was not easy and took a deliberate effort to do so.

 

Besides, given how we basically treat the 97 as a glorified single shot, how much of a factor is it to begin with?

 

BUT, the rules do say you can't use it for SASS.  Okay fine.   I load up some short BP shells and take to the range to shoot a round of trap.   People will probably give you weird looks, but it'll be worth it.

 

Given the Winchester recall, and the fact that any returned guns were destroyed, there are not a lot of 93s out there, and most of them have seen very little use.  Of course it should be checked, but your gun is probably shootable.   As to how much it is worth...   Well, given how it is black powder only and requires custom made shorter ammunition, they don't sell very well on the general used market.   My two 97's cost me 400 and 500 dollars each, 15 and 10 years ago respectively.   My 93 which I got 2 years ago, was only 280 bucks, and it's in better shape than either of my 97's.   You've got a niche within a niche gun there.   Interested market is very limited. 

 

How long is the barrel?

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21 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

How long is the barrel?

 

28 inches

 

I haven't started cleaning it yet.   Thank you everyone for the wealth of information.

 

93.jpg

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14 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

I have both a 93 and a 97.   If you compare the two shotguns to each other, you immediately notice that the 93 looks a lot "beefier" than it's successor model

 

Shooting 2-3/4" smokeless shells in it is not a wise thing to do, as it could lead to a very unpleasant problem.  But that being said, and assuming that the gun is in sound condition, shooting it with 2-1/2" shells loaded with black powder should be perfectly safe.  The only reason it's not allowed for SASS is because it's not a 97, and the 97 is the only allowed pump shotgun.

 

I do not buy the notion that it would be too dangerous to allow its usage.   Original 87s have the same "problem," you can only shoot shorter shells loaded with black powder, and yet they are allowed.  To think that someone would "forget" this just cuz it's a 93 doesn't hold water with me.

 

Heck, even 97's have chambers that are too short.  They are stamped 2-3/4" but they measured the length differently back then.   By modern definition, 97's have 2-5/8" chambers.   That's why I run 2-1/2's in my 97's.   Yes, you can lengthen the chamber, but shooting the all brass shells is just too cool.  :)

 

As far as the assertion that since the live shells can have their back end fall out of the ejection port while being chambered, thus allowing the extractor to hit the primer and cause an out of battery discharge, I don't buy that either.  Using snap caps. the only way I could get this to happen was to tilt the gun well over 45 degrees to the right while working the action.  Tilting it that far was not easy and took a deliberate effort to do so.

 

Besides, given how we basically treat the 97 as a glorified single shot, how much of a factor is it to begin with?

 

BUT, the rules do say you can't use it for SASS.  Okay fine.   I load up some short BP shells and take to the range to shoot a round of trap.   People will probably give you weird looks, but it'll be worth it.

 

Given the Winchester recall, and the fact that any returned guns were destroyed, there are not a lot of 93s out there, and most of them have seen very little use.  Of course it should be checked, but your gun is probably shootable.   As to how much it is worth...   Well, given how it is black powder only and requires custom made shorter ammunition, they don't sell very well on the general used market.   My two 97's cost me 400 and 500 dollars each, 15 and 10 years ago respectively.   My 93 which I got 2 years ago, was only 280 bucks, and it's in better shape than either of my 97's.   You've got a niche within a niche gun there.   Interested market is very limited. 

 

How long is the barrel?

 

One of the major problems with the shotgun is the evolution of the ammo does not preclude using new ammo in old guns.

 

Breach loading shotguns started out as converted muzzleloaders. Then purpose built with same barrel technology and wrought iron materials as they used in muzzleloaders. The hulls were brass. The only gunpowder was black. Then the paper hull was introduced but pretty much duplicated the brass hulls in size and function.  There was no real standardization in gauges or length.   

 

(I had a very early 12 gauge that the barrels were marked 14 gauge and had bores that were 14 gauge.  The reason given were that in the muzzleloader era, gauges didn't matter as you loaded loose powder and wad anyway.  When they started making breach loading guns, the 14 gauge was just another offering between 12 and 16 gauge.  But 14 gauge become obsolete rather quickly.  So some guns were rechambered to 12 gauge and some guns were made new using 14 gauge barrels to use up old inventory.)

 

We tend to think plastic hulls with folded crimp and plastic wads were around from the beginning but it they didn't get introduced until about 1960.  Guns were still being produced with chambers made for roll crimped shells with fiber wads long after the introduction of the shotshells we see today. 

 

So...  we stick a new shell in grandpa's old double and wonder why it kicks so hard and why it's loose. The modern rounds chambers and fires fine. But the folded star crimp of the hull opens up in the barrel part insted of the chamber and causes a restriction.  The plastic wad really needs a long forcing cone to reduce the constriction on exit from the chamber.  When you look at the chamber of an old or older modern shotgun you will see an abrupt change in diameter from end of chamber to the barrel.  When you look at the chamber of a modern gun you may see some reduction but followed by a funnel taper into the barrel section. 

 

The 93 was designed to fire roll crimped black powder shotgun shells.  The 97 was a updated designed to use roll crimped smokeless loads.

 

 

 

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