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Three Foot Johnson

1897 slide action spring compatibility...

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Posted (edited)

... are the old style and new style interchangeable? Looks like they should be. Is it even necessary? I expect if it weren't, it wouldn't be there, but this one hasn't been there for years! This is the action lock spring around the mag tube covered by the fore end wood. I've been shooting a ratty ol' '97 in Wild Bunch for several years, and there's only one ring of the original old style spring left around the tube and it sure isn't doing anything.

1897ActionSlideSprings.jpg

Edited by J Bar Binks, #47015

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Posted (edited)

Is it even necessary? From what I've heard, that's a matter of opinion. As I understand it, and I'm very new with my '97, that spring is part of a safety mechanism. Y'know how (most) '97s make you push forward on that forestock for the first shot to go off? That's to compress that spring. Every other shot, after a successful firing of the last shell does not require that forward push. some sort of inertial magic that JMB, in his infinite wisdom, dreamed up. Apparently, back in the day, if you had a hang fire and ejected that shell, it might try to explode in your face. Or thereabouts. These days, ammo is somewhat more reliable, and a few folk disable that safety, in a quest for speed. 

I'm gonna guess that yours no longer requires that forward push. That that safety no longer functions as designed.

I thunk about doing just that, did discuss it with my gunsmith, he recommended against. So I did not.

Looking at the pic of the springs, I'm gonna guess that the older style is on the left. Mine has the one pictured on the right and was made in '36 or '38 depending on the source. I would guess that they are interchangeable and that the design of the spring was changed because of failures like yours and they would make the smallest change possible without having to re-tool anything else.

Please note that I am VERY new to the '97 and have only had mine apart a couple times, and it took me a few tries and some bad words to get it back together and working the first time. Even so, I might venture so far as to suggest that you obtain a newer spring and attempt to install it, perhaps then enjoy it in the spirit it was designed. 

 

Edited by Sloe Moe

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This one dates to 1904. My other three were born in 1909, 1914, and 1918.
I've got what appears to be a decent Model 12 on the way off Gunbroker, made in 1937.  :)

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Posted (edited)

So you already knew all that... 

Edited by Sloe Moe

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I knew what it did, but not really why... seems unnecessary...

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Yes. These days, probably unnecessary. 

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This ol' '97 was getting in pretty sad shape. The new split-ring style works fine, but I had to spread it a tad bit further. The left side extractor is worn or maybe bent, so that shells often don't fully eject, unless tipped to the right slightly. When I saw the price of a new extractor, I looked the old one over, put a little pressure on it both ways and determined it probably wasn't cracked, so I clamped the bolt up in a drill vise, and drilled a hole under the leg for a coil compression spring - works fine again. :) Stabilized a crack in the fore end. Re-tapped a stripped screw hole in the 3 screw action slide and made a new oversize screw. Cleaned a bunch of crud out of everything, put it back together, and it runs like it's only 20 years old again. :lol: It should be good for the rest of my days now. 

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23 minutes ago, J Bar Binks, #47015 said:

This ol' '97 was getting in pretty sad shape. The new split-ring style works fine, but I had to spread it a tad bit further. The left side extractor is worn or maybe bent, so that shells often don't fully eject, unless tipped to the right slightly. When I saw the price of a new extractor, I looked the old one over, put a little pressure on it both ways and determined it probably wasn't cracked, so I clamped the bolt up in a drill vise, and drilled a hole under the leg for a coil compression spring - works fine again. :) Stabilized a crack in the fore end. Re-tapped a stripped screw hole in the 3 screw action slide and made a new oversize screw. Cleaned a bunch of crud out of everything, put it back together, and it runs like it's only 20 years old again. :lol: It should be good for the rest of my days now. 

Repairing the left extractor as you did is a good move and you are correct that repair is a good fix. I love 1897 shotguns.

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I might have one of those split rings should you need one.

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I bought 3 new ones from Numrich for $4.95 ea. At least one of my other 3 needs one, and I figured a couple spares won't hurt - keeps shipping down too. ;)

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Ain't it beeyooteefull? :lol:

100_2630.JPG

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