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Why only the 1897?


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Loved it, thanks Loophole. I want an infantry model though, not the biplane version. 

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46 minutes ago, Baltimore Ed said:

Loved it, thanks Loophole. I want an infantry model though, not the biplane version. 

Just take the wings off.



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On 4/20/2021 at 2:11 AM, 9245 said:

Recently I have considered gettin in to wild bunch matches as I already have a 1911 and just recently picked up a period shotgun.  However I was surprised to learn that despite being an actual shotgun designed, built, and used in the “wild bunch” era and being a classic design I cannot use it because it is not an 1897 Winchester.  Why is wild bunch limited to one specific model shotgun?  Surely people realize that other models existed and were very popular in the period.


Ironically I got another John Browning design, the Stevens 520, which I believe started production in 1909, my particular example is between 1913 and 1916 and still in perfect shape.


Admittedly it was an impulse buy, I used “I can use this in a match” as a justification to myself to buy it, I just saw a cool old very under appreciated antique shotgun for a low price and jumped on it.  But still, I would like to know the reasoning why only 1897 Winchesters are allowed.  It couldn’t be the year as 1911s are certainly 20th century and are a newer design than the Stevens 520 (and yet another John Browning design).  I obviously am partial to the Stevens 520 but this criticism goes to other designs of the period as well.


Mechanically the Stevens 520 is very similar to the 1897 in that it is hammer fired, it just has an internal hammer, it’s also very unique looking having a hump back design that looks more like an auto 5 than a pump action shotgun, and the early ones like mine have 2 humps.  The bolt in to a square at the top of the receiver.  It has a 5 round magazine using 2 3/4 shells (though I suspect 6 would fit if using 2.5 inch shells) and no interrupter, the shells are held in the magazine tube by the elevator, this allows it to be unloaded without having to cycle the rounds through the chamber.  It features a unique recoil sensing safety that locks the slide unless recoil is detected, the idea being to prevent out of battery detonations from squibs, without firing (dry firing doesn’t count) you must manually press the slide release every time you cycle the slide.  All models of the Stevens 520 were takedowns.


It was very popular and was produced into the 1930s before being replaced by the Stevens 620 (the same model but with a more modern looking non humpback receiver) and was made in that form  until 1955.  Stevens only made them under their own name in to the 1920s, after that it was made by Stevens as a “store brand” shotgun and was commonly found in Sears and Wards.  It also saw service in World War 2 and almost in World War 1.  Yet despite it’s popularity and it being a John Browning design and extremely well built it is mostly unknown today, it’s John Browning’s forgotten design.


Other equally interesting shotguns were also used during the period so why limit it to the 1897 Winchester?


Also, is it true that the 1911s are limited to 5 rounds?  Why?

I love my / my dd's Stevens 520.

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I will eventually get back to this build. A Riverside Arms/Stevens 520 that will have 2 bbls. It’s original 30 inch bbl and a trenchgun bbl. Been busy on other stuff. Got all the parts, just need to put it together. 


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8 hours ago, Brazos John said:

DISCLAIMER: The following is the opinion of Brazos John. I don't intend to try to implement any changes in SASS rules, so please refrain from directing any hostility in my direction.

I totally agree, and think that applies to the shotguns, too. The '97s and '12s were meant to hold a magazine full of rounds. I've never seen over-the-top single round loading on any western movie or tv show. I think all pump / lever shotguns should be REQUIRED to be stoked. IMHO.

But, I also shoot sharpshooter, because the current target placements are so close that they embarrass me. I started shooting when a Clean Match was an accomplishment. Those days are long gone, and times change, so I just try to keep up and play nicely. 

In Wild Bunch the magazines of the shotguns are stoked.  It's only in Cowboy that it's load two, shoot two, repeat as necessary as a nod to the limitation of the double shooter.  When I started the faster '97 shooters were dropping one in the ejection port, closing the action and shoving the 2nd round in the magazine.  


It wasn't until '89 or '90 @EOT that I saw Tequila (EOT Winner '98) use the single loading technique.  IIRC Evil Roy (EOT Winner 2001) taught the technique in his classes & videos.  


The ONLY time I shot a '97 in a Cowboy match was in AL, borrowing guns.  I used the old method. IMNSEO* both the double & '97 should be staged open and empty, all shots fed from the magazine.  (The shotgun belt or ammo slide being the double shooter's magazine!  





* In My Not So Expert Opinion.

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