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97 Gunsmithing question


Chantry
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I have two Winchester 97's that lock up very tight and I am wondering if taking a very little bit off the front of the action lock bar would make them a bit easier to open when the action is completely closed.

 

Thanks in advance

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No.  The 97s have inertia releases.  They should be hard to open if you try to open it without firing it.  To get it to release in that situation push forward on the forearm before pulling it to the rear.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

No.  The 97s have inertia releases.  They should be hard to open if you try to open it without firing it.  To get it to release in that situation push forward on the forearm before pulling it to the rear.

 

Is there a way to "widen" the release point just a little?   

Edited by Chantry
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^^^^^^ "What they said".

 

The relationship of the locking bar, lifter and action bar is what locks the breach, those parts are not something you want to fool with. It can be annoying to open the action as a fair bit of force is required to compress the spring in front of the action slide. That is one piece that can be modified without adversely affecting the guns operation. 

 

First, the forend has to be removed from the magazine tube. Stiff function is often caused by crude in this area. The Winchester model 12 is the same. I've made this spring a bit weaker in several of my 97s, after all the ammo I use is of lower recoil than any factory ammo from back in the day. I've seen a few different versions of this spring, but most are a simple single flat coil. A Dremel tool with a cutoff disc is what I use. 

 

I grind a slot the width of the disc down the middle of the spring, this reduces the spring pressure slightly, but does not change anything else. 

 

2116287352_1897actionspring.jpg.501f6bec716b3c76d261f963ff647619.jpg 

 

Sorry, too lazy to take one of my guns apart, snipped this off the web. 

 

81788766_1897slot.thumb.jpg.fec6a344d64e8ceec4f98238742ea89c.jpg

If you uncoiled the spring this is what the slit/slot would look like.

 

The only other issue I've had with this function is crud in the action, specifically old oily dirt under the action lock bar and a gummed up action lock bar spring. 

 

BTW, you do need a steady hand when cutting, those little discs fly apart if they bind in the slit. 

 

BB

 

 

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1 hour ago, "Big Boston" said:

^^^^^^ "What they said".

 

The relationship of the locking bar, lifter and action bar is what locks the breach, those parts are not something you want to fool with. It can be annoying to open the action as a fair bit of force is required to compress the spring in front of the action slide. That is one piece that can be modified without adversely affecting the guns operation. 

 

First, the forend has to be removed from the magazine tube. Stiff function is often caused by crude in this area. The Winchester model 12 is the same. I've made this spring a bit weaker in several of my 97s, after all the ammo I use is of lower recoil than any factory ammo from back in the day. I've seen a few different versions of this spring, but most are a simple single flat coil. A Dremel tool with a cutoff disc is what I use. 

 

I grind a slot the width of the disc down the middle of the spring, this reduces the spring pressure slightly, but does not change anything else. 

 

2116287352_1897actionspring.jpg.501f6bec716b3c76d261f963ff647619.jpg 

 

Sorry, too lazy to take one of my guns apart, snipped this off the web. 

 

81788766_1897slot.thumb.jpg.fec6a344d64e8ceec4f98238742ea89c.jpg

If you uncoiled the spring this is what the slit/slot would look like.

 

The only other issue I've had with this function is crud in the action, specifically old oily dirt under the action lock bar and a gummed up action lock bar spring. 

 

BTW, you do need a steady hand when cutting, those little discs fly apart if they bind in the slit. 

 

BB

 

 

 

Thank you!

 

For whatever reason I thought the lock bar was the part that kept the gun closed even after firing.  I did not realize the part was a spring in the forend.

 

I still have to look at the IAC which probably has the spring pictured in your post.  The other was an old C model in 16 gauge and the spring in that is much different than the one in your picture.  I forgot to take a picture, but is about 1/2" to 3/4" cylinder with cuts in the sides, but still one complete piece.  There is no cut like the one pictured in your OP

 

 

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4 hours ago, Snake-eye, SASS#45097 said:

They loosen up with use, having a tight action isn’t a bad thing.

 

The newest ones are over 65 years old.  Given the prodution numbers most are over 80 years old.  If they have not loosened up by now they ain't gonna.  :lol:  The problem is a lot of SASS 97s have "loosened" to the point they don't function well anymore.

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12 hours ago, Chantry said:

 

Thank you!

 

For whatever reason I thought the lock bar was the part that kept the gun closed even after firing.  I did not realize the part was a spring in the forend.

 

I still have to look at the IAC which probably has the spring pictured in your post.  The other was an old C model in 16 gauge and the spring in that is much different than the one in your picture.  I forgot to take a picture, but is about 1/2" to 3/4" cylinder with cuts in the sides, but still one complete piece.  There is no cut like the one pictured in your OP

 

 

 

Yes, that multi slit spring was a work of art, that is where the inspiration came for the single slot. That multi slit spring would be a real challenge to duplicate with a Dremel, IMHO. I believe one of my shotguns has that style, and I think it was discontinued because it was not robust enough. IIRC, mine had a broken segment or two. 

 

BB

 

PS; the 1897 is a bit convoluted, takes a bit of time to understand the relationship between the parts. I've resurrected two bad ones, that's when the learning really starts. My latest resurrection needed many parts, but as it had a relatively tight action, it was a worthwhile project. (Bur expensive) I still have one gremlin, it doesn't like to be single fed. Out of the magazine it works like a charm, single shot, it likes to jam up. It may be technique, as I've had to start shooting left and I'm still working on smooth motions and establishing good muscle memory. 

 

 

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I built a spare carrier or lifter for my Winchester 1897. I purchased a new carrier and stripped the old parts off of an
Ebay purchase, added some new parts that I purchased. Everything was stiff but it is starting to loosen up. I think these old guns have a mind of their own. Everything is working well with one exception. When I rack the slide the trigger moves to half cock or safety and does not fully cock. I can find no visible differences on the old carrier and the new. I install the old carrier and viola it works perfect. I am getting involved in Wild Bunch and will at some point build a spare bolt to boot. I have adjusted all spring tensions with no resolve. Any knowledgeable suggestions welcomed.

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