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1897 tube feeding problems


Jedediah Westwood

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I recently got an 1897 Winchester. Really early model but still in great shape. It fires and ejects just great and in the one match + fun shooting out in the desert it has had zero issues (knock on wood) other than feeding from the tube (not an issue for CAS but I would still like to use it if I go to the clay pigeon course by my place or if I am out in the desert shooting). Anyone have experience with 97's and fixing this issue?

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I don't have the answer but you might want to let us know exactly what might be the problem, such as:

 

1. are you putting numerous rounds up the tube and exactly how many are giving you a problem?

 

2.  will just one in the tube give you a problem?

 

3.  will one or two feed fine and them you have a problem?

 

4.  and this may be the most important question:  are you able to put any rounds in the tube.

Do you know if it is plugged or not.

 

Best regards

 

..........Widder

 

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Need to do this anytime you get a new pump shotgun -

 

Open the mag tube, take out follower and spring.   And maybe a wooden capacity plug.  Shine a light in tube and look for dents.  If dented, they need to be raised - and a good shotgun smith will have a hydraulic dent raiser.   Then clean the tube, follower and spring.  Use a drying spray lube like Eezox or Boeshield T9 to lube the parts.  NOT a regular oil.  NOT NOT WD-40.   WD will disappear, and regular gun oils don't dry and attract lots of dirt.

 

Put back together and THEN test for function.  Sometimes, a good cleaning of the tube and spring is all it needs.  Remember to repeat this in 6-12 months.

 

If still won't feed, try lubricating and wiggling the cartridge stops, one on each side at the frame just behind the "exit" of the magazine tube as shells try to feed onto carrier.  Turn gun over and watch the stops to see if they are releasing the shells so one can come out of tube and onto carrier.  Then, before the carrier makes it about 1/2 of the way up, the stops have to close to stop the remaining shells from popping out as the nose of carrier rises from it's blocking position.   If not opening and closing, then you have some more work to do. 

 

good luck, GJ

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I have already removed the wooden dowel that keeps it at two and now can load a full 5 rounds in the tube (I will note that I had this problem before and after I removed the dowel). It doesn't seem to matter how many I load; they seem to get stuck on the cartridge stops. They seem to get halfway out past the cartridge stops but then won't go any further, like when I close the receiver the follower doesn't depress the cartridge stops to allow the next round to be released. I will try cleaning the cartridge stops next.

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1 hour ago, Jedediah Westwood said:

I have already removed the wooden dowel that keeps it at two and now can load a full 5 rounds in the tube (I will note that I had this problem before and after I removed the dowel). It doesn't seem to matter how many I load; they seem to get stuck on the cartridge stops. They seem to get halfway out past the cartridge stops but then won't go any further, like when I close the receiver the follower doesn't depress the cartridge stops to allow the next round to be released. I will try cleaning the cartridge stops next.

Check the cartridge stop screws for tightness. 

Clean the inside of the magazine tube and follower.

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Check that springs behind the stops are still functioning strongly.   If you can compare to another 97 it sometimes help to spot a weak spring or damaged stop.  Check that pivot screws are tight.

 

Sometimes the stops wear where their "pressure points" contact the carrier.  Then the carrier can't open the stops fully and the cartridge stops part way out of tube.  Perhaps the gun may need to be tuned by a good 97 smith to add back enough metal to get the stops working again.

 

good luck, GJ

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I have one that did the exact same thing.  And since I bought it for WB, I needed it to work as designed.  Shell (new AA LNLR) would stick just about halfway onto the carrier.  Tried reloads, with a number of different hulls.  Changed the carrier, went to gunsmith... went to another gunsmith... and another... The last one was the charm... Stumpman... I don't know what he did, but as long as I work the action like I intend to break it... it feeds from the magazine now.  Going slow, they still hang up.  It's an E, in the mid 6 digit range.  Or, rather, I'm assuming that's what the "E" over the serial number signifies...

 

BTW, they still belong in a Modern category!  :P

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There is a screw on the right side that may be to long & pushing the flag in enough to stop the shell.You can look from top & if you see the screw touching the flag file the screw down till the flag no longer stops the shell.

                                                                                                                  Largo

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I picked up a replacement tube for my 97.    It didn't feed from the tube.  Seemed the receiver end had smaller diameter cone shaped end.  Straightened to remove the same diameter (only first 1/8 in was tight)     Problem went away.   Good luck with yours       Proper depth of tube is important when screwing in.    GW

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22 hours ago, Sammy1897 said:

 Really early model" How early? I would love to see some pics.

Based on the serial number and some forums it was made at some point in the year 1900. It is a solid frame model (not take down). I have a picture of it below along with the rest of my spread.

IMG_0511.jpg

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Largo, I would be really careful about filing that screw down.  There are only two screws on the right side of the receiver,  and the one down by the trigger is supposed to be longer so it can block the flag when you rack the slide back to open the ejection port, then when you close the slide the flag will come up before the carrier comes fully up and block the "new" unfired shell from bouncing out as the carrier brings it up.  Even worse - way worse - it is possible for the new shell to edge out crooked, so that the primer is right where the right ejector on the  bolt is coming right at it.  Saw it come real close once when I got that screw mixed up with the trigger spring screw (they are interchangeable, but the trigger screw doesn't have that extra non-threaded length the flag stop screw does).  When I realized what could have happened I changed those screws right away.

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2 hours ago, Jedediah Westwood said:

Based on the serial number and some forums it was made at some point in the year 1900. It is a solid frame model (not take down). I have a picture of it below along with the rest of my spread.

 

Very nice! Does yours have the spring ejector on the left side?

 

Mine also has the 3 screw forend, but I received it messed up and I had to fix it.

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Newt.Ilooked at 1 of mine & the book.Looks like it is the cartridge stop screw.I had one that was that way & Wicked Felina also had hers that wouldn't feed from the tube.I can't tell from Jedidiah's picture if his is buttons or screws.

                                                                                                                            Largo

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On 10/26/2023 at 4:52 PM, Sammy1897 said:

Very nice! Does yours have the spring ejector on the left side?

 

Mine also has the 3 screw forend, but I received it messed up and I had to fix it.

Yes, the spring ejector is on the left side.

 

On 10/26/2023 at 6:26 PM, largo casey #19191 said:

Newt.Ilooked at 1 of mine & the book.Looks like it is the cartridge stop screw.I had one that was that way & Wicked Felina also had hers that wouldn't feed from the tube.I can't tell from Jedidiah's picture if his is buttons or screws.

                                                                                                                            Largo

Without having my gun with me I am 95% sure that they are screws (I could be wrong though).

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 have the screw you will see a track on the flag.You can also look down through the port & see if the screw is touching the flag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Largo

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before some one shoots their eye out, let me tell you about that "screw on the right side" that operates the shell flag. It is a safety measure that JMB created to enable loading from the mag tube. 

1st it is a specific type of screw with smooth rounded end for the shell flag edge to ride on

2nd it is designed to move the shell flag up when the action slide starts forward

3rd the reason it is important to raise the flag is to keep the ejection port partially "closed"

4th by partially closing the ejection port the action will safely move the loaded shell from the mag tube, onto the carrier and into the chamber all the while keeping the shell in a fairly straight motion.

5th if the shell flag does not rise when the action is moved forward the shell has nothing to not only keep it straight but also nothing to keep it in the receiver. 

6th when the 5th item happens the weight of the front of the shell will usually keep the front of the shell in the receiver and mostly on the carrier while the lighter end of the shell with the primer is sometimes left dangeling out of the receiver.

7th this is when you might shoot your eye out if numbers 5 and 6 occur. If the rear of the shell is protruding out the side of the receiver and you slide the action forward, the right extractor is sometimes aligned with the shotshell primer. There is more than ample force to ignight the primer causing an out of battery discharge

 

 

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The one I am talking about holds the right shell stop in place.

                                                                                                                 Largo

 

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