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Scarce Winchester Model 97 Commercial Trench Gun Brass Butt Plate 1942 + M1895 Winchester Russian Bayonet

This rare Model 97 is one made in 1942 (SN 885284) and has some unusual features. Winchester made them for sales to police departments and the security departments of large private companies and, except for some markings, the guns are essentially the same as the military guns except the bayonet lug / heat shield combination (with 1918 patent date) was modified from the military form by the addition of a small notch on the latch lug that allowed the use of both the M1917 and the M1895 bayonets (the slight labor cost of adding the notch to the bayonet lug allowed Winchester to market the inventory of M1895 bayonets left over from the Russian contract for the M1895 rifle). The other unique feature is the heavy, cast checkered butt plate Winchester fitted to these guns. (Lord only knows what the intended use of a heavy brass butt plate would be but we’ve heard it left an impression on people.) The stock adjacent to the plate has cross grain sanding marks that were done at the time of fitting these butt plates and is common to the examples we’ve viewed. Installing the handguard required plugging the barrel front sight hole (the handguard has a sight) and it can be see that they didn’t touch-up the blue there anymore than they fixed the cross grain sanding on the butt – both evidence of how Winchester had to expediently ration resources to meet the huge military demand that befell them at that point in the war. Along with this storied shotgun comes an equally interesting piece of related history. It is one of the bayonets made for the Russian M1895 rifle that Winchester marketed along with this version of the shotgun – two really cool chunks of history kind of joined at the hip. We’re told by the consignor that the gun came from the Dighton, MA police department though we think it might have been with another organization before then because it has a rack number of 36 on the barrel extension (where they were commonly marked) and there aren’t that many officers on the little town’s PD.
Condition: It’s 20” cylinder bore is perfectly smooth, bright and shiny while outside the gun itself retains about 80% original blue and the handguard has faded to brown patina over much of its surface. The stocks are completely sound with thinly scattered handling marks and a very faint “DPD” can be seen on the right butt if it’s shadowed just so. The action within shows very little indication of use and we think that while it might have pulled thousands of hours on patrol it was not actually fired much. The bayonet is in excellent condition with 95% of its bright finish remaining with scattered oxidation staining mostly on the left side, its original edge is not nicked, the scales are completely sound with only a handful of very light handling marks and the latch works perfectly. Canfield refers to these guns as unusual and "very interesting collectibles” – we think that’s quite an understatement. If you have questions please email us at tangoyankee_llc@yahoo.com This will be listed for auction on Gun Broker the evening of October 7th. Please go to the top of the page and click on the Gun Broker button to see all our listings there. 09-30-19A--19-36-03a