1897 Winchester Cowboy Action Conversion

Going through some old content I realize that I never posted these images! Whoops! Here is a brief synopsis:

This 1897 Winchester probably started life as a standard 30-ish-inch length barrel hunting shotgun. At some point over the last decade, a SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) member had it chopped, barrel threaded for screw in chokes, installed a new brass front bead, and slicked up the action.

Let me say that last part again since the words on the page don’t do it justice: This. Gun. Is. Crazy. Stupid. Slick.

I am not a cowboy guy. I am not really someone who needs a1897. But when my gun-crack dealer handed me this scatter gun and said, “Trust me. Just work the action”; I should have pushed away from the table and walked.

As soon as I worked the pump, I was done. It would be mine. Yes, I tried my best to act cool and do some negotiating. But the gun was in on consignment and there wasn’t much room to play on the price. The seller was getting up in years and getting out of SASS. He was likely selling at a loss as it was.

Around here, this 1897 is known as the, “OMG!”. Because the second someone racks the action, they involuntarily mutter, “Oh My God!”.

Yes, it’s really that slick. That old boy must have dumped serious cash into the conversion. We are lucky to have it. Especially at the price we paid.

“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Freeze

    Since this gun has had some serious mods done on it. I think it may be worth rebluing down the road. No real collectors value but it is a really fun gun to play with.

    • Freeze literally can’t help himself. All he sees is, “PROJECT!!”


  • Brennen Munro

    With these things also being dirt simple to break down, it makes a great “travel” shotgun too! You will need to post new pictures after Freeze gets to re-blue it, from some of the other pictures of his bluing projects, I can only imagine how amazing it would look! Thanks for sharing this one with us.


    • He’s pretty good at the blue work.


    • MickeyG

      Love my 1897, simple, robust, and has never failed ! 🙂

      • I don’t have any experience on long term use, but they seem well made and most are pushing 100 years old.