Shooting – Testing the PTR 91 and 1897 Shotgun

It’s been a busy winter and spring is on us fast. I have a bunch of gun projects that have crept up on me. So I found myself with a few fee hours of off time and decided to shoot / test/ break-in some personal weapons. The first is a PTR 91 GI Model — An exact copy of a HK G3 on 308. The second is a used, tricked out Winchester 1897 Shotgun.


I have a confession to make. I am more of a “Tactical Shooter”. By that I mean I am more into military weapons, self defense, shooting and moving, building searches and the like. So..the PTR was a very specific and deliberate purchase. A truck gun project.


But the 1897 is really out of my element and was an impulse buy. One of my frequent gun-shops had it on the self for months. Used obviously. It seems a gentlemen was getting out of Cowboy Action Shooting and put it up for grabs. It languished for over 6 months with little notice.


Here’s my excuse. Freeze was showing me some of his old family shotguns. Model 12’s. An 1897 among others. I never really paid too much attention to them before but though his 28″ 1897 hunting gun seemed neat. Especially when he explained there was a take-down model. THAT got my attention. I LOVE takedowns. It’s a sickness.



1897 at the ready.

My friend Dr. Skunkworks has 1897 at the ready.


But this thing was amazing! The shortness is what got my attention on the shelf. Then I noticed the take-down button. But when I worked the action I literally let out a, “woah!”. The store owner, who I have known for at least 15 years must have known the hook was in my mouth. He grins and says, “That is a SASS gun. Completely worked over action.  And removable screw-in chokes”.


Further investigation showed the Winchester serial number indicated 1911 production year. Yeah, I was smitten. But we dickered on the price a bit but since it was a consignment piece, the store couldn’t move on it. I asked if they could reach out to the seller and get back to me. 5 days later, I came back in to pick it up.

By far, the neatest shotgun I own. The next time I go through a shotgun training, I’ll bring this along as a backup.


The PTR 91 is an entirely different long-gun with an entirely different purpose. It is a dedicated Truck Gun –Special note: My vehicle has a government grade safe in it.  All weather. All seasons. All temperatures. Which is a main reason why I choose the G3 pattern rifle. They are famous for their ability to work in cold and nasty conditions.

PTR 91 GI - HK 91 -G3 Clone

PTR 91 GI – HK 91 -G3 Clone

As for THIS rifle, I had been scoping out G3’s for a few months when I got an e-mail from Gabe Suarez. It seems he had another run of his PTR 91 GI pattern rifles coming through his shop. Since the GI PTR is literally an exact copy of the HK 91 / G3; it has a much better reputation for reliability than some of PTR’s other precision rifle models.

And he had New and like new G3 mags in bulk! Great!

So off to the range we go. My good friend and competitive shooter, “Dr. Skunkworks” went along. No issues. Ran like a champ. But since the ONLY garbage ammo I had in 308 was Privi Match 168, those cases are probably not-reloadable. Looking forward to testing steel cased and other 10ish grain loads.



We’ll keep you updated.




“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”