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Old 06-01-2004, 05:42 PM   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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New guy with trench gun question

New guy on the board, and have a question.

I've just recently developed an interest in the weapons of World War II, and I'm trying to find a recent-production version of one of the various trench guns the Army used then. I'd rather go with a new-production version to avoid wearing out a historical artifact, plus it'd pull double-duty as a home-defense gun.

Ithaca still produces the Model 37, but not in a trench version. I know Norinco makes an M1897 trench version, but I'd really prefer not to deal with subsidiaries of the Red Chinese Army. Is holding my nose and going with the Norinco my only new-production option, or does somebody else produce something that fits the bill?

I'm not ruling out originals, it's just that they require special handling from my perspective as a historian.

Thanks much!
 
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:54 PM   #2
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There are lots of '97s around. They are very popular with the Cowboy Action Shooters. Check your local gunshow, you'll probably see a few of them. I think the Winchester Model 12 was also produced as a trench gun and there were tons of them made. Converting either of them into a military trench gun shouldn't be that difficult.
 
Old 06-01-2004, 10:26 PM   #3
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For a modern, NON-Chinese gun, (good man) you're best bet for a WWII look-alike is going to be a Ithaca Model 37.

The last I checked, Ithaca was still selling a short barrel Model 37 Homeland Defense Model, that's virtually unchanged from the War-time guns.

During WWII we used the Winchester Models '97 and '12, the Stevens 520/620, the Remington 31, and the Ithaca.

Within the last year, the American Rifleman had an excellent article picturing the WWII shotguns, and how they were set up.

Many of them were just short barreled civilian models with a parkerized finish.

For that reason, the current Ithaca would probably be the easiest and cheapest to replicate.
 
 
Old 06-18-2004, 10:26 AM   #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Be advised the Ithaca can be very sensitive to short stroking the action. Only a consideration to real world use. The M12 Winchester might be had at a reasonable enough price to play with and use. I don't think the 97's were all that common 1941-1945 in the overall scheme of things anyway.
 
Old 06-18-2004, 10:36 AM   #5
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There is a book that I've seen on the book dealers' tables at many gun shows called "U.S. Winchester Trench and Riot Guns" by Joe Poyer. The only photos that it has are a few black and whites but it does have a lot of info and data about Winchester trench guns and a little bit of info about several other makes as well. It's a small paperback and I don't recall that it cost very much. I can look up the publisher's info if you're interested.
 
Old 06-21-2004, 12:56 PM   #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 13
Thanks much!

Been a while, mainly because my question was around end of quarter at the college and I can't get much internet time over the summer.

BTW, how would I get around the Ithaca's short-stroke problem? (I should probably mention that the sum of my firearms experience is handguns, so I'm starting at Point Zero on long guns...)
 
Old 06-21-2004, 03:43 PM   #7
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"short-stroking" a shotgun is purely operator error.
When operating the slide on a pump shotgun, you must pull it as far to the rear as possible.

Failing to do so will cause the gun to not extract and eject or fail to feed rounds.

The "cure" for this is to practice, until operation becomes positive and sure.
 
Old 06-23-2004, 08:45 AM   #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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DFARISWHEEL is exactly correct. I learned on the M37 and had a constant problem with short stroking. This led to a long and expensive foray into the world of semi-auto shotguns ( I have now seen the light again). It was my fault, but the action on the M37 seems to be less forgiving than some . Others have commented on this as well. Additionally the action on the M37 is slightly slower to do a speedy reload with if you shoot it dry, malfunction clearance can require the proverbial 3 men and a small boy, and some complain of the bottom ejection shooting over barricades (never understood that one as pumping should force a clear spot below the piece). It is a neat weapon of years gone by, almost iconic with the LAPD and NYPD connections too. Anyhoo, no one issues it anymore and probably for good reason. Now I hear the Remington 31's were really great and would be historically correct as well. No experiences here with them. I just wish I could have gotten to keep one of the Model 12's we had on my ship in the late 70's. They must have been WW 2 guns. Worked great, last a long time Sahib.
 
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