The Winchester Model 1897 was a shotgun that was used by the United States during World War I and World War II, as well as later wars.


It was chambered in 16 gauge though most commonly is found in 12 gauge. The gun was pump-action and had a five round magazine.

The shotgun has an external hammer and in trenchgun configuration was fitted with a heatshield/bayonet mount that accepted the M1917 bayonet.[1] The heat shield was designed so that the user could grasp the front of the shotgun and use the bayonet without burning his hand. A riot version was also purchased that was similar to the trenchgun except for the lack of a heatshield. The barrel length for the riot and trenchgun versions was 20 inches and Cylinder bore.

In sporting configuration the barrels can be found in 28 or 30 inch lengths in either full or modified choke. Its effective range was around 20 meters and weight was about 3.6 kilograms. The M1897 was the successor of the earlier Model 1893 shotgun and it had several improvements. One of these improvements was the utilization of a smokeless powder and another was the stock which was lengthened.


The Winchester M1897 came in a number of different versions that each had slight differences. These versions included the trap version, the pigeon version, tournament version, brush version, the brush takedown version, the riot version, and the trench version. The main differences were usually different sized barrels and fancy engravings.


The M1897 was created by John Browning in 1897 as a replacement for the 1893 shotgun. The shotgun became very popular very quickly and was soon adopted by the United States military. It saw use in World War I and elicited protests from the German government that the shotgun should not be used in war. The M1897 was favored by troops and gained a good reputation of being very reliable. That makes the M1897 the first shotgun to be used extensively by soldiers.

Firearms shotgun m97 marine ww2 375

An American soldier with the M1897 shotgun.

The M1897 was used by American forces throughout World War II and well into the sixties as well.[2] The United States's use of the M1897 was not limited to one theater, but both the Pacific and European theaters.