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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a Winchester 1897 shotgun, D series, and I bought a box of 2 3/4 inch Waterfowl Steel shells. Is it fine to use this ammo or is it bad for the shotgun since it's steel running out of an older shotgun?

EDIT: It's Federal Ammunition brand Speed Shok Water Fowl Steel BB shot ammunition that uses a protective shot cup in the shell that is supposed to minimize or prevent damage done to some barrels, but I'm making sure if its a good idea to use it at all with my shotgun
 

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Choke as it is now and condition of firearm please.
If it is a nice specimen I wouldn't shoot them in my gun.
 

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Grand Imperial Poobah
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Personally, I wouldn't use steel shot. I suggest picking up a box of lead shot.
 
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Avoid steel shot, slugs, buckshot and any load considered a high power load. 2 3/4 target and field loads should be fine. it might handle more but the gun is over 100 years old and there is no need to abuse it and find out if it has any weakness somewhere.
 

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Hello, I don't know if this is the right place to do this since I'm such a new member, but I have a question about the 16 Ga 1897s. I'm I guess what you could call an armchair expert. aka I know basically everything about fill in the blank gun that can be found online. But I am SEVERELY laking real human input to all of my questions, that's why I'm here. I need help. So, my quest is about if it's possible to convert a 16 to a 12, It sounds like a stupid question, but, I heard someone say one time that the 16 and the 12 gauge 1897s have the same frame. So, that got me thinking, could I convert my grandpas 16 Ga. 1910 Winchester 1897 to a 12 Ga. by changing the barrel, mag tube, and a few other parts? making the gun more useable being a 12 gauge? any input on this would be greatly appreciated. -Thadd
 

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Genius in Training
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Hello, I don't know if this is the right place to do this since I'm such a new member, but I have a question about the 16 Ga 1897s. I'm I guess what you could call an armchair expert. aka I know basically everything about fill in the blank gun that can be found online . But I am SEVERELY laking real human input to all of my questions, that's why I'm here. I need help. So, my quest is about if it's possible to convert a 16 to a 12, It sounds like a stupid question, but, I heard someone say one time that the 16 and the 12 gauge 1897s have the same frame. So, that got me thinking, could I convert my grandpas 16 Ga. 1910 Winchester 1897 to a 12 Ga. by changing the barrel, mag tube, and a few other parts? making the gun more useable being a 12 gauge? any input on this would be greatly appreciated. -Thadd

1. You would be better off starting a new thread, not commenting on one that's 4 months old.
2. "I know basically everything about fill in the blank gun that can be found online." Acting like you know everything while simultaneously admitting you have little practical knowledge is frowned upon here to say the least. The other users on this site know far more than you or I ever will and that is due to their decades of experience. Even then they are still very humble about their abilities.
3. On to your actual question, is it possible? Maybe. Is it a good idea, probly not. Even with larger barrel, tube, etc. the receiver and the internals are still not made to handle the forces of the larger shell. The gun will likely tear itself apart. Aside from the fact that such an old gun is likely to be worth far more in its original configuration than as a conversion.
 

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1. You would be better off starting a new thread, not commenting on one that's 4 months old.
2. "I know basically everything about fill in the blank gun that can be found online." Acting like you know everything while simultaneously admitting you have little practical knowledge is frowned upon here to say the least. The other users on this site know far more than you or I ever will and that is due to their decades of experience. Even then they are still very humble about their abilities.
3. On to your actual question, is it possible? Maybe. Is it a good idea, probly not. Even with larger barrel, tube, etc. the receiver and the internals are still not made to handle the forces of the larger shell. The gun will likely tear itself apart. Aside from the fact that such an old gun is likely to be worth far more in its original configuration than as a conversion.
Thank you very much, sorry about sounding like I was a know-it-all. I make no claim to know anywhere near the amount of information that the people here do. that's exactly the reason why I came here, to find older wiser people to help me since like I said, everything I know is only stuff I've found online. Thanks again. -Thadd
 

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I don't know the answer if it could be done or not but i can almost say for certain it would cost you more to buy the parts individually to make the switch than it would to buy a complete gun chambered in 12 gauge.
 

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That's very true. The only reason I would want to is not just to have a 12 Ga, but just to be able to use my grandpas shotgun normally. You know, not having to go looking for special low recoil 16 gauge loads. I've looked into it, they are available, but not enough to make it worth it. Thanks for all the insight guys. -Thadd
 

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The only other thing I'd like to trouble you with is how on earth does one create a thread? I was looking and I could not find any help button. Am I just stupid?
 

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Aim true !
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Well you could buy a reloading set up for 16ga. And load light rounds for the gun. I have a single shot that takes 2 1/2 shells. Here is a source for light loads .
And
 

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Yep, I've looked into Polly and RSTS. thanks all the same! and, I have thought about doing reloading, but I don't really trust my self. and regarding the gun, The one thing I'm worried about is that I don't know the chamber length, I know the 16s came in 2 or 3 sizes, and I also know that if it's 2 of the 3 is basically impossible to get ammunition for it... So I was wondering how do you measure the chamber of a repeating shotgun? I've only seen break-action chamber measurers online. Again, am I just dumb?
 

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Remove the barrel. You will see where the chamber ends. It will have a ''lip' Take a depth gauge and take note where it stops at when it hits the lip. This will tell you what it's chambered for. Walmart does have lower pressure loads for 2 /34 16 ga. I have an Ithaca featherlight from 1937. I shoot them in.
 

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Thank you ever so much! I've been racking my brains over that for 3 months! And thanks for telling me that there are Low Power loads at Walmart, I thought I had looked, but I guess not good enough. The thing is, is that I'm not sure the gun would be safe to shoot at all, the reason I say this is because this shotgun, built in early 1910, was shot for decades my great great grandfather, and for decades my great grandfather and for years after that! So, I'm not sure it may even be safe at all, even for low power, I heard from a friend of a friend that it had been taken to a gunsmith once and the guy allegedly said not to shoot it too much. I can't even confirm any of these things for myself since it's still owned by my grandfather as of now. I really wont to buy it from him. And you know, maybe it would not have to shoot. Its an heirloom. And the first thing is to keep it safe from generations to come.
 

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I guess I'd rather have a wall hanger and all my fingers and eyes than taking a chance and testing it. if you think it would be unsafe, I would rather not try. Though, I am planning, (If I get it) to use it as my next gunsmithing project. first, get it checked by a real smith, have him make a list of parts that need to be replaced, then with my meager savings try to repair it to make it safe.
 

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1910 it may have an 2 1/2 inch chamber and a damascus barrel. That you do not want to use ammo from off the big box store shelves.
 

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It does not have a Damascus barrel thankfully, (or at least I think so) I've seen Dama. barrels before, strange light dark light dark barber pole looking, it does not look like that. Or is there something I don't know?
 
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