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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
I have been on the hunt for a 1897 Trench gun for over a year now. I recently lost the September auction for Rock Island Auction's WWI Trench Gun. I recently came across a WW2 Trench Gun listing on ** and it is in pristine condition. I reached out to inquire about it and according to the seller it is 100% original and has not been reblued. Apparently the original owner of the gun store bought a number of them a few decades ago but has since passed and whoever runs the store now is selling his stock. I searched the serial number on Winchester's archives and it is a 1942 production. However when I searched for information about the seller, people had less than positive reviews of him and many openly mocked him. If this gun has been reblued, then I do not want to bid on it, but if it has not then I would love to bid on it. I have linked the gun in question. Please let me know your thoughts.
EDIT: I am new to this forum, apparently ** is censored for some reason.
 

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Left side of the receiver, the US and flaming bomb? That is stamped after the gun is blued. Look at that ordinance stamp on top of the barrel. The edges of the stamp are raised on the barrel like they should be. The one on the receiver is flush, and the blue is in the stamp. Everything else I could see is correct for an early 1942.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Left side of the receiver, the US and flaming bomb? That is stamped after the gun is blued. Look at that ordinance stamp on top of the barrel. The edges of the stamp are raised on the barrel like they should be. The one on the receiver is flush, and the blue is in the stamp. Everything else I could see is correct for an early 1942.
Yes the WW2 ones have them on the left side of the receiver, whereas the WWI and earlier ones have a smaller US Flaming bomb right next to the shell ejector. I just find it a bit odd that one as early as 1942 would be in such good shape, I mean, if it is original we are talking about like 90% original finish which would be one of the best examples I've ever seen. I just want to be positive before I place a bid.

It looks legit to me.
Very nice example.
Yes I agree, if it is original then I will bid on it until I win it. I recently lost Rock Island Auctions september auction when they had a very nice WWI example that went o $23,000. I just want to be positive that it has not been reblued and the finish on it is original. The serial number checks out to 1942.

@Dick_Dastardly the site that you linked to is not allowed here at TFF. If you go back and read the histrory of TFF you may understand.
I see, I understand now. Thank you for the link, I am new here and appreciate the knowledge.
 

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This one was made in early 1942, I have the polishing room records. Late in 1942 they started stamping the US in the same place, left side of the receiver, but, omitted the flaming bomb acceptance proof. What I was pointing out, the receiver was blued, "after" the stamp was applied. The receiver is a re-blue, and a top notch job! The only give away, is the US stamp has been polished flat, and the blueing is in the stamp. Compare that stamp to the one on the barrel. The barrel flaming bomb has the edges raised, and missing blue, like it should.
The only way that gun would be worth that price, is if you have a Cody letter showing it was returned to Winchester for the work, or the Springfield Arsenal. Other than that, the gun is in great shape, and all features are present and correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This one was made in early 1942, I have the polishing room records. Late in 1942 they started stamping the US in the same place, left side of the receiver, but, omitted the flaming bomb acceptance proof. What I was pointing out, the receiver was blued, "after" the stamp was applied. The receiver is a re-blue, and a top notch job! The only give away, is the US stamp has been polished flat, and the blueing is in the stamp. Compare that stamp to the one on the barrel. The barrel flaming bomb has the edges raised, and missing blue, like it should.
The only way that gun would be worth that price, is if you have a Cody letter showing it was returned to Winchester for the work, or the Springfield Arsenal. Other than that, the gun is in great shape, and all features are present and correct.
I see what you are saying now, I also noticed that the US stamp was flat in comparison to the other stamps on the barrel, which is why I suspected the receiver had been reblued. I have been comparing it to previous WWII Rock Island Auction ones and I could see a clear difference. I recently bid on the September WWI era trench gun but the max I was willing to bid on it was $17,000, and it went for $23,000. As much as I like the look of this one and the fact that it is all correct, I am really looking for one that still has a superb original finish on it, rather than one that has been reblued, couple that with the negative things being said about the seller and I don't think I'll end up bidding on this one.
 

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I'm satisfied I turned the light on. :) It's a fine line to walk pointing out stuff like this, especially on faked guns. You try to keep a buyer from getting hosed, and at the same time, not educate the the ones that fake collectables, to do a better job. There is a guy that sells on that site, primarily collector Winchesters, that logs into forums and asks questions to find out how to make a good fake. He's been outed several times by myself and others. I'm surprised that one of the buyers that paid a healthy 5 figures for a 3 figure rifle, hasn't used that rifle on him. His location is always in, or around, Sonora, CA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm satisfied I turned the light on. :) It's a fine line to walk pointing out stuff like this, especially on faked guns. You try to keep a buyer from getting hosed, and at the same time, not educate the the ones that fake collectables, to do a better job. There is a guy that sells on that site, primarily collector Winchesters, that logs into forums and asks questions to find out how to make a good fake. He's been outed several times by myself and others. I'm surprised that one of the buyers that paid a healthy 5 figures for a 3 figure rifle, hasn't used that rifle on him. His location is always in, or around, Sonora, CA.
Yes! I'm glad you came along because I was seriously considering purchasing this as an investment gun if it was indeed the original finish on the gun. I've combed through all of Rock Island's Old Catalogues and only about three 1897 Trench Guns in the past decade have looked this good so I was immediately suspicious about the finish. I also really don't appreciate how the guy lied to me about it being 100% original with no re-blueing done on it, yet had nothing to back up the provenance of the gun. I have heard many people say that there are alot of fakes out there of this gun, and finding reliable information about it is very difficult because it was such a niche military gun. I will probably stick to Rock Island Auction as I continue to search for one of these bad boys, I also really want a WWI issue one so I was beating myself up about possibly selling myself short and getting a WWII era one.
 

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Many of these left over from WWII, got a Parkerized finish, and went to Viet Nam too. Collector circles don't value them as high, even though the re-finish and history is documented. Good luck in your search, that one is going to be a Unicorn to find.
 
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