Bob Dunlap is a renowned expert on most of today and yesterdays important and obscure firearms. He has been a warranty station for most manufacturers, both large and small. He understands the design, function, and repair of firearms in general, and certainly the gun that was John Brownings first pump shotgun, and a runaway favorite of the Cowboy Action crowd, the 97 Winchester. Does not cover exactly the Norinco replicas, but most of the information is applicable. John Moses Browning is Bobs hero, and with good reason.

If you want the quick course on how to get the World Champions Favorite Cowboy Shotgun apart, back together, and operating as intended, then this course is for you (if you want the long course, look into our basic 108 hour Professional Gunsmith Course.)

Among the items covered are:


  • Produced from 1897 to 1957
  • Not very many mechanical changes were made to the gun over the years, an exception being the method of cartridge stop attachment
  • Gun made in take-down and solid frame versions
  • Trench Gun version was used by the U. S. military in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam
  • The gun has a lot of parts and is relatively complex, but is very strong, and when properly set up, very reliable

Design & Function

  • Operation of the locking block explained and demonstrated. Locking block design makes the gun very strong
  • Cartridge stop operation demonstrated
  • Both stops are primary, and why, if manually turned off separately, one shell at a time will pop out of magazine, or both if the stop buttons are pressed simultaneously
  • How the carrier works as the secondary cartridge stop
  • Feeding cycle shown
  • What are the “Slam Fire” and “Hesitation” features
  • Fire control operation


  • Extensive disassembly, and instructions on how to take apart those parts/assemblies not disassembled, and explanation of why some assemblies are not to be disassembled
  • You get a good look at how the various parts fit together and interact (particularly the springs) after they are removed from the gun and Bob explains things
  • There have been a number of changes over the life cycle of the gun as far as how things are held together. Pins have been replaced by screws and vice versa. If you pay attention to Bobs explanation of how things (parts) work, work together, and their relationship to one another, you will have no trouble figuring how yours comes apart
  • How the take-down system works
  • Be careful of the receiver extension! It is fragile and easily broken if you try to remove it without knowing what you are doing!
  • How the take-up bushing works to tighten up a loose barrel
  • One thing you never want to do
  • What the chamber ring is, and how it is blend reamed, but you are going to have to have a competent gunsmith with the special reamer set do it for you
  • What a good gunsmith needs to do to fix a gun that has run out of take-up bushing adjustment
  • What to do when the magazine tube is slipping threads and you cannot find a new tube
  • How the hesitation system works
  • Magazine and forend disassembly
  • Trigger guard removal
  • Carrier and bolt removal
  • Bolt disassembly
  • Disassembly of the carrier
  • How the action bar lock is activated, both by the button and the falling hammer
  • How the slam fire feature operates, and why you will need to adjust the limiting screw if you need to shorten the sear to address an under cock problem due to excessive wear
  • Removal of the shell stops demonstrated
  • Removal of action bar release button and spring
  • Ejector and spring removed and proper configuration of spring shown and described
  • Removing the adjusting sleeve lock
  • Correcting a worn sear. Putting a positive angle on it. Concept of positive and negative angles shown and explained.
  • If you do not understand the preceding section completely, get the Trigger Jobs course or take the gun to a qualified, professional gunsmith. Be safe, not sorry!

Cleaning & Lubrication

  • AGI cleaning & lubrication methods shown, along with the reasons for their use
  • After cleaning, dry with air gun, or in the oven on Warm ~185-200 degrees (metal parts ONLY)
  • Lubing the Bob way, and what kind he likes


  • Pins, slave and tapered, hook, punches, etc. Helpful tools to help you get this Chinese Puzzle back together easier
  • This is a Brownings design, this means that the order of reassembly is important
  • Correcting the firing pin length and tip shape. The rule for its protrusion in a shotgun
  • How to correct the poorly fitted extractor
  • Extractor configuration and rules shown and explained
  • Final Thoughts

If you noticed how often the terms “explanation” and “demonstration” are used, you may be getting some idea of why this course is necessary for any Winchester Model 1897 owner, or someone who intends to be.

Weight0.25 lbs
Dimensions7.56 × 5.44 × 0.63 in


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