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Man excels with shotgun made in 1931

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Aug 15, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Man excels with shotgun made in 1931

    By Mark Fitton, The Southern

    SPARTA - You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on a custom-built trap gun from one of the nation's or the world's premier makers.

    Or you can do what 65-year-old Jerry Wooden of Dawn, Mo., did: Stick with what you know.

    Using a 77-year-old, pump-action shotgun with an exposed hammer, the semiretired farmer took the Class A runner-up trophy at The Grand American Event No. 18, the American Trap Association Clay Target Championship.

    He broke 199 of 200 clay birds and was bested only by Keith Atkinson of Edwardsville.

    Wooden acknowledges he's pretty fair with a shotgun, but is he as good as his late father?

    "Nope," he said Thursday without missing a beat.

    "My dad was one of the best scattergunners I've ever seen," Wooden said Thursday evening from the World Shooting and Recreational Complex at Sparta. "That's why I'm out here. I'm shooting for him, and he's up there someplace watching."

    Wooden, a longtime quail hunter who began shooting registered trap only this year, shot a Winchester Black Diamond Model 1897 trap gun.

    It was only Wednesday night, after he'd finished shooting for the day, that another shooter matched the serial number to the year of manufacture and informed Wooden his gun was built in 1931.

    Wooden has had his gun refurbished and added a few features, including a ventilated rib and choke tubes. But the gun is mechanically pretty much the same as his quail gun - a field version Model 1897.

    Wooden said he was 13 or 14 when his dad handed him a Model 1897 and said, "Let's go quail hunting, bud."

    Wooden said he didn't even think of bringing a different gun for this year's Grand American, his first.

    "I Iike to bring it," Woode said, then added with a laugh: It's the only trap gun I've got."

    His wife, Jane, said from the couple's Missouri home she wasn't terribly surprised Jerry had shot well.

    "With so many thousands of shooters, it's pretty neat," she said. "But if he gets hot, he can bust them one after the other for quite a while."

    Her husband, she said, had only gotten back into clay target shooting in the last few years, but he's won some non-registered shoots.

    Jerry said his old gun usually does draw some attention, "especially from the old-timers. They usually gather around. They think it's pretty neat."

    The Model 97, as it's often called, was designed by John M. Browning as an improvement over the Winchester Model 1893.

    Built to handle smokeless powder shells, the gun succeeded so well that many consider it the first widely accepted and truly successful pump-action shotgun.

    Winchester made more than a million of the 1897s from 1897 to 1957, according to the Winchester Arms Collectors Association's Web site.

    The gun came in several variations, including a short-barreled military version that became known as "the trench sweeper" in World War I. Some Model 97s continued in U.S. military service into World War II.
  2. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    Best posting yet, Joe!

  3. jbmi

    jbmi Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    I had the privilege of shooting with Jerry on Thursdays Handicap. We were both on the 22 and he shot a 93 with the old girl. He did have the forcing cones lengthened along with the other things mentions. It has an English stock on it with no pistol grip at all. First thing I noticed when he squaded with me was his gun as my very first shot gun in the mid 50's was also a Model 97. We both laughed about the ability of that gun to take the skin off the top of you thumb every time you pumped it. He's a great guy and I loved shooting with him.
  4. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Now that's class!

    Awhile ago, we had a poster on this site considering using his 97 for trap - well here is proof that it can work out pretty well.
  5. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Northeastern MD @ the top o the Bay
    NOW THAT is COOL!!!!
  6. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    I hope he shoots doubles with it as well!

  7. over the hill

    over the hill Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    Oops....The price of 97s just went up.

    The heck with those Topper guns.

    Shoot trap with a real hammer Gun.

  8. SARGE75X

    SARGE75X Member

    Apr 10, 2008
    Well done indeed.
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