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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 16ga 1897 that I purchased about 15 years ago. The barrel is around 22 or so inches, so it was shortened at some point in its life. I can measure it when I get home tonight.

I purchased another barrel which I thought was the correct length but when I measured it, it came up around 1 inch short. I guess someone didn’t want the full choke. The second barrel has the barrel extension so I was thinking it could have it fitted so both barrels could be used.

How much has the value dropped with the original barrel shortened? I ask because I had considered having it blued. I know some people will yell at me for this.

Does anyone know if I need to have the chamber lengthened to shoot 2 3/4 inch shells? I asked a gunsmith up the street and he didn’t give a very good answer.Does anyone know if the extraction port needs opened to allow for the shells? The gunsmith was talking about that also.

If it’s going to decrease its value by doing any more modifications I just might put it back in the safe for another 15 years. This is my only gun that’s not a shooter and I just don’t know if it’s worth having around if I can’t use it.
Thank you,
Tim
 

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Are you sure it is a short chamber? If it is, then you would be looking at opening up the ejection port also. I would suggest you check the choke in the 2nd barrel to see what's left if it is in fact shortened. Is the muzzle end crowned? As to your original question, The value w/ a short barrel is not going to be lessened much by rebluing it. As I recall, the barrels on a 97 aren't serial numbered so you could put the 27" barrel in the receiver extension that currently houses the 22" barrel. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the 27" barrel is full or close to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure if the chamber is shorter,I was told that it was when I purchased it.

I will bring it by the smith this weekend and have him look at it.

Tim
 

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In 16 gauge you could have the 2 9/16" chamber which use to be a common length for that shell. That measurement is the fired length of the shell and you can measure this without even taking the gun apart. A simple 1/4" metal tape measure will provide enough accuracy to get a measurement from the start of the forcing cone to the end of the chamber. If you come up with a short chamber you might want to have it reamed out. (not expensive.) Also, a lot of guys just shoot the modern 2 3/4" round in unmodified chambers. I wouldn't say this is a good thing but evidently it doesn't result in a gun blow up.

Unless your 97 is some special grade or in like new condition, I would't worry about the collector value that might be lost with a refinish. These really are 'working' guns that should be enjoyed by using and not just looking at.
 
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