List of changes between 1893 and 1897 repeating shotguns.
Complements of Illapath RED
In June 1897, after about 34,000 shotguns Model 1893 had been made, the following changes were made. (Evidently, A and B versions referred to the 1893) Then the gun was called the Model 1897, the serial numbers of the guns continuing.
1st. Top of cartridge ejecting opening in frame made straight.
2nd. Spring placed on inside of action handle encircling magazine.
3rd. Release pin and plunger (for action slide lock)
4th. New firing pin lock put in breech block.
5th. Friction spring put in under cartridge guide.
6th. Collar put inside of magazine to keep spring and follower from coming out.
7th. Screw put in receiver to hold magazine from turning.
8th. Receiver holding bolt made shorter.
9th. Buttstock made longer, drop changed, and outside shape changed slightly.
10th. Top of breech block made straight.
In February 1898, after about 47,000 shotguns had been made, some changes were made in the Model 1897. Then the gun was marked with the letter "C" over the serial number.
1st. A small wire was put into the receiver and connected to the action slide lock release pin, to hold it from coming out when the gun was taken apart.
2nd. Receiver made 11/2 (one and one half ) hundredths thicker on each side. This was thought best on account of the increased cuts on the inside.
3rd. Action slide lock spring changed.
In April 1898, after about 50,000 shotguns had been made (Model 1893 & 1897)some changes were made, and the model 1897 detachable barrel and magazine put on the market.
Additional changes were made. The first Model 1897's had no ejector spring. ( The ejector was a little block pinned to the receiver wall.)
"C" guns had ejector spring. I don't know if all "B" guns had rounded end magazine plugs. The end of the magazine plug was flat on "D" guns.
"E" guns had slightly deeper 5/16 wide grooves on the receiver ring.
Prior to "E" guns, cartridge stops were fastened with screws through the receiver sides and shells were difficult to release from the magazine. For unloading, most shooters worked them through the action. On E models, the cartridge stops fastened through the bottom of the action and providing buttons which could be pushed to retract the cartridge stops.
These are not all the changes. Madis stated that 37 major and 52 minor changes were made in the first 12 years of production of the Model 1897.
Other items that may be of some interest:
1. Standard shotgun stock was 13 3/4 (13 & three quarter) inches.
2. Frame altered to use 2 1/2 (2 and one half) inch shells
3. Brush gun was made available November 1897 to 1931. It had shorter stock with more drop and 26 inch barrel.
4. Standard gun was made with rolled steel barrels, full choke standard. Cylinder or modified choke on special order.
5. Standard barrel length 30 or 32 inch. 30 inch shipped if not specified.
6. Trap Gun 12 and 16 gauge (1897 to 1931). The gun had 30 inch rolled steel
barrel, select fancy walnut handmade stock. Straight checked grip with oil finish
and black diamonds in the grip, and checked rubber butt plate.
It was first listed at $47.
Trap Gun was engraved on the breech block and could be had with matted barrel.
Within certain limits, purchasers could specify stock dimensions.
7. Solid frame and takedown trap guns were made. After 1926 Trap Gun was not always engraved on the breech block.
8. Receivers on Trap, Tournament, Pigeon, Standard Trap, and Special Trap guns had matted groove.
Illapah Red (NEV)