1897 Parts Diagram
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Winchester Model 1897
Take Down versus Solid Frame shotguns.

The more common of the two are the take-down versions.  These are easily taken apart so the the barrel and slide assembly are removed from the frame.  This makes them easier to pack into a short case.  These were considered more delux than the cheaper solid frame models which were not as easily dis-assembled. Many cowboys prefer the solid frame because it is slightly shorter and usually lighter.  But they are more rare.  They used to be cheaper, but have become more expensive of the two.

Below is a picture of a Solid Frame 97. 
Manufacture Dates
Look closely where the barrel connects to to the receiver. 
Also, look at the end of the Magazine.
Solid Frame above
(This is a C model, it has a screw in center of the receiver - instead of buttons to release the shells from the magazine.)

Take Down shown below - notice the extra collar at the back of the barrel
Solid Frame above

The Mag tube is attached with a collar secured by a screw.
Take Down below

Take Down shown below - notice the difference that includes the takedown pin.
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