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Old 09-01-2020, 09:47 AM
delta-419 delta-419 is offline
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Red face Winchester 1897 Slam Fire

I know this is not a S&W question but, the knowledge of this forum is limitless. The old 12ga shotgun tends to slam fire when fired rapidely, what do I check out: frozen firing pin, springs, etc. Appreciate your help.
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:05 AM
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You do know that if you hold the trigger back on them while working the slide to reload, they will slam fire when the slide goes forward. As they would say,,,that model does that!
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:08 AM
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The old '97 has no disconnector, so if you don't remove your finger completely from the trigger before shucking it, it will slam fire.

The old-timers knew this well, and valued that feature for self-defense, combat and crowd control. Hold the trigger back and fire damn near as fast as a semiauto. It's awesome in close quarters room clearing... and for trenches. Our doughboys in WWI used '97 trench guns for cleaning out trenches to such good effect that the Germans wanted shotguns banned as inhumane - they wanted to execute anyone using one, but that protocol was stifled when the allies said they'd execute any German caught doing that in retaliation.

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Old 09-01-2020, 10:39 AM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Yes, the Winchester 97, the 12 and the older Ithaca 37 pumps will all slam fire, iffn' you hold the trigger back while you pump. If you ain't holding the trigger back, check the sear. The June American Rifleman has a good parts break down.
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:28 PM
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Thumbs up Slam-fire

I killed a ton of Mallards with my Model 97 and my Model 12 Winchesters thanks to that wonderful "slam-fire" feature. Winchester Model 12 Slam Fire - YouTube

Last edited by metrotps; 09-01-2020 at 04:58 PM. Reason: link added
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:39 PM
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Every 97 I have worked on has had at least 50 years of crud in the action. Some of this crud could easily be keeping the trigger from resetting in the sear notch properly. Give it a detail strip and cleaning.
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:54 PM
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Long ago in Kokomo,
My Buddy Carl slam fired a Luger into his living room floor.
Right between his feet and mine.
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:09 PM
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I think the key question here is whether you are intending to do it (holding back the trigger while cycling the action) or if it is doing it with your finger off the trigger. If the latter a good degreasing/crud removal and re-oiling may solve the problem.
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:37 PM
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Default It's not just shotguns.....

To address the OP, my long lost (stolen) Winchester '97 never gave me any issues with slam firing, but two Chinese Norinco replicas did. THis is why they are so liked by CAS shooters.

The first one had another fault. If you held onto the foregrip while firing the action would lock up, but if you opened your fingers and just rested the foregrip on your palm after cocking the action it worked fine.

The current one I own will slam fire unless I remove my trigger finger entirely from inside the trigger guard. It had fireed less than 100 rounds when I got it. I purchased it from the estate of a deceased CAS shooter and I discovered this after I got it home, while totally unloaded fortunately. I will have to get it looked at before i even test fire it.

And just to add something to the mix, if you bend the sear leaf on a 1911 sear spring too far to lighten the trigger you can experince slam fires when manually working the slide. It happened to me once on my Brazillian Springfield when I bent the spring "on advice" while dropping the slide from slide lock on a new magazine. Fortunatly it was on a range with the pistol pointed in a safe direction. I also managed to duplicate it releasing the slide by hand. (I fixed it by replacing the entire sear spring with a new spare I ahd and throwing the bent one away. Con't be too careful). Since then I have learnt how to work on a 1911 action safely, under the guidance of a very experienced 1911 gunsmith.

Moral of the story, unless you know what you are doing do not mess with the internals on any firearm.
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
Yes, the Winchester 97, the 12 and the older Ithaca 37 pumps will all slam fire, iffn' you hold the trigger back while you pump. If you ain't holding the trigger back, check the sear. The June American Rifleman has a good parts break down.
You nailed it!
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:51 PM
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All the 'slam fire' stuff aside,,the 97 does have a 'firing pin lock' inside the bolt.
That may be the problem if you are not unintentionally doing the above and not realizing it.

When the bolt is closed and locked,,the firing pin lock is disengaged and allows the firing pin to move back and forth so the blow of the hammer can fire the cartridge.
When the bolt is first unlocked by action of the op-rod, the firing pin lock first allows the firing pin to retract by power of the coil firing pin spring.
Then that 'firing pin lock' engages the firing pin and holds it in a retracted position all the way through the bolt cycling.
This so the firing pin cannot protrude from the bolt face as the bolt is closing and fire a round (slam fire) w/o pulling the trigger.
(This would be a true 'Slam Fire')

That firing pin lock can become worn. It can become rusted in place and not work as it's intended to do.
There are two styles: Old style powered by a small flat spring. New style slightly different shape and powered by a simple small coil spring.

If the Firing Pin Lock is the culprit, then the firing pin itself could also be involved in the problem.
It too may be stalled in place with dirt, old oil, rust, crud, it's coil return spring damaged and not doing it's job.
Some or all of this can lead to the firing pin staying in the forward position after firing and not being retracted by it's spring. Then the Firing Pin Lock if it doesn't do it's job leaves the firing pin hanging out the front of the bolt.
With enough resistance to fail to retreat into the bolt as the bolt is closed on a loaded round you can experience a 'Slam Fire' of the true kind.

You need to remove the bolt from the gun to get at it and the firing pin.

The type of slam fire mentioned in the other posts is just the trigger mechanism design. There is a disconnector in the action. In this case it's the carrier and it's relation to the hammer.
The hammer w/o a disconnecting action would just follow the bolt down as the action is closed.
Same on the M12,42, ect.
Each of these uses a slightly different design, like the M12 uses the bolt lock arm. As the bolt closes, the bolt lock arm drops out of the locked position. That allows the hammer to drop from the dissconnect position to the cocked position as it normally does.
But since the trigger is pulled and the sear is down,,the hammer continues ahead and fires the now locked gun.
But they all insure that the action is closed and locked before the cocked hammer is released and drops to fire the gun.

Even the little M61 .22 pump gun will operate the same way.
Hold the trigger back and pump away. You can scatter .22's all over the landscape. Good bunker clearing tool for those woodchucks.
It's just a simple design that's all.
No magic,
It's actually a simple trigger mechanism from a closed bolt full auto system.

When Browning went to make the Repro Winchester M12 and M42 shotguns in the 80's(?),,the lawyers made sure they included an interupting 'sear'.
So the trigger must be released and then pulled again before each shot. No 'ata-matic' pump guns no more.
I think the Ohio made Ithaca 37's are that way also.
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Old 09-01-2020, 06:20 PM
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Dad had two Winchesters, an 1897 and a 1906. Both will slam fire.

I have the 1906 now, since it was the first gun I ever fired. However, it possibly could have become the reason why I was never born. Dad took Mom shooting when they were dating. She fired the .22, pumped it, and put a round right between Dad's feet. A few feet higher, and......
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