How rare are solid rib M17s? Saw my first just a bit ago and I liked it. Didn't seem to add alot of weight.
I'm sure the percent of Model 17s ordered with the option of a solid rib is an unknowable number. How many people would spring for an $8 option on a $48 gun in the 1920s and 30s?
My father railed against two things in American shotgunnery, Winchester Model 24s and bottom dumper pump guns. For over 70 years I heeded him, but a couple of years ago a Model 17A "Standard" Grade with a 28-inch solid rib improved cylinder barrel for $200 out the door at my local pawn shop couldn't be resisted. The stock had been cut and a piece added back and a recoil pad.
Fits me well and has been a lot of fun for $200. My gun weighs a fraction of an ounce under six pounds.