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#223429 03/27/11 03:17 PM
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Sidelock
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Sidelock
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I just picked up a model 97 Winchester, made in 1906, with a damascus barrel. It has no pitting, the receiver and mag tube have only about 30% remaining finish. The damascus is "OK" but could use a little contrast. The stock, however, has been fiddled with and some schmuck whittled his initials in it. I'm thinking of restocking it and performing an accurate restoration on the rest, including the barrel. I can't seem to find much on what the potential value may become once done. Any opinions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Jim

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Damascus 97s are very scarce. A light restoration and stocking would benefit the gun if the stock is ruined. Is the stock a deluxe type with checkering and fancy wood? The Cody museum can provide documentation on some serial number ranges of 97. Yours might be worth documenting.

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What can I say. I love Damascus. What a lucky find to have a '97 in Damascus! I am jealous......

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They are rare. Restoration is fine, but the value will not increase enough to offset the cost of the restoration.
Is the stock ruined or does it just have the initials carved in it? If it's just the initials, I would leave it alone as part of the history of the gun.
I bought a 16 Ga. Model 12 a few weeks ago that had engraved on the left side of the receiver in block letters: "MIKE" over smaller block: XMAS-1928.


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Dang some people have all the luck. Due to the scarcity and condition you describe I would be awfully inclined to clean it up a bit. Rub the Barrel down with a product call Nu-Finish to bring out the contrast and protect them and call it a day. The initials are part of history but a period correct reproduction finished in a clear lacquer would be OK also.

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Restoration will cost me about $180. That's for the stock, forend, and metal butt plate. I'll fit the stock and plate, refinish the metal, and completely redo the damascus. So, above the $180, it's all sweat equity.
The old stock has been sanded down enough that the metal is proud of the wood. It's also had a pretty ugly job of a recoil pad install. Along with the initials. That's why I'm thinking new stock.

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Posting a picture would get you some opinions on whether redoing the metal would be a mistake or not.

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Jim,
I had one shotgun that somebody carved the initial D (for Duma$$ I suppose). This initial was about 3"-4" and appeared deep. I sanded it out using a block sander to take down the entire surface and not "cup" the wood in the area of the initial. It looked great when I was done and the only way you could tell was that the plastic buttplate had a thinner border around the edge on one side.
Steve


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I tried some pictures, but got too much glare to show anything accurately. I will probably try again when I have more time to set up. I f I get some good ones, I may need help posting them. In the meantime, believe me, most of the finish is gone on the receiver and mag tube.
Steve, the initials are carved into the wrist, which has already been sanded down to below metal level.

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A couple of years ago I had an L C Smith that had a date, name and town in South Dakota carved into the stock. 2 months ago I received a phone call from a woman that wanted to buy it as the person that carved it was her grandfather. Alas, I had already sold it.


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