Come meet the Winchester 1897 Trench Gun

crosscreekcooter

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Winchester Model 1897
The Winchester Model 1897, also known as the Model 97, M97, or Trench Gun, is a pump-action shotgun with an external hammer and tube magazine manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The Model 1897 was an evolution of the Winchester Model 1893 designed by John Browning.
Issued to US troops during WW1, this beauty was also known as a Trench Broom; probably the only thing more effective would be a sackful of grenades. The Germans issued a formal complaint against it's use.

1 1/2 hour long video, well worth the time spent, the dude only says uh once.
 

Swamp Donkey

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Yeah, I need one of these. A fake would do. A model 12 might scratch the same itch though.
 
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cover2

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This is my kind of pornography. I’d love to run across one of these in decent shape. The last one I saw had been refinished. Made me sick.
 

AlexDaGator

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They had rules back in the day. I suspect the complaints were debated in Switzerland or something like that.

One rule prohibited serrated bayonets.

Pretty sure the .50 cal round was only to be used against material. Because of its size, it was considered inhumane to be used against troops.

I think there was a rule against poison gas so in WWI so the first gas the Germans used was chlorine which was technically a blistering agent and not poison or something like that.

There were very strict rules governing submarine warfare. Early in the war, you had to surface, give the merchantman an opportunity to surrender, let the crew get on their lifeboats, and only then sink the ship with your deck gun. That didn't last very long and "unrestricted" submarine warfare was one of the main drivers bringing the US into the war.

As for the shotgun...

My recollection is that the Germans announced that any soldier caught with one of those was to be summarily executed for war crimes. Of course, they are the ones who introduced the flamethrower so...



Alex.
 

crosscreekcooter

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They had rules back in the day. I suspect the complaints were debated in Switzerland or something like that.

One rule prohibited serrated bayonets.

Pretty sure the .50 cal round was only to be used against material. Because of its size, it was considered inhumane to be used against troops.

I think there was a rule against poison gas so in WWI so the first gas the Germans used was chlorine which was technically a blistering agent and not poison or something like that.

There were very strict rules governing submarine warfare. Early in the war, you had to surface, give the merchantman an opportunity to surrender, let the crew get on their lifeboats, and only then sink the ship with your deck gun. That didn't last very long and "unrestricted" submarine warfare was one of the main drivers bringing the US into the war.

As for the shotgun...

My recollection is that the Germans announced that any soldier caught with one of those was to be summarily executed for war crimes. Of course, they are the ones who introduced the flamethrower so...



Alex.

They were also pretty good at the use of mustard gas

The 1918 German Protest

On 19 September 1918, the Government of Switzerland, representing German interests in the United States, presented to the U.S. Secretary of State a cablegram received by the Swiss Foreign Office containing the following diplomatic protest by the Government of Germany:

“The German Government protests against the use of shotguns by the American Army and calls attention to the fact that according to the law of war (Kriegsrecht) every [U.S.] prisoner [of war] found to have in his possession such guns or ammunition belonging thereto forfeits his life.

This protest is based upon article 23(e) of the Hague convention [sic] respecting the laws and customs of war on land. Reply by cable is required before October 1, 1918.”

The German protest was precipitated in part by the capture in the Baccarat Sector (Lorraine) of France, on 21 July 1918, of a U.S. soldier from the 307th Infantry Regiment, 154th Infantry Brigade, 77th Division, AEF, who was armed with a 12-gauge Winchester Model 97 repeating trench (shot) gun, and a second, similarly-armed AEF soldier from the 6th Infantry Regiment, 10th Infantry Brigade, 5th Division, on 11 September 1918 in the Villers-en-Haye Sector. Each presumably possessed issue ammunition, which was the Winchester "Repeater" shell, containing nine No. 00 buckshot.

The German protest was forwarded by the Department of State to the War Department, which sought the advice of The Judge Advocate General of the Army. Brigadier General Samuel T. Ansell, Acting Judge Advocate General, responded by lengthy memorandum dated 26 September 1918. Addressing the German protest, General Ansell stated:

“Article 23(e) simply calls for comparison between the injury or suffering caused and the necessities of warfare. It is legitimate to kill the enemy and as many of them, and as quickly, as possible . . . . It is to be condemned only when it wounds, or does not kill immediately, in such a way as to produce suffering that has no reasonable relation to the killing or placing the man out of action for an effective period.

The shotgun, although an ancient weapon, finds its class or analogy, as to purpose and effect, in many modern weapons. The dispersion of the shotgun [pellets] . . . is adapted to the necessary purpose of putting out of action more than one of the charging enemy with each shot of the gun; and in this respect it is exactly analogous to shrapnel shell discharging a multitude of small [fragments] or a machine gun discharging a spray of . . . bullets.

The diameter of the bullet is scarcely greater than that of a rifle or machine gun. The weight of it is very much less. And, in both size and weight, it is less than the . . . [fragments] of a shrapnel shell . . . . Obviously a pellet the size of a .32-caliber bullet, weighing only enough to be effective at short ranges, does not exceed the limit necessary for putting a man immediately hors de combat.

The only instances even where a shotgun projectile causes more injury to any one enemy soldier than would a hit by a rifle bullet are instances where the enemy soldier has approached so close to the shooter that he is struck by more than one of the nine . . . [No. 00 buckshot projectiles] contained in the cartridge. This, like the effect of the dispersing of . . . [fragments] from a shrapnel shell, is permissible either in behalf of greater effectiveness or as an unavoidable incident of the use of small scattering projectiles for the necessary purpose of increasing [the] likelihood of killing a number of enemies.

General Ansell concluded his memorandum with the statement that "The protest is without legal merit."

Acting Secretary of War Benedict Crowell endorsed General Ansell’s memorandum of law and forwarded it to the Secretary of State that same day. Secretary of State Robert Lansing provided the following reply to the Government of Germany two days later:

”[T]he . . . provision of the Hague convention, cited in the protest, does not . . . forbid the use of this . . . weapon . . . . n view of the history of the shotgun as a weapon of warfare, and in view of the well-known effects of its present use, and in the light of a comparison of it with other weapons approved in warfare, the shotgun . . . cannot be the subject of legitimate or reasonable protest.

“The Government of the United States notes the threat of the German Government to execute every prisoner of war found to have in his possession shotguns or shotgun ammunition. Inasmuch as the weapon is lawful and may be rightfully used, its use will not be abandoned by the American Army . . .

f the German Government should carry out its threat in a single instance, it will be the right and duty of the . . . United States to make such reprisals as will best protect the American forces, and notice is hereby given of the intention of the . . . United States to make such reprisals.”

World War I ended six weeks later, without reply by Germany to the United States response. There is no record of any subsequent capture by German forces of any U.S. soldier or marine armed with a shotgun or possessing shotgun ammunition, or of Germany carrying out its threat against the U.S. soldiers it captured earlier.

The position of the United States as to the legality of shotguns remains unchanged from that stated in the opinion of Brigadier General Ansell and the Secretary of State’s 28 September 1918 reply to the government of Germany.

Source: OCTOBER 1997 THE ARMY LAWYER • DA-PAM 27-50-299 16
W. Hays Parks, Special Assistant for Law of War Matters. Office of The Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
 

Gator By Marriage

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They had rules back in the day. I suspect the complaints were debated in Switzerland or something like that.

One rule prohibited serrated bayonets.

Pretty sure the .50 cal round was only to be used against material. Because of its size, it was considered inhumane to be used against troops.

I think there was a rule against poison gas so in WWI so the first gas the Germans used was chlorine which was technically a blistering agent and not poison or something like that.

There were very strict rules governing submarine warfare. Early in the war, you had to surface, give the merchantman an opportunity to surrender, let the crew get on their lifeboats, and only then sink the ship with your deck gun. That didn't last very long and "unrestricted" submarine warfare was one of the main drivers bringing the US into the war.

As for the shotgun...

My recollection is that the Germans announced that any soldier caught with one of those was to be summarily executed for war crimes. Of course, they are the ones who introduced the flamethrower so...



Alex.
By the time any US soldier/marine was using that weapon against the Germans they had as you mentioned already started unrestricted submarine warfare, introduced flame throwers and used poison gas, so I find their whining amusing. (BTW - Germans may have been the first to use a flamethrower in modern warfare, but flame throwing as a weapon goes back to the ancient Greeks.) I'm not a chemist by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought mustard gas was a blistering agent whereas chlorine was a poison gas if inhaled.
 

AlexDaGator

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By the time any US soldier/marine was using that weapon against the Germans they had as you mentioned already started unrestricted submarine warfare, introduced flame throwers and used poison gas, so I find their whining amusing. (BTW - Germans may have been the first to use a flamethrower in modern warfare, but flame throwing as a weapon goes back to the ancient Greeks.) I'm not a chemist by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought mustard gas was a blistering agent whereas chlorine was a poison gas if inhaled.

My memory isn't what it used to be. There was some kind of restriction on poison gas. I think both sides used tear gas (without effect) early in the war WAIT. I think I remember now. My bad. I'm starting to recall that the prohibition was against poison gas SHELLS so the first German large-scale use of chlorine gas involved seeping the gas out of long tubes on a day with a prevailing wind at their back. Of course it didn't take long for poison gas shells to be introduced by both sides, and for phosgene and mustard gas to be added to the repertoire. Genie was out of the bottle so to speak.

Alex.
 

Swamp Donkey

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Of course, they are the ones who introduced the flamethrower so...
All was good until someone shot your pressurized fuel tank.

Can't imagine why people didn't volunteer for that.

It makes walking around with a live RPG grenade seem sane.
 

Gator By Marriage

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All was good until someone shot your pressurized fuel tank.

Can't imagine why people didn't volunteer for that.

It makes walking around with a live RPG grenade seem sane.
You gotta admit, the flame throwing tanks were pretty cool. I remember seeing a picture of a flame throwing Sherman being used on Okinawa to burn the Japanese out of their caves. And in Vietnam they mounted them on the River Patrol Boats. Working in concert with the boats with water cannons it was apparently pretty effective. (Affectionately known as “Irma La Douce” and “Zippo the lighter.”)
 

Detroitgator

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You gotta admit, the flame throwing tanks were pretty cool. I remember seeing a picture of a flame throwing Sherman being used on Okinawa to burn the Japanese out of their caves. And in Vietnam they mounted them on the River Patrol Boats. Working in concert with the boats with water cannons it was apparently pretty effective. (Affectionately known as “Irma La Douce” and “Zippo the lighter.”)
M113's (M132 designation)were also mounted with them in Vietnam, also called Zippos.
6b77c4ee82946b3ec07f4e59d1924178.jpg
 

Swamp Donkey

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Mehhh.... I dont care whether you are on the range w former squirrel or bird hunters, military even special ops, cops that carry shotguns and have fired thousands of rounds, you will have tenfold or tensfold more malfunctions with a shotgun than any other platform.

Sure it's "simple", but when an instructor puts you under stress, has you moving, firing with a sweaty or bloody hand and you will be surprised how many times just pumping the gun becomes something which cannot be reliably done. Short strokes and other issues are COMMON.

Not to mention it cannot be operated effectively with one hand and combat/self defense sometimes requires that.
 
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Detroitgator

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Mehhh.... I dont care whether you are on the range w former squirrel or bird hunters, military even special ops, cops that carry shotguns and have fired thousands of rounds or not, you will have tens of fold more malfunctions with a shotgun than any other platform.

Sure it's "simple", but when we put you under stress, have you moving, firing with a sweaty or blood hand and you will be surprised how many time just pumping the gun becomes something which cannot be reliably done.
Yup..This is why I've stayed out of all the "pump vs semi -auto" debates. I don't own a single pump action.
 

crosscreekcooter

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Pretty sure the intent of this particular video was to disprove some of the blanket assertions made by another videographer (excessive penetration). In conclusion he did say shotguns are not for everyone. Besides, blood and sweat is for pussies and 60s rock bands with brass sections.
 

Swamp Donkey

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Besides, blood and sweat is for pussies and 60s rock bands with brass sections.

1z6q7l.gif


it's funny you say that. it's not real common for people to train even with just one hand, when a good percentage of combat or self-defense shooting requires that, or with hands that are slick from blood or sweat. many people don't realize their handgun controls are not going to work well under those situations.
 

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