Joined: 17 Nov 2005
Location: NW Florida
I have located a 16ga M97 with 2 5/8in chambers. Can 2.75 in shells be fired in this gun? I know some of the short chambered pump/auto guns will not eject properly using the longer shells. What about the M97? Thanks, Bob
The model 97 16 ga had 2 9/16 chambers until 1931. It is not good idea to shoot the longer 2 3/4 inch shells in the shorter chambers because they will not open up like they should and this could increase pressures. The gun itself will feed and eject the 2 3/4 inch shells just fine. All you have to do is make connection with a gunsmith who has a 2 3/4 inch 16 ga chamber reamer. Some people take that opportunity to do some work on the forcing cones at the same time. Since many of these old 97s were made with full chokes to pattern old roll cimp fiber wad shells it is also a good time to open up the choke some since new plastic wad star crimp shells usually pattern much tighter. I have had screw in chokes put in a couple of old 97 16 ga along with the chamber and forcing cone modifications. I am very happy with the results, 97 16 ga shotguns are very hot properties with the cowboy shooters.
I have located a 16ga M97 with 2 5/8in chambers. Can 2.75 in shells be fired in this gun?
This topic has been discussed at legnth at www.gunshop.com. The major issue is the pressure of the load; older guns with short chambers may not be up to handling SAAMI spec loads. I wouldn't fire factory 2¾ loads thru an older gun like that, but I would feel comfortable firing handloaded 2¾ inch loads, keeping the pressure under 9000 psi or so, assuming the gun is in good mechanical condition. Someone had the bright idea of measuring chamber pressures when firing 2¾ inch loads in 2½ inch chambers (12 gauge). No dangerous pressure spikes were observed; the chamber pressures sometimes increased a few hundred psi. Consider this: if you have the chamber legnthened, you're removing metal from an area where pressures are highest, making the barrel weaker.
Depending on how much you are planning on shooting the gun it may just be easiest to purchase 2 1/2 inch shotshells. I have been using the Gamebores with good results. The are available from Ballistic Products. Eley also sells short 16's. If you are not going to shoot the old gun but once or twice a year a flat will last you a long time.
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