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How to identify a stripped win reciever

mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
edited June 2017 in Ask the Experts
I was digging through my project gun pile and parts bin whilst doing my latest combat shotgun conversion...

*** from comparisons with photos and diagrams my opinion is that I have an early model 37 steel built ***

I have a stripped reciever - polished and finished but not blued (Bright stainless steel finish)

It's (I feel strongly) a single shot breakopen shotgun receiver (it would break open via a lever on the top of the reciever (i presume push right to break open)

It's hammerless (ie the hammer is not visible or exposed or external) (it should be an internal concealed hammer mechanism)

I think it's a 12 gauge based on the ring wear mark on the surface the firing pin passes through (It could be a 20 gauge - would depend on how thick the bbl walls are were they meet the reciever when the action is closed)

I assume the correct term is large frame???

It's a winchester - on the top of the receiver forward of were the visible round part of the break open lever enters the reciever (at 11 o'clock) is the proof mark - the oval with the superimposed W and P inside

Also on the top of the receiver centered just forward of the top tang is what looks like a lower case letter "o" (slightly forward of the 1st hole in the top tang / the forward most hole)

On the underside of the bottom tang towards the rear - at the rear most portion of the bottom tang is "IZ" or possibly "I2"

All proof marks are strong and crisp - no buffing or polishing wear at all - the reciever is strong and clean - zero rust or pitting or dents or dings or wear of any type

How does one ascertain make and model???

How does one establish a history when no serial number is present - how do you date it???

I have probably 20 single shot break open shotguns and this is the nicest - best made - highest quality reciever of the bunch...

I would like to bring it back to life...

So knowing what it is would allow me to start gathering parts

How do I know what the bbl length was - one I know the model I wonder whether a longer vent rib trap style bbl is available...

Being a winchester indicates that numrich will have parts if I knew the model...

What say you?



  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,320 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Winchester Model 37 has an internal striker with an exposed cocking lever that LOOKS like a hammer on the assembled gun.

    Just because the blue has been polished off does not make it "stainless steel". Keep it oiled while you tinker.

    Be careful scrounging parts, there are the Model 37A and Model 370 that are NOT the same design.

    I never saw a Model 37 with vent rib barrel, it was an inexpensive farmer or kid's gun.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You stand a better chance if you post good pic's along with something for scale.

    Gun Digest or similar books, look threw them at the library.

    Click on each model Numrich that has a schematic, compare.
  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I am positive that it's a winchester model 37

    I feel pretty certain that it's a steel built variant

    I see how - were the external hammer mounts now that I have done some research...

    There does not appear to be much value in this - and turning it back into a working gun probably costs way to much even if I am careful and frugal in buying parts.

    It's a shame - it appears to be very well made and in perfect condition.

    Any thoughts???

  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,320 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Your only hope would be to find a complete but beat up or neglected 37 to harvest parts from. Buying a gun a piece at a time is expensive.
  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes - I agree.

    I may keep an eye out for parts and pick up a piece here and there if the price is right.

    Finishing - bluing or case hardening the reciever would seem to be the biggest expense - unless I cerakote it and make it a teaching gun or a girls 1st gun...

    I suspect that even with frugal care what I put into it will be more than its worth when complete.

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