How Much is a Winchester Model 1897 and other World War Shotguns Worth?

Why Do Gun Owners Like Shotguns of the World Wars?

Shotguns utilized by soldiers during the World Wars occupy a unique place in the realm of firearms. These versatile firearms were employed for a variety of roles on the battlefield and continue to captivate collectors and enthusiasts today. World War I and World War II were pivotal moments in history, and the firearms used during these conflicts have left an indelible mark on the world of weaponry. Shotguns, though relatively limited in use compared to rifles and handguns, played vital roles in trench warfare, defense and special operations. Their historical significance as trench-clearing weapons and tools for close-quarters combat adds to their allure and value.

Shotguns used during the World Wars offer a direct connection to the battles, strategies and soldiers of that era. Owning one of these firearms provides a tangible link to the past, making them cherished collectibles for history enthusiasts. World War-era shotguns were valued for their versatility. Their ability to deliver close-range firepower made them suitable for trench warfare and conducting raiding missions. Their adaptability and aggressive design adds to their appeal among collectors.

How To Determine The Value Of My Shotgun?

Certain shotgun variants used during the World Wars are particularly valuable due to their unique features, limited production runs, and historical importance. Here are some of the most sought-after World War-era shotgun models:

  • Winchester Model 1897 Trench Gun (WWI) with its distinctive heat shield and bayonet lug, with its slam-fire action, was used extensively by American forces during WWI. Trench guns with original military configurations and markings are highly prized among collectors due to their historical importance and can fetch thousands when resold.
  • Winchester Model 12 (WWII) was another popular choice for the U.S. military during WWII. Shotguns with correct military markings and features like the “trench gun” variant or riot gun are particularly valuable.
  • Stevens 520 (WWII) A martial variant of a John Browning-designed sport gun, the 520 Trench Gun was originally developed in response to a World War I request for new fighting shotguns for the American Expeditionary Force. However, it did not make it into the field before the armistice was signed. Seeing the potential for the gun on the police market, Stevens kept production going to 1932, and at the outbreak of World War II, the U.S. government bought every 520 that was still in the warehouse. Ithaca Model 37 (WWII): The Ithaca Model 37 was used by U.S. forces in WWII and the Korean War. WWII-era trench guns are sought after by collectors due to their historical significance and distinctive design

As with any collectible firearm, the condition of World War-era shotguns significantly influences their value. Shotguns in excellent condition with original finishes, markings and components tend to command higher prices. Rarity, especially in the case of limited production runs or wartime variants, can also contribute to increased value. Shotguns with documented histories or associations with famous individuals, units or events from World War I or World War II can command a premium price. These shotguns offer a tangible connection to significant moments in history, enhancing their desirability among collectors. Their historical significance, adaptability on the battlefield and unique variants make them prized collectibles for both history enthusiasts and firearms aficionados.

While the value of World War-era shotguns can vary widely, specific variants in excellent condition tend to be the most valuable. Ultimately, these shotgun’s value are also influenced by market demand. As with any collectible, the perceived value of these shotguns can fluctuate over time. If it is in mint condition with little finish wear from handling, the gun can retain a good portion of its value. If more usage is apparent, the value will lower with each imperfection. The more scratches and faded finish that becomes present on the gun from handling and usage can greatly diminish its value. The takeaway is that as the condition of the firearm worsens, the less it will be worth when re-sold.

Sell Your World War Shotgun Now with Dunlap Gun Buyers

All we need to make an offer on firearms is a few pictures representative of the gun’s condition and a brief description of the specific make, model and caliber to give an accurate offer and fast cash for guns.

With Dunlap Gun Buyers, we cover shipping, transfer fees, insurance and all other associated costs buying from customers who use our service. We work hard to analyze market trends and provide fair and honest prices to our customers using our service. When we buy guns from customers, we help customers every step of the way by keeping constant communication and work hard to pay our customers in lightning speed to provide excellent customer service.

To see what we can offer on your shotgun, click here to get the process started