The Winchester Model 1897, more commonly known as the Trench Gun, is a pump-action shotgun made around the turn of the 20th century.
The design for the shotgun was designed in 1897 by John Moses Browning. Sales of the weapon started in about 1898. It was first intended to be an improvement of another weapon that Winchester made, the Model 1893, to remedy many design flaws that the 1893 possessed.
Sales of the weapon were generally strong. Before World War I broke out, sales were strong. However, it was during and after WWI that really ramped up usage. It gained popularity by American Forces due to its strong performance in trench warfare, and its overall reliability in these close range situations. Interestingly, it was deemed "notorious" towards the Germans, and they protested against its usage in the war, marking the only such time that a group had protested against the use of a shotgun in war. However, the protest quickly ended, to no avail for the Germans.
After the war, sales took a spike up, most likely due to the good reception of the weapon back in WWI. The production of the shotgun continued until 1957.
The Model 1897 [most often] uses a 6 round tubular magazine; however, different grades of this weapon will offer different types. It must be noted that the 1897 is capable of "slamfiring", so users will have to take caution in order to not cause premature discharges. Most models will have the ability to fit a Bayonet underneath the barrel. The inclusion of the Bayonet would give users a convenient way to stab an enemy. The Model 1897 is fitted with a wooden stock.
The shotgun mainly uses 12-gauge shotgun shells; however, other variants will accept 16-gauge shells. 16-gauge models will often be 2" shorter than shotguns that support 12-gauge shells.
- The Trench Gun has often been depicted in Call of Duty as one of the available shotguns for use, along with Double-Barreled shotguns. It appears also in the remake of the first Resident evil game and Fistful of frags, a free-to-play multiplayer FPS in a western setting. It may seem strange for the players that a pump shotgun can appear in the arsenal of a Western game, but in reality the 1897 Winchester is an shotgun entirely appropriate to the period, its name indicating its manufacturing date. This sotgun appears also in many World War 2 games, often like a super weapon.
- The Trench Gun has an unintentional feature where it is able to slam fire, by pulling on the trigger and racking the pump back and forth. This is due to there being no trigger disconnector.