Exposed Hammer Pump Guns... - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Default Exposed Hammer Pump Guns...

Hi All,
Are there exposed hammer pump guns that are considered "best"?

As a kid, had learned on what I believe was a Marlin 1897 (?) model and have always preferred the exposed hammer.

Wondering what models were considered best, and if there's anything currently being manufactured with exposed hammers.

For whatever reasons, I just prefer being able to see and use the exposed hammer.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 11:29 PM
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I also like hammer guns. I had an old Marlin for years. It was reportedly stronger than the 97 Winchester (and much simpler in design). I now have two 97 Winchesters. The action is a lot more intricate, but I have never had any problems with them. The one thing I'll say about the Marlins is I've never seen one that wasn't worn out. My Winchesters aren't. I would propose that the Marlins were more a working man's gun, hence they're worn out.

Oh, China makes a copy of the 97 Winchester. Never have handled one so I can't speak to quality.

Last edited by gene_225; 11-25-2018 at 11:31 PM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gene_225 View Post
I also like hammer guns. I had an old Marlin for years. It was reportedly stronger than the 97 Winchester (and much simpler in design). I now have two 97 Winchesters. The action is a lot more intricate, but I have never had any problems with them. The one thing I'll say about the Marlins is I've never seen one that wasn't worn out. My Winchesters aren't. I would propose that the Marlins were more a working man's gun, hence they're worn out.

Oh, China makes a copy of the 97 Winchester. Never have handled one so I can't speak to quality.
The one I learned on was getting close to worn out.

There was a family photo of it from the early 1900's with a pile of birds it had taken. Was literally "grandad's gun".

Always liked where the slide release was on and the square slide/bolt.

Have never seen one since though. Undoubtedly my father still has it.

I'm going to guess that it's like the Winchester 94 vs. Marlin 36 thing... Marlin was a simpler design.

'97 Winchesters look like a good choice.

I never have understood the point of manufacturers going to enclosed hammers.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 08:18 AM
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I own a Winchester 97 12 ga. It feeds everything even the 1 & 1/2Ē shells. Itís a tad heavy for me now days. But I donít believe Iíll ever sell it. Even though I mostly shoot doubles anymore.

Byron

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 08:49 AM
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As a youngster in the late nineteen-fifties I traded into a near new '97 Winchester take down 12 gauge. I had traded in an old 12 gauge exposed hammer side by side with which I had never missed a pheasant. With my new '97 I never hit a pheasant. It was a full choke, as most were, where my old double had been cylinder bore and thus the '97 gave me much less margin for error in pointing. I didn't understand that at the time but only knew I couldn't hit anything with it so I traded it for a Savage B 16 gauge side by side with which I did only slightly better.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 10:17 AM
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The winchesters and marlins are all i've seen.
Winchester had an 1893 and 1897. The '97 was a redesign for smokeless ammunition. It is the better model to have. The '97 was made all the way to about 1940, with over a million made.
Marlin did a number of models in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s. They stopped by sometime in the 1920s.
Iirc, all the marlins were takedowns, while winchester made takedowns and non-takedowns.
Having been inside both, I don't think one is particularly stronger than the other. The marlin might edge out the winchester, but not by much. The marlin is a much simpler design.
Parts are more common for the winchester.

However, it should be noted that as the marlin wears, there can be an issue where it will fire without the breech bolt being locked closed. If you have one, or get one, it should be checked by someone familiar with these guns to be sure it's safe.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 10:35 AM
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I've shot a Winchester12 gauge 1897 for years, and it's a good strongly designed gun. I've never owned a Marlin exposed hammer pump, but I do remember that SASS banned them from competition for alleged safety problems.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotejoe View Post
As a youngster in the late nineteen-fifties I traded into a near new '97 Winchester take down 12 gauge. I had traded in an old 12 gauge exposed hammer side by side with which I had never missed a pheasant. With my new '97 I never hit a pheasant. It was a full choke, as most were, where my old double had been cylinder bore and thus the '97 gave me much less margin for error in pointing. I didn't understand that at the time but only knew I couldn't hit anything with it so I traded it for a Savage B 16 gauge side by side with which I did only slightly better.
I actually had better luck with full choke than cylinder or modified.

I found that I had more time to get on the clay with the extra range the full choke gave me.

Can't say about game as I've never taken a game with a shotgun. Have always been more of a handgunner in all reality.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jschance View Post
I've shot a Winchester12 gauge 1897 for years, and it's a good strongly designed gun. I've never owned a Marlin exposed hammer pump, but I do remember that SASS banned them from competition for alleged safety problems.
What issues did they have?

This photo seems to be similar to the one I remember. Apparently an 1898 model.

https://picturearchive.gunauction.co...thumbnail0.jpg
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 01:03 AM
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On mine, you had to work all shells through the action to empty the magazine. I quit hunting with mine when a shell went off (pointed straight up) as we were all clearing our guns. Never shot it again. Borrowed my dad's 97 Winchester and later bought my own solid frame.
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