Chambered only in 12 and 16 gauge, the basic Model 97 carried a price of $25 at its introduction. A dolled up version with engraving on the receiver, better wood and checkering would set the well-heeled back a C-note 118 years ago. Barrel lengths ran from 20 to 30 inches, but custom lengths as long as 36 inches could be special ordered. Eight grades were offered: standard 12 or 16 gauge with a 28” or 30” barrel; a trap grade with the same chambering and barrel but better wood was offered from 1897 through 1931; a Pigeon grade that was the same as the trap but with an engraved receiver was offered until 1939; a Tournament grade was made with better wood and a matte finish along the top of the receiver and barrel until 1931; a Brush and Brush Takedown version featured a 26” barrel and a shorter magazine until 1931; and Riot and Trench versions were offered with a 20” barrel from 1917 through 1945. The Trench version differed from the Riot in that it had a heat shield, bayonet lug and sling swivels. An original Trench gun fetches some heavy coin today—as much as $3,500 for one in pristine condition.
211 BC: I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Gnaeus Fulvius Centumalus Maximus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a denarius in any one day.
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