UPDATED: 19 January 2012
This firearm is now approved for SASS Wild Bunch Competition
Thinking back on what could have
possibly caused certain members of the Wild Bunch to overrule the approval of
the M-93/97 by the Territorial Governors, brings to mind the origin
of the M-93/97. Back when AWA was in
business, Cap was commissioned by the President of AWA to build two prototype
M-93/97 shotguns for review by the Wild Bunch while at Winter Range 2004.
To avoid a possible conflict of
interest, the decision was made to use two
Winchester M-97 frames, instead of a Norinco and
modify them to look like an M-93. This was done, except for the addition
of much stronger Chinese M-97 internal parts (including the barrels on both of
those AWA prototypes).
At Winter Range, one member of the Wild
Bunch asked Cap if the gun would be safe to shoot and Cap answered, YES because the production models would be built much stronger than any previous
Nobody needs a liability !
The real problem of the Winchester AWA
Prototypes was the very large size of the loading port, which actually weakened
the frame even more than a standard M-97 and thus the Wild Bunch suggested to us
to not build (THAT) shotgun. Which we did
not do - we did not build it like they saw it.
We took their suggestion to heart, by
looking at the SASS rules in place at the time, then building a new shotgun that
would not break down and would not get us into a lawsuit and was a NEW gun to sell and a good reason for SASS members to buy a new gun, go out and shoot it at a SASS match and renew their SASS membership for another year. It WAS a good idea.
The reason we did not build it like the
Wild Bunch saw it at Winter Range 2004, was because of the extra large opening
of the top (stuck shell extraction) port. Because that port was MUCH larger than
the original Winchester M-93, this prototype could actually be loaded through
the larger port opening and thus would be faster at reloading during SASS
competitions. So, we scrubbed the idea and closed the port opening down to where
the gun could NOT be effectively loaded through the stuck shell extraction port.
Range, AWA failed to make payment on those two prototypes, so a call was placed
to I.A.C. to see if they had an interest in building a new shotgun for
SASS. The answer from I.A.C. was YES.
Later that spring, a
call was made to Coyote Calhoun at Mule Camp when we were donating two new
shotguns to the match and in that conversation, the remark was made that Winter
Range prototype being so much faster than any M-97, but we failed to also mention that the
shotgun was not going to be built in the same configuration by AWA, and that
I.A.C. was going to build a much better and stronger gun.
Substantially better and stronger would be an
I.A.C. and Coyote Cap Gunworks know the
SASS rules, and thus, this newest shotgun is extremely overbuilt to become the
strongest and safest gun we have ever produced for SASS.
In the process of re-engineering the new
shotgun, the frame of the M-93/97 is .125 thicker than the Winchester M-97 and
as such, the size of the loading port is substantially smaller than the AWA
prototypes and measure, metal to metal almost exactly the same size as the
The proof of this statement can clearly
be seen in the photos in the bottom right corner of page #68 in the article
written about this gun in the December 2007 issue of Guns of the Old West.
Look at the tops of the frames on all
three guns and the center gun has a much thicker and thus, much stronger outer
The new "Coyote Cap Special
Edition" M-93/97wcse-18 is so much stronger and so far advanced over the
Winchester M-93 and the M-97, that to compare them would be wrong.
We knew the SASS rules when this gun was
built. Why else would we bring an already approved M-87 to the SASS convention,
to ASK the Territorial Governors to approve of a small screw addition to the
outside of the frame of the M-87 in an attempt to level the playing field from a
left handed shooter having a decided advantage over a right handed shooter - -
IF we did not add that little screw.
As I said, we knew the SASS rules and we
played by them.
Because I.A.C. and Coyote Cap Gunworks
have a track record of building safe and reliable shotguns, the Wild Bunch decision to not allow our new gun into SASS Sanctioned matches,
came as a complete surprise and we were not prepared for this.
The fact is: the new M-93/97 is
over 99% (highly upgraded) M-97 parts and only looks like an M-93 from the top.
So, what is it anyway ? Is it an M-93 (no), is it an M-97 (yes) ! (it
is an M-97) !!!
We deliberately stamped M-93/97 on the barrel and slide, so as NOT TO MISREPRESENT WHAT THE GUN REALLY IS !
Maybe what should have been done, was to
name the gun a Model 98 or 99 or 100, anything but a 93/97. The
truth is, the very first "Coyote Cap Special Edition" prototype of this shotgun,
(with a serial number built in 2004), had the
designation on the barrel as M-97/93 - - -
- - - NOT M-93/97, that, in itself is another
I think what really happened over the decision to not allow our new gun into SASS sanctioned competitions was, some
of the Wild Bunch only remembered the First AWA Prototype (which was a modified
Winchester) and they assumed the new gun would be the same as the AWA they saw
in 2004 - - - which turned out NOT to be the case at all.
I also think they forgot about our track
record of building safe guns, but also donating those same guns to help SASS to
They put a ban on the M-93, but only
allow the M-97 (or clones), but they failed to see all of the Winchester 97's
and even some of the 97 clones (not a Coyote Cap or I.A.C) are unreliable and
downright, unsafe, and can fire without pulling the trigger.
Now that enough of the M-93/97 shotguns
are out in the field proving themselves, to be the outstanding shotguns that
they are, now is the time for the Wild Bunch to
revisit this issue and make a statement to explain the ruling that banned the
M-93 (and the Marlin), but approved the M-97 (or clone of an M-97).
There is no need to reverse a decision
on the M-93 and Marlin shotguns, but a clarification of the M-93/97 issue would
be the right thing to do - - - and also the Cowboy Way.
++++++++++end of update ++++++++++
This new shotgun was ordered a long time ago, as a new shotgun for SASS
consumption and after overwhelming approval by straw vote of the SASS Territorial
Governors at the 2005 SASS convention, he gun was given a thumbs down by SASS
There was an ASSUMPTION, that the loading port was much larger on this
newest M-93/97, than an M-97 and that the gun could thus be loaded faster. This has been proven to
not be the case at all.
The truth is that the actual loading port of
an original M-93 is much smaller than
an M-97. The port opening of an original M-93 (metal to metal) is measured at 3"
long by 3/4" wide,
while the M-97 and M-93/97 is measured at 3"x 1" (once again, metal to metal).
The open top of the original M-93 was used for
ejecting stuck hulls off the extractors and out the open top.
into-the-top, is extremely difficult and most often the rims get caught on the
exposed extractors causing lost time in re-loading and without LOTS and LOTS of practice, this method of loading (over
the top of an M-93) has proven to
be a much slower method and no faster than loading an M-97.
History records show, there are no A-model,
or B-model, M-97's. Only C's,
D's and E models.
There is also some misinformation about the original
model 93 (as John Browning designed it) being an unsafe shotgun. This is absolute nonsense, as John Browning designed the original M-93
with a solid shell flag system and
then Winchester engineers thought they could improve on his designs, and thus,
from serial number "0" and on up to about "890", the M-93
models worked perfectly because these had a solid
shell flag system and Winchester hadn't tried to improve the gun yet. (actually
screw up a good design).
Winchester changed all that, and that is when the
problems started and the M-93 became the M-97.
The M-93 (as Browning designed it), is and was a
very safe gun to fire. It's only two problems being the M-93 had no ejector,
(only a carrier stop block) and if you didn't pull the slid back hard enough,
there was not enough momentum for the shell to overcome the solid carrier shell flag and
because of this, spent (paper) hulls were getting stuck on the extractors and not being able to come out of the breech cleanly.
The thicker frame and open top design of the
original M-93, allowed a shooter to push a stuck hull off the extractors and out
the open top, by simple pushing upwards on the spent hull at the rear. But to
try and re-load the gun this way, would cause the rims of the shells to get
stuck on the extractors.
After Winchester got in a lawsuit for patent infringement,
they decided to change the look of the M-93 by changing the name to an M-97 and
closing out the open top, thinning the frame material (bad
idea, as this weaken the frame considerably) and making the old M-93
look like a brand new gun. (which it wasn't)!
Unfortunately, they did not change the patent dates
to include a brand new gun, nor did they start production of the re-named M-97
with serial number 000001. They continued the serial numbers where they left off
with the M-93, at serial number 32,334 (M-93) and 32,335 (M-97).
The M-97 is the same gun, only the name was changed.
Check the patent dates on any M-97, then check the patent dates on any M-93 (and
there you have it, proof of the continuation that this is the same gun and thus
the very reason why we designated the new shotgun as the M-93/97, because that
is what it is).
To make matters worse for the original M-93,
Winchester engineers decided to grind off the (working), solid shell flag that
Browning designed and replace the solid shell flag with a movable shell flag
that was operated by a screw on the right side of the frame, just above the
The results were that the spent hulls ejected
marginally better, but the shell flag system proved totally unreliable, often
failing completely and allowing a live round to pitch sideways allowing the
right extractor to puncture the primer as the action was closed, causing an
out-of-battery discharge and sometimes blowing the gun up, splitting the frame
because the metallurgy of the era, was nowhere near as good as the M-93/97.
These problems never existed when Browning originally
designed the M-93.
Also, in making a name change, Winchester engineers
once again went against the design of John Browning and they REMOVED
A SAFETY DEVICE, that being the REBOUNDING
What happened by this colossal mistake, and
Winchester not correcting the blunder, was history of that change proved the
M-97 to be a "Widowmaker" shotgun. When Winchester engineers installed a heavier, FREE
FLOATING FIRING PIN, the gun became the killer that
it is. All IAC shotguns enjoy an
improved John Browning "safety" rebounding firing pin, this includes the new
We can certainly understand the reasons for the Wild
Bunch placing a SASS Sanctioned competition ban on the Winchester M-93 (because of the faulty shell flag system and the dangerous
floating firing pin), but not our M-93/97. It was designed to get rid of all the
The free floating Winchester
M-97 firing pin can discharge the round
in the chamber with the shotgun hammer in the safe position. If the shotgun is
loaded with a live round in the chamber and the hammer in the 1/2 cocked
"safe" position, and the shotgun set down on the buttstock sharply
enough that inertia causes the heavy floating firing pin
to fly upwards, thus it could hit the
primer and fire the round in the chamber.
What caused the name "killer" (or
Widowmaker) to be associated more with the Winchester 97, than the Marlin was,
because hunters using the M-97 or the early Marlin, did not come home from a hunting trip, and of
course the wife (now a widow), would ask for help in finding the husband.
For years and years, accident investigators, over and over would find the
hunter with 1/2 his face blown away, or a full shotgun blast to the chest from very
close range, caused by a Winchester M-97 that accidentally went off, killing the
hunter. They found the shotgun discharged with the hammer still on
The problem with the free floating firing pin is so
bad, that every M-97 built, should be altered to include the light weight,
spring loaded, rebounding firing
pin design of John Browning.
THIS IS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE M-93 AND HOW IT WAS
RENAMED THE M-97 ! Winchester built over a long period of time
what should have been called an M-93/97. Because that is exactly what it is.
OUR NEW GUN - - THE M-93/97
This new shotgun is deliberately
re-designed, with the same care and attention that went into the new M-87 lever
The plan was to build a shotgun, with all the
improvements of the first Norinco and later IAC M-97's, but with the added
nostalgia and period correct design of the original John Browning designed M-93.
The new M-93/97 goes back to everything that worked
and worked safely, but with new inventions and a lot of modern updates and
materials. A prototype was sent to be pressure tested and it passed with flying
colors at well over 37,000 lbs. This is due to the heavier and thicker frame and
modern steel used for construction and the "superstrong" barrels.
This shotgun was re-designed for SASS Cowboy Action
Shooting, and was destined to become the safest, strongest and most reliable
pump shotgun to ever exist in SASS.
Unfortunately, there was an agenda to slow down the
arms race within SASS, and thus this new shotgun (the M-93/97) was mistakenly
thought to be a clone of an M-93, when in fact, it is an (updated) M-97 that
happens to only resemble an M-93.
Comments were made that the new M-93/97 shotgun was
just a "gamer" gun and therefore could be loaded faster than a 97. The
problem is that this statement is a fabrication, because the gun wasn't tested
to prove it could not be loaded faster.
Had this same train of thought on the M-93/97 occurred with the
M-87 lever action shotguns, there would never have been any new M-87's to be
built. That is why the M-87 was approved. People actually
took the time and made the effort to investigate if the shotgun was first off,
safe, and second, was it reasonably period correct.
This same thought process went into the building of
Several Territorial Governors at the SASS
Convention, told IAC of the
overwhelming approval of the new M-93/97 by straw vote. When IAC heard this, a
fax was sent to China to start production of the new M-93/97 the day after the SASS
The goal was to build 6,000 of them. Our
understanding from IAC is that 2,600 were built before word was sent to them
about a SASS (Wild Bunch), disapproval of the new shotgun.
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH ALL THESE M-93/97
We have no choice whatsoever - - we have to sell
them to the general public, and let the shotguns prove themselves to be exactly
as has been stated all along - - with the exception of a huge amount of
investment money is now lost.
Some are going to Western Three Gun (W3G), as the
organizers have stated in writing that they will take whatever new shotguns we
produce, based upon our past record of building safe shotguns. The same can now
be said about NCOWS accepting our new M-93/97's into competition.
We can only hope the owners of SASS will realize the
value of these new shotguns and clarify their decision.
THAT IS THE COWBOY WAY !
"Coyote Cap" SASS life 14184 and Founders Ranch Platinum Member