S&W 1917 45 ACP

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Wineman posted this 03 March 2024

I just picked up a S&W M1917 in 45 ACP. The condition is fair to good. Still some blue on the side plates, case hardening looks good, barrel is rusty "patina". correct grips with a small chip missing (no SN#) and the lanyard is still present. It is very tight and the barrel and cylinders are nice and clean with a bit of rust in the forcing cone. It has the cylinder ledge for the 45 ACP. Unfortunately (always a but...) The US Property mark, S&W Patent Mark, model and SN# on the butt are gone. However, it has numerous British Proof marks including the "not English make" stamp just under the cylinder on the right side. The "quality" of the scrubbing is pretty nice, however John Dillinger would not have approved of the the SN# is still being present on the barrel, cylinder and star. A later production date in 1918. In my youth I had its Colt sister which was beautiful but ran poorly. Hopefully this ugly duckling will be the opposite. Would the Brits have done the scrubbing or did someone on this side of the pond do it? It needs a range day so stay tuned.

Dave

 

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oscarflytyer posted this 04 March 2024

Mine is an M1917 Brazil contract.  5 digit serial/dates 1918 - but historical records indicate it was leftover WWI/1918 guns/parts 'found' and used to fulfill part of the second Brazilian contract of 1946 (current era all had 6 digit serials).  Brazilian crest.  Ugly on the outside/lots of scales.  Had to get a set of new correct replacement grips and replaced the missing lanyard.  But it is very tight and shoots lights out.  For what I gave for it//have in it, I am beyond thrilled!  

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RicinYakima posted this 04 March 2024

Having played with at least of dozen of these, I would guess that it is a late WW1 production, put in storage, and sent to England in 1940 under lend / lease. In order to reimport them in the 1950's, the butt was scrubbed. The "Not English Made" and required to be reproofed were done in 1940. 

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Wilderness posted this 04 March 2024

Australian military ended up with some of these as well, possibly via U.K. An uncle was in the Australian 2/2 Machine Guns (Vickers Guns) in North Aftrica, New Guinea, and Borneo. They had the .45 revolvers in North Aftrica. At that stage .45 ammo was pretty scarce, to the point that wasting it was a Court Martial offence.

As an aside, MG ammo was by contrast plentiful - the allocation for a machine gun pit was 40,000 rounds.

Another S&W I saw that came back from New Guinea was marked U.S.Property, but I don't recall any U.K. markings.

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Tom Acheson posted this 04 March 2024

A bit off track but my favorite revolver in my S&W Model 25-2. I use 45 Auto Rim rounds but with the moon clips, it can digest 45 ACP rounds.

I only mention it because this gun traces its lineage back to the 1917 45 ACP revolvers. Fun guns!

Tom

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Wineman posted this 05 March 2024

Thank you for all the nice comments. Ric, from what I had found on line, that explanation seemed to be the most plausible. I need to review the FS for some loading info. There seems to be an internet thread that claims the shallow rifling will not shot cast or at least it needs to be hard cast stuff. Others say the M1911 and the M1917's have identical lands and grooves so a well fitted load, not running too fast should work fine. I still need to get the cylinder throat and barrel measurements (and shoot it). A set of Moon Clips is also something to get too.

Dave C

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Ed Harris posted this 05 March 2024

My experience with several of these is that cylinder throats are typically .455-.456 and shoot well with soft .454 bullets and mild loads assembled with 4.0-4.5 grains of Bullseye or TiteGroup, 5 grains of 231 or 5.5-6 grains of Unique with 230 grain bullets similar to Saeco #954 or the RCBS 45-230CM. No need to run over 800 fps, approximating factory .45 Auto Rim load.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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oscarflytyer posted this 05 March 2024

Mine shoots well with the BE load Ed mentions.  Even shoots my MP HG #68 clone well (same BE load).  I would also recommend EZ Moon clips for range work.  I love them over the metal clips.  Much easier to work with.  Can load/unload by hand/no tool required.

https://www.ezmoonclip.com/

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RustyZipper posted this 05 March 2024

I use a mooner/demooner with steel moonclips they work fine. My 1917 was a Brazilian contract. It came to my buddy with heavy scaly rust and pits. He reblued it with a heavy black, maybe oxpho. But the pits' removal would have left it with little metal. The inner workings were good. He did a trigger job and slicked it up. Shoots well. Be Well Brothers, RZ.

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Wineman posted this 06 March 2024

Ed, thanks for the load tips I will definitely try the Alliant loads out. There is a D/A only revolver match at a somewhat local range. You need 18 shots: a full cylinder and two speed/moon clip reloads for each of six stages. There are guys with some really high tech tools to load and unload the moon clips and also something as simple as a cut down golf club (38 sp). It is pretty fun to run the course (different plate set up and shot patterns on cowboy steel). No time limit (fastest and lowest score are usually the same person). Misses are 10 sec. Most use some form of 38 sp, 38 short colt, 9 mm (all lead and all "60's cop" speed). Every other month they do a Big Bore (40 and above) D/A and a 1911 match. I'm looking forward to bringing this to a BB match. I'll check out the EZ clips. With my K38 I just use HKS #10A speed loaders

Dave

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Ed Harris posted this 08 March 2024

I recently picked up 1915 2nd Model Hand Ejector .455 which between wars sent to Canada and was Factory Through Repair and rechambered to .45 Colt for WW2 service

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 08 March 2024

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Wineman posted this 08 March 2024

Wow, and I thought mine had a lot of proof markings.

Thanks for sharing Ed.

Dave C

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9.3X62AL posted this 18 May 2024

Mt experience with the 45 ACP/AR revolver series has been entirely with modern variants, 2 in number--a 1979-era S&W Model 25-2 and more recently a 2020-made Model 625-?......the variant that came with the hideous off-white/pink/baby blue Castro District grip set.  Once home, a set of Hogue neoprene grips were installed and remain in place.  

I don't strain my 625.  It gets a diet of castings from 200-250 grains and I am happy to let all of the diameter do the talking.  The recoil is docile and the accuracy is stellar.  

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Ed Harris posted this 18 May 2024

The .45 Colt rechamber did not degrade point of impact or accuracy with .455 and velocity loss firing in the longer chambers is minimal.

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 19 May 2024

I was told that Lend-Lease Sherman tanks furnished to the Brits as well as to Russia came furnished with four M1917 revolvers with holsters and web gear, two M1A1 Thompson SMGs, a dozen stick mags in web gear, 48 half-moon clips and 6000 rounds of .45 ACP ammo, all crated and stacked in the turret.

The Brits made full use of the .45 guns and ammo whereas the Ruskies removed stored it. Later they passed the guns and ammo to the ChiComs to shoot back at us in Korea and Vietnam.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Wineman posted this 23 May 2024

Ed,

Thanks for the info. I did get to put two cylinders full through it (no clips though) It fired at steel and went bang each time. I'm not sure if it was me or something else, the POI seemed to jump a bit. The range was closing and I was in a hurry so I can not really say what was up.

This is a great website and this is only one page. This guy loves his Sherman tanks and sounds like he will back everything up. You don't make 36,000 of a bad tank regardless of what some may think. It had its flaws but probably no more than any other tank of the period. We also had Tank Destroyers so there is a method to the US Army use of each type.

https://www.theshermantank.com/tank-accessories/the-small-arms-of-the-us-army-tanker-what-they-were-issued-and-what-they-carried/

I'll keep you posted as to more shooting.

Dave

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MP1886 posted this 23 May 2024

Ed,

Thanks for the info. I did get to put two cylinders full through it (no clips though) It fired at steel and went bang each time. I'm not sure if it was me or something else, the POI seemed to jump a bit. The range was closing and I was in a hurry so I can not really say what was up.

This is a great website and this is only one page. This guy loves his Sherman tanks and sounds like he will back everything up. You don't make 36,000 of a bad tank regardless of what some may think. It had its flaws but probably no more than any other tank of the period. We also had Tank Destroyers so there is a method to the US Army use of each type.

https://www.theshermantank.com/tank-accessories/the-small-arms-of-the-us-army-tanker-what-they-were-issued-and-what-they-carried/

I'll keep you posted as to more shooting.

Dave

 

Dave the Sherman tank wasn't nearly as bad as they say it was.  It was also NOT a Ronson Lighter.  Later on when they made the Jumbo Sherman it was quite a tank. I like things like tanks and the military planes of the two big wars.  I also got the whole truth about the Tiger tank and it was indeed quite impressive.  I think a lot of bad things we heard about it was American bias. 

 

To stay on topic I have a Colt New Service in 45 Colt. It is a impressive revolver. 

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9.3X62AL posted this 23 May 2024

The concept of a 45 ACP revolver started as a wartime expedient, and darned it it hasn't been in almost constant production ever since--107 years and counting.  Gotta be reasons.  

The 45 caliber sidearm works--the Moro berserkers we encountered during our dalliance with Spain speak eloquently of end results.  

I am hoping that Colt produces Anaconda variants in 45 Colt.  A 4"-barreled example would suit me right to the ground.  

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MP1886 posted this 23 May 2024

The concept of a 45 ACP revolver started as a wartime expedient, and darned it it hasn't been in almost constant production ever since--107 years and counting.  Gotta be reasons.  

The 45 caliber sidearm works--the Moro berserkers we encountered during our dalliance with Spain speak eloquently of end results.  

I am hoping that Colt produces Anaconda variants in 45 Colt.  A 4"-barreled example would suit me right to the ground.  

 

On most other forums they are hankering for Colt to make a 41 magnum on something, generally the New Python, but it is in many people's opinion even the New Python isn't strong enough for it. 

I'd like to see Colt revamp their single action line.  A nice addition would be an upgraded New Frontier and to keep the purist among us keep the old classic Colt single action except make it much better as far as better tolerances and fitting. 

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9.3X62AL posted this 5 weeks ago

If the 41 Mag was to appear on the Python platform, a 5-shot cylinder a la the L-frame S&W in 44 Mag might work all right.  

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Bud Hyett posted this 5 weeks ago

There are more fishing lures to catch fishermen than to catch fish. When bass fishing farm ponds in the Midwest, I ended up using only the  three successful lures out of the many in my tacklebox. The Rapala, a red and white deep diving lure, and a plastic worm seemed to work best. The hooks on the others just rusted. 

The same way with revolvers and calibers. There are a plethora of calibers duplicating ballistics. Gun writers tell you that you are not current without the latest: a new caliber, a new revolver model, the new barrel length, new sights, etc. Shooting the old calibers; .38 Special (1898), .45 Colt (1873), .44 Special (1907), and .22 Long Rifle (1887) are plenty for me. Occasionally the .357 Magnum (1935) and .44 Magnum (1956) just because I own them. .45 ACP (1905), .380 ACP (1908), and .22 Long Rifle (1887) for the semi-auto crowd. 

Maybe my Scottish Frugality Gene overrides my desire for the latest.

To stay on topic, my favorite revolver to shoot is a New Service .45 Colt, 7 1/2 barrel, 6.5 grains Unique with either the H&G 200 grain semi-wadcutter or the SAECO 954, sized .452. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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Tom Acheson posted this 5 weeks ago

Speaking of fish lures...

Up here in Minnesota, I really had good success using a Johnson Silver Spoon with green/white pork rind on it. Large mouth bass really liked that bait in the 1970's. 

Tom

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