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View Full Version : So I bought myself a Christmas gift today


Retired Bum
December 18, 2014, 14:17
There is a fairly new gun shop in town that I have been meaning to go to for a look around and today I did just that.

I saw the usual plastic pistols and Taurus revolvers and almost quit there. But there was one more display case to look at and my eyes almost popped out of my head. A S&W Model 1917 US Army .45 ACP military issue revolver with the correct issue holster. No price tag. It was on consignment.

So I gave it a very detailed inspection and I have to admit that this is the very best looking Model 1917 I have ever seen. Original polished blue finish in almost perfect condition. The correct smooth walnut grips. Perfect bore and chambers. The lanyard ring was there and and not a mark on it. All the numbers matched. Yes, I am well aware of the old saying "let the buyer beware" and if something looks too good to be true it probably is. But this revolver was cherry. It most definitely wasn't reblued or refinished. The holster was dated 1917 and was in poor condition. Obviously not original to the gun.

So with some trepidation I asked the price. $900 plus sales tax. I didn't quibble on the price. I JUST HAD TO HAVE THIS REVOLVER. So now it is sitting next to my monitor as I type these words. I think I did okay price wise but I will let others say yes or no on that.

I almost forgot. The serial number is #227XX which dates it to 1917.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

hagar
December 18, 2014, 14:32
Good score!

Guy-epic
December 18, 2014, 14:36
You did very well now they don't have a huge following as they are not the average S&W. The sights suck to be frank, but it was 1917! I love them and have been looking for a bit. To the right guy you could double your money IMO. I have seen lesser ones sell for $1700. So please pics or it didn't happen. Not that I doubt you I just want to drool on the screen. I have one I can buy for $650 that is basically a restorable or ready for custom as it's beat up.

W.E.G.
December 18, 2014, 15:51
Since the OP didn't post pics, I guess its down to me.

:worthless:

Guy-epic
December 18, 2014, 16:04
Since the OP didn't post pics, I guess its down to me.

:worthless:

Ouch harsh don't be so mean that he doesn't post pics for me to eyeball

FUUN063
December 18, 2014, 19:25
Nice! It sounds just about like the one I have had for a while now. Except mine is serial #1078XX.


Leland:biggrin:

Snakeshot
December 18, 2014, 20:28
Score!
One not as nice yours is on my long list.

justashooter
December 18, 2014, 22:16
Now that is a lot of fun waiting to happen, but it would be a shame to bugger up a pristine piece.

One of my favourite shootin' irons is a 1915 Canadian contract S&W that was converted from 455 to 45ACP after being surped between the wars, prolly by Bannermans. What'd I give fer her at public sale? $225 US dollars a half dozen years ago.

I like to think she was used to kill Huns and cowardly French men in the trenches of the Somme, and I call her Vera. She is a clone to yours excepting the checkering on the grips and the better machining and metallurgical quality of a pre-war gun, being made in quantity by Messrs Smith and Wesson for furriners until we needed them for our boys on Flanders Fields.

Agreed, the sights suck, but then if you recall, Elmer Keith had his 1917 fitted with partridge sights before killing 5 jack rabbits at 100 yards in a dead run with a single shot...

In any case, buy yerself up a bunch of steel full moon clips for serious use, a few of them newfangled plastic ones for fun times, and a decent clam shell shoulder holster, and be damned sure it's black horsehide.

357ross
December 18, 2014, 22:26
Well, if it's what you want and you have the means, then you did alright. Sadly, most folks would pass up this gem up in favor of a plastic fantastic, if for no other reason than it's old and not a magnum caliber.

Retired Bum
December 18, 2014, 22:34
This 1917 is going to be a safe queen. I have a Model 25-2 1955 .45 Target purchased new in 1979 and a Model 625-2 1988 .45 purchased new in 1989. These two go to the range from time to time and I shoot mostly my hand loaded .45 Auto Rim rounds. I have a decent supply of full moon clips if needed and every so often use them to shoot up odds and ends of .45 ACP ammo on hand.

I have this thing for .45 S&W revolvers. Got a Model 25-5 in .45 Colt with the four inch barrel. And one of the 5000 .455 Hand Ejector Mark One English Service aka the .455 Triplelock made in 1914. I have owned two other Model 1917's that were only in average condition and one of the 1937 Brazilian Contract revolvers that were imported back in the late 1980's. Now if I could only find a .455 Hand Ejector Mark Two that hasn't been bubba'd .....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

justashooter
December 18, 2014, 23:04
This 1917 is going to be a safe queen. I have a Model 25-2 1955 .45 Target purchased new in 1979
The Retired One

i have a 25-2 that has the "1955" marked barrel, a 1973 gun. it seems that the "1955" barrels were left over from actual type "1955" target guns and were the first batch used on the early 25-2 production runs (about 2500?). I shoot that gun with hot hand loads using 250 grain SWC stepping out at up to 1100 FPS with no ill effect. Blue dot burns clean at those kind of pressures. also fun for shots hells made up from cut off and fire formed 8X57 brass for about 1/2 oz of shot in front of 4.5 green dot.

Retired Bum
December 19, 2014, 05:10
Many years ago I recall reading an article written by Elmer Keith about converted Model 1917 revolvers. The cylinders were bored out to accept .45 Colt cases loaded with birdshot. The barrels were bored out to remove the rifling and some kind of choke was added to turn these conversions into shot revolvers. This was before the NFA 1934 became law and made these conversions illegal by labeling them short barreled shotguns. I wonder just how effective this conversion actually was.

At one time I owned a Thompson Contender with the ten inch barrel chambered for the .45 Colt/.410 gauge three inch shot shell. It had a screw in choke that actually worked. I used it to thin out the hordes of starlings in my neighborhood until my neighbors started complaining about the noise.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

Sagerider
December 19, 2014, 09:43
I would have jumped on that deal myself, nice score! I paid the same for a Heritage model from Smith and Wesson and it is my if I could afford only one revolver. It is so nice I want to protect it from ultraviolet radiation but shoot it I must.

VALMET
December 19, 2014, 11:33
Pics please!!

justashooter
December 19, 2014, 14:19
Many years ago I recall reading an article written by Elmer Keith about converted Model 1917 revolvers. The cylinders were bored out to accept .45 Colt cases loaded with birdshot. The barrels were bored out to remove the rifling and some kind of choke was added to turn these conversions into shot revolvers.

from about 1890 until 1940 you could get "four in one" shotshell ammo that worked in 38-40, 44-40, 44 special, and 45 colt(?). annie oakley used it in her wood block shooting demos, and others used it in glass ball shooting expositions. "foraging" shotshell loads for 45-70 made up half the issue in the 1870-1890 period of western military occupation. in any rifle twist gun you get a spiral pattern with shotshells.

Timber Wolf
December 19, 2014, 20:34
Many years ago I recall reading an article written by Elmer Keith about converted Model 1917 revolvers. The cylinders were bored out to accept .45 Colt cases loaded with birdshot. The barrels were bored out to remove the rifling and some kind of choke was added to turn these conversions into shot revolvers.
The Retired One

I actually saw one of these at a gun show in the early 1980's in Jacksonville FL. It was done up on a Colt 1917. I figured it was a one-off that the old gent selling it did. I did not ask much about it as I was busy buying his other unmolested Colt 1917. I later sold, then bought back that Colt. Glad I did (buy it back, that is) too! My S&W 1917 has sadly been gunsmithed. Somebody cut it down to 4" and welded on a front sight. Did a great job of it to make a 4" .45 ACP revo. I stupidly walked away from a fairly priced 4" 25 in .45 Colt a few years back on consignment at a LGS. Shouldhave bought that revolver.

Nomad, 2nd
December 20, 2014, 03:31
You did very well now they don't have a huge following as they are not the average S&W. The sights suck to be frank, but it was 1917! I love them and have been looking for a bit. To the right guy you could double your money IMO. I have seen lesser ones sell for $1700. So please pics or it didn't happen. Not that I doubt you I just want to drool on the screen. I have one I can buy for $650 that is basically a restorable or ready for custom as it's beat up.

WHO!?

I've got a NICE (one of the best I've seen) Colts (rearsonaled for WW2) I'd be HAPPY to sell for that! (fewer colts made IIRC)

Retired Bum
December 20, 2014, 17:51
I saw one rather scabby looking S&W M1917 on GB that the buyer wanted $1500 as the opening bid. Who knows, maybe he can get somebody to lay out that kind of scratch for it.

A pal of mine wanted to sell his mint Colt 1917 a couple of years ago. He wanted $1000 for it and it sold at that price on consignment. I never got into the Colt 1917's like I have the S&W's. Even in mint condition the Colts were never finished to the same level as the Smiths. At one time I owned a Colt M1909 chambered for the .45 Colt round. Nicely polished and blued as one would expect from an early 20th century Colt. I wish that I still had it....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

Bug Tussell
December 21, 2014, 08:33
I just tell folks it's a gift "To me, from me. I was a very good boy this year so I deserve it!"

Merry Christmas to you.