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Dazed and Confused
March 13, 2016, 18:32
A friend has a Smith and Wesson M1917 double action 45 ACP revolver in decent shape... Given the photos below what price range as a buyer would it be worth offering for it.

We all want good deals but this is a friend of the family and I really like it and wouldn't mind going a little on the high side to get it.

http://i.imgur.com/gbCI3Yl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/cPPWyyl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/DzBcytN.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/SW6OeXi.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/GqdP1NP.jpg

mpnv
March 13, 2016, 19:47
A fair price, would be whatever they are bringing in at auction. Sign up on Gunbroker. Once your on, you can look at the ended auctions.

Bawana jim
March 13, 2016, 20:15
Hard to say without holding it in my hands but in my area about $650 if I really wanted it. Realize if you are buying it to shoot that smith doesn't sell parts for these so if it breaks you are on your own. However they are fine guns and most people can't afford enough ammo to wear them out.

Dazed and Confused
March 13, 2016, 20:16
I'm on Gunbroker but can't figure out how to view completed auctions.
I see some on there now that will probably go for $300-$400 and a couple in the $1k range. Most auctions starting at $500 and above have no bidders.

Also, Gunbroker isn't representative of local private party values.

Dazed and Confused
March 13, 2016, 20:20
Jim,
Agreed, they are incredibly stout firearms and unless terribly abused should never break.

Am I gonna shoot it? Well duh!

BUFF
March 13, 2016, 20:53
I would pay $750 for it and feel good, a bit more if it had the original stocks. The stocks were numbered to the guns and on the original 1917's, were smooth walnut and smaller than the Magnas it has now. If it had the original grips in the same shape as the rest of the gun apparently is, (can't see bore or chambers) it would sell for closer to $1,000.

On these guns, there are big jumps in value for small increases in condition and originality.

K. Funk
March 13, 2016, 21:19
If the finish is original, I would go $550, maybe $600 based on the grips not being original. If it is a re-blue, I would go more like $400.00. A Colt 1917 just sold locally for $1200, but it was all original and the finish was 95%+, not to mention that the Colt is a bit of a different animal.

krf

BUFF
March 13, 2016, 22:11
Yes on K. Funk's reblue comments. My guess is for original blue. Nice original 1917's have gone up a lot in the last 2 or 3 years.

Dazed and Confused
March 13, 2016, 22:14
K.Funk,
How to tell if reblued? Notice the roll stamped lettering has been filled with white paint at some time in the past. Don't think that's original... I already mentioned to the owner that the grips aren't original too.

Tomorrow I'll get a chance to see it up close and personal and then make him an offer.

Dazed and Confused
March 13, 2016, 22:26
Oh, and no moon clips come with it. Not that it's a show stopper, just nice to have.

BUFF
March 13, 2016, 22:28
Usual clues for a reblue on S&W revolvers include the sideplate fit on the right side, the edges that form the seam get rounded when being buffed for reblue. Hammers, triggers and ejector ratchet or star should not be blued. Yes, the paint or whatever in the rollmarks isn't original but will scrub out easily.

Dazed and Confused
March 13, 2016, 23:29
Thanks Buff.

BUFF
March 14, 2016, 02:54
I love these guns. Right now I am down to a beautiful commercially sold gun from shipped in 1930 and one sold to Brazil in 1937 that, like most of the Brazilian 1917/1937 guns, is a bit scratched by being just tossed into crates for their return trip to the U.S. Both are great to shoot. I like the S&W 1917 better than Colt's 1917, which would serve gunplumber well as a cudgel.

Also got the 1950 Military descendent, called the Model 22 when S&W went to model numbers in 1957. Mine is like new in the box, shipped in 1952, same age as me then..

I have owned a couple U.S. military 1917's, but none real nice. I've got the cash on hand for when I find one.

Get us a photo of the right side of the gun.

Bawana jim
March 14, 2016, 11:58
Jim,
Agreed, they are incredibly stout firearms and unless terribly abused should never break.

Am I gonna shoot it? Well duh!

I have a 1917 and the grips are the original, I am not thinking yours are original in that picture so that is why I gave the price I did. Original grips would bring $200 more. I love those guns and if you are like me you will find it to be the perfect package.

BUFF
March 14, 2016, 16:09
I shoot my Brazilian a lot. Good shooter, right to the POA with standard ball at 25 yards.

The .45 ACP is not a high pressure round and S&W's metallurgy and engineering was state-of-the-art in 1917. It takes a lot of shooting to wear one of these out, and fubaring to break something.

Retired Bum
March 14, 2016, 17:20
Back in December 2014 I bought a S&W M1917 as a Christmas gift for myself. It has a serial number of 227XX and was made in the summer of 1917. It is original in every respect and I would rate it at 95 percent. Perfect bore and chambers. Just a faint turn line on the cylinder and the hammer and trigger still have a decent case hardened finish.

I paid $900 plus tax for it. I have seen Smith 1917's on the auction sites in visibly worse condition and the starting prices begins with $1000 and up.

I haven't shot it and I never will. I have a Model 25-2 and a 625-2 if I want to shoot a .45 ACP caliber revolver. But I use my handloaded .45 Auto Rim rounds instead of fooling around with those pesky full moon clips.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

BUFF
March 14, 2016, 19:54
The half moon clips, while the original, are relatively flimsy and bend easily. The full moons are much less likely to bend while loading and unloading rounds from them.

You can shoot the 1917 S&W (as well as most of the later S&W .45's) without moon clips. The cartridge headspaces on the case mouth, so the only difference is pushing the ejector rod won't push the empties out, you have to shake or pick them out. No big deal as, being a low pressure cartridge, the brass rarely sticks very much and a fingernail is usually plenty of leverage.

Dazed and Confused
March 14, 2016, 23:18
Well, got to look at it real close... Don't look reblued and it's not a high gloss either so I think it's original. The roll stamp lettering is gold not white? All The numbers match too. A light holster wear around the muzzle and top of rear sight and a couple light rough spots on the frame. Otherwise it looks real good.

Cleaned the barrel and cylinder, it's been sitting for a long time and not fired, and it's bright and shiny with crisp rifling.

He thought it was worth $500 so I gave him $550.

Here is a close up of the right side.
http://i.imgur.com/NsVVKpw.jpg


And next to it's younger cousin, the Model 10-8.
http://i.imgur.com/Sq4P3YA.jpg

How'd I do?

justashooter
March 14, 2016, 23:29
buff is right that most smiths can be expected to headspace on chamber step, whereas the 1917 colts do not have the step. plastic full moon clips are easiest to use for target and hobby shooting. steel full moons are the ticket for carry. I have a 1915 Canadian contract that had been 455 and was re-cut to 45 ACP. same gun, interchangeable parts. I have a dozen or so belt clips that hold full moon clips recently found in a junk box at auction.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/284503/california-competition-works-moon-clip-belt-holder-for-6-shot-full-moon-clips-white-nylon-center-steel-silver-pack-of-2

http://www.brownells.com/shooting-accessories/speedloaders-accessories/moonclips/s-w-revolver-rimz-speedloader-prod20526.aspx

Bawana jim
March 14, 2016, 23:39
You did good op, you didn't screw him and you got a great gun. If Ranch Products is still in business order moon clips from them, they make them for Smith &Wesson

BUFF
March 15, 2016, 00:14
You did just fine! The finish looks original as far as I can tell from your photos.

Colt 1917's missed the cylinder step for only the first few hundred guns, and the Army had them supply correct replacement cylinders with steps that they put in whenever a faulty one went through an aware armory that had the replacement cylinders available. Most got replaced.

Keep your ammo to standard pressures only. Lots of these got wrecked by hot handloads back when they were cheap fodder for experiments, and those days are certainly gone!

Retired Bum
March 15, 2016, 02:34
An engineer at S&W invented what would become known as the half moon clip. S&W obtained a patent for the clip. Legally Colt could not use the half moon clip due to the patent but S&W waived the patent due to the war.

I remember as a youngster seeing several paper wrapped columns of new half moon clips in an army/navy surplus store over 50 years ago. I think that each column consisted of 500 clips. They could be bought dirt cheap back then. Just a few dollars for 500 clips.

I have two original clips from that era and they are loaded with Rem-UMC rounds dated "17". They make a nice accessory to the Model 1917 I have. Now if only I could find an original lanyard that was used for the S&W and Colt M1917's.....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

nvcdl
March 15, 2016, 11:29
$550 was a good price for that one - the finish looked pretty good.

With original grips would probably go for 800-900 or more in an auction.

The rebuilds/re-blues are the real bargain - I picked one up for about $450 on gunbroker and it is a shooter - it was rebuilt with a new cylinder and a 1950 barrel at some point.

Make sure you get moon clips designed for the 1917 - I've found the ones designed for later smiths don't always work.

Dazed and Confused
March 15, 2016, 19:54
Thanks guys for all the advice and comments.
Now I just need to pick up some 45acp and try it out.

Bawana jim
March 15, 2016, 22:56
I shoot an easy target load that is very accurate in revolvers and autos in 45acp.200 grain lead SWC over 5.6 of 231 is very accurate and won't beat the gun up.

Retired Bum
March 16, 2016, 19:55
I load a home cast 200 grain LSWC over 4.4 grains of Bullseye in .45 Auto Rim cases for an easy shooting load. I also load a full power 230 grain RNL over 7.0 grains of Unique that chronographs 860 fps in the five inch 625-2. I used this load to make a one shot kill on a large feral dog that I crossed paths with one day while walking in the woods. Yes, there are better loads using JHP bullets but I put that 230 grain RNL through the mutt's head just above its eyes. It doesn't get any deadlier than that IMHO.....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

Timber Wolf
March 18, 2016, 21:26
These are neat old guns and make fun shooters. I have an unmolested Colt 1917 (that I sold, and later bought back). Also have a S&W 1917 that somebody "back in the day" did a very professional barrel cut-back to a handy 3 1/2". Whoever the gunsmith was he had real skills and did a terrific job on the front sight. I spotted it cheap ($150) at a pawn shop many years ago but did not buy it. Told the same friend I had sold the Colt to about it and he went and bought it. Many, many years later I would buy it and the Colt back from him. I like the full moon clips and have a bunch as I occasionally shoot USPSA Revolver Division with a S&W 25-2. Also have some of the "third" moons but don't remember ever actually using them.

Dazed and Confused
March 19, 2016, 23:12
Been looking to buy some 1/3 moon clips online but the shipping is equal or greater than the price of the clips!

Been shooting without clips and it works fine. The spent casings almost fall out on their own.

Was out back shooting today. My youngest son, who's 22 yo, really likes the M1917. Says the weight and heft helps keep it on target. He was doing pretty good with it too.

karambay
March 23, 2016, 12:52
I just paid $750 for one from a friend, great gun to shoot, I still need to look into some of it's details.

For moon clips, I ended up getting Wilson and Ranch products off Amazon. Shipping was easy with the other items I was getting anyway...

angusmac
March 24, 2016, 07:21
I shoot my Brazilian a lot. Good shooter, right to the POA with standard ball at 25 yards.

^^^^^^ This! Me as well. Great revolver even if it might be the roughest looking one in my humble pile.....

BUFF
May 20, 2016, 05:34
Dazed and Confused decided to chase after some other shiny bauble and agreed to sell the S&W 1917 to me. Shipped promptly, well packed inside a hard plastic, foam-lined gun case. He was robbed by FedEx's larcenous handgun shipping rates.

With gun in hand, I find it presents itself visually very well. Close inspection shows it isn't the original finish, but whoever did the refinish knew his craft and did a nice job.

It's got some action hang-ups, a very stiff notchy, catchy, heavy trigger pull that will need correction. Bore and chambers of the cylinder are very good shape. This may well end up being a great shooter.

D & C offered to refund my purchase and shipping to return it, in view of the refinish and the action work it will need, even though we never discussed return terms. I believe that shows he's an honest man.

I'm keeping it. I would trade with and buy from John again.

Bawana jim
May 20, 2016, 10:43
http://www.ranchproducts.com/

They make moon clips for S&W.

justashooter
May 22, 2016, 20:39
i put a Wondersight on my 1915 455/45ACP conversion and it was more than worth the $42 shipped. Totally reversible if you don't like it, and also fits K and L frame 4 screw guns.

http://www.hollowpointmold.com/wondersight/wondersight-contents-1_480.jpg

http://www.hollowpointmold.com/wondersight/

Retired Bum
May 22, 2016, 21:19
A four screw L frame??????

No such revolver was ever produced by S&W.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

justashooter
May 22, 2016, 23:21
A four screw L frame??????

No such revolver was ever produced by S&W.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

good point...but you could always drill and tap...just like you would on a colt.

BUFF
May 26, 2016, 03:53
"drill and tap... just like you would on a Colt."

I've had a Wondersight or two, and can't see a situation where I would drill and tap any quality gun to add one to it. If the fixed sights are so far off I can't use them, I'm selling or trading the gun.

Most 1917s, both Colt and S&W, generally shoot fairly close to POA with ball or approximate handloads unless they have been dicked with in the past 99 years. Which, of course, many have!

The one in this thread looks way too nice to Wondersight it.

Retired Bum
May 28, 2016, 15:43
A friend of a friend wanted to have a look at my Model 1917 S&W. So after ascertaining from my friend that his friend was a good guy I agreed. We met at my friend's home and I uncased the Smith.

The friend was clearly impressed with the immaculate condition of this 1917 and expressed an interest in purchasing it if it was for sale. I have no interest in selling it but I was curious as to how much he would offer. So I asked him to give me his top offer. He looked right at me and said $500. I just shook my head and put the 1917 back in the case after wiping it down. I told this guy that his offer was way too low. Crappy looking 1917's were selling on gun auction sites for $1200 and up.

I bought this 1917 back in Dec 2014 and paid $900 plus tax for it. I told him that given the 95 percent condition I would sell it for $2000 firm. Of course I wasn't serious about selling it. I just wanted to see his reaction. He wasn't any too happy but then what goes around comes around.

After this guy left I told my friend that I never wanted to see this goniff again.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

justashooter
May 28, 2016, 19:41
"drill and tap... just like you would on a Colt."

The one in this thread looks way too nice to Wondersight it.

agreed that a desireable collectible should not be modified. I have a few wondersights on pre model 10s that are in average condition, but were already 4 screw.