Smith and Wesson 1917 help
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Thread: Smith and Wesson 1917 help

  1. #1
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    Smith and Wesson 1917 help

    Hey guys! New member here. I really need help identifying this model 1917. I purchased it from a elderly neighbor a couple days ago. The serial number underneath the barrel and cylinder match. Both are in the 5,0xx range putting this revolver in the early 1917 year of production I believe. It has the correct “UNITED STATES PROPERTY “ underneath the barrel. Somethings that is curious to me is that on the butt of the revolver there aren’t any visible markings like on many 1917 revolvers. What has me wondering is that when I try to put a 45 acp round in the cylinder it simply falls through the cylinder and exits the front of the cylinder . I haven’t had the chance to go get half moon clips yet. Could this be because it’s a bigger caliber like 45 colt or maybe a .455 caliber pistol as we made them for the British in that caliber? Or do I simply just need half moon clips to solve this issue? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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    The factory serial number has been ground off the butt of the gun behind the hole for the missing lanyard swivel. I could have been reamed to fire .45 Colt rounds but I wouldn't do anything until it was checked by a gunsmith. The serial number issue opens a whole can of worms but as an heirloom collectable it's your decision on how to proceed. You obviously know the history of the gun.
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  5. #4
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    Thanks for the info and insight everyone. Very much appreciated!

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    From your description and from the photos, it appears the chambers have been reamed straight. I do not see a ledge on which the case mouth would rest. All S&W 1917s were chambered so a loose cartridge would properly seat in the chamber. It seems someone wanted something special. Not sure why, unless they were cutting 06 shells down and loading them with shot. Moon clip 3 or 6 together for a semi effective snake load.

    The missing numbers on the butt may have been done decades ago or they might have been done minutes ago. Either way, not a great thing. Not sure how to proceed there. I know what I would do but that is not what you asked.

    Sorry, but in it’s current condition it is neither collectible nor heirloom.

    I would suggest a good casting of the chambers to figure what the heck might fit or come close. Not sure what to say after that!

    Kevin
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    to the forums from the Wiregrass! Take the grips off and see if the serial number from the face of the cylinder has been stamped on the side of the grip frame. If not, the gun is not legal to own because the frame does not have an official serial number. Barrel is too short for a British gun so it probably is .45 ACP. BUT, why ream the cylinder and not mill the face of the cylinder? Perhaps some head space has been created by milling the face of the recoil shield? Your pictures do not show the recoil shield so I can't really tell. Try some .45 Colt if you have any and let us know how it fits.
    bearcat6 and Hondo44 like this.
    Guy

    S&WCA #2629 | Ex-Navy Vietnam Vet. / Submariner | NRA Member | S&W Historical Foundation


  8. #7
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    Check to make sure it hasn't had the rifling drilled out of the barrel to shoot bird shot from cut down .410 shells!

    That was not uncommon when these guns sold very cheap as surplus military guns in the 1950s for $19.99.

    See this thread,post # 7 for details on the 1917:

    https://www.smithandwessonforums.com...ml#post2196823
    bearcat6 likes this.


 

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