S&W developed the 1/2 moon clip to enable the N frame revolver to use the rimless ACP cartridge. They may have begun R&D as early as 1915. One of the designs was for a moon clip that held all six rounds. It was somewhat more complicated than the 1/2 moon and the military preferred and chose the 1/2 moon.
Last edited by StrawHat; 03-02-2020 at 09:04 AM.
Secondary Handguns of WWII, Charles Pate.
By the way with the exception of Canada which had military proofs during WWI, none of the other Commonwealth countries had proof requirements.
Last edited by Waidmann; 03-02-2020 at 11:42 AM.
Looks like a great old big bore revolver!
Cum Deo et victricibus armis
U.S. Handguns of World War II, The Secondary Pistols and Revolvers, Charles W. Pate, Andrew Mowbray Publishers 1998.
Page 19: June 1940 FDR directed certain actions to support the British... 500 S&W .38s Models 1899 and 1902 from Naval stocks. 20,000 Model 1917 Revolvers housed at Rock Island Arsenal. "Many of these M1917 revolvers were ultimately issued to New Zealand forces."
That makes perfect sense from a logistical standpoint to isolate nonstandard weapons/calibers to confined group at least initially. Since I have owned two and seen several N.Z. marked British Service Revolvers, I am imagining they were later withdrawn to the home island at a later time. Especially since yours and several others I have seen on the forums entered commerce in the U.K.
The action described above predates the Lend-Lease Act.
The British had a military proof requirement which did not satisfy their civil standards. Eventually this task was delegated to the U.S. side and is indicated by a simple P. The full Enfield treatment had inspection, acceptance and proof marks. The military proof being crossed flags on the left side of the frame over the barrel.
Having said that, in the crisis period of 1940-41 everything and sometimes nothing happened. I collect in the period. I own several pieces with no post factory markings military or civil. I have a .38 Special with all the Enfield acceptance and inspection marks but no proofs and it was not altered to accept .38 S&W. I have two Colt's that were converted from .38 Special to .380 Rimmed (.38 S&W).
Enough of that. The bottom line was that nothing satisfied the British civil authorities of the period short of the Birmingham or London Proof Houses. No exceptions for exports; no recognition of equivalent proof (at that time). The NOTENGLISHMAKE appears to be peculiar to London. Birmingham on the other hand marked caliber/case length, go figure.
Also, the civil proofs are for entering commerce. One occasionally sees a .455 that must have been retained by the family for several generations since they were proofed later. Birmingham viewer's marks are date coded.
Last edited by Waidmann; 03-02-2020 at 08:47 PM.
A complete London commercial proof did include caliber and proof-load case length, too. See below on a 1943 Enfield. The NOT ENGLISH MAKE was also common to both houses, as the chart underneath shows. It was used until the new Rule of 1955.