1917 Military
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  1. #11
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    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.

    Kevin
    Last edited by StrawHat; 03-02-2020 at 09:04 AM.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
    Hard to see but it is “NOT ENGLISH MAKE” and stamped on all guns that were sold in England but manufactured in countries without acceptable proof standards. Since the US did not (and still does not) have proof standards this revolver needed to be proofed when it left British service and was sold into commerce.
    For many yrs, every Gun Digest included a section called "Proof Marks of the World," or something like that, which showed all the proof marks used over time by a particular foreign country; never occurred to me to think that the US wasn't included because of what you just pointed out.
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  3. #13
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    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.
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  5. #14
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    Looks like a great old big bore revolver!
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  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waidmann View Post
    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.
    Waidman, I am not sure that England had proof requirements for imported firearms used by the military during the war, but they had to be proofed before the military could sell them.

    Kevin
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  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WendyZXZ View Post
    Looks like a great old big bore revolver!
    It is! And it apparently has a story to unravel. I hope I am up to the task.

    Kevin
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  8. #17
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    Further....

    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.
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  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waidmann View Post
    June 1940 FDR directed certain actions to support the British...
    "Democracy" in action. Lucky for him he didn't have to worry about federal judges nullifying every one of his executive actions!
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  10. #19
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    Missed your proof comment

    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.
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  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waidmann View Post
    The British had a military proof requirement which did not satisfy their civil standards. ...

    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.

    ....
    Indeed. That's why you will find the post-service commercial proofs not just on foreign imports, but also on British revolvers like the Enfield (ordnance-produced) and the post-1941 war-finish Webley Mk IV (commercially produced, but not proofed).

    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
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