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Not all that familiar with .45 caliber but the catalog says this is a .45 Hand Ejector U.S. Army - Model 1917. Your serial number appears to be 140942 on both the grip butt and cylinder.

These were made btw Sept 17, 1917 to Jan 1919. S/N range is approx 1 -169959
 

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Not all that familiar with .45 caliber but the catalog says this is a .45 Hand Ejector U.S. Army - Model 1917. Your serial number appears to be 140942 on both the grip butt and cylinder.

These were made btw Sept 17, 1917 to Jan 1919. S/N range is approx 1 -169959
Is there a way to track if it was issued as a service weapon? Would love to find out the history. Value?
 

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You have a Second Model Hand Ejector in 45 ACP aka a Model 1917. If I read the serial correct, 140943, it was likely built in November of 1918. It chambers the old standard military cartridge, 45 ACP. It was designed as a secondary handgun because Colts could not make 1911s fast enough to suit the Army. S&W realized this prior to the war and went to work on the Second Model Hand Ejector. Properly chambered it will hold and fire the 45 ACP cartridge. Ejection was accomplished by placing the cartridges in half moon clips. The ejector star engaged the clips and moved the cartridge free of the chambers.

There is no way to guess at it’s service life.

There should be a lanyard swivel and ring on the bottom of the grip frame.



Kevin
469220
469221
 

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Is there a way to track if it was issued as a service weapon? Would love to find out the history. Value?
A letter is about the only way I know to find out when it left the factory and where it went. The lanyard hole is plugged but if it is just dirt you can clean in out and install a new lanyard.
 

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A letter is about the only way I know to find out when it left the factory and where it went. The lanyard hole is plugged but if it is just dirt you can clean in out and install a new lanyard.
Letter? How do I obtain it
 

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Letter? How do I obtain it

essentially you have to join the historical society and/or the collectors society and then submit a letter request to the historical foundation.
 
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I am not sure what a factory letter would tell anyone about this revolver. This one was made when the Military had taken control of the S&W plant and inspections were performed and revolvers were accepted or rejected right now. Prior to that S&W had to ship them out but with the Inspectors “in house” I am not sure who shipped them, the Military or S&W.

Kevin
 

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Like I said at the start I am not familiar with the .45 Model 1917. Someone may come along and solve all of the mysteries regarding this gun.
 

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I am not sure what a factory letter would tell anyone about this revolver. This one was made when the Military had taken control of the S&W plant and inspections were performed and revolvers were accepted or rejected right now. Prior to that S&W had to ship them out but with the Inspectors “in house” I am not sure who shipped them, the Military or S&W.
Just to clear up some apparent misconception, the military never “took control” of the production process. Army Ordnance took control of the factory in 1918 for awhile to ensure that threatened labor troubles would not impede production, but that did not affect the work.

S&W was still the seller and the Army the buyer, and a history letter will tell you on which date the gun was shipped to which Army depot, though no more than that.


PS: You don’t have to join anything to get a letter; it’s just a bit cheaper if you’re a member.
 

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As an addendum:

I fished this photo out of an old sales post. Here is an Army 1917. Enough of the letter is visible to see that it lettered as shipped to the Springfield Armory in September 1918. I suspect most, maybe all, went there first and were then sent on to various destinations.
469230
 

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As an addendum:

I fished this photo out of an old sales post. Here is an Army 1917. Enough of the letter is visible to see that it lettered as shipped to the Springfield Armory in September 1918. I suspect most, maybe all, went there first and were then sent on to various destinations. View attachment 469230
As an addendum:

I fished this photo out of an old sales post. Here is an Army 1917. Enough of the letter is visible to see that it lettered as shipped to the Springfield Armory in September 1918. I suspect most, maybe all, went there first and were then sent on to various destinations. View attachment 469230
Did some looking the value seems to be $800-1200. This is my first old weapon so don’t know much about values
 

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Just to clear up some apparent misconception, the military never “took control” of the production process. Army Ordnance took control of the factory in 1918 for awhile to ensure that threatened labor troubles would not impede production, but that did not affect the work.

S&W was still the seller and the Army the buyer, and a history letter will tell you on which date the gun was shipped to which Army depot, though no more than that.


PS: You don’t have to join anything to get a letter; it’s just a bit cheaper if you’re a member.
The “labor trouble” was not inside the S&W plant, correct? It was anticipated problems that caused the measure?

Kevin
 

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The “labor trouble” was not inside the S&W plant, correct? It was anticipated problems that caused the measure?

Kevin
That is my understanding. The Wobblies (IWW) were very active in the Northeast in 1918, and it was a precaution, to back up management with military force if necessary. I've read some contemporary news sources in years past, but unfortunately did not keep references. Generally, it's hard to find details. But the idea floating around among some collectors, that the Army took over actual production because they were unhappy with the company's quality or speed of production, is apparently not correct.
 

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That is my understanding. The Wobblies (IWW) were very active in the Northeast in 1918, and it was a precaution, to back up management with military force if necessary. I've read some contemporary news sources in years past, but unfortunately did not keep references. Generally, it's hard to find details. But the idea floating around among some collectors, that the Army took over actual production because they were unhappy with the company's quality or speed of production, is apparently not correct.
S&W had finished construction of the new building and were turning out 14,000 revolvers a month for the war effort. All production was military, no commercial. So yeah, the takeover must have been for other reasons.

Kevin
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! As Kevin said, your 1917 was built in November 1918, according to U.S. Military Dates of Manufacture. It is a shooter with a lot of rust and pitting. I'd estimate $550-650 around here. I recommend soaking it for a few days in auto transmission fluid then cleaning it thoroughly with a brass brush. Keep a light coat of oil on the metal to stop it from rusting again.
 

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You gotta remember when pricing things off the internet too that asking price and selling price can be very different. I see guns on gunbroker all the time that just get relisted over and over again because the asking price is high. As a pricing metric gunbroker can be useful as well other sites but it’s generally a ball park thing. I’ve see some 1917s in similar condition for closer to 600. But if you wanna sell it start high and see what bites. Cool old gun!
 
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