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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love history. I never thought I would have such a nice piece of WWI history. I happened onto this 1917 in a local shop. I made a great deal and it came home. A neat piece was the holder for the half moon clips. It still had three half moon clips in it. It had a military leather holster, but it was a cut down 1911 holster, not a proper one for the revolver. I'd love to hear anything about these old guns.
All the serial numbers were in the right spots, including the grips.
I bought a brazilian when everyone else did, but soon sold it to a pal who liked it better than I did. This one is so much better than the brazilian.
I took it to the range. I can agree that the sights are not what we expect these days, but when I did what I was supposed to, I did quite well.
 

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Smith & Wesson began development of their "Government Model" in co-operation with Springfield Armory in 1916 in anticipation of entering the Great War. The result is what you have; a .45 Hand Ejector designed to fire the Colt .45 ACP. As you already know, it was accomplished by using half-moon clips.

The progressive Democrat, Woody Wilson, got Congress to declare war on 2 April, 1917. By 6 September, 1917, S&W had cranked out the first of their S&W .45 Hand Ejector Models of 1917. Equipped with a 5 1/2" barrel, blue finish, plain walnut grips (stocks, for you purist, elitist snobs), and a lanyard ring in the butt. Which is to say, it was a pain in the butt. The butt was also stamped with the Model designation U.S. Army Model 1917.

According to Roy Jinks - the person from whom I'm stealing this information, war production ran to 163,476 Models of 1917. They were numbered in a separate numbering series starting with number 1.

There ya go, everything you never wanted to know and then some. I've never been without a Model of 1917. Mostly Colts. I've got a S&W or two lying about somewhere. I must be a wimp or wussy 'cause I really, really don't like shooting them for extended periods of time. Hurts my hand. Fun to shoot, no doubt about it, but that narrow grip frame with factory grips shooting full factory loads kicks ass.

Have fun with it.
 

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daytime dave,
Nice gun you have there!
I'm with QC all the way!
Strong as an ox, sights were designed for trench warfare (good up to about 12').
GREAT old guns, though.
Here's a 'Commercial Model' from 1926...it was shipped to Wolf & Klar in Texas.
Aside from the grips and finish, it's the same old warhorse.
;)
Don
 

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Tell you about the 1917, okay, personal story: 1974, dragging my girlfriend to every gun store in Miami, trying to find a 1917 Smith; no luck. Nov. 74, I marry the girlfriend, she knows I like guns and has been the recipient of a 22/32 Kit Gun from me and she shoots it well. Christmas morning, I open a heavy box, the 1917 is in it. She found out our next door neighbor had one and bought it. She has been doing pretty good on Christmas for the last 34 years; like the 1917, she is a keeper. Oh by the way the campaign hat is an authentic WW-l issue and I do have several of the 3 shot clip holders issued from that war.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is great. Thanks to everyone so far. I'm going to try to take some more photos and get at least one good one. I love the campaign hat.
 

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A follow up - visiting World Wide Sportsmen in Seveirville, TN; ogling a "new" Model of 1917 with a nickel finish. I comment to the wife "the nickel finish sure is pretty." The photo is my Christmas present 2008.
True it has that durned hole in the frame - But gives a better sight picture and has stronger metal. I don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
 
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