Smith And Wesson Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Came upon the forum last night and created myself an account, any history or help in identifying would be greatly appreciated. Pistol was given to my Mom's second husband from his best friend who past away just a couple of years ago in his 80's. My Mom said it belonged to the friends grandfather. I tracked down the family and offered it back, but he only had two daughters and neither of which wanted the pistol, and told me since I was a Marine to keep it. Pics are below
 

Attachments

· Registered
Joined
·
6,650 Posts
Welcome to the forum. You have a S&W Model 1917 which was issued during WWI to supplement the supply of Colt 1911's. It looks like the last digits of the serial number are covered up or oblitereated which is a common occurance. Hard to tell, but it looks like your's has the ordinance bomb mark on the frame near the hammer. IIRC that would indicate the gun was made during or after 1918. There will be more knowlegable people who can correct me.

It would have had a lanyard ring where the hole in the grip frame is now. I'm no expert on the holster but it is the right configuration for the period but I don't know about the black color.

Be sure and find out all of the history about the first owner if at all possible. Those gals don't know what a treasure they are passing up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYE0pE9qMJA


I have one similar to yours and like it very much. This one served in WWI and then was loaned to the UK during WWII. Then it was released from UK stores and sold to the civilian market, and made it's way back to the
States.

Again welcome to the forum and thankyou for your service. My Son is a MSgt in the Marines at Camp Pendleton.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,415 Posts
Welcome aboard. Yep, you got yourself a keeper in that one. I just acquired my 1917 after a long time of groveling. Now you need to give it the proper cleaning I know you've trained to do and see if she's still a shooter. Nothing like putting rounds down range with a revolver that is almost 100 years old.

Here's my baby and yes, she's a darn fine shooter:

Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Starting pistol


and her credentials:

Lock Padlock Metal


Auto part Metal


Your holster appears appropriate to the period and is worth a couple of bills if so.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Iggy, thanks for the good words, I will follow up some more as I start to get this one cleaned up. The serial number actually has 3 more digits, I did a little creative editing on that one as I had read before that you should never post a full serial number, didn't mean to be deceitful on it. I actually went to school with one of the girls and they just don't have any interest, they know I am more about preserving it than making a buck. Thanks Greg
 

· Registered
Joined
·
7,217 Posts
Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Gun barrel
Welcome aboard Marine! I believe with oil and gentle coaxing three more numbers will emerge on that butt. Both Colt (New Service) and Smith & Wesson made substitute standard handguns during WWI. Both called Model of 1917. At the conclusion of WWI a number of disharged servicemen (I suppose this includes the Marine Brigade of the 2nd Army Infantry Division, commanded by MG John Lejeune) were offered the opportunity to purchase their sidearm. Both firms had been building large frame revolvers for the Brits in .455 Eley. Major Daniel B. Wesson of S&W came up with the .45 ACP/half-moon clips idea. The Navy's stock was Lend-Leased to the Brits in 1940. A number of Army M.P. and support units were issued these in WWII. We know some went through depot overhaul as late as 1951. The S&W M1917 appears in FM 21-35 Pistols & Revolvers 1953 Edition.

Uncheckered walnut grips can be found as well a butt swivel. The black holster appears original, it was worn cross draw style.

Waidmann
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,006 Posts
Welcome aboard Master Sergeant! As you have been told , it's a great pistol for any vet to own. Historical , yet great shooters and at almost 90yrs old , still a formidable one at that.

Here's a bit of info. M1917 revolver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Condition is a bit rough , but an attempt at any restorating or rust (collectors call it patina) removal would only lower the value even more. A full-on professional restoration would be expensive. Original style grips are available , and lanyard rings can be found cheap enough on Ebay.

Sold cheap as surplus after the war ,($19.95!) A lot of these guns got got customized by Backyard Bubba gunsmiths.
Some just lost their lanyard rings and got ugly aftermarket grips. Saw one today at a LGS that had homemade sights brazed on!

Here's mine in decent shape.


When I got my Colt 1917 . it was done similar to yours. Lanyard ring gone an ugly black plastic pearl grips.


Spent almost as much for original grips , lanyard ring and lanyard. But it was well worth it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do like the grips that are on there, orginal or not, but will now be on the hunt for a landyard ring and landyard and the cleaning will begin. Doublechecked the holster and it does have the US stamped on the outside, very faint as it looks to have been well worn, but definately there. Thanks for all the help and links. Look forward to more discussions as I am definately a novice at all of this! Iggy, please pass on a Semper Fi to your son from one MSgt to another!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,006 Posts
First try some light rubbing with 4-0 steel wool and Hoppes No.9 or Kroil , or Break-Free.
 

· Registered
black powder shooter
Joined
·
4,513 Posts
welcome - you can often find the lanyard ring (and it needs a pin to hold it in, check to see if that is still in yours) on Ebay..
the old stags are great, but there are often repo wood grips available there also..
 

· Registered
Joined
·
18,095 Posts
I am far from an expert, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that the US military used brown leather holsters for both revolvers and autos until after WW2 at which time they switched to black. I wouldn't place a large wager on my memory though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Iggy

· Premium Member
Joined
·
7,168 Posts
Welcome to the forum from sunny Florida.

Most of your questions have been answered by some of our knowledgeable members. kfjdrfirii

Visit and post often Sarge.

Regards,

FlaRon
 

· Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
You're correct Jonesy, the holsters were brown. Someone stained this black later. I know they reissued these to tankers during WWII, I wonder if they saw service during Korea over here or over there with MPs or something...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,006 Posts
You're correct Jonesy, the holsters were brown. Someone stained this black later. I know they reissued these to tankers during WWII, I wonder if they saw service during Korea over here or over there with MPs or something...
Not necessarily. I've seen more than enough black US embossed ones to know they were originally black and not dyed.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
12,065 Posts
Hey USMC,

Welcome to S&W.

Fine piece of WWI history.

Later, Mark
 

· Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Picked up another 1917 myself. Sadly someone put a nickel plate job on her. All markings are clear enough. Bore was excellent as was lock up and timing.



Here are three of my old 1917 revolvers. The one on the left is a post WWI commercial. Middle is a military 1917 that was chopped but is still a great shooter and finally the most recent purchase on the right. I have some Brazilian contract 1937s as well but have not photographed them yet.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,006 Posts
There's an otherwise very nice 1917 Smith at a LGS by me. I say otherwise because someone welded up and converted the front sight to a ramp and added a neat high profile rear sight. The work was very well done though. And as far as I can tell , it's still got it's original blue everywhere else.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top