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  1. #1
    Supporting Member steelsmith is on a distinguished road
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    New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    Greetings; I'm a new "Poster" to this forum, however have been an "Observer" for quite sometime.

    I have a question: What is the difference between a "New Service" and a "Model 1917"? I have (2) New Service's and the only difference I can see (refering to very nice pic's by Gunfish of his Model 1917) is the inclusion of one additional "patent Date" in the barrel marking . My N.S.'s include an additional barrel Patent Date of "June 5, 1900". Sorry, but I don't have the ability to post pictures.
    My 2 guns are:
    1.) 7-1/2", 45LC, S/N 3184XX over an "H" (1923? I think). A Gunsmith has altered this gun to be a "Poor Man's N.S.Target" (drift adjustable rear sight and very light, smooth, crisp action). Fine, accurate Shooter.
    2.) 5-1/2" 45LC, S/N 1433XX over a "4" (1917 ?) "RNWMP1859" crudely stamped on frame backstrap. I presume "1859" was a "Rack Number". Shows reasonable wear considering it's age and heritage (probably shot many predators, wolves and maintained Law and Order on the Chilkoot Pass). Also, Nelson Eddy fondeled this gun as he sang "Indian Love Call" to Jeanette MacDonald ...... Yeah, Right.! I shudder to think - if only they could talk....!
    steelsmith

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  2. #2
    Member Robert W. Simms is on a distinguished road

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    Re: New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    The Model 1917 IS a Colt New Service. During WW1 the U.S. military asked both Colt and S&W if they could provide revolvers chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge since Colt, Remington, and Springfield Armory were maxed out on 1911 semiauto production. Colt used the New Service as the basis for its .45 ACP revolver, and S&W used their large-frame Hand Ejector 2nd Model as the basis for theirs. The military referred to both guns as Model of 1917 Revolvers.

    There's an earlier military Colt revolver known as the Model of 1909 that looks an awful lot like a 1917, but is chambered for a round similar, but not identical, to the .45 Colt cartridge.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member steelsmith is on a distinguished road
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    Re: New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    Thanks Much for the reply Robert. Kind of sounds like "New Service" was the civilian or commercial name and "Model 1917" was the military name. Would this be close to right?
    Also, How rare are the "RNWMP" guns? Mine looks to be in average or better condition.
    Again, Thanks for the reply!
    Life, Liberty and the
    pursuit of Fine Old Guns!

  4. #4
    Member The Virginian is on a distinguished road

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    Re: New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    The Royal North West(Territories) Mounted Police (RNWMP) later became just the RCMP or Royal Canadian Mounted Police or friendly "Mounties" we know today. The revolvers are getting more scarce since they are being swept up by collectors. Resist the tempatation to ream it out to .45 Colt and leave it as is or buy a spare .45 Colt cylinder/crane assembly to use it to shoot. These guns are really collector's items and will only go up in value the way Colt SAAs did. The S&W and Colt 1917s are also becoming more rare and should be going up in price since few unaltered minty specimins exist.
    45 4ever!

  5. #5
    Senior Member lonewolf is on a distinguished road

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    Re: New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    Earliest,circa 1900s,"Mountie New Services" were chambered for .455,but starting in 1920's,the later lots were for .45 Colt. Several interesting points here,at least to me;a)was this switch due to Colt's discontinuing the .455 chambering? maybe,but they did a special order N.S. Target .455 in the 30's,and a "good customer",like the mounties,couldve got what they wanted. b) Did the mounties themselves have some of the older .455 N.S. guns rechambered,or was this done after they were sold to "civilians"? The best factory .455 load,ever made,the Dominion .455 Colt,with the longer Mk 1 case,smokeless,and 265 gr. bullet,for over 700-750 fps. was loaded in Canada,so don't think it was stopping power,although I would sure want the .45 Colt going up against a thick skinned bear,or a "perp" in heavy winter clothing! Bud

  6. #6
    Supporting Member steelsmith is on a distinguished road
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    Re: New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    Thanks for the reply guys.
    I have the book "Arms & Accoutrements of the Mounted Police" and in there it lists my gun as being shipped to the Commisioner of the RNWMP on Oct. 16, 1919 in a shipment of 200 Colt New Services. On July 10, 1919, the first "Factory Direct" order was shipped to RNWMP and also that was the first use of the 45LC caliber. The barrel listing on my gun very clearly shows "NEW SERVICE 45 COLT". In 1904 the "Force' paid $15.00 ea. for 700 N.S.'s and in 1912 they had gone up to $18.75 ea. Then they started disposing of them in 1964 @ $12.00 ea. and replacing them with S&W Mod. 10's in .38 Special. Very interesting and informative book.
    Thanks again! steelsmith
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    pursuit of Fine Old Guns!

  7. #7
    Member unspellable is on a distinguished road

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    Re: New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    Fiocchi loads the 455. It's an easy cartridge to reload.

    I have an original military issue box of the cartridges for the 1909 New Service. The case is about about 0.010 longer than a 45 Colt case. The rim is wider than that on a 45 Colt to reduce the chance of slipping under the extractor. They are loaded with a 300 grain round nosed bullet at somehwere around 780 fps. I've hear rumours of a lighter bullet also.

    The 1909 NS was meant to be able to work with the 45 Colt as a secondary back up cartridge although they will not shoot to point of aim as the sights are set for the 1909 cartrdige.

  8. #8
    Member modoc is on a distinguished road

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    Re: New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    Ahh,steelsmith,do you suppose that is where our stupid powers-to-be got the idea to change from a man stopper to a pisshimoff caliber for our fighting men?? They got it from someone else because they never think, only feel..LIBERALS BAH !!!!

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  9. #9
    Senior Member lonewolf is on a distinguished road

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    Re: New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    modoc;I suspect that the change to caliber by the mounties(.45s to .38s) had not a twit of influence on the military. THEY(the U.S.) had begun 1n 1889,with the Colt D.A. in .38 Long Colt and continued this right up through 1903 models,including a couple of thousand S&Ws. I also think the "lack of stopping power" in the Phillipines has been over stressed;those left wheeler Colts tended to be "fragile". I have read reports that those little bastards(the moros,or what ever the hell you call 'em,juramentos,so something,)took body hits from .45 Colts,30/40 Krags and kept coming with their edged weapons. They were often drugged up,and even tightened piano wire around their testicles,to make them more fanatical!

    Many forget,that the .38 Special,in its introduction,was considered a "hot round",and black powder pushed the 158 gr. to over 900 fps in a 6" bbl.,close to +P today. By 1919,our military,had gone back to .45s,and the Canadian Military used thousands of great .455 Colts and S&Ws,many of which found their way into Maine where I reside,and I am lucky enough to have found a few.

    We know that the Brits went to the .38 S&W round about this time,or .38/200 as they call it. Their rational,was training and the ability of a inexperienced revolver shot to hit a target. The old adage;A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44 mag! Remember,this was the day of ONE handed shooting,and recoil and recovery were bigger factors. This may have been the case with the mounties,or something as "simple" as the officer in charge of selection being a "friend" of S&W. Bud


  10. #10
    Senior Member COLTDAGUY will become famous soon enough

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    Re: New Service -vs- Model 1917?

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by lonewolf:
    [B] Earliest,circa 1900s,"Mountie New Services" were chambered for .455,but starting in 1920's,the later lots were for .45 Colt. Several interesting points here,at least to me;a)was this switch due to Colt's discontinuing the .455 chambering?

    Hi Lonewolf,
    I like the "Mountie" guns too... I understand that the reason there are .455 NS guns and .45 Colt NS guns in the RCMP is because the NWMP (one portinion of the RCMP before 1919)was just a regional force to patrol the western territories. "Royal" was added to their name after service in South Afrika in 1899-1902 period I believe it was... Anyway the NWMP OR RNWMP used the .455 caliber. When they merged with the Dominion Police (eastern Canada) in 1919/1920, they became a true national police force and their name was changed to the RCMP... The .45 Colts were used in the eastern provinces and the .455 models stayed in the western provinces... This is per "friends" in the RCMP and also documented in Arms and Accoutrements of the Mounted Police. Hope that helps... Bob Best



 

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