Colt 1917 Serial-Service Numbers
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  1. #481
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    Hello gentleman, Buck, I read somewhere that S&W won the contract to re-chamber both existing M1909's and also produce S&W M1917's during WW!. Is this accurate?

    I have a collection of New Services/M1917's and two lend lease British .455 Eley's, one is in .455 and one had it's chambers reamed for .45 Colt.

    I posted a long time ago seeking info on a New Service I had and someone suggested it was a parts guy. If it helps I will be glad to forward you the serial numbers and all numbers I find on my guns. Your work listed above is incredible!

    Hope you and yours had a great New Year!

    John
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  2. #482
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    M1917 serial numbers

    Buck here's what I have for you:

    Colt DA .45 on barrel M1917 butt serial number on butt: 122601

    No rampant horse and no proof mark.

    Barrel 3524, frame (near crane and crane): 27633 2. Also 3524 on crane.

    Patent dates: Aug 5, 1884, June 5, 1900, July 4, 1905 (Dates have been over polished).

    Gun is blued and finish has polish striations (fine lines that could be duplicated with 320 gritt wet/dry paper.

    Cylinder release is old style, hammer slides are polished and trigger is blued.

    Wood grips as I’ve seen on M1917’s


    New Service .45 Colt

    605729 (z below serial number on crane).

    Patent dates: Aug 5, 1884, June 5, 1900, July 4, 1905


    New Service .455 Eley

    86050

    Patent dates: Aug 5, 1884, June 5, 1900, July 4, 1905

    Has lanyard rign

    Cylinder bored to .45 Colt


    (Second) New Service .455 Eley

    83192 and the letter ‘A’ below and to the right of serial number.

    Has lanyard ring
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  3. #483
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    Haggis --
    I've long been retired and I have numerous time consuming interests but I envy your research and your devotion to it. As I recall a couple months ago I made my small contribution to your effort but I'm not sure if I forwarded ALL the numbers on my M1917. The one I'm sure I provided was the butt number 104148. The crane numbers are 66801 and the frame has the same 66801. On the frame at the rear base of the trigger guard there is a tiny symbol (looks like a bird?) over the number 87. At the back of the cylinder is number 104148 and S24 (or 324) under another tiny symbol. My wife thinks that symbol is a bear???? At the very top rear of the frame is an Ordnance Bomb symbol with a smaller circle within the bomb.
    Apparently I have never looked critically until your most recently discussions with other forum members. I'm sure you can tell me what those almost unreadable symbols & numbers are along with the history of the gun.
    Thanks for your efforts. When are you going to extend your research to the S&W M1917?
    Ed Gaulin
    Braden River, FL
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  5. #484
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    Hey Buck --
    I was browsing through the on-line catalog of a current gun auction in Frewsburg, NY which has a nice Colt M1917 Service Revolver. It had a couple pretty good pics of the serial numbers (Frame 221101 & US Army 69414). I don't know if you can use this for your research.
    Regards, E. H. Gaulin
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  6. #485
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    This M1917 is one that my friend is keeping. I’m in in process of acquiring the other.
    His M1917 is a low number of 154516 and US Army inventory 3017
    IMG_2610.jpgIMG_2611.jpgIMG_2613.jpgIMG_2612.jpg
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  7. #486
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    Hi Dave --
    I recently learned of Buck's passing and commented that I hoped somebody would continue his fascinating research. Vic replied that he though you might be doing just that or know who is. Like you I know very little about the 1917 Colt big bore myself but I just hate to see the useful work Buck did trashed. Has anyone picked up the torch or do you think anyone ever will? This forum might be a great place to find a willing member subject to the wishes of Buck's family.
    Probably none of my business but ...... Ed Gaulin
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  8. #487
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    Oh no!!! I am very saddened to hear that Buck has passed. Rest in Peace sir...
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  9. #488
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    God she is BEAUTIFUL!!! I saved your photo and I am going to forward them to the guys at Dick Williams Sporting Goods who do my bluing. Congrats!!!
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  10. #489
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    Who carried the M1917 45s?

    As I reread these postings just about everything about these century-old handguns is shown except who they were issued to. I assume many field officers (O-1 to O-5) and senior NCOs carried them. Continuing my guesswork I would think machine gun crews, mortar men and probably the newest armored field, tank crews had the big sidearms. What about post-war use? I also read on these pages many of the old Colts were arsenal reworked and reissued during WW II. I was issued an old M1911A1 in 1966 in RVN that I think the song Shake, Rattle & Roll was based upon. I would have gladly carried a tight old Colt.
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  11. #490
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    Pathfinder...you are probably right on your hypothesis. But I don't know either the exact story of the M1917's. Some of these guns were arsenal refinished which I believe is something that can believed. When I don't know, either before WW2 or at sometime. Looking at the auction sites at guns that are for sale I see some of the guns with coarse polishing marks that have the lettering's/roll marks weakened. The polishing marks seem to be all the same in my opinion. I have one of these guns and a second purchased from the Gander company. I have restored one of them having the lettering re-engraved and glass beaded and it is quite handsome. However...it had issues which needed to be addressed by a competent smith. The 'star' would come unseated when firing. A new hand, a new firing pin seemed to be the fix. Anyway...it works great now with the addition of one of those grip extenders that these frames need even for someone with big hands. These guns are amazing but no match in my opinion to the Smith&Wesson M1917's of which I have two. The Smith's are a better design in my opinion. Being basically 'N' frames mean there are modern aftermarket grips that can be affixed making shooting more pleasurable. The Smiths seem to be better finished as well. I too would love to know more about this rare guns history. I await more information from more knowledgeable Members. God bless Buck...
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