Recent LGS find - M1917
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    Recent LGS find - M1917

    For your consideration, a recent LGS find. Seems to be refinished (arsenal stamp is faint, but I can't find a trace of a rampant colt even with a magnifying glass), but I'm wondering if this looks like the kind of work that would have been done at a govt. armory or later by Bubba (not THIS Bubba). The gun has "9679" stamped on the crane, frame, underside of barrel, and cylinder, which I gather indicates it was refurbished at a government arsenal at some point. Any ideas what the "X" and other stampings on the frame hinge are for? Grips have a serial number written in pencil that does not match the gun. The cylinder will chamber an ACP round properly without moon clips, so I'm guessing this a later production.

    S20.jpgIMG_4467_x50.jpgIMG_4466_x50.jpgIMG_4458_x50.jpgIMG_4457_x50.jpg

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    Are you sure it's re-finished? Hard for me to tell.

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    They were originally blued , refinished with Parkerizing.
    "One does not sell Colts , one buys Colts! "

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    And usually marked to the arsenal doing the work.

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    The stamped "eagle head/S20" in the 1st picture is an acceptance mark of Springfield Armory Arsenal, probably where the refinish took place - there were several different "S" number stampings indicating inspection by different inspectors at that arsenal.

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    Last edited by SHOOTER13; 11-17-2019 at 01:40 PM.

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    No - rebuilds were done at RIA, AA and others and SA wasn't really involved, but if they did it, it'd be marked 'SA' - and all were inspected - look at any GI .45 for examples - the pictured Eagle head was the initial WWI inspection.
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    My suspicion regarding this gun possibly being an arsenal refinish is based on post 19 in this thread in the S&W forum . My gun seems to match this description to a tee:

    1) Rampant Colt completely absent (assuming the gun would never have left the factory with it missing, and this alone indicates a refinish)
    2) My gun has the extra 4 digit number in all locations mentioned in the post (at least externally - I have not removed the sideplate).
    3) Refinish appears to preserve most of the original finish and tooling marks (the non-mark side of the frame in particular looks original).

    Relevant text from the link above reproduced below:

    Here is a portion of the Man of War article: “A third category of reworked M1917 revolvers are those returned to Springfield Armory. …the author has concluded that those handled by Springfield Armory can be positively identified. Consider the following evidence: A sizable group of revolvers exists with one or more sets of numbers in addition to the serial and butt numbers. Those observed usually have a professional-appearing blue-black finish and show signs of a light and carefull polish. Notably, the lettering and some of the tool mark patterns remain, while the Rampant Colt has usually disappeared. As with the “AA” reworked revolvers, the finish was evidently applied directly over the case-hardened parts. If the Colt factory was contracted to work on these revolvers, it is reasonable to expect that they would restamp the Rampant Colt as they did on the commercially refinished revolver described earlier. The firm has always been keen with regard to advertising.
    The revolvers under consideration are stamped with an additional two-, three-, four-, or five-digit number. Four-digit numbers are most commonly reported: “1000” through “9999” represent the statistically largest series. This number is located in the crane recess, on the inside surface of the crane, on the rear of the cylinder(under the extractor), and on the bottom of the barrel. When it has been possible to disassemble the revolvers, the number was further found on the hammer, trigger, and ejector rod, although it does not appear inside the sideplate where the serial number was placed during original production. From this discussion, the reader can conjecture that such M1917’s are the ones returned to Springfield Armory, even though they bear no “SA” stamp. Compelling support is provided by the Springfield Armory document stating a requirement for small steel number stamps for the repair process because “…Revolvers are not interchangeable and parts must be stamped when disassembled…”(Pate, p. 68)”
    Last edited by BubbaShakers; 11-18-2019 at 08:01 AM.
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    Here is a portion of the Man of War article:

    “A third category of reworked M1917 revolvers are those returned to Springfield Armory. …the author has concluded that those handled by Springfield Armory can be positively identified. Consider the following evidence: A sizable group of revolvers exists with one or more sets of numbers in addition to the serial and butt numbers. Those observed usually have a professional-appearing blue-black finish and show signs of a light and careful polish. Notably, the lettering and some of the tool mark patterns remain, while the Rampant Colt has usually disappeared.

    As with the “AA” reworked revolvers, the finish was evidently applied directly over the case-hardened parts. If the Colt factory was contracted to work on these revolvers, it is reasonable to expect that they would re-stamp the Rampant Colt as they did on the commercially refinished revolver described earlier. The firm has always been keen with regard to advertising.

    The revolvers under consideration are stamped with an additional two-, three-, four-, or five-digit number. Four-digit numbers are most commonly reported: “1000” through “9999” represent the statistically largest series. This number is located in the crane recess, on the inside surface of the crane, on the rear of the cylinder(under the extractor), and on the bottom of the barrel. When it has been possible to disassemble the revolvers, the number was further found on the hammer, trigger, and ejector rod, although it does not appear inside the side plate where the serial number was placed during original production.

    From this discussion, the reader can conjecture that such M1917’s are the ones returned to Springfield Armory, even though they bear no “SA” stamp. Compelling support is provided by the Springfield Armory document stating a requirement for small steel number stamps for the repair process because “…Revolvers are not interchangeable and parts must be stamped when disassembled…”(Pate, p. 68)”


    Good to know...thanks for sharing.

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    Last edited by SHOOTER13; 11-18-2019 at 03:52 PM.
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  11. #10
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    Springfield Armory changed from heat and rust blue to phosphate in 1918. Their Model 1911 pistols were all rust blued.

    Colt did not have a contract to rebuild Model 1917 revolvers.


 
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