Colt Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,400 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
good afternoon , i have seen recently 3 model 1917 converted over to .357 magnum , the two i examined both had a quality blue unlike the model 1917 and wood checkered stocks , i was told by one the selers these guns were rebuilt by colt in the 30 's , have anyone else seen and colts as described , amny thanks rj
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
909 Posts
I would be skeptical. The New Service and Shooting Master were available in .357 about 1935, so cylinders and barrels would have been available at the factory, but I have never heard of them being mated to a 1917 frame.

If they were built by a shade-tree mechanic, they could be dangerous, as the .357 required a special heat treat.

[This message has been edited by Bushwhacker (edited 03-02-2005).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
I too would be skeptical of a "Colt Factory rebarrel" of these guns. That said,Colt did NOT heat treat the frames,but certainly the cylinders of the .357 N.S. and .357 SAA when they came out in the mif 1930's(most .357s were on the rounded butt configuration for the .38 Special(and Shooting Master) introduced in 1932. I have a 1914 vintage British New Service,that was rebarreled probably in the 60's,with a "left over" 4" N.S. 357 barrel and .357 cylinder.(the heat treated cylinders will sometimes have a purple tinge,and a different markings to denote this). While I would NOT fire full house 125gr. jhps. out of it,it has been fine with 1200+ fps lead bullet loads. It is the cylinder that is crucial,and Ive seen a .38 Special N.S. that a "rocket scientist" reamed longer to take the .357s! Also,Numrich Arms)Gun Parts Co. today) made .357 barrels in 6 & 8 inch lengths and cylinders to convert New Services into a "modern magnum". Have NO idea as to the heat treat of the cylinders,but the barrel had a ramp sight and the cylinders usually required counterboring(recessed) to be safe & function properly. Had one of these,and only dared fire .38 Specials in it. Bought the gun as it had a mint frame etc. and finally found a 38/40 bbl. and cylinder, to bring it back to its "normal" 1912 condition. A factory letter should accompany any "original" N.S. .357 you buy,because late guns have been known to have been converted,with these plentiful Colt N.S. parts in the 60's. The .357s bring a premium",and the "ethically challenged" have been known to make alterations. Bud
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Agreed virginian,but with 1917s going in the $20-30 range(cheaper for the .455 ex-Brits N.S.)and the barrels/cylinders being "cheap",I guess some gunsmiths(?) and owners thought they could get a "357 Mag" for less than a new M-27 S&W,or Colt 357. In the mid 50's,the .45 Colt appeared to be dying,only a handfull of rare S&Ws pre M-22s & pre M-26s were chambered for it,as new guns,the the Great Western SAAs in 1954 & Colt SAA in 1956. Sales of the S&Ws in .45 Auto Rim,were dismal,in this time,as evidenced by the rarity & price of the above 2 S&Ws. Bud
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I would think the gun would be worth more to change it back. You are correct about the successor to the S&W 1917, the model 1950, it was not adequte for target shooter's needs and S&W came out with the S&W Model of 1955 or later the 25-2 which was very much more popular. Surplus Colt and S&W 1917 and British/Canadian .455s were cheap too as you pointed out, so a coversion might be more economical. Who knew that 50 years later these $12-25 guns would be worth as much as they are today. I try to fix all the butchered guns I can buy cheap and get them to look as historically correct as possible. New parts, welding, re-engraving and period correct refinishing are used to bring them back to life.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top