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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
At a small gunshow yesterday with a trunkfull of trading stock and little cash. I had the only SAA's and 73 Win's at the show. I managed to trade a worn PPS on this. New Service, .45 ACP, serial number 284563, Army number 133246. I think made in 1920. Bore is great and mechanically perfect as far as I can tell. I have been wanting one for a couple of years and looking at pictures of NS's on here didn't help. I would have preferred one in .45 Colt, but I have boxes of .45 ACP, so I can shoot it. Came with the holster with a very faint 1942 date and 4 half-moon clips.

I've seen these before, but never really handled one. This is a big, man size gun and I love it. Will go out and see if I can put some holes is some pork & bean cans later today.

Question: Does anyone still make .45 Auto Rim? I only have the 4 half moon clips and will have to get more or some .45 AR.
 

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The last of the Model 1917 Revolvers made by Colt were shipped in February of 1919. You can fire the .45 ACP without the clips in your Colt, you just have to pick the cases out one at the time. Firing this way the cartridge truly head spaces on the front of the cartridge case.

A good companion would be the Model 1909 Revolver, which does fire the .45 Colt cartridge.
 

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Welcome to the NS Club. You did VERY well. Those don't show up in my neck of the woods often and if they do they're in pretty worn out condition. I think my .45LC NS, though modified down to a 4" barrel, was the last good one I've seen and that was 2+ years ago. They are great to shoot as the size does an incredible job of handling the .45 caliber, IMHO. Enjoy it in good health my friend.

Jeff
 

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Accouterment-wise, the hard thing to find is the three-pocket half-moon clip pouch.

Original FMs/TMs are around, and they use the M1911/M1911A1 cleaning rods, but that dated pouch can be elusive - and they'll have WWI dates.

Also, you're out looking around, pick up a grip adaptor - it makes it far more comfortable to shoot, and you'll enjoy it even more.

I wish they were comfortable to my shooting hand - but alas, they just aren't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You can fire the .45 ACP without the clips in your Colt, you just have to pick the cases out one at the time. Firing this way the cartridge truly head spaces on the front of the cartridge case.
I was told this when I got the gun and thought about it, but wondered if that was such a good idea. If you guys say it's ok, then I'll do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The last of the Model 1917 Revolvers made by Colt were shipped in February of 1919.
I was going by Wilson's numbers when dating. Obviously I/he must be mistaken. Anyone know when it was made? I posted the numbers on haggis' thread earlier.
 

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Remington in the past made 45 AR ammunition loaded with a lead bullet. They may still produce the empty cases but maybe not. Starline makes empty brass now. If you only shoot this gun on occasion, then loading and firing 45 ACP is not that bad. While they load and fire normally, they don't eject with the ejector rod without being attached to 1/2 moon or full moon clips. But it is easy to pick a loose empty out and use its rim to extract the stubborn cases. A couple of different tools are made to extract the empties from the clips and make it much easier but to myself this is still a pain unless I was shooting in a competition speed match of which I don't. On the other hand if you find yourself really liking this gun, then shooting 45 AR ammo is a joy as the gun's ejector works as it is suppose to. But if you don't discover the joys of reloading 45 AR, that gun will get very costly to shoot as it appears the only factory ammo these days is special defense ammo and priced accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I fired 6 shots with the clips and 6 without. Worked flawlessly. Extracting the clip-less empties was pretty easy. I turned the gun upside down and 2 fell right out, the others pulled out easily. I may just go this route. I'm used to loading-unloading one at a time anyway. :) In my haste, went out without a coat and in my slippers. Will try again this afternoon.

Thanks to all for your help. This may become my new 'house gun'!
 

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Sorry, Chafee, I didn't see your other post. Your 1917 was delivered to the Government during the week of November 9, 1918 (a few days before the end of the war) as part of a weekly shipment of 3000 revolvers. It was probably was never shipped overseas, which may account for its good condition. It could very well have been used in WWII, Korea, or even Vietnam, but I don't think it saw much active service.

Rimz makes plastic full-moon clips that are easy to load and unload with no tools, and they work very well for informal shooting. For competition or self-defense use, I would recommend steel full-moon clips for sturdiness and reliability, but they do need tools for easy loading and unloading ($35/100 from Ranch Products). I would relegate half-moon clips to display purposes only. They're harder to load or unload, there are fewer tools available, and they don't load into the gun as fast. Both types of clips prevent empties from being caught under the ejector star when ejecting empties from the gun, something that happens all too often with revolvers (so use auto-rims for informal targets or hunting, or for specialized loads obtainable only with reloading).

FYI, Wilson's data have serious errors for M1917's, M1909's, New Services in the near-WWI era, some Detective Specials, and probably others. The same data are used by Proofhouse.com, and even Colt's on-line serial number service, and have the same errors. Colt's factory letters are based on their access to their records and are the best serial number reference. My M1917 dates are based on WWI weekly shipping data for both Colt and S&W 1917's. The critical assumption is that all the guns were delivered in service number order, which seems to be correct based on comparison between my predictions and factory letters I have seen.

Buck
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the info Buck! So was the gun made Oct-Nov. 1918 you think? Did these sit for awhile before delivery or were they shipped to the Army as quickly as they were made?
 

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Beginning about 1923 the NRA/DCM began selling the Model 1917 Revolvers as surplus, resulting in a number of them getting into civilian hands this way. The sale of these revolvers was discontinued around 1928.
 

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Accouterment-wise, the hard thing to find is the three-pocket half-moon clip pouch.

Original FMs/TMs are around, and they use the M1911/M1911A1 cleaning rods, but that dated pouch can be elusive - and they'll have WWI dates.
Good show, well done!

If you don't mind reproduction half-moon pouches, they are available from both International Military Antiques and from Pacific Canvas & Leather. I believe that both reproductions are manufactured overseas.

U.S. WWI 1917 Half Moon Clip .45 cal 3 Pocket Pouch ima-usa.com

Pacific Canvas & Leather Co. INC

Enjoy your new revolver!
 
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