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For those who remember my earlier post about my 1909 New Service, I finally got it back from the GSmith. They did a great job on it, clean, timed and the action is smooth as silk now. But the mystery continues for me. If you remember the GSmith said it had been converted to 45 ACP from 45 colt. Well, all pumped up now to go shoot, I try it out, buy moon clips, ammo etc. I loaded up a full moon clip, stick it in the cylinder and try to close it and it ain't happening. I cannot even get the cylinder started in the frame. No room for clips. I call the Gsmith today and he said when he test fired it, no problems but he was using half moon clip instead of full moon. ARGH!

I don't have any half moon so I think what the H*ll I will make a halfer out of a full moon, take my dremel and wallah two half moons. I did not expect it to work but at this point I was willing to try it to see if a halfer would work, anyway it didn't as expected.

So now my questions are what is the difference in length between an acp cylinder and a 45 colt cylinder. I measured the cylinder with my dial calipers and it came to about 1.600", there were a couple of places that were off by .005" but I just chalk that up to being old. The next question is, is there a diffence in thickness of the .5 moon vs full moon? Or is the halfer moon a different shape where it would fit closer to the cylinder. The thickness of the clips I have is about 0.040". I guess if the clips don't work my last resort is auto rim which I would rather have any way. It seems the issue is that there is too much room for long colt between the firing pin and primer and not enough for the acp with clips. I am going to call the Gsmith tomorrow and see if he can't measure his halfers to see what thickness they are, I guess I could grind the clips down but I would probably take the tips of my fingers with it, I don't want to do that it makes things more complicated.

Any thoughts, prayers, words of wisdom, would be appreciated. BTW it appears that the change to ACP (if that is what really happened I have my doubts now) was either done by colt or a wanna be gunsmith. IE no armory roll marks. Thanks

[This message has been edited by DVG73 (edited 05-24-2005).]

[This message has been edited by DVG73 (edited 05-24-2005).]
 

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The only thing I can think of is that the OUTER part of the cylinder was machined so that with .45 ACP rounds loaded in halfmoon clips the proper headspace is achieved. If you have any .45 Colt rounds available to you, drop them into the cylinder and check the headspace between the case and the recoil shield. Using flat feeler gauges, it should be around .006".

If this is the case, you should be able to shoot .45 Colt and .45 ACP with the halfmoon clips interchangably.
 

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This post intrigued me. As it so happens, I have both a Colt 1917 and unconverted 1909 revolver.

I measured the cylinder overall length for both guns as well as the frame opening between the barrel forcing cone and the recoil shield. The 1917 had a cylinder overall length of 1.590" and a frame opening of 1.690". The 1909 had a cylinder overall length of 1.625" and a frame opening of 1.595". This would seem to indicate that you have a .45 ACP cylinder.

Your problem is more common than you might think. It happens when the 1909 cylinder is faced to the correct length as part of the conversion process. The corner where the extractor star meets the cylinder face was left radiused instead of being a nice clean 90 degree cut. This is preventing a full-moon clip from seating completely and so the cylinder won't close. Cutting a full moon clip into does not provide the same profile as a true half-moon clip. When you look at a full-moon clip there is a hexagonal hole in the center that still rides on the corner between the extractor star and the cylinder face whether cut or uncut. Only a half-moon clip will fit without bearing on this area. This is also the reason that .45 Auto Rim cases are not gonna work, as well, since the case rim will want to sit high on the radius instead of seating completely flush with the cylinder face.

The easy fix is to just use real half-moon clips, but any competent machinist can remove the interfering radius so you can use third-moon clips, half-moon clips, full-moon clips, or .45 Auto Rim cases interchangeably.
 

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I think Robert hit it on the head. I looked closer at the cylinder and it was as he said. I shaved 0.010 off of a full moon clip and it worked, no binding but it made it thin and I hesitated to use them. I got some 1/3 moons and those don't work either. So half moons are on order. I did try some 45 auto rim and they fit without binding in the cylinder and that is the way I am going to go. Clips are pain. Thanks for all the help and suggestions in discovering what was up with the 1909. Too bad that the conversion will ruin the value of it but it is fun to shoot and I plan on keeping it.
 
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