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I find various numbers on my Colt Model 1917 Army. The butt has a serial number, the barrel has a four-digit number when you swing out the cylinder there are more numbers. Which is the correct number to use?
 

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Welcome to the forum. Colt serial#,what you would need for a sale etc. is the number on the frame as you swing out the cylinder. #s on the butt are the Army #. Interestingly S&W model 1917s have the same serial# and Army butt#. That is because they were numbered in a separate seies by S&W,where as the Colt 1917s are numbered as part of their "New Service" large frame revolver.

Bud
 

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There's a considerable amount of discussion about just which number is the "real" serial number on the Colt 1917.

Colt considered the gun to be just another New Service revolver, so they put New Service range serial numbers on the crane, frame and inside the sideplate.

The US government considered the number on the butt to be the "real" serial number, and that's how the government dealt with them.

When a batch of Model 1917's were transfered to the US Post Office, they were listed by the number on the butt.

When the Post Office sold the guns in the 1960's, and when the government sold the 1917 Colt's through the old DCM, the guns were sold by the butt number.

As far as I know, the ATF considers the butt number to be the "real" number, since that was the number the government always used.
Only Colt ever used the company number.

So, technically, the "Real" number is on the butt, but today they're sold by either number, with collectors often going by the factory number.

I suppose it really makes no difference, as long as you use the SAME number in all transactions.
 

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Re: Where is serial number on Colt 1917 Army Revol

Then, does the BATF accept the butt number as the actual serial number?
 

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Re: Where is serial number on Colt 1917 Army Revol

Seriously, I don't think the ATF cares as long as A serial number is valid.

I merely make the point that until the Model 1917 started getting into civilian hands the "official" serial number was the butt number.

The military and government didn't care what Colt thought, they considered the butt number to be THE serial number.

So, again, you can use either number, and long as you use the SAME number in all transactions.
 
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