Differences Brazillian/regular 1917's


July 26, 2003, 08:01 PM
Price of the guns S/W made for Brazil look to be about half to a third of what the other models bring. What are the differcenes between them and Army or commercial models?

Are the other models premium worth it for a shooting gun as opposed to collector interest?

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Mark IV Series 80
July 26, 2003, 09:00 PM
I believe that the problem, for collectors, is that when the guns are imported back in to the U.S., they must be stamped with the importer's name, and that will destroy the collector's value.

I would have a 'smith take a look at your Brazilian model 1937, to make sure it's in shooting condition.


July 26, 2003, 09:06 PM
Don't have one yet, just wondering if the $$$ differcne is just in the markings or other features.


Old Fuff
July 27, 2003, 10:10 AM
The Brazilian model 1917’s were commercial-grade Smith & Wesson’s, and as such equal or better finished then those made for the U.S. Army.

However collectors (and some shooters who don’t know any better) prefer the martially marked U.S. military models and very rare commercial guns made for the domestic market. S&W didn’t sell many because of the glut of surplus guns between the two World Wars.

Besides this, Brazilian ‘17s usually sell for less because they are well used and on the doggy side. Most have pitted bores. But a good one is, well ….. very good.

Mike Irwin
July 27, 2003, 05:57 PM
Mine has a good bore but a crapola exterior. Scratches, gouges, dings, dents, and virtually no finish.

Still, I was very happy to get it for $185.

Old Fuff
July 27, 2003, 06:36 PM
Now there is an example of a great deal, it may not be pretty but it shoots.

Mike Irwin
July 28, 2003, 12:03 AM
Here's a picture of my 1917 Brazilian with some of my other Smiths...

The 1917 is at the top in the 1 o'clock position...

Not a great photo, but you get the idea.

A friend with a C&R bought two for $185. He kept the one with the better finish and commercial grips and sold me this one.

I've yet to be able to find an importer's mark on either of them, but I really haven't looked all that hard. I know it must be there.


July 28, 2003, 03:34 AM
I haven't SEEN a Brazilian contract gun for sale in years.

I wanted one bad.

July 28, 2003, 02:16 PM
These are my two 1917's, a Colt and a S&W both marked "US PROPERTY". They appear to have a commercial type fininsh not like the WW-II Victory model .38's


July 28, 2003, 04:07 PM
I've whined about this before, but in 1990 I turned down a VG Brazilian 1917 (it had been parkerized on import) for $85.00. Still hurts. I was in law school and I didn't have the money or the need, but, man, what was another $85 on the card?

Old Fuff
July 28, 2003, 06:57 PM

The World War One S&W and Colt 1917 revolvers were blued, as the ones you have are. Many that remained in service were rebuilt and Parkerized during World War Two. Obviously the two excellent examples in you're collection let the service before then.

July 29, 2003, 03:22 PM
My uncle has one of the Lend/Lease M1917s, has the little export flaming pineapple looking thing on the left side behind the recoil shield.

Such guns went over seas during WWII correct? How do these fair as far as surplus 1917s go? Last I saw it was in pretty decent condition when I borrowed it for a month or two back around 4-5 years ago. Man I'd love to be able to get it off his hands and into my collection of N-frames.

Mike Irwin
July 29, 2003, 03:25 PM
Lend/Lease was a World War II concept, and I believe only .380/200 and .38 Spl. revolvers were sent to Britain under lend lease.

The flaming bomb is the US Ordnance Mark.

Britain and Canada took quite a few S&W N-frames during World War I chambered in .455 Webley revolver.

I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think that S&W made any Model 1917s for use in World War II.

Old Fuff
July 29, 2003, 06:42 PM
Mike as usual is right - All of the 1917 revolvers, Smith & Wesson and Colt were made during the First World War. During the Great Depression when S&W was really hurting they tried to get the Army to buy more 1917's but they refused - saying they didn't have any money for new handguns and what ever might become available would be used to buy Colt 1911-A1 .45 pistols.

It is possible that a few 1917's might have been sent to England during 1940 - 41. But the lend-lease S&W revolvers were 38-200's made on the K Frame.

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