Smith & Wesson 1917 US Army .45


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wnycollector
September 23, 2008, 07:38 PM
It is gun show season in my neck of the woods and I am looking for another N frame. I have always wanted a S&W 1917 US Army .45. I have heard that they are not the best shooters...is there any truth to that?

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Walkalong
September 23, 2008, 08:06 PM
I don't know about those, but the 25-2 .45 ACP revolvers are tack drivers. They look cool, but all the ones I have seen at shows have been overpriced, or I might have one.

Hansli
September 23, 2008, 08:08 PM
Mine is okay (3" +/- @ 30yds). It also has had a lot of use; flame cutting is quite apparent. A satisfying pistol to shoot, just don't try to win money with it.

Catshooter
September 23, 2008, 10:45 PM
Not true, unless, like any other firearm it's worn out/has issues.

A lot of the 1917's have been rode hard and put away wet. Just inspect what you're buying carefully, as allways with any used gun.

I love my 17's!


Cat

Kosh75287
September 23, 2008, 11:04 PM
THe really NICE thing about the M1917 S&Ws is that almost all n-frame S&W parts can be used for it. It something's worn, there's likely a spare for it not far away. Old ones can usually be made to shoot just about like new ones without a lot of overhaul.

machinisttx
September 24, 2008, 12:10 AM
From everything I have heard, read, and my own experience, 1917's are not tackdrivers. Some may shoot reasonably well, but they seem to be the exception more than the norm.

Something to be aware of is that the 1917 revolvers are fitted with the old style hammer block which is staked into the sideplate. The hand is different, and the cylinder stop is different. Honestly, just about everything in one is different from post WW2 guns. I haven't tried finding correct parts for mine, but if my search for a hand, cylinder stop, and a couple of other parts for an early Victory is any indication, they won't be easy to find.

ElToro
September 24, 2008, 02:45 AM
most guns with open combat sitew are not the best for groups

my recently acquired 1917 kept all 6 in a 3 inch red sticker at 15 and 25 yards the other nite with ball ammo at teh indoor range.

windage was no problem, elevation took some geting used to.

i woudn't feel undergunned with it especially back in the day in a trench.

heres the best part, i paid $400 for here in PRK. somebody had taken the lanyard ring out and put pachmayrs on it but otheriwse it runs great

wnycollector
September 24, 2008, 06:04 PM
Thanks for the input about the accuracy issue! If I can pick one up at a fair price, I will.

rcmodel
September 24, 2008, 06:49 PM
THe really NICE thing about the M1917 S&Ws is that almost all n-frame S&W parts can be used for it.Actually, the 1917 has the old "long action" lockwork, and practially nothing out of a modern "short-action" gun made after the 4th. Model Hand-Ejector (1950 Military &Target) will fit or work.

rcmodel

Old Fuff
September 24, 2008, 08:21 PM
Something to be aware of is that the 1917 revolvers are fitted with the old style hammer block which is staked into the sideplate. The hand is different, and the cylinder stop is different. Honestly, just about everything in one is different from post WW2 guns. I haven't tried finding correct parts for mine, but if my search for a hand, cylinder stop, and a couple of other parts for an early Victory is any indication, they won't be easy to find.

Smith & Wesson 1917 Model .45 revolvers, as well as other N-frame guns made at the time did not have a sideplate-mounted hammer block. S&W considered the lockwork to be so massive it didn't need one.

A sideplate-mounted hammer block was introduced in K-frame square-butt revolvers in 1915, and an improved design of the same kind came along on all models around 1926, but S&W didn't have a truly positive hammer block until 1945 - which is still used today.

As for accuracy, the 1917 revolver was considered to be so good that in the National Trophy Match (Pistol) those shooting the revolver were expected to spot competitors using a 1911 or 1911A1 pistol a few extra points. Stung by this, Colt came out with a National Match grade pistol in 1933.

The parts you need for a Victory model should be available at: www.e-gunparts.com\

dogngun
September 25, 2008, 04:39 PM
I have one that was made around 1937 as a commercial model. It is a great shooter, and it's a work of art to see tha way it was made. NO ONE makes anything even close to the quality of these revolvers. I have been a fan of N-frame Smiths for many years, but this Model 1917 has become my favorite Smith of all time.

I also have a 1917 Colt revolver, and it is a great old gun, but it doesn't compare to the S&W in its design and workmanship.

Mark

SlamFire1
September 25, 2008, 05:04 PM
It is gun show season in my neck of the woods and I am looking for another N frame. I have always wanted a S&W 1917 US Army .45. I have heard that they are not the best shooters...is there any truth to that?

I believe that to be true, based on owning several Brazilian Contract M1917's.

The first problem you will encounter is that you need to shoot .454" diameter lead bullets. (or larger) The chamber mouths are huge, larger than .454. I do not recall if I ever slugged the barrel, but I think I got leading with .452" diameter bullets.

With standard FMJ Ball, the revolver was acceptably accurate, maybe three inches at 25 yards. Not much more than that.

The best groups sizes have come with .454" 250 LRN bullets at 750 fps. I don't cast ACP, and I cannot find .454" 230 LRN bullets. The point of impact with heavy bullets is high.

I have tried some "Elmer Keith" loads in my M1917's, and they are too darn hot for these light weight revolvers. The recoil was excessive, and I did not shoot much as I figured they would stretch things out of alignment.

I believe the best 45 ACP revolvers were made by S&W after 1989. They changed the chamber mouths to .451 or .452", under lugged the barrel, and folks who own the things claim they are tack drivers.

Another problem with fixed sight revolvers is that getting the point to impact to coincide with point of aim is a real trick.

Fullmoon
September 27, 2008, 12:04 PM
My 1917 will shoot 1 1/2" groups at 75' with several different handloads. My 25-2 is more particular about ammo and is bigger, heaver and prettier....As to bullet diameter, I believe the 1917 Smiths are .452 while the Colts are .454 - slug the barrel to be sure.

m-g willy
September 27, 2008, 01:35 PM
I got a 1917 that had the gov markings removed(no collector value)
I wanted to shoot cast bullets ,it shot patterns instead of groups at 25 yards.
It shot fmj into about 3" groups but would keyhole with cast bullets.
I put a 25-5 barrel cut to 4" on it and now it's a tack driver 2" or less if I do my part at 25 yards.



Willy

ProShooter
September 27, 2008, 01:36 PM
Is this the same gun you are talking about?
http://www.proxibid.com/AuctionImages/2051/14562/Detail/90.jpg

SMITH & WESSON U.S. ARMY MODEL 1917 REVOLVER:

Model DA 45, Serial # 10xxxx, .45 Caliber 6 Shot, 5.5" Barrel, Satin Bluing, Checkered Walnut Grips, Engraved Underside Of Barrel" United States Property

It sold for $575 in an auction that I was at the other night. It was in GORGEOUS condition.

Old Fuff
September 27, 2008, 01:42 PM
The stocks are replacements, but otherwise, yes- that is the gun.

ProShooter
September 27, 2008, 02:13 PM
Is $575 a good price?

rcmodel
September 27, 2008, 02:31 PM
I'd have to guess that in addition to the new & wrong stocks, it has also been re-blued.
Looks awful shiny in the photo.

Someone will surely pay $575 for it, but I don't believe I would if I wanted a true 1917.

If I just wanted a .45 ACP revolver to shoot, $575 will buy a pretty nice modern one with better steel & a hammer block drop safety

rcmodel

dogngun
September 27, 2008, 02:34 PM
I have seen the Brazilian contract versions going for over $500, and I paid $450 for mine.

Generally, depending on condition and location, they seem to sell between $400 and $750.
If you want a collectable, be prepared to pay for it.

Shooters generally run less money.


mark

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