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1917 Colt 45 Worth $$

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Turk, Dec 7, 2007.

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  1. Turk

    Turk Member

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    I'm looking at a 1917 Colt 45 US army. The frame is in good condition with any average bore, cyclinder is tight. I want to use it for my woods carry sidearme so I plan to have it reblued. I can get is for $475.00. Any one have a book that lists a 1917 worth?

    Thanks,

    Turk
     
  2. Gator

    Gator Member

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    A $475 Colt 1917 will be worth $250 after you reblue it. Why not get a more modern stainless steel gun? For $475 and the cost of reblueing you can get a nice S&W Mountain Gun.
     
  3. Turk

    Turk Member

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    Gator wrote

    It’s not about getting my money back it’s about that I like the feel and looks of the 1917. I have big bore hand guns 357 mag., 357 Max., 41 Mag, 44 Mag., 45 Colt, 454 Caus., 480 Ruger, 444 Marlin, 45/70 Govt. so any of the revolvers makes a good woods carry gun but 45 Colt in lower pressure loading still is a formable round. If in big bear country I’d carry my 454 even though I’m not particlur found of the round but it is a super duper dragon killer. Even better is a 870 with slugs

    Have a good day.

    Turk
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I bought one for 100 bucks, but it was loose and out of time and even after my smith tuned it up a bit, it was still pretty ratty. Check it out before you buy it, make sure it's not a worn out POS. Back then, it was "NRA good". :rolleyes: You could get a VG for 150 which MIGHT have been shootable. On top of all that, I found out the thing wouldn't shoot lead bullets due to the shallow rifling. I don't keep guns that won't fire lead bullets, so I sold it.

    Just buy a modern gun. No way those old things are worth 400+, not as a shooter. If you're a collector, well, you have a collector's mentality. An Indian head nickel may be "worth" ten grand with such a mentality, but to me it's worth a nickel. I read about a new release from smith of an old design .45 ACP revolver, model 20 something I think it was. Forget. Think it was in a recent "American Rifleman". The price was high, of course, but a new gun after all and I don't think they put a lock on it IIRC.
     
  5. Joe Gunns

    Joe Gunns Member

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    The new .45acp revolver from Smith is the 22-4. I understand that it is basically the Thunder Ranch version without the TR markings. Has the lock. I got one anyway and like it. Nice trigger, good balance. I think the checkering on the stocks a bit sharp. Normally I would replace 'em, but they have nice figure so am going to try a Tyler T-Grip and see if my old-man-skin can toughen up enough not to get sore after 100 rounds. Cost was in the mid $500's w/tax IIRC.
    James
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It would be a shame to reblue an original 1917. Way to many of them have been chromed, chopped, and otherwise butchered over the years.
    It a piece of American history, and the few remaining good ones should be left alone!

    If you just want a .45 ACP revolver, S&W & Taurus has made, and still makes them.

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    rcmodel
     
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The 1917 (Colt New Service) was a rugged tank of a gun, and it has a positive hammer block that insures it can safey be carried with 6 rounds - something that Smith & Wesson 1917's didn't have.

    I would prefer a New Service in .45 Colt, but the .45ACP or auto-rim will do.

    I wouldn't bother to have it reblued though. The new blue will soon start to wear, and you'll be back where your are now. If it were to be done right, the refinishing could come close to 1/2 of the gun's price - and wouldn't make any difference in the way it shoots. Safe queens (I have some) should be perfect, but those that are still working should look it. ;)
     
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    You say "45 Colt in lower pressure loading still is a formable round."

    I may be wrong, I take it this particular gun is in .45 Colt, not .45 ACP. If that's true, beware! The Model 1917 was only made in .45 ACP, and this gun must have been converted from that cartridge. Unless it was done by the factory, or a really knowledgeable gunsmith, you'll have problems -- because it isn't a simple matter of reboring the throats, or changing the cylinder. The hand and other parts must be swapped out and tuned for that converson, as well.
     
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Hm, has a lock? Darn. I must have been reading between lines or something. LOL For 550 NEW, though, I'll take a new 22-4 any day over a 1917 for 400 plus. It'll shoot better, it'll be new, likely will have normal rifling that will stabilize cast bullets (a major requirement of mine.)
     
  10. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    No, not a lock - a hammer block. If the revolver is dropped, or a blow hits the hammer, a round under the firing pin won't fire. Because of the hammer block the revolver is safe to carry with all of the chambers loaded. The design was incorporated into all Colt double-action revolvers by 1908.

    In 1908 no one would have even suggested putting an internal lock into a handgun, and any gunmaker that did would have soon gone bust.

    Or do you mean the new Smith & Wesson? I thought this thread was about the Colt model 1917...

    S&W is cutting rifling barrels with a EDM system - the rifling is more shallow then that in a model 1917 Colt or S&W. These days everyone is suppose to use jacketed bullets....
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
  11. JBP

    JBP Member

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    I have a 1917 U.S. Army that I picked up off one of the auction sites for $385 last year and the barrel is marked 45 Long Colt. The 1917 Civilian/Commercial models marked "Colt Model 1917 Ato Ctge" were .45 ACP.
     
  12. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    I know next to nothing about the Model of 1917, so I consulted the SCS&W. According to Supica and Hahas, the model of 1917 came in .45 ACP or .45 Auto Rim. Good condition=$475. Very Good= $700. Fair=$375. Poor=$275. I'm not certain these prices are still current, although I'm looking in the 3rd edition.

    I would agree that the cost of the gun and a re-blue would be detrimental as well as uneconomical, but to each his own. I think I would just oil it, and carry it if I was to actually use the revolver. If it's a situation of wanting to prevent corrosion, and you don't care about the collectible aspect, then go whole hog and have the thing hard chromed. I can't believe I said that.......but it will be more applicable for your purposes, and the finish will hold up better. The greater suitability of the more rugged finish on a gun you want to carry will be offset by the corresponding drop in collectability.

    But for myself, I would just oil it and tote it. This would preserve and add to the history of the gun. There is a certain freedom that comes with a gun that bears carry marks. It's liberating when the gun is no longer a collectible, but a tool.
     
  13. 44and45

    44and45 Member In Memoriam

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    I'm amused at the opinions about restoring model 1917 revolvers. :) Who the heck sets the rules on what one should do with their own property, is there antiquity laws by gun archyologist who demand such.

    My S&W M-1917 was mechanically sound and tight, the bore had no rust or pits.

    But the outside blue'black finish looked like it had been dragged behind a dirt bike through rocks and brush. :what:

    Found a good gunsmith to restore its bluing, and replaced the wood grips with some originals I found from a guy in Alaska.

    Now I could have left it in its pitiful condition, but I'm an old man and won't be passing this way again. Nuts to leaving to some money grubbing dealer who would like to make a neat profit on its sad original conditon. :neener:

    Now don't get your shorts in a bunch, its my property and my money that went into restoration. When I kick the bucket they can throw it in the pine box with me...bound to be some of you out there wanting to dig this one up.

    Jim


    P70300121917gripson37B650X.jpg
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Then it isn't a 1917.

    If it says "U.S. Army Model of 1917" on the butt, and "United States Property" on the barrel, it should be .45 ACP/.45AR.

    If it says all that on the butt, and is a .45 Colt, it most likely has been converted with a new barrel & cylinder, or it started out as a Commercial Hand Ejector model and shouldn't say "U.S. Army Model of 1917" on the butt.

    There were a very few 1917's made and sold commercially in .45 Colt, but they are extremely rare. And they were not military.

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  15. savit260

    savit260 Member

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    Wouldn't a U.S. Army Colt New Service in 45 Colt be a model 1909 instead of 1917 (45acp)?
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Yeah, I was talking about the 22-4. In regards to the thread, all I'm sayin' is why pay 400-700 bucks for a 1917 for a shooter when you can get the 22-4 for 550? I have no particular reverence for the 1917, just another old revolver IMHO. So there's some history behind it? So what? I buy guns to shoot. I don't run a museum. If all you want to do is shoot, the new gun makes more sense IMHO.




    ALL MODELS!?!? You MUST be joking! Well, that settles it then, no new Smiths for me. When did they do all this? My bud's 80s era 686 shoots wadcutters and cast .357s pretty decent. No wonder all the complaints about not hitting squat past 7 yards with a 642. All this time I figured they just couldn't shoot! Maybe they were using 158 SWCHPs?

    Hmmm. HOW IN HECK could you build, say, a .45 Colt and not build it to stabilize cast bullets? This is puzzling.
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You are right!
    I was talking Colt and thinking S&W!
    Another Senior Moment, ala Brain Fart!

    But regardless, if it's a U.S. Property marked 1917 Colt, or 1917 S&W, it wasn't chambered for .45 Colt originally.

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    rcmodel
     
  18. mnw42

    mnw42 Member

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    I have on of the Thunder Ranch Revolvers and I like it. It was in the used case and came with a T-grip installed. I've tried it with out, but the grip is too small for my hands.

    [​IMG]


    As for the Colt.... I'd love to have one and $400-$500 seems to be what you are going to pay for one. You might be able to find a Colt new service in .45 ACP or .45 Colt. I'd pick a .45 Colt New Service over my TRR as a woods gun.
     
  19. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    Jim, that's a nice looking revolver.

    I think the desire in many folks to preserve older firearms comes from a time about 50-60 years ago. M1911A1s were available for $50-100 a piece back then. They were purchased, hot rodded, tweaked into race guns, scoped, cut up, cut down, and experimented on by the finest gunsmiths of the time. This experimentation literally spawned handgunning as we know it today.

    The M1911A1 wasn't being made anymore though. Then came along the US government to destroy remaining pistols in their inventory rather than sell them as surplus. The price of previously common M1911A1s went from $50 to $2000 in a period of approximately 50 years. The latest and greatest jump came in the last decade. We are seeing the same thing start to happen with Smith & Wesson Victory Models now. These are military firearms with a very definite history. The Model of 1917 has the same potential.

    It is true that a man may do whatever he desires with his own property. It is true that you can't take these things with you, and you may as well enjoy them. No problem there. If you want to take a WWII vintage Willy's Jeep and lower it with chrome rims and fat tires, install a kicking boom boom stereo, and string pom poms around the canvas top, that is your right if it is your Jeep. If you want to take a Porsche 356 and put mud tires on it, paint it camo and go jumping into mud pits with it, same thing, it's your vehicle. Just don't be surprised as those around you look on in wonderment as you make their property more valuable in the marketplace by decreasing the finite supply.
     
  20. 44and45

    44and45 Member In Memoriam

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    Quote:

    Just don't be surprised as those around you look on in wonderment as you make their property more valuable in the marketplace by decreasing the finite supply.

    ===================================================

    Oh I'm more than happy to make you sellers and buyers happy about increasing the resale value of your old guns. After all, you wouldn't want the 1950s prices of the OLd Hunter's Ads posting these guns for $24.95 to still be that price today...would you.

    I also don't owe anyone the legacy of my old revolver as to the supply drying up...my restored revolver is still here and not dried up.

    The reason these old revolvers are in demand is the sole fact that a demand is created by the I've to get me one of those crowd. And who beats the drum for that assembly, why its the sellers to the collectors who fall into that scenario. This is the siren call to the suckers, create a demand by offering your wares at higher prices, there is always some chump who will start the ball rolling and create the demand for more suckers.

    The demand didn't begin after WW-1 did it. It didn't begin after WW-2 did it. In all honesty it begin about 10 to 15 years ago.

    Another thing, I didn't chop and channel my gun, like your auto description so profusely illustrated...I tried to restore it to its original condition so I could look upon it and admire it while shooting it. It was a scratched up mess that had more nicks and dents than a German tank on the Russian front lines, it looked pitiful but worked fine.

    There are some guns I wouldn't try to restore, those that belong to historical personalities. Or the gun just doesn't need a reblue job because it has some minor wear on its finish.

    But if it looks like a basket case, I don't want to own it or shoot it.

    Jim
     
  21. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Knowing what I do now, I'd be delighted... :evil:

    I make a practice of restoring older guns, especially those that can be bought because the have something wrong with them that no one else wants to bother to fix. But when it comes to refinishing whatever gets refinished often gets put into the safe queen side of the picture, and nothing gets refinished where doing so would substantially reduce the value.

    My everyday worrking guns sometimes look it. Refinishing wouldn't last long and I'd be back where I started. I'll use others for show and tell... ;)
     
  22. BikerRN

    BikerRN member

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    If it's a Colt, chambered for the 45 ACP and marked "United States Property" I'd snatch it up. Mine has a Parkerized finish. :)

    I keep mine in the safe and only take it out a few times a year to shoot. If it's the Commercial Version, made for the civilian market it isn't such a good deal but would be fine as a "wood's gun". I wouldn't re-blue or refinish any gun. You will ruin whatever value your gun has unless it's a pitted rusted wreck.

    That's my $0.02 on the matter.


    Biker
     
  23. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I sold this one a few years back for $550.00 and the buyer wasn't squabbling.
    It too has a parkarized finish, Anniston Arsenal rebuild marks, and a Post Office use provinance.
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  24. 44and45

    44and45 Member In Memoriam

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    Wow, that means I might get half that for my reblued POS that some regard as ruined because it was refinished and had original period grips replaced. :D

    Jim

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  25. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I would expect that your refinished S&W will indeed fetch a higher price now that it's refinished - but most likely from a shooter, rather then a collector. That of course doesn't matter - money is money.

    The problem is - if and only "if" - you don't keep it that way the investment in refinishing - from a resale perspective - will be anything from slightly to substantially lost if you continue to use it under less then optimal conditions. Apparently you don't care, but others in the same boat might. Quality refinishing is not inexpensive.

    Turk's basic New Service would run him $475.00. Quality rebluing could add another $200.00, which would bring the total up to $675.00. In today's market that amount isn't unreasonable, but I can think of some other chocies for a woods-gun that might be a better, and less expensive to buy.

    But in the end it boils down to what you want, and how much money you have to spend. All we can do here is lay out the various options.
     
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