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Colt 1917 info help

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Coltmanfortyfive, Jun 20, 2011.

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  1. Coltmanfortyfive

    Coltmanfortyfive Member

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    Does anyone here have any information on restoring the army logo & number on the butt of a 1917 Colt? I have a 1917 ser# 275XXX that indicates a late manufacture, I believe it was sold as surplus & never issued. Finish is 95 to 98 percent. Did the Army grind the #s off the butt or some scoundrel in the far past? (Yes there are grinder marks & the lanyard ring sits on a 1/16" high little square) The U.S. Property is still under the barrel. Any info on this will be greatly appreciated. Scott in SC
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  2. MtnSpur

    MtnSpur Member

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    Not the first time markings are removed ....darn it

    If you indeed have a 1917 US Army Model that serial number puts it about 1920 build. As far as restoring removed stampings you may very well be out of luck. Typically once someone takes a file or grinder to a weapon :cuss: it's a done deal. The kind folks over at the Colt Forum are pretty knowledgeable and will have far more to offer than I. Best of luck.

    Mtn :)
     
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Colt 1917's have two serial numbers. The Colt New Service serial is on the frame under the crane; the Army serial is on the bottom of the grip along with a US ARMY marking.

    The reason is that Colt made those guns as part of the New Service run and the army wanted serial numbers starting with 1 for contract control purposes, so the guns have both. (S&W started a new series for their 1917 so their serials are on the bottom of the grip. The number under the crane is an assembly number.)

    Jim
     
  4. Coltmanfortyfive

    Coltmanfortyfive Member

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    Yer preachin to the choir here Jim. I'm lookin for someone to restore the bottom of the butt. This gun sat in somebodys dresser for 80 yrs, it's otherwise original finish is in mint condition. 1911 I made from spare parts on Essex frame 20 yrs. ago. Scott
     

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  5. kdave21

    kdave21 Member

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    If the military serial number on the bottom of the grip is different than the Colt serial number on the frame as Jim suggests, how would you restore it? You wouldnt know what number to put. Follow me? Unless there are records somewhere which tie a Colt number to an Army number, I think you would be out of luck. Maybe there are records somewhere that tell what you need to know. One can hope...
     
  6. MtnSpur

    MtnSpur Member

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    Historically you'll need a Colt letter of authentication to begin with. That may or may not provide enough information. Pretty much a crap shoot for the $100 Colt charges for that service.

    Mtn
     
  7. Coltmanfortyfive

    Coltmanfortyfive Member

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    I'm sure the Army number can be recovered by the same method law enforcement gets removed ser #s from stolen weapons. Some kind of chemical application & ultra violet light. That number will always be be down in the metal you just can't see it because of the surface grinding.
    Scott in SC
     
  8. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    I under stand what you're saying Coltman, but recovery of the Army number may not be possible, even under those methods or with acid. Depends on how deep the original markings were, how deep the grind was and even the quality and type of steel used by Colt. What CSI ( love that show, so many laughs ) doesn't tell, only about 50 % of removed serial numbers can be recovered. ( IIRC) This is why the BATFE has system of reissuing new serial numbers ( the new numbers start, or did start with ATF ). That does not apply in your case because you already have the serial number, you are looking for the additional Army number. To answer your original question, no, the removal of the number and markings on the grip was not done by the military
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Even if you had the butt of the gun welded, remachined, and refinished, how would you know what Army number to apply? Is there a correlation between Colt serial number and Army issue number?
     
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    From a legal perspective, I wouldn't worry as long as the Colt serial number is present on the frame. The Army serial is really nothing but a property number, like "Prickly City PD #123". The Colt number is the legal and official number and it is (I assume) intact.

    Jim
     
  11. Coltmanfortyfive

    Coltmanfortyfive Member

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    Thanks guys, I did get the gun from a reputable FFL dealer. I guess I've got nice looking shooter. I'm sure the butt grinding cost the gun half it's value and collector interest.
    Scott in SC
     
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