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Found an Old War Horse - .45 Revolver US Army M1909

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ancientnoob, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. ancientnoob

    ancientnoob Member

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    For sometime I have been looking for a Colt New Service. I wanted a nice shooter, and something I did not have to worry about as far as collector value was concerned. Locally I came across a very nice US Army M1909 in .45 revolver. (US Army large rim .45 Colt. ) Originally this revolver fired a LRNFP weighing 250 grains and traveling at 725 fps. The revolver was briefly adopted by the US armed forces, in 1909. It was meant to replace the .45 Colt Single Action Army and ultimately .38 Long Colt New Army and Navy revolvers, that had failed to stop the Moro warriors in the Philippines. The revolver was selected as a result of the Thompson-Lagarde Tests. The goal was to determine what the ideal handgun caliber would be in a service pistol. The revolver was originally offered in a high polished bright blue commercial finish and had US Government marking applied to it.

    Many of the Colt M1909's finishes did not survive the their trip to Philippines. The mixture of a hot salty tropical jungle, when mixed with leather and delicate finish let many in very poor shape and great examples are highly prized by collectors. I would assume this revolver survived the conflict but the finish did not. The previous owner said that the revolver was hard chromed by the Armoloy company in the late 70's.

    I am someone what of a purist, I like my guns to have their original finishes, roll marks and grips intact. Alas, I could not walk away from the old war horse. I would like to give her a second life (third or fourth life at this point.) This Armoloy finish was done really well and looks excellent. It has held up quite well since the late 1970's.

    The mechanics, lock up and trigger pull are all flawless. The revolver has a heavy double action trigger that is incredibly smooth, sort of like cutting through butter. In single action the hammer is very ergonomic and easy to manipulate. The single action trigger pull is excellent and deliberate.

    I would like to know which .45 Colt factory ammunition has the largest rim? From what I have gathered the enlarged rim was for problem that may or may not have existed with extraction.

    Colt Model 1909, US Army

    Manufactured: 1911.
    Cartridge: .45 Revolver 255 gr LRNFP @ 725 FPS / .45 Colt standard pressure.
    Inspection: RAC
    Acceptance: FB
    Theater: Moro Rebellion, Philippines
    Barrel: 5 1/2”
    Capacity: 6
    Weight: 40 oz
    Action: Double Action
    Finish: Chrome
    Grips: Original Smooth Walnut RAC.

    Here is how she looks today...

    ns1.jpeg ns2.jpeg
     
  2. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Looks like it'll be a great shooter! That refinish certainly held up well!
     
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  3. Yarddog

    Yarddog Member

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    Nice firearm OP, As far as the largest rim I,m not sure Good luck ; )
    Y/D
     
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  4. deputy tom

    deputy tom Member

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    Your revolver is a beauty. I can't help with the ammo question. tom.
     
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  5. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Nice revolver OP! I get that it isn’t original but it was redone nicely which I’d rather see than an original with no finish left or worse rust :barf:
     
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  6. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    For whatever its worth department: I had a Colt New Service in .45 Colt. I used ammunition available at the time, Remington and Western, commercial ammunition, with no problems with extraction whatsoever. Same holds true on the S&W Model 25 I once had.

    Bob Wright
     
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  7. ancientnoob

    ancientnoob Member

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    Thanks Bob! I suspected it may have been a fix for a problem that did not exist or rarely if ever occurred. Thanks for your contribution to my thread.
     
  8. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Looks great to me!
    Ive shot a New Service with commercial Federal Walmart stuff, no problems.
     
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  9. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Actually the reason for the wide rim on the 1909 cartridge was to make sure those cartridges were not loaded in BP Colt 1873 SAA.

    -kBob
     
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  10. ancientnoob

    ancientnoob Member

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    Thanks. I too was really impressed with the how the finish held up. The gentlemen went on to tell me there was only a few companies doing the hard chrome finish at the time and Armoloy was at the top of the heap. Hopefully I can get another 100 plus years out of her. In 2109 the revolver will be a real relic. I wonder how the finish will hold up. Hopefully she will not see another conflict in that time, but I am fairly certain that if she did she would step up to the task, or at a minimum pull someone's pants down. ;)
     
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  11. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    I just watched the C&Rsenal segment on the Colt 1909. He said the small rim on the original round — which was designed to be pushed out — wasn’t large enough to engage the star extractor. He went in to say that the new round would load in the M1873 so long as you skipped every other cylinder.

     
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  12. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    I have a 1909 and feed it Cowboy loads which are everywhere and pretty reasonable. They will take standard old type factory .45 Colt rounds that are about 100 FPS faster but take it easy on the old gal. I love the Armolloy finsh, you now have a usable heavy duty revolver.
     
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  13. ancientnoob

    ancientnoob Member

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    That is an awesome video! It really is a slick action, which Mae points out. Really captures the magic of the revolver. A modern firearm with old time attention to detail. Excellent presentation. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  14. George Dickel

    George Dickel Member

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    Congratulations, that's a great find and looks great also.
     
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  15. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    WoW! That's a beauty... Nice score!!
     
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  16. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Looks great! What's alumaloy?
     
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  17. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    Mines on the bottom, Canadian issue
    nc_oc=AQnFCybEM4YQEDm_I-nz-E8iBQmcWneFxq054QdItOhXv59nlqf6O1hkfcPMbc0ejts&_nc_ht=scontent-sjc3-1.jpg
     
  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Modern solid head .45 LC has a larger rim than old balloon and folded head cartridges, even though not as large as FA 1909.
    I doubt you will have any trouble with fresh ammo of any brand.

    I still wonder why the 1909 revolver did not use the 1906 cartridge.
     
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  19. ancientnoob

    ancientnoob Member

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    Armoloy. A type of high density hard chrome.
     
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  20. ancientnoob

    ancientnoob Member

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