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  1. #1
    Member jakebevt48's Avatar
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    Smith 1917 Conundrum

    I recently acquired a Smith and Wesson 1917. It is US Property marked. It's serial number is 628xx.

    The Good:
    It came with a leather (non standard issue) holster stamped "Service in Worlds War 1918 J.F.R." It also has "J.F. Rose" stamped elsewhere on the ammo belt.

    The Bad:
    The GI gave it some "hand checkered" grips with his pocket knife. Sigh.

    The Ugly--(and some questions):
    It is theoretically a 45ACP, however 45ACP, rounds will drop all the way through the cylinder holes. Is this normal, or has this gun been reamed to 45 Colt?

    I ordered full moon clips and shot it today. However, the loaded moon clips do not go into the cylinder very smoothly. You have to push them hard to get them to seat enough to close the cylinder. Maybe an issue with the clips (from SpeedBeez)?



    Also, when I shot it today it shaved a good chunk of copper off of one round. So, I realized I have some timing problems too. This gun has turned out to be a bit of a lemon. Anyone send a 1917 back to Smith and Wesson to have the timing fixed before? Or should I send it to Clark's custom guns?

    Thanks
    Jake
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  3. #2
    Member jakebevt48's Avatar
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  5. #3
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    45 ACP should not go through. I would agree itís been reamed out. 45 Colt seems like a likely candidate.
    The moon clip issue is interesting. Mine drop right in.
    Perhaps itís had an entirely different cylinder dropped in that has a different spacing. That would explain the timing issue as well.

    And by the way, I love those grips. Trench art type modifications to firearms are cool to me.
    Iíd gladly trade you the grips from my 1917 if youíre interested. Shoot me a PM if you are!

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcathey View Post
    Perhaps itís had an entirely different cylinder dropped in that has a different spacing.
    I agree, can you find a number stamped on the cylinder rear that should also match one on the bottom of the barrel. Get a .45 ACP cylinder and the cartridges go in and stay. The clip makes it so they eject. I doubt the clips are to blame but can't say as I haven't used them. Mine came from Brownells and were full moon. I only have one single half moon clip... We should be able to give you a measurement for a cylinder in .45 ACP and one in .45 Colt. The thin rim of the long cartridges have the cylinder sitting far back to the recoil shield...
    Last edited by browningautorifle; 05-14-2019 at 11:20 PM.
    Regards, Jim

  7. #5
    Member jakebevt48's Avatar
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    I thought about it more, and realized I have one moon clip that drops in very easily. It is loaded with self defense ammo, whereas all the other stiff ones were loaded with some remanufactured brass case ammo. Iíll blame that remanufactured ammo for some of the problems.

    The number on the cylinder does not match the frame. But like I said it will close and shoot with 45ACP in the clips. The cylinder has a couple H looking marks on it, as well as a serial number and a eagle head or something with S24 under it.

    Also, I realized the ejector rod is slightly bent. This thing is looking worse by the second.

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Ejector rods can be straightened but unless you have the tools (I use a metal lathe and a dial indicator) it probably makes more sense to buy a new one. I wouldn't think it would cost any more than $20 for just the stripped rod. You'd have to add parts from yours on to it.

    The mark on the cyclinder you describe is appropriate. Sounds like a correct cylinder to me. Maybe your ejector rod is the root of the problems.

  9. #7
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcathey View Post
    Maybe your ejector rod is the root of the problems.
    Agreed, it will turn the cylinder out of true...first thing a pistol smith checks is frame straightness and discards those simple parts for replacement. Your centerpin will be bent too...just a bit.
    Regards, Jim

  10. #8
    Really Senior Member Bruce McAskill's Avatar
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    A lot of the 1917 pistols went to the US mail service. Some of them where chambered to the .45 Long Colt as that is what some of the Mail agents wanted. Ammo was available for the .45 Long Colt out west more so then .45 acp as most of the pistols were in military use so not much demand for the .45 acp at that time.

  11. #9
    Really Senior Member Bruce McAskill's Avatar
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    S&W no longer works on the older hand ejectors. They don't even have parts for them anymore. They sold what they had to a company named Jack First if I remember right. A parts supply outfit.

  12. #10
    Member jakebevt48's Avatar
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    I did ask Smith and Wesson a few days ago, and you are correct, they no longer work on them. Jack First Gun Supplies does not seem to have any parts available on their website.

    Honestly, I'm kind of bummed about this revolver. I'll probably sell it (and I'll be sure to let the buyer know about the issues). Thanks for your help though gentlemen!

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