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Thread: Comparison wanted, M1917 Revolvers

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  1. #1
    Legacy Member BVZ24's Avatar
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    Comparison wanted, M1917 Revolvers

    I'm looking into purchasing an M1917 revolver in the next few months and I'm looking for information on the differences between them.

    I have seen them both individually, but never side by side to make a comparison, and have only ever fired a S&W. My impression was that the Colt was mildly heavier and larger than the S&W, and had a hard trigger pull. I was also unable to compare the Colt's bulk to other large revolvers such as the 1873. I saw one comparison that it's the largest old Colt revolver, and I think an 1873 is big.
    I am not a revolver collector and am looking for a shooter grade example of either. I prefer the look of the Colt, but the S&W might be better suited.

    I would like to know opinions on reliability, replacement parts, and size compared to each other, and compared to the largest pistol I an familiar with, an 1873 replica.

    I am also looking for opinions on the subtypes of each, including, but not limited to;

    Colt M1917

    Colt New Service, someone else's 45 Acp conversion. These seem to be less expensive, but do they work?

    Colt Commercial M1917. These cost about the same and look like they can be in nicer condition.

    S&W M1917

    S&W 1937 Brazilicon. These look inexpensive and can be in good condition.

    The final factor in what I purchase will be based mostly on the opinions on size and shootability. If the Colt is "Not really that big", I am biased to it's appearance.

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    The two revolvers are essentially the same size. The Colt might be a tiny bit bigger.

    I prefer Smith and Wesson revolvers simply because of the cylinder release latch. On a Smith, you push the latch forward. On a Colt, you pull it back.
    The push motion feels much more natural.

    I’ll add, I have a Smith and Wesson 1917. Back when I was searching for it, I found the Brazilianicon models to be going for nearly the same price. Take your time and you’ll find a deal. I think I paid a little over $500 for mine.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcathey View Post
    I prefer Smith and Wesson revolvers simply because of the cylinder release latch.
    Yes and I prefer the way the S&W index. They're both about same size. I'd prefer the S&W 1917, also had to settle for a Brazilianicon. Don't get a beater, it may not be right and parts could be hard to get.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member Low & Slow's Avatar
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    I concur with the guys. Plus, the middle finger on your shooting hand hand will thank you for choosing the Smith.

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    Legacy Member Eaglelord17's Avatar
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    I recall reading one of them (unsure which) apparently also has a small shoulder machined inside the cylinder to hold cartridges in the proper position without the moon clips allowing you to simply load .45 acp in the cylinder, though they need to be ejected by a pencil or similar item.

    I personally wouldn't get a shaved new service revolver myself, but thats just the collector in me. Practically speaking if done properly it shouldn't really be much different at all.

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    Legacy Member jonnyc's Avatar
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    For the full joyful experience, you need both Smith and Colt 1917s, and a shaved MkVI Enfield.

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    Legacy Member RCS's Avatar
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    I would not consider shooting factory 45 ACP in a shaved 455 revolver, maybe reduced loads of 45 auto rim

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    Legacy Member Fushigi Ojisan's Avatar
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    Also out there, Colt and S&W models that originally took .455 but have been modified to shoot. 45 Long Colt


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    Legacy Member jonnyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCS View Post
    I would not consider shooting factory 45 ACP in a shaved 455 revolver, maybe reduced loads of 45 auto rim
    FYI; All my .45 ACP revolvers get my calm reloads.

  12. Thank You to jonnyc For This Useful Post:

    RCS

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    Legacy Member RCS's Avatar
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    another variation S&W Model 1915 revolver

    I bought this S&W Model 1915 in 455 cal some years ago, bore was very good . I enjoyed
    shooting the 455 cartridge but got expensive and unable to reload. Along the way, I found an old FDL rear sight which is easy to install. Also decided to have the cylinder rechambered to the 45 Colt cartridge.
    I started using some factory 45 Colt and accuracy was not good, tried black powder reloads and reduced smokeless, still not accurate.
    then cut down some 45 Colt cases to the same length as 45 ACP and converted some lead bullets to hollow base. This proved to be the answer.
    Also found out later the Cowboy Action Shooter also use a "short" 45 Colt cartridge too

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