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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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  #51  
Old 03-25-2016, 09:42 AM
Skeetr57 Skeetr57 is offline
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Jaguarman:The reason for not carrying full moon clips is because of their bulk, probably why the Army didn't use them from the beginning. Itis easier to carry two half moons in a belt pouch or pocket than it is to carry one full moon. The use of revolvers in .45 ACP was only a stop gap because of an insufficient supply of M1911 pistols and I doubt that speed of loading/reloading was a consideration, but since the clips were shipped and issued loaded, bulk would have been a consideration.

Muley Gil: While I never heard of any .45 target revolvers being procured for issue. it is not impossible that some could have been bought locally for marksmanship teams through use of local funds. In the early 1970's Matt Dryke shot a Remington M3200 while on the Army Team at Ft. Benning, and I'm pretty sure that it was an Army owned gun even though not normal issue.
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  #52  
Old 03-25-2016, 12:58 PM
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It was the bulk of full moon clips alright, but not for carrying that did them in:

The ‘half-moon’ clip evolved from a ‘full-moon’ clip design originally invented by S&W for rimmed cartridges in their ‘Top Break’ #3 revolvers in the latter part of the 19th century as a form of what we know today as a ‘speed loader’.

The original intended use was never put into production however. Probably because Smith didn’t have much luck obtaining Army contracts for their revolver. A good idea languished for 30 years or so until the “The .45 Hand Ejector U.S. - Model 1917” was designed to chamber the 45 ACP rimless round. Why then did Smith & Wesson invent and patent the half-moon clip?

Very simple as it turns out; the military correctly concluded that pre-loaded half-moon clips could be packaged much more efficiently than pre-loaded full-moon clips. Which Smith, at the request of the Army allowed Colt to also use free of charge. Alas, the full-moon clip was once again relegated to the back burner of firearms ingenuity. Only in the more recent past, after 100 + years since its invention, has the currently popular full-moon clip finally gained its full due.

The half-moon clip was patented in 1918 (application filed August 15, 1917) by Joseph H. Wesson, one of Daniel B. Wesson's sons, who also designed a machine to load them. He also designed various full-moon clips and even a quick loading carrier for 24 cartridges.

Factory racks of 1/2 moon clips prior to being loaded:

1917 .45 half moon clip holder-revolving-rifle-001-jpg
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  #53  
Old 03-27-2016, 10:18 AM
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Thank you all for providing information on the S&W moon clips. I always enjoy learning new things.

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  #54  
Old 03-27-2016, 01:07 PM
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Thanks, you guys really know your stuff. I agree, I need to get a letter if I'm gonna know the real story.
Interesting to hear that half-moon evolved from full-moon. Makes sense that half-moons would be easier to package/ship.
But packing/shipping aside, back to original question of half-moon vs full-moon durability and loading speed. Am I right in assuming that full-moons are more durable and faster to load? The engineering alone indicates they, are but I want to make sure I'm using the best method for my 1950.
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  #55  
Old 03-29-2016, 07:38 AM
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Jaguarman,

I think it all depends on what you are used to using. Full moons may be faster to reload all 6 at once. 1/2 moons allow you to load three and the little 1/3 moons allow you to top up two at a time.

Pick your poison and practice with it. I usually have the full moons for carry and the 1/3 moons at the range.

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  #56  
Old 03-29-2016, 09:35 AM
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That is just a beautiful gun... The 1950 Target is one of the few Smiths on my want list that I have not bought yet...

As to the conversion...my thought would be to find a second .45 ACP cylinder and convert that one to .45 Colt using the above method. That way one doesn't ruin the collector value of the the gun and one also doesn't have to keep changing out the star...just swap cylinders...

Bob

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  #57  
Old 04-03-2016, 06:09 PM
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Bob - the method used didn't ruin the collector value in my eyes or in the eyes of a former SWCA President. The modification of the serial numbered part wasn't necessary.

On the other hand swapping cylinders opens many opportunities to devalue a firearm starting when you remove the side plate screw and then remove the yoke and cylinder. Buggered screws, scratched frame, scratched cylinder, lost parts, bent yoke. Also it is significantly less expensive to purchase an extractor than all the parts necessary to swap cylinders. You would be hard pressed to match finishes unless you are very lucky...or you could just modify an extra extractor.
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  #58  
Old 04-20-2019, 06:54 AM
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Bringing this to the top for new members and others who may have missed it the first two times.

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Old 04-20-2019, 08:00 AM
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Thank you StrawHat, I have a 1950 .45 Target Model (light barrel) "Pre-Model 26". As many know, there was only 2,768 of these manufactured with a lesser part of that number being in .45 Colt.

I had to obtain a Model 25-2 to keep mine company in the gun rack.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:55 AM
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Good lookin' pistola!
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:15 AM
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I don't know what the situation is today, but back when I was doing gunsmithing from 1982-96, the extractor was not listed by S&W as an available repair part, only as a factory fitted part.
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:16 AM
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I realize this is a Zombie thread, but you never see revolvers like this any more. What a find it would be today!

Hope it still has a great home.
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  #63  
Old 04-20-2019, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeetr57 View Post
I don't know what the situation is today, but back when I was doing gunsmithing from 1982-96, the extractor was not listed by S&W as an available repair part, only as a factory fitted part.
If I read the original post correctly the extractor was as made and fitted at the factory.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:02 PM
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Here is mine with the original box. These are great revolvers that aren't seen very often.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:48 PM
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What a very cool revolver. It brings all sort of ideas to mind and I really appreciate you sharing this with us and Congratulations on a fantastic addition to your collection. Really looking forward to the range report.
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45Wheelgun View Post

Others have fitted a second cylinder to an existing .45 revolver. The problem with that solution on a S&W is the frame lug needs to be modified to fit the 45Colt cylinder. When you put the original .45ACP cylinder in place the cylinder will slide back and forth a bit, due to the modified frame lug.
You have a fascinating one-of-a-kind revolver.

Actually the frame lug does not have to be modified to add an extra 45 Colt cyl. It's done by turning a narrow cut around the perimeter of the Colt cyl rear face which allows it to be used with the existing 45 ACP frame lug.

Your custom extractor for the 45 Colt appears to be held together with the pre war style spanner nut as used on the 1917.

Have you lettered your extremely unique factory dual cartridge converted revolver? That would be interesting.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:40 AM
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Actually it is the original numbered to the gun extractor that has been modified. It appears to me that they removed the ratchet from the star, and then added (silver solder?) a second star. The first star, fitting flush with the cylinder and the second star for holding the rim of the 45Colt. Then they put the ratchet on the top. All fits amazingly well. Note how well the replacement (1917) star fits the cylinder.
Going through my saved threads and found this one. I have not a lot of interest in the 45 long Colt but this method of conversion is very interesting.

Dave, can you tell if the chambers were deepened to accept the long Colt cartridge or was all of the conversion in the extractor?

Thank you.

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Old 07-17-2020, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handejector View Post

I could not find an empty 45 Colt case- I was going to saw it in two lengthwise just to show that the unsupported head of the case is still completely solid as I feel that it is.
Save your cases.

The internet provides the evidence for what you said.
1950 Model 45 Target - Found in Tucson-img_5461-jpg

Unless someone is still using old balloon head cases of course.

Edit. Almost forgot. The .45 Colt is the one on the left, the other is a .44 Magnum.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
Going through my saved threads and found this one. I have not a lot of interest in the 45 long Colt but this method of conversion is very interesting.



Dave, can you tell if the chambers were deepened to accept the long Colt cartridge or was all of the conversion in the extractor?



Thank you.



Kevin
The chambers had to be deepened in order to accept the 45LC cartridge.

I'm going to get this one out and fondle it a bit. It is still one of the most interesting guns I own.

Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:40 AM
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Thumbs up

My thanks to StrawHat for reviving an interesting thread that started before I arrived here.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:55 AM
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The chambers had to be deepened in order to accept the 45LC cartridge.

I'm going to get this one out and fondle it a bit. It is still one of the most interesting guns I own.

Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
So, the ACP must be clipped to fire. AR works okay? And long Colt also works unclipped.

It is still a fascinating work around.

More photos please, if the urge strikes you.

Have you ever had it to the range?

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Old 07-17-2020, 10:55 AM
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My thanks to StrawHat for reviving an interesting thread that started before I arrived here.
You are welcome.

It had been on my mind for a while to dig this thread up again. I searched for modified 1917s and got nowhere. Finally went through all of my saved threads one by one.

It was worth it!

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Old 07-17-2020, 10:59 AM
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Your photo work is truly educational. as for two extractors, I am not sufficiently skilled to swap one for another with out bending something, and causing a wobble seen while spinning freely with cylinder open. In a Jerry Miculek video I saw he recommended using alignment tools to straighten such every time I would do so.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
It was the bulk of full moon clips alright, but not for carrying that did them in:

The ‘half-moon’ clip evolved from a ‘full-moon’ clip design originally invented by S&W for rimmed cartridges in their ‘Top Break’ #3 revolvers in the latter part of the 19th century as a form of what we know today as a ‘speed loader’.

The original intended use was never put into production however. Probably because Smith didn’t have much luck obtaining Army contracts for their revolver. A good idea languished for 30 years or so until the “The .45 Hand Ejector U.S. - Model 1917” was designed to chamber the 45 ACP rimless round. Why then did Smith & Wesson invent and patent the half-moon clip?

Very simple as it turns out; the military correctly concluded that pre-loaded half-moon clips could be packaged much more efficiently than pre-loaded full-moon clips. Which Smith, at the request of the Army allowed Colt to also use free of charge. Alas, the full-moon clip was once again relegated to the back burner of firearms ingenuity. Only in the more recent past, after 100 + years since its invention, has the currently popular full-moon clip finally gained its full due.

The half-moon clip was patented in 1918 (application filed August 15, 1917) by Joseph H. Wesson, one of Daniel B. Wesson's sons, who also designed a machine to load them. He also designed various full-moon clips and even a quick loading carrier for 24 cartridges.

Factory racks of 1/2 moon clips prior to being loaded:

1917 .45 half moon clip holder-revolving-rifle-001-jpg
Jim, do you have a clear pic of the label on the back of the halfmoonclip feeder stick?

One of my favorite "M1917" pics I have accumulated...........I do need to get around to building one of these devices for myself.
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:14 PM
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I have the photo of the loading machine also. Never even thought about building one!

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Old 07-17-2020, 01:27 PM
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Jim, do you have a clear pic of the label on the back of the halfmoonclip feeder stick?

One of my favorite "M1917" pics I have accumulated...........I do need to get around to building one of these devices for myself.

The wood strips are feeders for the machine that loaded them with ammo?
It is pictured in James V. Howe's book on gunsmithing.

I'm sorry I don't have a better photo of label. When I zoom in on it as near as I can tell it reads:

1st line - ???45 Caliber (then reference to it being a clip holder)
2nd line - Manufactured by
3rd line - SMITH and WESSON
4th line - (appears to be an address ending in Springfield, MASS.
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
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The wood strips are feeders for the machine that loaded them with ammo?
Just a WAG on my part, thus why I was wondering what the label said. (You did state "Factory racks of 1/2 moon clips prior to being loaded" in your post and my assumption is they were loaded by a device like the one in my pic.)

The do look to be about the right length for it. Who knows, maybe the halfmoonclips were somehow transferred to a permanent halfmoonclip holding bar on the machine, but I feel it would be far simpler and faster to remove an empty halfmoonclip holder and then shove a fully loaded halfmoonclip holder into the machine for ammo loading.

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Old 07-17-2020, 02:20 PM
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It appears to be the right hand upright in the photo only longer:

1950 Model 45 Target - Found in Tucson-half-moonclip-loading-machine-45acp-ammo-use-m1917-revolvers-pattern-1918-jpg

IIRC, they were also shipped to the army unloaded on these longer racks. Otherwise why else would they have the S&W label on them?
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Old 07-17-2020, 02:23 PM
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I shoot 50 rounds through my 625-6 every morning, weather permitting, it has three letters CDZ infront of the serial No. It is fairly accurate using acp brass, but when using Starline AR brass it is outstanding, one of my most accurate revolvers. It has only shot lead 180 grain SWC, most accurate using 4.4 grains of 700X so far.
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Old 07-17-2020, 02:37 PM
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IIRC, they were also shipped to the army unloaded on these longer racks. Otherwise why else would they have the S&W label on them?
A very good observation/question.

I will require one or two originals, fully charged with halfmoonclips, for further "study" of course.
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 45Wheelgun View Post
The chambers had to be deepened in order to accept the 45LC cartridge.

I'm going to get this one out and fondle it a bit. It is still one of the most interesting guns I own.

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Dave, you still have this! That's great. It is an innovative and well thought out piece of engineering. It is unique. One great reason to be in the S&WCA. If you go to the annual meetings, you get to see things like this in real life.

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Old 07-17-2020, 10:00 PM
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I shoot 50 rounds through my 625-6 every morning, weather permitting, it has three letters CDZ infront of the serial No. It is fairly accurate using acp brass, but when using Starline AR brass it is outstanding, one of my most accurate revolvers. It has only shot lead 180 grain SWC, most accurate using 4.4 grains of 700X so far.
Since I'm such an old fart and have stores of Unique powder, my very accurate load for my 1917 and '50 Target remains: 6.6 grs Uniq w/200 gr SWC in Remington AR cases. Fed and CCI primers.
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:29 PM
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Default My chopped and reblued example

It makes a good holster gun.........

Click twice for larger pics.............
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1950 Model 45 Target - Found in Tucson-dvd-recovered-pics-057-jpg  
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:38 PM
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Time to spring my trap-

Put $200 in small bills in a paper sack, and drop it in the alley behind Rosa's cantina in El Paso, or you'll never see the gun again.
Better yet, bring it inside- I'm in the last corner booth (they got Wifi now) waitng for Feleena to dance.
HEY DAVE!!!!
I'm still waitin on that $200. Still at Rosa's. They won't let me leave till I pay my tab.
Come git me!
Bring all the cash you can. The back door is nailed shut, but bring a claw hammer and see if you can pull the nails holdin it shut- but be quiet doin it. Bring that 45 in case it gets dicey.
HURRY!
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:30 PM
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If someone wanted to recreate such a neat revolver, I'd bet a bunch that member BMCM could do it. He's mostly in the semi-auto forum discussing 3rd gens and the work he's done on his or others.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:48 PM
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HEY DAVE!!!!

Bring that 45 in case it gets dicey.
HURRY!
LOL.

Soooo... You want him to bring it in .45 Colt or .45 ACP?



I hope Faleena was worth it.
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:34 PM
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Hopefully this is a good place to ask: Has anyone ever been able to match their best accuracy with one of the 45 acp revolvers comparing it against shooting a 45 Long Colt with its best load?
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:23 PM
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LOL.

Soooo... You want him to bring it in .45 Colt or .45 ACP?



I hope Faleena was worth it.
I want him to bring it loaded.
Feleena is holdin up OK, but she don't twirl as fast as she used to. Her walker slows 'er down some.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:03 PM
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HEY DAVE!!!!
I'm still waitin on that $200. Still at Rosa's. They won't let me leave till I pay my tab.
Come git me!
Bring all the cash you can. The back door is nailed shut, but bring a claw hammer and see if you can pull the nails holdin it shut- but be quiet doin it. Bring that 45 in case it gets dicey.
HURRY!
With proper apologies to the late Warren Zevon...

" I went home with a waitress, the way I always do,
how was I to know, she was with the Russians too...

Send lawyers, guns and money, the S*** has hit the fan!"

Froggie
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:09 PM
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Hopefully this is a good place to ask: Has anyone ever been able to match their best accuracy with one of the 45 acp revolvers comparing it against shooting a 45 Long Colt with its best load?
In S&W revolvers I have a few ACP revolvers and only one chambered for the long Colt cartridge. I have not been able to get the long Colt (Model 25-5) to equal the accuracy of the ACP revolvers.

I also have a dual cylinder Italian SAA. The ACP cylinder is permanently installed. Not really sure where the long Colt one is, to be honest.

Kevin
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:23 AM
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Hopefully this is a good place to ask: Has anyone ever been able to match their best accuracy with one of the 45 acp revolvers comparing it against shooting a 45 Long Colt with its best load?
I'd be interested in that result as well. For a valid comparison both cartridges would have to be fired from the same gun with two specifically chambered cyls.
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:28 AM
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I must be the latest of late bloomers when it comes to shooting .45 ACP in a revolver. The OP's revolver is outstanding. I was introduced to .45 ACP revolvers by a guy that shot a 25-2 very well in just about any of the revolver competitions he entered. My first was a Brazilian Model of 1917 which led me down the proverbial crooked trail. I shoot big framed Smith revolvers with .45 AR better than any other revolvers I own. My friend had lost a competition to a bent clip and switched to AR and never looked back, I struggled with a few bad clips and decided it was a worthy switch and also never looked back. I have a very nice original Model of 1917 that I shouldn't shoot because its just that nice but when I do its with 1/2 moons, just for tradition. Some guys don't know that you can shoot without clips as long as you keep a pencil over your ear.
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:35 AM
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Wow! That is a marvelous addition to your collection. Does the 1950 on the barrel right side indicate the year it was made?
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:37 AM
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Wow! That is a marvelous addition to your collection. Does the 1950 on the barrel right side indicate the year it was made?
That's part of the name-The 1950 .45 Target Model. These were built from 1950 to 1961.
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Old 07-23-2020, 03:41 AM
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I must be the latest of late bloomers when it comes to shooting .45 ACP in a revolver. The OP's revolver is outstanding. I was introduced to .45 ACP revolvers by a guy that shot a 25-2 very well in just about any of the revolver competitions he entered. My first was a Brazilian Model of 1917 which led me down the proverbial crooked trail. I shoot big framed Smith revolvers with .45 AR better than any other revolvers I own. My friend had lost a competition to a bent clip and switched to AR and never looked back, I struggled with a few bad clips and decided it was a worthy switch and also never looked back. I have a very nice original Model of 1917 that I shouldn't shoot because its just that nice but when I do its with 1/2 moons, just for tradition. Some guys don't know that you can shoot without clips as long as you keep a pencil over your ear.

Valid for Smith & Wesson. Not for the Colt M 1917.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:10 AM
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Valid for Smith & Wesson. Not for the Colt M 1917.
Granted, I have little to do with Colt firearms, but from what I understand, only the very early Colt Model 1917s had cylinders bored straight through with no headspacing ridge. I am not positive but believe most of those were fitted with new cylinders either by Colt’s or military armorers.

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Old 07-23-2020, 07:49 AM
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I'd be interested in that result as well. For a valid comparison both cartridges would have to be fired from the same gun with two specifically chambered cyls.
Jim,

While I understand what you are saying, you are asking for a custom revolver. Certainly not unheard of especially on this forum. I am curious if anyone has been able to get target grade accuracy with a factory S&W revolver chambered for the 45 long Colt. In ACP, accurate revolvers are almost standard.

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Old 07-23-2020, 08:05 AM
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I'd be interested in that result as well. For a valid comparison both cartridges would have to be fired from the same gun with two specifically chambered cyls.
At the risk of being deemed a heretic, I’ll mention my brother’s R***r B*******k that he bought as a 45 Colt (only.). I found a 45 ACP cylinder for it, sitting all lonely on a table at some random gun show. Not only did it fit and function perfectly with no gunsmithing, but with the factory ball ammo he commonly shoots it performed better with the random transplant than the original cylinder. I realize this is one example of another brand of gun, but for what it’s worth, there it is.

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Old 07-23-2020, 11:12 AM
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In my Ruger factory convertible 45 with both cyls. I couldn't tell the difference once the chamber throats were opened up and properly sized in the Colt cyl. It took a slightly hotter load for best accuracy with the 45 Colt cartridge: volumetric efficiency in the larger case.

I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing were true in a convertible S&W revolver.
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Old 07-24-2020, 03:09 AM
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Granted, I have little to do with Colt firearms, but from what I understand, only the very early Colt Model 1917s had cylinders bored straight through with no headspacing ridge. I am not positive but believe most of those were fitted with new cylinders either by Colt’s or military armorers.

Kevin
You are right only the early models had no heaspacing ridge.
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