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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
Hondo44 Hondo44 is online now
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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
StrawHat StrawHat is offline
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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
Jaguarman Jaguarman is offline
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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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  #60  
Old 04-20-2019, 08:55 AM
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Good lookin' pistola!
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  #61  
Old 04-20-2019, 10:15 AM
Skeetr57 Skeetr57 is offline
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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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  #62  
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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