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Old 04-06-2011, 08:47 AM
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Default Model 1917 Serial Numbers

I just purchased a Model 1917 Army. Serial Numbers on the revolver are:
Frame: Front Strap - s 9184
Butt - 492xx
Barrel Flat - 492xx
Cyl. Face - 492xx
Crane - 9184
Extractor - 49235
Right Grip - 49235

At first glance I thought that a new crane was fitted, but since the frame carries both 9184 and 49235 this doesn't make sense. All of the numbers are crisp and do not overlay any other numbers.
Can someone with better knowledge of 1917's help me with this serial number difference.
Many thanks in advance.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:18 AM
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All of the 492XX numbers are your serial numbers. The other numbers are assembly numbers. I assume it is a commercial 1917?
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:08 PM
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Huron, Welcome to the Forum. As Curtis said, the 49235 is the serial number. The other number is the work/assembly number. S&W used the work/assembly numbers to identify parts that had been through the fitting process and were mated to each other, before the parts were disassembled to go to bluing, plating, etc. After that the parts were reassembled based on the work/assembly number. The work/assembly number could also be linked to functions and quality control , so that if an inspector rejected a part, it could be returned to a specific work station for correction. A work/assembly number was necessary for parts as the serial number was not applied until after most of the fitting of parts ws completed. This is generally true of most S&W revolvers. Ed.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:02 AM
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I'm assuming that the 492xx numbers are also 49235 which is the serial number.

The meaning of S9184 is less certain without looking at the gun or pictures. I suspect it is a Springfield Armory rebuild number required on all guns returned to a Government armory. The number should have been stamped on the frame, barrel, cylinder, and all major internal parts. If you pop the side plate, you should find the same number on the hammer and trigger. Usually, rebuild numbers are bigger than original numbers on the gun. A refinished surface is another clue, although not all guns were refinished during a rebuild.

If you can post some good pictures, we can sort this out.

Buck
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:39 AM
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Many Thanks for your input. It is a commercial version.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:40 AM
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Many thanks for the info. and clarification.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:43 AM
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Thanks for your info. I will pop the side plate and check numbers. The 9184 numbers are much smaller than the 49235 numbers. I do not believe that it is a refinish as it does show wear in all the usual places. I will try and get some good closeups and post these. Thanks again.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:46 AM
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Still getting used to this forum. What I am trying to say is I appreciate the info. that 29AHOLIC, OPOEFC and HAGGIS provided.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huron View Post
Still getting used to this forum. What I am trying to say is I appreciate the info. that 29AHOLIC, OPOEFC and HAGGIS provided.
You are welcome now post pics
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:49 AM
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I just chanced by the this post and glad I found it, as it answered a similar question. I just brought home a Model 1917, government issue. The serial number is 161580, but as I inspected the crane and the inside of the frame where the crane meets up, there is another number, 24681. This puzzled me as the frame in the base of the grip, cylinder and barrel all had the identical serial number of 161580. I also noticed the "eagle" proof mark next to the number on the frame that does not match up with the serial number which is in accordance with opoefc's information. There is an "A" stamped just above that, any idea what the represents? I'm very happy with this 1917, although the exterior finish is showing it's 92 years, it is in very good mechanical condition with a very clean bore and chambers; the interior is rust free, and it locks up as tightly as my brand new 619. The grips appear to be the civilian versions applied aftewards, as I know it should have the government grips, but I'm not exactly one to complain about it at this point. Thanks for the great info; it saved me a moment of panic after I brought it home!
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:46 AM
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The 24681 is the assembly number, as Ed noted in his post that you referenced. It shows the frame and yoke (crane) were fitted together at the factory. The "A" may be another fitter's or inspector's stamp.

The stocks are from a 1910-'20 era N frame, and should you want to find originals (smooth walnut, no medallions) they are worth much more than those in trade. Enjoy!
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:22 AM
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I had heard the grips might be worth a little bit. I really like them, even if not authentic for that model, but as they are original era, then feel I got a bonus. I purchased this revolver here in Germany last month and believe it must have quite a story, sort of glad it's back in American hands.
I will indeed enjoy!
Thanks, Alan!
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:44 PM
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Default Model 1917 Serial Numbers

Just to wrap this up - No less an authority than Roy Jinks has confirmed that the serial number in my case is the 49235 and the 6184 is the assembly number. Both numbers are needed and should match to affirm that the piece is all original.
The "s" on mine is the inspector designation, Colonel Gilbert H. Stuart, Inspector for Army versions.

Thanks again to those who answered me, and especially to those who "nailed" the answer.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:28 PM
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just got a us army model 1917 handed down to me. it was my great uncles pistol. serial # 37125. The blueing is not perfect, but the pistol is in great shape. having issues with posting pics of it though. I don't have much knowledge in reference to this pistol, any comments/feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:57 PM
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frobee50,

Welcome to the Forum.

Check out this thread:

Let's see your U.S. Model 1917 S&Ws!

Also, do a search for "1917" and you will get a ton of threads.

Basically, when WW I started, the Brits didn't have enough Webley revolvers and they bought .455 revolvers from Smith & Wesson. In 1916, D B Wesson patented the half moon clip, which enabled the rimless .45 ACP round to be extracted from a revolver.

When the US entered the World War, we did not have enough 1911 Colts to equip the greatly enlarged armed forces. S&W and Colt were building large frame revolvers and both built 1917 revolvers. Since S&W had already been building .455s for the British, it was very easy for them to merely forge barrels in 5 1/2" length instead of the British standard 6 1/2"
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