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Old 04-18-2017, 02:39 PM
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Default .455 2nd Model HE Question

Good day. I am doing a bit of research on friends newly acquired revolver and have a question about a marking . First off the revolver is an all original (un-modified) .455 2nd model . It is in very nice condition and appears to have seen little use. The piece has all of the standard markings with the exception of what looks like an X with a line through it on the left side in 2 places . Any and all comments are appreciated. Many thanks in advance. Markings are in second pic.


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Old 04-18-2017, 02:57 PM
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Well Ive done a bit more research and I think I have answered my own question. They are sold out of service marks. The wonders of the internet... Any comments would still be appreciated as we dont know all that much about this piece ..
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:23 PM
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The .455 Second Model serial number range sent to the British in 1915-17 is 5462 to 74755. The double Broad Arrow Crown property stamp does indicate it was sold out of service.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:14 PM
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. . .They are sold out of service marks. The wonders of the internet . . .
Ian Skennerton's 577 Snider Enfield Rifles & Carbines has a section on British Production Markings of the mid-to-late Nineteenth Century. The mark you photographed was simply called a Sale Mark or Disposal Mark . . . thanks to the "Wonders of the book".
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:40 PM
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ffeng31,

That's a rare beauty in that condition as you indicated. Many, many have been converted to 45 Colt or 45 ACP/AR.

A little background:

That's a ".455 Mark II Hand Ejector - 2nd Model", 3rd Version.

There were several ways for these to make their way across the Big Pond to Britain, across the border to Canada, or originally sold here in the states and then immigrated somewhere else as evidenced by various assorted non - USA import, export, and/or proof stamps. Stamps also vary contingent upon the date any particular revolver made the "trip(s)".


There are three basic versions of .455 chambered Hand Ejector revolvers made by S&W under contract to the British for WW I. All three versions include some triple locks, but those in the 3rd group are actually 1st versions. When roll marked with the cal., they are roll marked with the cal., are roll marked only S&W 455 because all versions are actually reamed to also chamber the longer MK I cartridge per the British contract. Therefore the ‘book name’ references of 455 Mark II for all versions of S&W 455 chambered revolvers is a bit of a misnomer.

This is not be confused with the British revolver name “MK II” for the 455 Mark II HE – 2nd Model, which the British stamp MK II on the left rear frame of the revolvers and are known as such by them, as your friend's is stamped.
The WWI British contract Colt is marked ".455 ELEY", different than The S&W 455 marking.


3rd version: “.455 Mark II HE - 2nd Model” (sans extractor barrel shroud and 3rd lock), but with slightly larger cylinder/frame window dimensions from versions 1. and 2. above, the ".44 HE 1st Model Triple Lock" factory converted to .455, and the ".455 HE 1st Model TL" produced in .455, respectively.

The 2nd Model continued in the .455 1st Model TL Brit serial range beginning #5462 to #74755, shipped 1915-17.

By Feb 1916 724 were manufactured for the Canadians, chambered in 45 Colt, presumed for the RCMP [H of S&W, pg. 203].

Another 15 in 45 Colt were sold commercially in 1916.

The Canadian military also bought 14,500 .455 2nd Models.

And 1105 2nd Models were released for commercial sales in the US, shipped Dec 1917 to Shapleigh Hardware in St. Louis [S&W, N&J pg. 216].

“As the Brit contracts were finishing up in [April, H of S&W pg. 203] 1916, S&W found enough [44 HE frames and 455] parts to build 691 .455 HE 1st Model, Triple Lock frames [#2. above with .455 chambering]. These guns will be numbered in the .44 Spl serial number series. I have no idea why they were not just numbered in the .455 series. Perhaps it was .455 barrels and cylinders that the factory found, and they simply turned again to existing 44 HE 1st Model TL frames to use them up. They were sold commercially.” Lee Jarrett
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowe View Post
IanSkennerton's 577 Snider EnfieldRifles & Carbines has a section on British Production Markings of themid-to-late Nineteenth Century. The mark you photographed was simply called aSale Mark or Disposal Mark . . . thanks to the "Wonders of thebook".
On the chance it may be of interest, a few words about the other markings ...


The Crossed Pennants on the frame where the barrel screws in and on the rear face of the cylinder is a proof mark.

The column of markings on the frame near the stocks:


Broad Arrow ... placed on a firearm to show it was accepted into (British) government service.

Crown (or "Coronet" per Mr. Skennerton) .......}
E above Number (I can't read it in the photo) ...} it was inspected and accepted into service by Inspector Number at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield.

II ... This is the Second Model S&W Revolver accepted into service, the first being the S&W "Triple Lock"


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Old 04-18-2017, 09:48 PM
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Whenever this issue arises, and it happens a lot, we're told that some were made for the RCMP.


I've never seen them mentioned in books or articles about the Mounted Police, but they could have slipped by, as they were not officially adopted. The Colt New Service was their revolver then.


But if memory serves, the name Royal Canadian Mounted Police was not granted until 1920. The correct name at the time of WWI was the Royal Northwest Mounted Police.


I think this is correct. If not, someone will say so. I don't think anyone here collects their guns, but some Canadians are here, and members of the Force have been present on this board.


BTW, a No. 2 lead pencil may remove some of that freckling on the hammer. I presume that the present owner does know to keep the gun oiled.

Last edited by Texas Star; 04-18-2017 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:17 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Flash View Post

II ... This is the Second Model S&W Revolver accepted into service, the first being the S&W "Triple Lock"[/FONT][/COLOR]

Jack,

It is made by S&W on its 2nd model frame, but the Mark II is the 3rd version of 455 accepted into service by the British:

1. “.44 HE - 1st Model”, ‘Triple Lock’, .455 Mark II chambering: 812 factory reconfigured, unassembled or unsold ".44 Spl HE 1st Models", often not stamped .455, original chamberings unknown. Most or all were likely originally .44 Spl, 666 for the British #1104 thru 10417 (obviously not all serial #s in this range were used for the 666). The extra 146 in serial range #9858-10007 went to the commercial market; 123 in England and 23 in the US [N&J pgs. 204-205]. These 812 .455 TLs were serial #’d in the .44 1st Model serial # range of 1 to 15375.

2. “.455 Mark II HE - 1st Model”, TL in the new .455 British serial # range 1 to #5461 [H of S&W pg. 201] made 1914-15; thus creating a possible ~ 68 duplicate serial #s of the 812 “.44 HE 1st Model TLs”, also chambered in .455 in 1. above.

Duplicate numbers of the 666 .44 HE TLs chambered in .455 (#1104-10417 in the 44 HE range - not all inclusive, are known and published) + 146 (#9858-10007 .44 HE range - not all inclusive, are published as well), can exist with 68 of the .455 HE 1st Model TLs (#1–5461 in the Brit contract # range), and with the .455 2nd Models (#5462 and up to #15375 - the last .44 HE 1st Model serial #) in the Brit range.

3. “.455 Mark II HE - 2nd Model” (sans extractor barrel shroud and 3rd lock), but with slightly larger cylinder/frame window dimensions from versions 1. and 2. above, the ".44 HE 1st Model Triple Lock" factory converted to .455, and the ".455 HE 1st Model TL" produced in .455, respectively.

The 2nd Model continued in the .455 1st Model TL Brit serial range beginning #5462 to #74755, shipped 1915-17.
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:27 PM
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Thank you to all for the great info. I will be certain to pass it on and if possible get some better pics to post .
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Whenever this issue arises, and it happens a lot, we're told that some were made for the RCMP.

I've never seen them mentioned in books or articles about the Mounted Police, but they could have slipped by, as they were not officially adopted. The Colt New Service was their revolver then.

But if memory serves, the name Royal Canadian Mounted Police was not granted until 1920. The correct name at the time of WWI was the Royal Northwest Mounted Police.

I think this is correct. If not, someone will say so. I don't think anyone here collects their guns, but some Canadians are here, and members of the Force have been present on this board.

There's been a few shown on this forum. They're mentioned in H of S&W, pg. 203.


In 1873 the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) was created. The .450 Adams revolver was the original sidearm, ex- British Army guns.
1904 'Royal' was bestowed upon them, RNWMP. The Colt New Service was 1st ordered, and they were chambered in .455 Eley & re-ordered 3 more times thru 1914.

1918 they switched to the .45 Colt chambered NS. This is the period that 724 S&W 455 Mk II Hand Ejector 2nd Models chambered in 45 Colt were ordered. No serial # list known, Pg 203 H of S&W.

1920 RNWMP merged w/the Dominion Police Force to become a Canadian wide force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

1920 thru 1942 45 Colt NS revolvers were re-ordered exclusively except for 1932 when the last batch of 455 Eleys was ordered. To solve the issue of two different cartridges, all 45 Colt chambered guns were moved to eastern Canada and all 455 Eleys to west of Thunder Bay in Northwest Ontario.

1954 all .45 caliber revolvers were retired and the S&W .38 Spl Military and Police (Pre mod 10) was adopted (thought to be 5 ½” barrels).

1964 retired .45 caliber revolvers were first offered to Force members for $12 ea. Then the remainder were sold to the general public.

Revolvers were usually stamped with variations of the RCMP letters. Of the 3,195 Colt NS revolvers, only 2800 were actually stamped with an issue number.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
There's been a few shown on this forum. They're mentioned in H of S&W, pg. 203.


In 1873 the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) was created. The .450 Adams revolver was the original sidearm, ex- British Army guns.
1904 'Royal' was bestowed upon them, RNWMP. The Colt New Service was 1st ordered, and they were chambered in .455 Eley & re-ordered 3 more times thru 1914.

1918 they switched to the .45 Colt chambered NS. This is the period that 724 S&W 455 Mk II Hand Ejector 2nd Models chambered in 45 Colt were ordered. No serial # list known, Pg 203 H of S&W.

1920 RNWMP merged w/the Dominion Police Force to become a Canadian wide force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

1920 thru 1942 45 Colt NS revolvers were re-ordered exclusively except for 1932 when the last batch of 455 Eleys was ordered. To solve the issue of two different cartridges, all 45 Colt chambered guns were moved to eastern Canada and all 455 Eleys to west of Thunder Bay in Northwest Ontario.

1954 all .45 caliber revolvers were retired and the S&W .38 Spl Military and Police (Pre mod 10) was adopted (thought to be 5 ½” barrels).

1964 retired .45 caliber revolvers were first offered to Force members for $12 ea. Then the remainder were sold to the general public.

Revolvers were usually stamped with variations of the RCMP letters. Of the 3,195 Colt NS revolvers, only 2800 were actually stamped with an issue number.

Jim:


This parallels info in a book on RCMP firearms and info that I got via their HQ in Ottawa some years ago. The inspector who replied to my letter has the same last name as I do. Maybe someone saw our name and figured he was a relative? He also enclosed a paper written by a new constable on the history of the Force which was also covered in a, Classics comic book in the 1950's.


Among the inclusions in his pkg. were photos of Colt and S&W (Bodyguard) snub revolvers and a Model 10 with 5-inch bbl. A ruler in the photo confirmed bbl. length and I know what a five-inch M&P looks like. I also saw that length in use by the RCMP detachment in Corner Brook, Nfld. while stationed there with the USAF. I was the USAF cop who dealt most with the Mountie liaisons.


I also talked with a RCMP constable in Dallas while he was there for their famed Musical Ride. He groomed his horse and talked to my kids and me.


They're good cops, if a bit heavy-handed at times.


THe only place where I've previously heard of a 5.5-inch bbl. (other than in your post here) was in an article by Massad Ayoob, who told me he'd seen one at the depot in Regina, SASK. I think he knows a 5.5-incher when he sees one, but until I see photos, that gun is like Bigfoot: I want to believe, and accept expert testimony. But...


A few may have been cut down to fit the holsters after acquiring six-inchers from some force that RCMP absorbed. But most M-10's had the usual five-inch barrels. Why any shortened ones wouldn't have been cut at five inches baffles me.


If anyone knows more and has seen guns they KNOW have 5.5 inch barrels, please post.


BTW, the service load for the M-10 in later decades was a lead SWC-HP Plus P round. It gave good results, and the Force was satisfied with that stopping power when they adopted the S&W 9mm autos.

Last edited by Texas Star; 04-19-2017 at 01:47 AM.
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