Okay, story time:
One day many years ago, when I was a very young Army MP in Washington DC, this elderly woman came to our Provost Marshal's Office (PMO) and related that her husband had recently passed away and "he had all these guns in the house" and she wanted to give them back to the Army. She specifically wanted them to go to the MP's because her husband had been an MP officer. Not to mention DC metro PD was interested in relieving her of them too, following his death.
We learned the woman's husband had retired a Brigadier General sometime in the early 1950's and he had purchased many of his weapons from the military as surplus in the 1930's while stationed at Ft. Sill, OK. So the Provost Marshal and the JAG upstairs made arrangements for the woman to bring the guns to the post and "properly dispose" of them per the DC rules. Since we were a Federal reservation, they considered us separate from the city, even though we were in it; plus we had Law Enforcement authority to a certain degree.
So when she brought the guns to the Post, those of us working that day got something if we wanted it. The catch was, if we lived in the barracks, we had to either keep it in the arms room in the PMO , take it to nearby Ft. Myer in Virginia for storage in the main MP Company arms room there, or make arrangements for storage off post outside of DC (like with a married NCO who lived in non military housing). The JAG and Provost Marshal took care of the paperwork for DC and then we individually signed a receipt for the "gift" and where it was to be stored.
The pecking order for who got what was based on rank. The Provost Marshal claimed the Generals saber, then went the 1911, and so on down the line. My squad leader ended up with a S&W M1917, which was the first time I had ever even heard of the weapon. I ended up with a 1896 30-40 Krag carbine, which I chose because it was the only carbine length rifle. It came with the 1968 DC Police registration receipt that showed it was purchased in 1934 from Ft. Sill. My roommate got a M1903A3 with a similar receipt of registration. I tried to talk my squad leader out of his revolver, but no deal. So, ever since, I've wanted one.
Which brings us to today. Every time I go to a certain local shop I end up spending money and today was no different. It's not as nice as some of the other ones I've seen here, but it's in decent shape. Has some character marks shall we say. Finish is probably +80ish%. It dates to 1918. So, finally after more than 35 years, I have a M1917. (I also still have the Krag.)