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Old 05-18-2017, 02:14 PM
crsides crsides is offline
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I am wanting a chopped 1917 and can't decide which to chop. All function well, excellent bores and chambers.

1) Brazilian 1937 good blue finish, a couple light scratches and one good ding on the top strap. Cataling grips. Much better than most Brazilians.

2) Original and correct 1917 #122xxx. Some deep pitting on outside of bbl, lots of scattered light rust & pitting. Correct but un-number grips. Maybe 70% blueing.

3) A very well done reblued 1917 (looks factory but not marked as such), some of the insp marks are polished light or gone. Correct but non matching grips. Sideplate matches up to frame like factory gun, great colors on hammer & trigger, all numbers match except grips. really nice looking gun.

Which would you chop. I'm leaning toward the Brazilian.

thanks for your comments
Charlie

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Old 05-18-2017, 02:29 PM
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I'd say the Brazilian.

Do be sure to post photos of the project progress....you know how we all love photos
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:09 PM
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Charlie, WAIT! I have a nickeled 1917 I'll trade you for one of yours. We could do it in Charlotte.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:28 PM
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If the bluing on the 1937 is original then I'd chop #2. If you owned three houses, two had good paint coverage and the third had bare wood that was starting to dry rot which would you change boards on and paint?

Admittedly I'm not the best collector and am not impressed by a gun's former government ownership.

The best alternative would be to wait for a 1917 that was already sporterized to come up for sale. We used to use sporterized to describe hunting rifles made out of surplus bolt actions. Best value in them was found by buying ones prior owners paid for most of the work on. Better collectors will speak well of you if you go this route.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:32 PM
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I'd do #3. If that Brazilian is nicer than most, that's worth saving, and add to that the fact that it has military pedigree. If #2 is original, with that number it probably saw duty during WWI. To me, that carries value.
If #3 is already refinished, then you won't be hurting it much- might even get away with a chop job and cold blue the muzzle?

I definitely vote for Wiregrassguy's idea.

How short are you going with the barrel?
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:22 PM
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Yeah, I'd talk to Wiregrassguy, too. The nickeled gun is a far better candidate for a custom. And it sounds like a very good trade option.

Larry
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:34 PM
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+1 on wiregrassguy's deal.
Although I'm not a nickel fan, all things being equal, I'd rather swap as to chop.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:52 PM
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I agree with deyomatic. Nice Brazilians are few and far between and are beginning to have a cult following.

#2 sounds like a decent gun so why mess it up.

#3 has been refinished so any barrel change or refinish is not going to hurt its value.

I vote for #3 and obviously we will need photos from start to finish. We just love gun porn.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:00 AM
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I would vote for #3 or the nickel gun trade.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:34 AM
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Of those you have,,#3 would be my choice
,,,anything original (especially from WW1) is worth leaving that way IMO even if it's less than pristine.

The trade for an already nickel plated 17 sounds like a possibility also for a project gun.
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:05 PM
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If portions of the completed project would have to be refinished starting with a nickeled 1917 would add complications and cost. A couple of local men who do old fashioned bluing charge very little to put parts or guns that they do no other work on in with their own jobs. Nickeling would have to done by a bigger shop that advertises nationally. The shipping alone would cost more than local bluing. Also there is no nickel equivalent to the various touch up cold blue products.

My 4" 1917 has a J frame adjustable sight and a silver soldered Shorty rifle ramp with a Sour Dough front blade. Those are relatively easy installations. By the way, good collectors, please do not start heating the tar and plucking the chickens. Its adjustable sight was installed at least two owners prior to me and I bought it in 1975. I'm only responsible for its shorter barrel.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:02 PM
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I'm with you, once the thing has been molested its free game. I've seen things that were painstakingly returned to their former glory and although worthy of great admiration are still after all "restored". I used to have a neighbor that kept a very nice '68 Plymouth Sport Fury in his single car garage, he had sheets over the back window deck, interior, a car cover. I asked him why he only took it out and drove it once a year and only when conditions were absolutely perfect, he said "I don't want to turn it into a used car."
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:23 PM
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Well, it's up to you, but I sure hope that we get to see pictures of whichever option you pursue. I have a 2nd model .44 HE that I want to convert one day, but I am looking for a spare barrel, maybe one that has already been cut, so that I could always reverse the process.

Best Regards, Les
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:50 AM
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I feel like #3 should be the obvious answer here...
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:21 AM
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I've been looking for a"beater" 1917 or Brazilian 1937 for a while now but the prices I see them selling for is making me rethink the whole idea. Like the OP I want to "chop" it, in my case to 3.5", and get a better but not obnoxious front sight.

I see 1917s that aren't all that clean with asking prices upwards of $1000. Most Brazilians for sale on the internet are going for $500+. Those prices are too high to then add the cost of cutting the barrel, creating a more user friendly front sight and then re-bluing the whole thing. Not to mention there can always be action/tuning work that needs to be done.

I remember being offered a 1917 for $25 over the counter at a gun shop I frequented back in the late 1970s. Good grief, I'm getting old! (LOL)

Which ever gun he (OP) finally chooses I hope he will keep us abreast of his project's progress.

Dave
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:16 PM
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Guess I shoulda done this to start with. Before pics. It looks like #3 is the little piggy that goes to the butcher.

















Did you see the colors on that hammer and trigger?



thanks for the help. And if the pics helped change your mind, let me know.

Charlie
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:48 PM
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Warning: I have learned the hard way to not use my best shooting guns as the basis for custom guns. There is too much of a chance that the gunsmith's work will be a disappointment.

That would also apply to your best looking guns like #3. She's stunningly beautiful but you want to send her to the plastic surgeon in the hopes she might come out more to your taste?

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Old 05-20-2017, 05:13 PM
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Now that I have seen the guns I think that I will vote for option number 4.

Don't touch any of them..
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
If portions of the completed project would have to be refinished starting with a nickeled 1917 would add complications and cost. A couple of local men who do old fashioned bluing charge very little to put parts or guns that they do no other work on in with their own jobs. Nickeling would have to done by a bigger shop that advertises nationally. The shipping alone would cost more than local bluing. Also there is no nickel equivalent to the various touch up cold blue products.

My 4" 1917 has a J frame adjustable sight and a silver soldered Shorty rifle ramp with a Sour Dough front blade. Those are relatively easy installations. By the way, good collectors, please do not start heating the tar and plucking the chickens. Its adjustable sight was installed at least two owners prior to me and I bought it in 1975. I'm only responsible for its shorter barrel.
Dude, we need to see some PICTURES so we can see the modifications and judge them for ourselves
It sure sounds intriguing...

And to the OP, I'd choose option 4 as well - find one that is already refinished but UGLY. Your #3 may be refinished, but as you have said, it was very well done and is too pretty for plastic surgery IMO.

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Old 05-20-2017, 07:34 PM
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So...stripping the nickel from a chopper is not a good option? I'm surprised not to see more encouragement for the swap-and-chop.

Larry
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:35 PM
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I wouldn't chop any of those. I'd wait for a basket case.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:58 PM
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I stand by my original thoughts... SWAP and CHOP. Those are all much nicer than I thought...nicer than my full sized 1917 that never saw service in WWI.
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Old 05-22-2017, 12:11 AM
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Now that the pictures how been produced I have to agree that none of them should be used for a project. I think with a little searching you can come up with the previous project gun that has no collector value. That's how I came across the gun in the pictures. The only work I did was to add the Tyler T-grip, otherwise it is just as I bought it. I like it just as it is, but something similar might be what you are looking for to work on.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:18 AM
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Chop ALL 3!

Have a 2-1/2", 3" & 3-1/2"

Accessorize them all differently and have one blue - one nickel and one pinto.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:34 AM
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Here's one shipped to the Navy in 1943 that wound up being chopped and butt rounded by an FBI agent who worked at the Las Vegas office during the late 40's-1950's. She ain't much to look at but is a tack driver at close "business" range
Chuck




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Old 05-22-2017, 10:37 AM
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If you must, Chop #2
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:11 PM
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There are plenty of 1917s out there that have already been chopped. Wait and find one of those.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:40 PM
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I'm with Jimmy, although I don't have the advantage of gun in hand. But from I can see in pics I'd mess with #2 before I'd take #3 any further. I just lucked into the Brazilian which was very nicely refinished but had suffered some serious rustification and had serious pitting under the stocks. I considered it a prime candidate for messing around with. I talked with a gunsmith friend of mine about what I'd like done and actually paid him more to shorten the barrel to 4", install a Baughman style front sight, open up the forcing cone and square away any wobble in the yoke, adjust end play and reblue the barrel
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:20 PM
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Here's a .45 I built on a .455 frame and modern barrel/cylinder. I've got one on the bench now in .44 Special with modern 3" barrel.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
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There are plenty of 1917s out there that have already been chopped. Wait and find one of those.
I'd sure like to know where all these "chopped" 1917s are hiding. I've seen one in over a year of looking and it had a .455" barrel which would have .451" Ball rounds bounce around (or more likely skew one way or the other) on their way to the muzzle. I passed since I'm not set up (right dies & expanders) to load .454" cast bullets.

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Old 05-23-2017, 11:57 AM
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I've been trying to find a 1917 barrel for a year or so.
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Old Yesterday, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
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I've been trying to find a 1917 barrel for a year or so.


One just sold on eBay. They come up fairly frequently for $150 or so.
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Old Yesterday, 08:43 PM
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I like those catalin grips!
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Old Yesterday, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
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One just sold on eBay. They come up fairly frequently for $150 or so.
Tell us how we find them, especially at that price.
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