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Old 10-12-2018, 07:43 AM
CZU CZU is offline
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Looked at a 1917 yesterday, it has a mismatched barrel. The seller says that a snap cap doesn't fit properly and that it would require auto-rim to function. I think he's blowing smoke, with a mismatched barrel is it worth the $399 asking price? All other numbers do match, I would say 75-80% condition.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:09 AM
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Yes, worth $399 from your description. Does the replaced barrel have Property of US Army stamped on the bottom of the barrel?
Original smooth grips #'d to the gun on back side of right grip?

The "snap cap"???? Need to find out what that's all about before buying.

The main reason to have to use 45 AR is because the 'chamber shoulders' have been reamed deeper, (maybe for 45 Colt) so snap caps would fall all the way into the chambers, as well as 45 ACP! Need to verify.

But it's only a shooter in that condition anyway, so $399 still ain't bad. In fact some might like the flexibility to shoot two different cartridges. Take some 45 ACP and 45 Colt when you go to see it again.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:30 AM
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1917 S&W or was it a 1917 Colt.
Not questioning your intelligence,,just that the earlier production Colt had a chamber that was bored straight thru,,no shoulder to headspace the 45acp case on.
That made the use of the 1/2 moon clips a necessity in those with 45acp ammo as the case will drop deeply into the chamber(s) without them.
The use of 45AR in these (and others to follow) negates the need for the clip.
The S&W was always chambered with the standard headspace shoulder AFAIK. So a standard 45acp round should not drop in too far even if not using a 1/2Moon clip.

If a S&W 1917, and the 45acp drops in too far, I'd guess that some sort of caliber conversion was attempted,,probably to 45Colt.
The problem with that is that the headspace will be wildly out of spec using 45Colt.
The headspace in the revolver as made is .090".
A simple chambering the 45Colt (Long) is possible. But the rim thickness on the 45Colt case is around .060".
That leaves you with .030" excess headspace in the revolver shooting that 45Colt.
Excess headspace is a concern starting at a few .000 over what the max acceptable is for the chamber.,,multiple 10's of .000" is way out there..

Would it shoot OK?,,maybe if the firing pin can reach the primer OK.
The excess headspace may not even cause the average shooter a concern or second look depending on the load.
They don't make 'specs' just for laughs though.

If the bbl is NOT a S&W bbl (some repro 1917 bbls were sold some years ago),,and the 45acp cylinder has been rechambered to 45Colt,,then I'd hesitate at the price.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:53 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is online now
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Good points, but not to worry:

1. The 1917s had nice long hammer noses (firing pins). I've tested several 1917s not converted to 45 Colt by cutting down 45 Colt cases, loading and shooting them. Even with the extra .030" of headspace, they always shoot.

2. And if the reaming was done properly, the shoulder was reamed "short" so the Colt cases would chamber but with the case heads sticking out of the chambers the same amount as ACP, therefore the proper .060" headspace is maintained.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:15 AM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Was the butt stamped US ARMY MODEL OF 1917 with a 5 1/2" barrel? It is possible that it was an altered .455.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:50 AM
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Cylinder not drilled completely through, it is properly marked on the butt us army, barrel not aftermarket, it is a S&W. Going to go look again. Also thought of .455, but no Brit proofs on frame.

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Old 10-12-2018, 04:12 PM
ddixie884 ddixie884 is offline
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I bought a shaved S&W .455 when I was a very young man. I had owned a 1917 earlier and didn't know what I had. It had a 6.5" bbl and the high front sight. I always used clips or AR in it. The sight was perfect as I loaded 454424 swc over too much Unique. I shortened it to 4" and later traded it for a new m-37 S&W. It had the second 5 crossed out and AR neatly stamped behind it. Sorry for thread drift.............
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:04 PM
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Well, as the story goes went back to look at it and it was gone. I did quiz him more about it, 45 AR was a fit but acp was not. The cylinder had not been shaved, Im thinking maybe it was chambered for .455 and they hadn't thought about that. BTW, this was at Cabelas and they had a Brazilian as well. Snap cap fit it ok. Wan't a wasted trip though, I added another Baby Chief to the collection, somewhat finish challenged but better I think than the other blue one that I have.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:59 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Originally Posted by CZU View Post
Well, as the story goes went back to look at it and it was gone. I did quiz him more about it, 45 AR was a fit but acp was not. The cylinder had not been shaved, Im thinking maybe it was chambered for .455 and they hadn't thought about that. BTW, this was at Cabelas and they had a Brazilian as well. Snap cap fit it ok. Wan't a wasted trip though, I added another Baby Chief to the collection, somewhat finish challenged but better I think than the other blue one that I have.
Want a wasted trip though...
Truer words were never spoken. Any trip that results in the acquisition of a Baby Chief could never be considered wasted. You could even start a new thread with pix if you want to... Im sure no one would complain.

Froggie
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:12 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is online now
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Why would it be chambered for 455?
What snap cap cartridge, a 45 ACP?

You know the cyl # was #s matching to the gun and we already know it was a 1917 Military, so it couldn't be a 455 cyl. or gun.

I guess no one checked it out for 45 Colt.
Cabela doesn't care, they just wanted to dump it.

It'll remain an unsolved issue but it's gone anyway.

Congrats on the Baby Chiefs Spl. You'll need to post it.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
1917 S&W or was it a 1917 Colt.
Not questioning your intelligence,,just that the earlier production Colt had a chamber that was bored straight thru,,no shoulder to headspace the 45acp case on.
That made the use of the 1/2 moon clips a necessity in those with 45acp ammo as the case will drop deeply into the chamber(s) without them.
The use of 45AR in these (and others to follow) negates the need for the clip.
The S&W was always chambered with the standard headspace shoulder AFAIK. So a standard 45acp round should not drop in too far even if not using a 1/2Moon clip.

If a S&W 1917, and the 45acp drops in too far, I'd guess that some sort of caliber conversion was attempted,,probably to 45Colt.
The problem with that is that the headspace will be wildly out of spec using 45Colt.
The headspace in the revolver as made is .090".
A simple chambering the 45Colt (Long) is possible. But the rim thickness on the 45Colt case is around .060".
That leaves you with .030" excess headspace in the revolver shooting that 45Colt.
Excess headspace is a concern starting at a few .000 over what the max acceptable is for the chamber.,,multiple 10's of .000" is way out there..

Would it shoot OK?,,maybe if the firing pin can reach the primer OK.
The excess headspace may not even cause the average shooter a concern or second look depending on the load.
They don't make 'specs' just for laughs though.

If the bbl is NOT a S&W bbl (some repro 1917 bbls were sold some years ago),,and the 45acp cylinder has been rechambered to 45Colt,,then I'd hesitate at the price.
FWIW this one has been reamed to accept 45 Colt. It has a slightly long hammer nose, and just barely begins to actually pierce primers on 45acp, but hits 'em just right on 45 Colt.

The headspace is out of spec, but standard 45 Colt is a relatively low pressure cartridge, and my handloads are generally on the mild side of standard loads. The headspacing hasn't been an issue.

So it shoots both 45acp and 45 Colt just fine. I paid only $255 for it because of the chrome plating over old pitting, and then I paid another $20 to get a set of period correct wood stocks and a lanyard ring for it. For a total invested of $275 it is A-OK as a shooter.

So if you come across another shooter that has been reamed to accept the Colts, don't let that be a deal killer if it is priced accordingly.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:57 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is online now
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Great price for a shooter.

But it's a commercial model made after the war. You want the factory checkered grips and Magnas would be better for shooting.
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:05 AM
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Great price for a shototer.

But it's a commercial model made after the war. You want the factory checkered grips and Magnas would be better for shooting.
If you're talking about mine, I realize the stocks aren't correct for a commercial model, BUT they are wood and they are WAY more period correct than the Pachmayr Presentation grips that came on it. Plus but I got them for under ten bucks. I doubt that I could even get a set of beat up current-era magnas for that price, and even trashed period correct checkered grips would cost half or more of what I paid for the gun.

I think that with the lanyard loop installed the smooth service stocks look pretty good - dare I say they even look "right" on the old girl.

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Old 10-13-2018, 08:11 AM
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"It's all fun and games until someone looses an eye!" The problem with shooting a gun that has excess head space is that there is less support to hold the pressure inside of the case. If the case fails, which happens occasionally, there is less steel to contain the pressure. I'm not saying that you can't do it but you really need to understand what it is that is going on when you pull the trigger. All things considered, it's a fools errand trying to turn that 45 auto into a 45 Colt. You would probably be better off buying a used, modern gun actually chambered in 45 Colt if you are looking for a shooter.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:57 PM
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"It's all fun and games until someone looses an eye!" The problem with shooting a gun that has excess head space is that there is less support to hold the pressure inside of the case. If the case fails, which happens occasionally, there is less steel to contain the pressure. I'm not saying that you can't do it but you really need to understand what it is that is going on when you pull the trigger. All things considered, it's a fools errand trying to turn that 45 auto into a 45 Colt. You would probably be better off buying a used, modern gun actually chambered in 45 Colt if you are looking for a shooter.
Umm, yeah, as an engineer, I think I have a pretty good understanding of what's going on when I pull the trigger. I also understand that cartridges are thicker at the web - especially at the base where that unsupported 30 thousandths of an inch is located.

I also understand that just about every semi-auto handgun ever built has an unsupported area at least 2-3 times wider than that .030" on my old 1917. On the semis the unsupported area is located at the feed ramp - and Glocks in particular have an unsupported area double the size of most others. Ever heard of "Glocked" 9mm or 40 S&W brass?

Lastly, I also understand that the SAAMI pressure spec for 45Colt is 14,000 psi vs 35,000 psi for 9mm and 40 S&W. So they operate at nearly two and a half times the pressure of 45 Colt, yet blowouts of handgun brass are rare - even for Glocks.

So, because I understand all that, I'm not worried about .030" of unsupported area at the thickest part of the case wall around the very base of the brass right up against the rim.

However, I'm always open to new info, so find me a documented instance of a blowout of modern 45 Colt brass (not rifle brass or antique balloon head pistol brass) and I'll reconsider my position on the validity of that concern.

Until then, IMO, there are much bigger and more likely things for me to worry about. Like getting struck by lightening. Twice. In the same place.

Last edited by BC38; 10-13-2018 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 10-13-2018, 05:46 PM
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"It's all fun and games until someone looses an eye!" The problem with shooting a gun that has excess head space is that there is less support to hold the pressure inside of the case. If the case fails, which happens occasionally, there is less steel to contain the pressure. I'm not saying that you can't do it but you really need to understand what it is that is going on when you pull the trigger. All things considered, it's a fools errand trying to turn that 45 auto into a 45 Colt. You would probably be better off buying a used, modern gun actually chambered in 45 Colt if you are looking for a shooter.
"The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"

1. This is not a rifle. The 45 Colt with 14,000 PSI backing out of the chamber upon ignition because of an extra .030" head space is not as safe as the 45 ACP with 19,000 PSI designed to stick out of the chamber .030", why???

2. Always wear safety glasses when shooting!
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:41 PM
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"The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"

1. This is not a rifle. The 45 Colt with 14,000 PSI backing out of the chamber upon ignition because of an extra .030" head space is not as safe as the 45 ACP with 19,000 PSI designed to stick out of the chamber .030", why???

2. Always wear safety glasses when shooting!
Yeah, too many people these days remind me of the kid in Kindergarten Cop
"Maybe its a TUMOR!"

Our society has become so risk-adverse it cracks me up sometimes. My last employer distributed these big banners to every work group in the company that said "Safety is my PURPOSE" - and after making every one of us sign them with a paint pen, they hung them up all over the plant. Funny thing is, I always thought serving the customer was our purpose.

Laws compelling seatbelt usage, bicycle helmets, motorcycle helmets, etc., etc., etc.. The nanny state has turned the average person into a chicken little who is afraid of any and all risks - no matter how slim or remote the odds. Is it any wonder so many of our young men are such emasculated twits they follow morons like David Hogg?

sorry [/rant]

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