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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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  #51  
Old 10-15-2020, 04:32 PM
Frankenstein Frankenstein is offline
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Originally Posted by jeffrefrig View Post
How does it shoot? It looks like a nice gun, whatever it is or when it became what ever it is. Have fun! It seems the research is a large part of the fun!
Oh, it shoots really well! I've only put maybe 30 rounds through it so far as I really want to put together some lighter loads than the ones I made for my 1911's and Glocks. No need to run a slide. The ones I have already are not hot by any means, but then they are not light either.
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  #52  
Old 10-15-2020, 04:35 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Originally Posted by tenntex32 View Post
Jim, (It seems to be implying there may have been very early M1917 WWI contract examples that do not have the "US Army Model of 1917" marking, nor the GHS or the flaming ordnance bomb markings on the upper left frame.......?)


Thanks,
Dale
That's exactly the way I took his meaning.
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  #53  
Old 10-15-2020, 05:22 PM
Frankenstein Frankenstein is offline
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OK. Removed sideplate.

Assembly number does match. Attached are 3 pics.

First shows assembly number.
Second shows the whole sideplate.
Third is a picture of the action (or is the correct term lockwork?) in case that helps you guys narrow in on the date.
No other parts found riding in the sideplate.

When I look at the outer surface of the sideplate closely, it is clear that it had some pitting that was blued over. But there is absolutely no trace at all of a crest. Not discounting the Brazilian theory altogether, but it would just seem that if someone went to the effort to remove the crest so completely, without causing any 'waves', they would have taken the 5 minutes and removed the pitted part too?
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Info needed on 1917-img_5568-jpg   Info needed on 1917-img_5570-jpg   Info needed on 1917-img_5572-jpg  

Last edited by Frankenstein; 10-15-2020 at 05:25 PM.
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  #54  
Old 10-15-2020, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Frankenstein View Post
OK. Removed sideplate.

Assembly number does match. Attached are 3 pics.

First shows assembly number.
Second shows the whole sideplate.
Third is a picture of the action (or is the correct term lockwork?) in case that helps you guys narrow in on the date.
No other parts found riding in the sideplate.

When I look at the outer surface of the sideplate closely, it is clear that it had some pitting that was blued over. But there is absolutely no trace at all of a crest. Not discounting the Brazilian theory altogether, but it would just seem that if someone went to the effort to remove the crest so completely, without causing any 'waves', they would have taken the 5 minutes and removed the pitted part too?
It looks as though your sideplate also has the pre-WWII style hammer block spring built into it. (It was incorporated to prevent the revolver from firing if dropped on the hammer or if the hammer was whacked while wearing it, etc....

If you install the sideplate, barely pull the hammer back, and shine a flashlight down on it looking from the top of the hammer channel you will see it is slightly in the way of the hammer and moves further out of the way to the right as you pull the hammer back. This was also the hammer block style used on most of the WWII Victory examples until replaced by a more positive bar style hammer block later in the war. On the Victory model the earlier style hammer block (similar to your M1917 example's) was found to break or provide insufficient hammer blockage if dropped on the hammer, thus allowing the revolver to fire.

The original military M1917 examples did not have either hammer block safety style and maybe someone can verify if their early commercial example(s) built on leftover military M1917 frames have it.......and maybe someone with a post-WWII Brazilian built on a military frame can see if has it incorporated or not.

When I look at my commercial model M1917 and my Brazilian M1917, both built with a later era commercial frames, they both have the same style hammer block as yours.

So yet again you have WWI era frame that has been fitted with the later era sideplate with hammer block safety and a tapered hand allowing to allow for the operation of the hammer block safety.

I've attached a pic of a WWI era U.S. M1917 sideplate not having the hammer block safety. Also I've attached a pic of the internals from the same WWI era U.S. M1917 revolver showing the hand is not tapered as yours is as there was no need for it on my example due to it not ever having the hammer block safety.
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Info needed on 1917-img_6953-jpg   Info needed on 1917-img_6955-jpg  

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-15-2020 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:10 PM
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I have a few 1917s that fall into the categories mentioned, Military, Commercial, and Brazilian. I will check them over when I get the chance and let you know what I find.

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  #56  
Old 10-15-2020, 06:24 PM
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From everyone's responses, It does seem that this may have been a frame and barrel that was part done during WWI and put away somewhere, maybe put in the 'wrong place' in the factory.

Later it is found and they think 'waste not, want not' and use it to make another gun. But by that time, the processes for the next steps such as milling the sight, fitting a side plate and finally applying the S/N have been updated.

Or... Maybe Johnny Cash's pappy worked at S&W and stole it one piece at a time
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  #57  
Old 10-15-2020, 06:30 PM
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Or... Maybe Johnny Cash's pappy worked at S&W and stole it one piece at a time
We have to be very careful with the "lunchbox" M1917 moniker. They are rumored to be out there, especially after the takeover of the factory by the U.S. government.

Unfortunately if such "lunchbox" examples do exist it isn't something I have ever heard of S&W confirming as a possible explanation in a factory letter, other historical documents, etc......

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-15-2020 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
That's exactly the way I took his meaning.
I have never even heard of such a thing as a legit U.S. military S&W M1917 without the upper left frame inspector stamp, expected ARMY butt markings, etc, much less seen one.

Can you confirm with Roy? If so do we have access to more info, pics, etc.?

Thanks,
Dale

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-15-2020 at 06:36 PM.
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  #59  
Old 10-17-2020, 02:06 PM
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WOW!! What a read. There is so much knowledge and information here that I had to reread again to try and completely gasp all the info. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this amazing post.
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  #60  
Old 10-17-2020, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenntex32 View Post
We have to be very careful with the "lunchbox" M1917 moniker. They are rumored to be out there, especially after the takeover of the factory by the U.S. government.

Unfortunately if such "lunchbox" examples do exist it isn't something I have ever heard of S&W confirming as a possible explanation in a factory letter, other historical documents, etc......
I don't see how S&W could confirm something stolen one piece at a time. The thief would go to great lengths to avoid the owner being able to confirm it. Finally, if they could that would not fare well with government contractors. If the owner caught someone they would not be able to know how many others were out there floating around the black market !!?!
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  #61  
Old 10-17-2020, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by reccpd101 View Post
I don't see how S&W could confirm something stolen one piece at a time. The thief would go to great lengths to avoid the owner being able to confirm it. Finally, if they could that would not fare well with government contractors. If the owner caught someone they would not be able to know how many others were out there floating around the black market !!?!
Exactly, and it wouldn't necessarily be in S&W's best interest to confirm such a practice existed at the time.....even if it did as it was reported to have been. But then again S&W wasn't actually running the place when the government stepped in and took over during WWI.

If a frame was "removed" before they were serialized then the only way I could see a frame being tracked would be through it's assembly number........and I have always heard that those weren't really cataloged in any meaningful sense during manufacture. If a frame was "removed" after being serialized but before shipment was there a simple process for them to know it was missing? Was it simply cataloged as "lost internally" without a replacement similar serial numbered example being generated? Did they attempt to manufacture another revolver with the missing serial number(doubtful as the original may eventually turn up in-house)?

It does make me wonder if any "lost" serial numbers eventually (also) wound up on commercial and Brazilian model examples that may have been built with yet unserialized WWI era leftover/rejected frames. (?)

So many questions. We are definitely on a tangent now so my apologies to the OP.

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-17-2020 at 03:13 PM.
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  #62  
Old 10-17-2020, 06:23 PM
StrawHat StrawHat is offline
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The Government seized control of the S&W plant(s) on 13 September, 1918 and relinquished control in January of 1919, call it three months. Not a lot of time to take pieces.

Kevin
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  #63  
Old 10-17-2020, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
The Government seized control of the S&W plant(s) on 13 September, 1918 and relinquished control in January of 1919, call it three months. Not a lot of time to take pieces.

Kevin
No not a long time but I have read where the employees were less than ecstatic about the takeover thus the increased possibility of things slipping out the door.

Once again we are going down the lunchbox rabbit hole which unfortunately leads to nowhere.

I would still like to know how they determined revolvers were missing, especially with revolvers shipping out of sequence as they were so prone to do. (I'd also like to know if there was ever a habit of missing revolver serial numbers being "recycled" on other revolvers. Maybe they never knew they were missing and did (accidentally) get assigned to other revolvers? Maybe they did know they were missing and still got assigned on other revolvers? Maybe they knew they were missing and never re-assigned the serial numbers at all?)

Dale

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-17-2020 at 06:51 PM.
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