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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 05-20-2020, 11:08 PM
singlesix singlesix is offline
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Default Model 22,Model of 1917

I own one of these in factory nickel that I bought about 10 years ago new.It is Model of 1917 SW classics. I love this revolver. My question is can the cylynder be reamed out in order to fire long colt. I love the acp with moon clips but i'd like the option as is the capability of the Colt 1917
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:38 PM
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The short answer is yes - but I wouldn't.
FWIW I have an original 1917 Commercial model that I got real cheap because it has been modified.
First, it was been refinished - bumper-chromed over pitting in fact, and it has also been reamed for 45 Colt. In order to reliably ignite the primers when firing the Colt rounds a slightly longer firing pin was also installed.
The only negative is that with the longer firing pin it just barely pierces the primers when firing 45 ACP rounds with moon clips.
I've read that the thing to do is to ream the cylinder just a little shorter than a standard 45 Colt chamber to allow the rounds to headspace on the case mouths you can avoid the need for a longer firing pin, but I can't speak to how reliable the ignition will be for the Colt rounds if they are headspaced on the case mouths.

Here are a couple of pics of my old shooter.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:18 AM
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A lot would depend on who you have do the work. Your revolver, your money, your call.

Since the revolver you own is capable of handling 45 Super loads, I donít see much gain to be had.

Kevin
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:27 AM
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The .45 ACP can get pretty close to .45 Colt within the pressure limits of the 1917 size cylinder. If you decide to try modifying the cylinder the Colt rounds will have to be on the short side to chamber fully; a factory .45 Colt cylinder is longer than the ACP version.

If you are sold on the idea, I would probably get a spare cylinder to modify (don't know if an older 1917 Army part will fit and function) and not mess with the original one. Best way to do this is to deepen the chambers to Colt length and also counterbore (recess) the openings slightly, so headspace will be similar to the ACP and no metal will need to be removed from the frame. Good luck in your decision.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:21 AM
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If going with a second cylinder, consider buying one for a magnum cartridge and rechambering it to 45 long Colt. Then the new cylinder needs to be fit and timed. Unless you can do the work yourself $$$$ starting to pile up.

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Old 05-21-2020, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
If going with a second cylinder, consider buying one for a magnum cartridge and rechambering it to 45 long Colt. Then the new cylinder needs to be fit and timed. Unless you can do the work yourself $$$$ starting to pile up.
Sounds like a big project. Big projects have never worked out for me. When the extensive work was finished, I rarely looked at the gun. Frankly, I would pick up a .45LC revolver since you say how fond you are of your M22/1917. When this topic arose in the past, headspace of the LC round was a major concern since the rim is much thinner than that of the .45 Auto Rim, for which this gun is also chambered.

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Old 05-21-2020, 12:11 PM
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In the long run, itr would probably be cheaper - and surely a lot less hassle - to just buy another gun chambered for .45 Colt. See if you can find a Model 25-10.

Modify .45 Colt cylinder to shoot .45 ACP - no big deal
Modify .45 ACP cylinder to shoot .45 Colt - very big deal ($$$$)

If you are going to pursue this, definitely do so with a spare cylinder.

Adios,

Pizza Bob
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singlesix View Post
I own one of these in factory nickel that I bought about 10 years ago new.It is Model of 1917 SW classics. I love this revolver. My question is can the cylynder be reamed out in order to fire long colt. I love the acp with moon clips but i'd like the option as is the capability of the Colt 1917
I agree that the way to go is a second cylinder rechambered to 45 Long Colt and make the gun a convertible.

I have made several of my 357 Magnum convertible to 9x23 Winchester with a second cylinder



No one has asked if you are a hand loader or not?

If so, the 45 SUPER cartridge that StrawHat mentioned will give you loads that are superior to 45 Long Colt SAAMI spec loads.

If you are not a hand loader, you will need to watch out on the 45 Long Colt loads that you buy since the Model 22s cylinder is not as long as a current 45 Long Colt cylinder

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Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
If going with a second cylinder, consider buying one for a magnum cartridge and rechambering it to 45 long Colt.
Kevin, this is not possible without extensive machining

The magnum cylinders are longer than the 45 ACP cylinders being used in the current Model 22s.




See how much more of the cylinder window the 44 Magnum cylinder in the bottom photo takes up as opposed to the 45 ACP cylinder in the Model 22 just above it
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
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...Kevin, this is not possible without extensive machining...
This is where I said $$$ begin to pile up.

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Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
...The magnum cylinders are longer than the 45 ACP cylinders...
But unless you are willing to stick with short COL, the only way to achieve full length chambering.

And we havenít begun to mention adjusting the fixed sights to compensate for the different loads!

Kevin
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:04 PM
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The simple method would be to get Auto Rim brass and make up some warm but safe loads with heavy bullets. I've seen good results accuracy-wise using the Lyman #454524 255 gr. SWC (.45 Colt bullet). I no longer load these because of substantially more recoil than with regular cast .45 ACP loads.

The Auto Rim brass is available from Starline and is far more convenient than using the clips with ACP brass.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:56 PM
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Another option!

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Old 05-21-2020, 10:14 PM
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I would like to thank all of you for the fast and informative reply. When I look at each response it's impressive to see the vast knowledge. I don't reload, I had thought about being able to use 45 long just because I have a Winchester 94 in 45. Of all my S&W's a 15,19,686P,30,31 and numerous other J,s the 1917/22 is just one of the finest revolvers I have to include 2 Colt SAA's and a Python. Thank all of You again
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singlesix View Post
I would like to thank all of you for the fast and informative reply. When I look at each response it's impressive to see the vast knowledge. I don't reload, I had thought about being able to use 45 long just because I have a Winchester 94 in 45. Of all my S&W's a 15,19,686P,30,31 and numerous other J,s the 1917/22 is just one of the finest revolvers I have to include 2 Colt SAA's and a Python. Thank all of You again
First, you are welcome. Knowledge should be shared, not hoarded. Most of the members of this board freely share their knowledge with others.

Since you have a Winchester chambered for the longer cartridge you might consider looking for a S&W Model 25-5 or one of the more modern iterations. Or one of the Italian clones of the Colt Model P if you are more of a modern day cowboy (and arenít we all a little?).

Good luck and keep us posted about what you end up doing.

Kevin
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