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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 03-22-2012, 01:27 PM
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There is no caliber marking on the gun. As the Colt, Schofield,and 1909 .45 cartridges all mike .476/.477 at the case mouth, they will not go in this chamber.

Ken
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  #52  
Old 03-22-2012, 06:14 PM
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Well, I guess that nails it down. I now wonder how Colt chambered their .45 New Service revolvers that were sent to the 1907 trials? And if any of them were marked as .45 Special on their box labels or on the revolver?
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcwheel View Post
Here are some dimensions taken from Triple Lock SN 09. It is a pre-production item made for the army trials. It has a 6 1/2 inch barrel with no caliber markings. This gun was part of my brother's collection.

Headspace in gun: .055 (cylinder pressed forward)
Cylinder OD: 1.694
Cylinder length: 1.580 (1917 cylinder is 1.535
chamber depth: .895
Chamber dia: .477
Throat dia of cyl: .454
The front of the chamber is tapered like any other rimmed cartridge chamber.

I will try to attach some pictures. The third round has no headstamp, all others have the FA 4 06.

Ken

Ken thanks very much for taking the time to share that information!
Congratulations on owning such a special piece of S&W history.

All the best,
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  #54  
Old 03-22-2012, 06:41 PM
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This has been an interesting thread, and I think everyone has learned a great deal. I knew the generalities, but not the specifics.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:21 PM
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Where else could one find this info?! This is a great board.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:04 PM
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Default Modern 45 S&W Specials

A few years ago for my 1917 and .45 1950 Target I became fed up with using 45 ACP in moon clips and 45 AR brass just wasn't that available and too pricey when found. Since I reload, the price advantage of ACP ammo is irrelevant to me.

As a Cowboy action shooter I was aware of a new cartridge called the Cowboy 45 Special which has the case length of 45 ACP (.895").

I reloaded and used them in my Single Action Colts and Rugers very successfully for efficient light competitive loads. See them here:
cowboy45brass

They shot even better in my 45 ACP DA revolvers when taper crimped because there was no bullet jump to the chamber throat like in the 45 Colt SA cylinders. The case mouth headspaces on the square chamber shoulders in ACP cylinders and the case heads protrude from the chambers exactly the amount as 45 ACP cases.

I've also shortened Starline 45 S&W Schofield solid head cases to .895 and they work just as well. I no longer need moon clips and of course with the rim, they ejected perfectly in DAs. I reload them with ACP dies and a 45 Colt shellholder with my standard ACP loadings. They give excellent accuracy in my Smith DAs. And my Smiths are correctly marked since S&W has always rollmarked their ACP guns just ".45 Caliber".

I suppose one could call them modern 45 S&W Specials. Now I just need to find a 1st run 455 Triple lock with a cylinder already modified to shoot 45 ACP or a spare ACP cylinder to fit to it, to have a replica 45 S&W Special Triple Lock that I can shoot w/o depreciating the value of a highly collectible original. Hmmmmmm...how about a 45 Spl TL Target? I have a refinished triple lock 44 target and a TL 455 barrel. Anyone have an orphan pre war HD or 44 Spl cylinder to rechamber?

And properly shortend and sized 45 Schofield cases could easily be used to make 45 Special ammo for an original 45 Spl Triple Lock if one wished to shoot it.
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  #57  
Old 03-22-2012, 09:37 PM
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I guess I'm lucky, as I have a pretty good supply of .45 AR brass for my Colt 1917. However, most of my use of the 1917 is with .45 ACP in full moon clips, as reloading is considerably faster. I do IDPA shooting with the 1917, so reloading speed is important. The only part I don't like is prying out the empties from the full moon clip - but I can do that anytime. My favorite removal tool is the corner of a steel ammo box.

A couple of years ago I lucked into three boxes of new .45 AR ammunition, Remington, circa maybe 1935 (the old dogbone style), for $10/box. I haven't fired any yet, and probably will not, as the boxes and cartridges are pristine.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:10 PM
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So, if I'm understanding all of this correctly, the "45 Special" was Smith & Wesson's attempt to commercially introduce Frankford Arsenal's "Model of 1906" revolver cartridge, developed for use in the Army's 1907 trials, which was nothing more nor less than a rimmed version of the test cartridge for the semi-auto pistols in the same trials; an idea that was revisited post-WWI by the Peters Cartridge Co., with a thicker rim (but otherwise dimensionally identical to the "Pistol Ball, Caliber .45, Model of 1911", or "45 ACP") for use in Model 1917 revolvers, and produced as the "45 Auto-Rim".

TL

And, for good measure, another example of the "Revolver Ball, Caliber .45, Model of 1906" (aka "45 Frankford" or "45 Special") cartridge and headstamp.
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File Type: jpg F A 4 06 Cartridge.jpg (21.3 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg F A 4 06 Headstamp.jpg (37.5 KB, 90 views)
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  #59  
Old 03-23-2012, 01:42 PM
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TLock, that is a nice clean specimen of the FA 06 round that you have. This is speculation on my part, but S&W probably was considering making the FA round a commercial round, but reconsidered after the negative comments from the military. I do believe the rimmed and rimless were the same cartridge made for either revolver or auto pistol.
My take on the Auto-rim is that it was simply an expediant to make the many surplus military revolvers more user friendly for target, hunting and self defence firearms to avoid those pesky clips. . Another consideration was that it was felt that ball ammo would wear the bore faster than lead. To add to the speculation, I have seen a commercial loading of the AR with a jacketed bullet. Perhaps that one was for serious business.
I sure wish I had bought several of both brands of revolvers while they were thirty dollars or so from the surplus dealers.

Ken
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:49 PM
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TL, I think you summed it up perfectly.

I can only surmise that by 1908 when the TL went into regular production, Smith saw the 'handwriting on the wall' that the 45 Frankford/45 Spl was already obsolete as the cartridge was quickly evolving into something better, namely the 45 ACP. Especially when they saw the 45 Colt of 1909 and the Colt New Service adopted by the Army.

I wonder if Smith intended to produce the TL in 45 Special in addition to the 44 Special or instead of the 44. I would put my money on "in addition to" the 44 Spl, since they already had all the R&D in the 44 Spl.
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  #61  
Old 03-31-2012, 01:08 PM
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Default .45 Special Box

Here are a few pics of a .455 2nd model and it's original box shipped June 9th, 1916.
Note the .45 special designation on the inside lid of the box and the .455 MK II end label that was pasted over a pre existing green label.

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  #62  
Old 05-22-2012, 07:26 AM
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I found a little more info on the 1906 trials cartridge in Handloader #265 from April 2010. Dave Scovill wrote on page 8 "The Saga of R.S.Q." He also addressed the 1909 cartridge, the length of the .44spl case in relation to bulky smokless powders, says the rimless version is nearly identical to the Webley Fosbery case, loaded with 6.9gr of R.S.Q. and mentions there is a photo of a Colt New Service Model 1907 chambered in the experimental cartridge in a book published in 2009. Seems to me the 06 cartridge has a lot in common with the various Webley ctgs. The rim is only .03 thicker than the .455. Just a little more info on this topic, not much, I'm afraid.......
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  #63  
Old 09-06-2013, 04:19 PM
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I do not know anything about R.S.Q. powder, but I do have a sealed box of "Model of 1909" cartridges from Frankford Arsenal, dated March 1912, that gives on the label a muzzle velocity of +/- 715 feet per second, loaded with R.S.Q. Lot No. 3, of 1911.
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  #64  
Old 03-06-2015, 01:23 AM
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Quote in part from Ed Cornett's comment" The approx. one doz. extra .45 Special test frames were made up with zero prefix serial numbers , in the 080's range, and sent to VIPs, but most have .44 Special barrels & cylinders. Those 12 frames could not have been made for the 1907 tests.
They were all given out in 1906. The numbers were 088-099. I have included a picture of my Triple Lock, it is 088. The first one in the group of 12.
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File Type: jpg DSCN3912 (1024x768).jpg (244.6 KB, 97 views)
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  #65  
Old 03-06-2015, 01:19 PM
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Regarding the ".45 Special" cartridge, about all I have found is from "History of Modern U. S. Military Small Arms Ammunition" by Hackley, Woodin, and Scranton. The cartridge was referred to as the "Cal. 45 Ball, Model of 1906," however there was no "official" nomenclature assigned to it, as it was a purely an experimental cartridge made for use in the 1906-1907 Army Board trials. It was developed at Frankford Arsenal beginning in 1905, and had a rimmed case 0.923" in length, a 230 grain cupronickel jacketed bullet (drawings show a hemispherical nose), and used 7.2 grains of Bullseye powder. The FA drawing number was 47-3-18. The only headstamp known is F A 4 06. Measured specimens differ slightly from the drawing dimensions. An initial test lot was produced at FA in January 1906 (size of lot not given), and 10,000 rounds were ordered by the Ordnance Office. Cases were made during April 1906 and were loaded and released in July 1906. Ordnance records indicate that both cannelured and un-cannelured cases were manufactured, and one specimen was observed having a cannelured case and three stab crimps near the case mouth. A cannelure, when present, is at the base of the seated bullet.

Dimensions given in the drawing: Rim Diameter - 0.533"; Head Diameter - 0.473"; Neck Diameter - 0.473"; Bullet Diameter - 0.453"; Case Length - 0.923"; Overall Cartridge Length - 1.3". As earlier stated, measurements of actual cartridges differ from the drawing dimensions. For example, the measured bullet diameter is 0.451".

During the Board trials, there was a problem with a high misfire rate from the FA-manufactured ammunition. There is some indication that, as a result, commercially-manufactured ammuniton without headstamps was also used.

To me, it seems that the .45 Model of 1906 cartridge is what was later referred to as the ".45 Special" and ".45 Frankford."
---------------------------------
Regarding the Model 1909 .45 cartridge, I have two Colt M1909 revolvers. I fire them with mild .45 Colt reloads (the cases having the small-diameter rim), and can verify that extraction difficulties occur. I have had a few instances in which the extractor slipped around the rim of a partially-withdrawn fired .45 Colt case during extraction. Just something to be aware of for most of us, but it could be catastrophic were it to happen during a combat reload while the Juramentados were attacking the ramparts.

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  #66  
Old 09-16-2015, 10:32 AM
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In DWalt's post #65 above, he references "History of Modern U. S. Military Small Arms Ammunition" by Hackley, Woodin, and Scranton. The first listed author is Col Frank Hackley who was the last commander of Frankford Arsenal, so I would take anything he said as authoritative.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:20 PM
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I was surprised to see that the drawing for the 1906 case called for a solid head design. I thought all pistol cartridges of that time period were balloon head cases.
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:37 PM
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A note on R.S.Q. powder as used in the M1909 .45 cartridge. The early Frankford Arsenal production had problems with metering Bullseye, the result being some blown-up guns. They had a special bulk powder made up by Hercules called R.S.Q. (rescue, get it?) which filled the M1909 case. In a picture of it I found, it looks very much like a spherical powder rather than flake.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Club Gun Fan View Post
Quote in part from Ed Cornett's comment" The approx. one doz. extra .45 Special test frames were made up with zero prefix serial numbers , in the 080's range, and sent to VIPs, but most have .44 Special barrels & cylinders. Those 12 frames could not have been made for the 1907 tests.
They were all given out in 1906. The numbers were 088-099. I have included a picture of my Triple Lock, it is 088. The first one in the group of 12.
Don,

It's very interesting to me that your TL #088 is a five screw delivered in 1906. While TL regular production began with four screws (no trigger guard screw), one specifically is #2.
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  #70  
Old 10-03-2020, 09:16 PM
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How about we resurface this thread and see if any new information exists on the cartridge or the revolvers.

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Old 10-03-2020, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post

During the Board trials, there was a problem with a high misfire rate from the FA-manufactured ammunition. There is some indication that, as a result, commercially-manufactured ammuniton without headstamps was also used.

To me, it seems that the .45 Model of 1906 cartridge is what was later referred to as the ".45 Special" and ".45 Frankford."
---------------------------------
Regarding the Model 1909 .45 cartridge, I have two Colt M1909 revolvers. I fire them with mild .45 Colt reloads (the cases having the small-diameter rim), and can verify that extraction difficulties occur. I have had a few instances in which the extractor slipped around the rim of a partially-withdrawn fired .45 Colt case during extraction.
1. Correct, S&W ordered a production lot from UMC variously reported as 10,000 or 20,000 rounds because the FA ammo made both the S&W and Colt revolver submissions look bad. Supposedly they had a UMC head stamp.

2. Correct.

3. The procedure for that problem is to point the muzzle skyward and use one full stroke to extract cases.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeetr57 View Post
I was surprised to see that the drawing for the 1906 case called for a solid head design. I thought all pistol cartridges of that time period were balloon head cases.
What we refer to as “balloon head cases” were originally termed solid head design and entirely different from the previous folded head design.

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Old 11-30-2020, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STCM(SW) View Post
I'm glad that more people are confused by this then just me....
... me too. Too much popcorn when we were kids?
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:05 PM
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I love resurrected threads! So much information from so far back in history. It is amazing what an Internet connection can glean.

Thanks for bringing it back.

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Old 05-01-2021, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
...Regarding the ".45 Special...It was developed at Frankford Arsenal beginning in 1905, and had a rimmed case 0.923" in length, a 230 grain cupronickel jacketed bullet (drawings show a hemispherical nose), and used 7.2 grains of Bullseye powder...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddixie884 View Post
...The PDF contained velocity readings of from just under to just over 1,000fps. I don't think the govt was loading any ammo that fast at that time...
(I know, quit dragging up old threads. )

Both of these quotes indicate , to me, quite a bit of pressure. Considering the cylinders on these revolvers were not heat treated until 1917 at the request of the Government, I wonder if they gave any problems during the tests or subsequent shooting?

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Old 05-04-2021, 10:38 PM
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I read somewhere else on the net that RSQ might have stood for ; powder ''Revolver Special Quality''. Of course you can read nearly anything on the net........
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Old 05-05-2021, 04:49 AM
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7.2 grains of Bullseye is a fair amount of pressure. Just curious as to how the cylinders were able to handle that considering the Government required heat treating for the 45ACP round.

Or am I overthinking this?

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Old 05-06-2021, 06:43 PM
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That 7.2gr may very well have been of RSQ but someone here has located some info that said it was Bullseye. If RSQ was close in burn rate to Infallible or the later Unique it would be about right................
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:15 PM
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This is DWalt's post #68:

"A note on R.S.Q. powder as used in the M1909 .45 cartridge. The early Frankford Arsenal production had problems with metering Bullseye, the result being some blown-up guns. They had a special bulk powder made up by Hercules called R.S.Q. (rescue, get it?) which filled the M1909 case. In a picture of it I found, it looks very much like a spherical powder rather than flake."
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Old 08-22-2021, 06:52 AM
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Trying to wrap my head around this round, the 45 S&W Special, aka 45 Frankford.

From kcwheel we learned the chamber specifies as measured in his revolver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcwheel View Post
Here are some dimensions taken from Triple Lock SN 09. It is a pre-production item made for the army trials. It has a 6 1/2 inch barrel with no caliber markings. This gun was part of my brother's collection.

Headspace in gun: .055 (cylinder pressed forward)
Cylinder OD: 1.694
Clinder length: 1.580 (1917 cylinder is 1.535
chamber depth: .895
Chamber dia: .477
Throat dia of cyl: .454
The front of the chamber is tapered like any other rimmed cartridge chamber.

I will try to attach some pictures. The third round has no headstamp, all others have the FA 4 06.

Ken

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcwheel View Post
…Chamber depth is from the rear of the cylinder to the step. There is no rim recess…
Ken
From Honda44, we are reminded of the similar 45 Cowboy Special.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
As a Cowboy action shooter I was aware of a new cartridge called the Cowboy 45 Special which has the case length of 45 ACP (.895")…
Am I seeing it correctly, the the S&W Special is the length of the Cowboy Special plus the thickness of the rim? The CS is the length of the depth of the S&W Special chamber?

Somewhere in this thread, someone must have posted a case length for the S&W Special cartridge and I have missed it!

Kevin
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Old 08-22-2021, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
Somewhere in this thread, someone must have posted a case length for the S&W Special cartridge and I have missed it!
Kevin
Posts, 30, 31, 40 & 46.
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Old 08-22-2021, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
Trying to wrap my head around this round, the 45 S&W Special, aka 45 Frankford.

From kcwheel we learned the chamber specifies as measured in his revolver. From Honda44, we are reminded of the similar 45 Cowboy Special.

Am I seeing it correctly, the the S&W Special is the length of the Cowboy Special plus the thickness of the rim? The CS is the length of the depth of the S&W Special chamber?

Somewhere in this thread, someone must have posted a case length for the S&W Special cartridge and I have missed it!

Kevin
There was, at least for the M1906 cartridge. "Dimensions given in the drawing: Rim Diameter - 0.533"; Head Diameter - 0.473"; Neck Diameter - 0.473"; Bullet Diameter - 0.453"; Case Length - 0.923"; Overall Cartridge Length - 1.3".
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Old 08-22-2021, 07:30 PM
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.923, thank you!

Kevin
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