M1917 Revolver

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Smith & Wesson M1917 Revolver (Military issue with lanyard ring) - .45 acp
Colt M1917 Revolver (Military issue with lanyard ring) - .45 acp

The M1917 Revolver was a six shot revolver, chambered for the .45 acp round - a rimless round that required half (or full) moon clips to load the cartridges. During World War One, the official side arm of American forces was M1911 Government .45 Automatic, however supply shortages forced the U.S. Army to ask two Major Gun Manufacturers, Colt and Smith & Wesson to each update their existing Commercial heavy frame revolver and each build a version that could be fielded as a supplement to the standard M1911.

Colt already had an offering to the military, their M1909 heavy revolver, but it was chambered for the antiquated .45 long colt round. They rechambered the revolver for the newly adopted .45 acp round (calling the commercial variant "the Colt New service Revolver"). Smith & Wesson rechambered their own Second Model .44 Hand Ejector revolver as well.

Thus there are TWO versions of the Model 1917 revolver that are externally very similar, one built by Colt and one built by Smith & Wesson.

They (or a variation thereof) can be seen in the following:



  • Weight: 2.5 lb (1.1 kg) (Colt)
  • 2.25 lb (1 kg) (S&W)
  • Length: 10.8 in (274 mm)
  • Barrel length: 5.5 in (140 mm)
  • Cartridge: .45 ACP, .45 Auto Rim
  • Action: double action, solid frame with swing-out cylinder
  • Muzzle velocity: 760 ft/s ( 231.7 m/s)
  • Feed system: six-round cylinder, loaded singly or with two three-round half-moon clips
  • Sights: blade front sight, notched rear sight



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