OK, I really can't get out to shoot them as I'd like to be able to, at least until I'm off the crutches, but I can still blog about them. And since we've seen more than a few revolver posts around the blogs as of late, posts which have displayed both Colt and Smith and Wesson products, the time has come for me to join in and share a gem that recently came my way--a Smith and Wesson Model 1917 revolver in .45 ACP.
This one also sports it's original military markings in the form of it's US Army designation on the butt:
As these revolvers were originally designed for rimmed pistol cartridges--the Colt for the .45 Long Colt cartridge and the Smith for the .455 Webley--a way had to be created for the ejection of the new rimless .45 ACP cartridge. Smith and Wesson came up with the half-moon clip, and although they'd patented it, they graciously allowed Colt to use it in their pistols too, there being a war on and all. The half moon clip holds three rounds of the rimless cartridge and acts like a rim, giving the ejector star something to grab onto when it's time to eject the empties from the cylinder.
After World War One was over, Smith kept their new .45 revolver in production, selling them to civilians and police departments and exporting not a few to countries like Brazil. Smith and Wesson even brought it back a few years ago as the Model 22, Model of 1917, but it didn't sell too well, probably because they put that stupid safety lock keyhole on the side of it like they're doing with everything else that they make these days. (Boo!)
Still, there's plenty of old ones around, from original military versions to civilian models and returns from Brazil. They're popular with collectors and shooters and many revolver competitors use it's stepkid, the Model 625, in matches today.
These aren't small revolvers. With a 5.5" barrel, they're 10.8" long overall and they weigh 2.25lbs. unloaded. As such, it wouldn't be my first choice for a concealed-carry pistol, but I confess that on those rare occasions that I choose to open-carry, nothing says "cool" like a large-frame revolver and this one just might get such an outing or two, just for the hell of it.
These are great pistols and I look forward to getting out to the range to try this one out.
Heck, if it was good enough for Indiana Jones back when he was still cool...