S&W .45 ACP revolver question

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    1. #1
      Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
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      S&W .45 ACP revolver question

      Need an S&W collector/historian:

      Was there an intermediate .45 ACP model between the M1917 and the M1950 Army model? Seems to me I've heard of the Model 1926, but cannot recall the source. I know there was a M1926 Military in .44 Special, an intermediate between the New Century and the M1950 Military.


      My question is prompted by a gun seen in a local pawn shop being sold as a "M1917." The gun is correct as to hammer, but has Magna stocks and a commercial finish. All M1917s I've seen had the older style grips and matte military finish. And I know this is not a M1950 Army model.

      Comments, please.

      Bob Wright

    2. #2
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      DJ Niner's Avatar
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      I'm not a collector or historian, but I do have a book on the subject!

      In my copy of History of Smith & Wesson (8th Ed, 1983), there is a reference to a commercial model of the M1917. On page 204 there is a photo of a .45 Hand Ejector Model of 1917, and "the rarer commercial model." Both appear have a polished blue finish, and the commercial model has checkered Magna-style grips (with diamond, of course) and a lanyard loop. The only thing I can see that looks different from the military model above it (in this left-side view) is a small S&W logo visible on the frame below the thumbpiece/hammer pivot hole.

      The text describes S&W selling M1917s produced during WWI commercially until 1921, when they ran low on these guns; at this time they "began producing a commercial model identical to the wartime-production gun, except for its checkered walnut grips." "The sale of the Model of 1917 was relatively minor through the 1920s and 1930s, but in 1937 Smith & Wesson accepted an order from the Brazilian Government 25,000 of the .45 Hand Ejectors." These had the Brazilian seal on on the side plate.

      It looks like they made and sold the 1917 Model on-and-off from 1921 until commercial production stopped due to WWII, and then they assembled parts and frames on-hand from 1946 until 1949, when it was officially dropped from production.

      No mention is made of any other numbered models of that type/caliber in that time frame, if I am reading this (and your info) correctly.

      Hope this was helpful.
      Last edited by DJ Niner; 03-08-2007 at 03:04 AM.

    3. #3
      Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
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      Thanks!

      It was indeed.

      Thank you very much for your response.

      Bob Wright

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