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Screwball

100 Years Old... Colt 1917

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Had a decent time at the past Oaks gun show.

Was on a mission... wanted to find a nice S&W 1917. The .45 ACP revolvers that they and Colt put out to bulk up sidearm numbers in WWI, since the 1911 wasn’t meeting production numbers. Went on S&W and Colt Forums... got info on both. Being a S&W fan, I was siding with the S&W... but kept my options open. One thing I thought was odd, even the Colt guys were saying to go S&W.

Walk into the show with $1,500 and copies of my FFL-03. Walking around, I saw the guy that I picked up a Colt 1908 Vest Pocket from at the December Oaks show. Had a beautiful Hi-Power, which was just under $1,500... but held strong as I wanted a .45 revolver. Next display case at his table... a Colt 1917. Looked nice, but was listed as .45 LC/ACP. Not touching anything converted, so figured I’d hold off until I walk the show. Didn’t say anything to the guy, but noted where he was.

A guy on S&W Forum said he saw like five S&Ws at the past few Oaks shows... so figured at least one would be here. Nope! Went through the entire show, all that was there was that Colt.

So, I walk back and talk to the guy, who is also a FFL-03. Told me he picked it up a few days earlier, but it really didn’t speak to him. Was talking with his son on the ride over, but wasn’t sure about selling it. Handed it to me, and went over it quickly. Trigger was ok... locked up perfectly, and the cylinder looked correct in regards to headspacing for .45 ACP (service number was high enough that I knew it originally had the headspaced cylinder... but crap does happen). Told him it’s sold... was $795.

So, started talking to him and another guy, who was a friend of his, about looking for a 1917. Mentioned I posted on the two forums, and his friend happened to be the guy on S&W Forum who told me about the S&Ws that were at Oaks. The guy who I bought it from said he will be at the March show, and I said I’ll stop by and say hello... as I’m going to be looking for a S&W to go along with the Colt. He said he will see if he has one that he is willing to part with... so, we will see. He is a big Colt guy, so maybe I might get lucky. Did almost buy a CZ-52... but glad it didn’t work out, as it gives me a little money already set aside for March.

Got home and popped the sideplate off... showing some nasty grime. Nothing too excessive, but proved to me he wasn’t lying about just picking up the gun. I doubt the gun had the side plate off in the last 25 years. This guy’s .25 that I picked up was immaculate, and I was hard pressed to find any dirt when I stripped it down. After a good cleaning, the trigger is awesome! Gun matches in regards to serial numbers... but the best part was the grips had the serial number written on each side. I do have to say, prefer the S&W lockwork A LOT better than Colt. I spent like 20 minutes trying to get the latch/side plate back on, because the latch stud is hard to fit back in the hole.

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Ran the serial number on Colt’s website (that isn’t it on the heel; service number is different), and the New Service number puts it at 1919 production. So, gun didn’t see WWI... but possibly WWII. Wasn’t rebuilt between the wars, and don’t see any markings related to Lend/Lease. I’m going with it was in decent enough condition that the military just stored it away when they were going over their surplus. If you notice the finish near the front sight... that is actually correct for the Colts.

I have a letter for the .25 likely coming back from Colt in the next couple weeks. Put in one for this revolver (Colt confirmed it today; 90 to 100 days out), but that will likely come when I’m down at FLETC. Making sure whoever is checking my mail will know to send me a picture of this letter whenever it comes. ;) I also put in a request with Cody for one on my Winchester 62... but that one might not be possible (if they can’t find anything, they won’t charge me; that is closer to four weeks, so I should know before I head out).

Depending on what happens in March, I may bump this thread up if I find a S&W. I’m a big N-frame guy, so hopefully I find one of those to add to the collection.

Hoping to get out to the range on Friday to fire some rounds with the Colt... but likely won’t have moon clips by then. ACP headspaces fine, so just will have to pull empties out with a fingernail. Not likely going to buy AutoRim, as it is too expensive (nor do I want more speedloaders laying around, especially ones very similar to my .44s) and I actually prefer moon clips. I have been surfing eBay for a nice holster... but might hold off until they do one of those coupon codes. Should fit the holster for my 6” 629, which I will have to check tomorrow.

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