SOLD FOR: $3125
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: .45 Hand Ejector U.S. Army Model 1917
Serial Number: 44820
Year of Manufacture: 1917-1918, C&R
Caliber: .45 ACP or .45 Autorim
Action Type: Double / Single Action, Swing-Out Fluted Cylinder Revolver
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “S&W D.A. 45”, the top is marked “SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A. / PATENTED DEC. 17. 1901. FEB. 6. 1906. SEP. 14. 1909”. The left side of the frame is marked “GHS” at the top corner behind the cylinder. The butt is marked “U.S. / ARMY / MODEL / 1917” and “No / 44 / 820”. The rear face of the cylinder, barrel flat, rear face of the yoke and the underside of the ejector star are marked with the serial number. The barrel flat and yoke cut are also marked “S”. The yoke, yoke cut, and sides of the grip frame have inspection marks. The bottom of the barrel is marked “”UNITED STATES PROPERTY””. The barrel flat, yoke cut, rear face of the cylinder, and front face of the ejector star are all marked “S”. The interior of the right grip panel is faintly marked with the serial number in pencil.
Barrel Length: 5 1/2?
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a half-round blade integral to a rectangular base fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is “U” notch in the end of a groove in the top of the frame.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth walnut. There is some light wear on the bottom edge of the left panel. There are some scattered light handling marks and faint draglines. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright. The rifling is sharp and there is no erosion
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. There is a light turn line on the cylinder that has lightly thinned the finish. There are a few little nicks and minor scratches, the most noticeable is on the top of the barrel at the frame and trigger guard. There are some infrequent spots of oxidation, the most noticeable are on the grip frame, top strap, and on the sideplate above the grips. Some of the edges have light finish wear, the most noticeable is on the muzzle and on the bottom edges of the frame. The screwheads show light use, the grip screw shows moderate use. Overall, this revolver is in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The double-action trigger pull is smooth, single-action is crisp. The cylinder lockup has almost zero play and is SOLID. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: This is a Smith & Wesson .45 Hand Ejector Model of 1917 that S&W made for the U.S. Army during WWI. The Army wanted more 1911 pistols than Colt could make so they contracted with both Colt and S&W to produce the Model 1917 revolver in .45 ACP, so that both pistols and revolvers would use the same ammunition. The cylinders were designed to hold the cartridges in half-moon clips for ease of loading and extraction. The chambers were stepped so that individual cartridges could be loaded and fired when there wasn’t time to load the clips, but then the empty cartridges had to be removed manually. This revolver is properly marked with U.S. markings and has its original finish. This one is an early model with the GHS inspection mark and no numbered eagles. While we were unable to find anything about this specific serial number, the Springfield Research Service states that some Model 1917s within 100 digits of this one were sent to Post Offices so that may be where this one was sent accounting for how little finish wear there is and how tight the action is. This is a handsome revolver and given its nice looks collectors of WWI revolvers as used by the U.S. will likely show interest. Please see our photos and good luck!