SOLD FOR: $1342.55
Model: New Service Model of 1917 US Army
Serial Number: Government Serial Number: 57951, Factory Serial Number: 202164
Year of Manufacture: 1919 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: Double Action Revolver with Swing Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT D.A. 45”. The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A. / PAT’D AUG. 5, 1884. JUNE 5, 1900. APR. 9. 01. JULY 4. 05″. The crane cut is marked “H”, “Y”, and “202164”. The crane is marked “202164”. The left trigger guard bow is marked “3”. The butt is marked “U.S. / ARMY / MODEL / 1917 / No / 57 / 951″. The sideplate has a rampant colt logo. The left of the frame above the sideplate is marked with a “JMG” monogram (J.M. Gilbert Lt.Col.). The bottom of the barrel is marked “”UNITED STATES PROPERTY”” and on the flat at the rear with “H”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “H”. The inside of each grip panel has “202164” hand-written. The left panel also has “W.D. CooK / CapT ??? / U.S. ??” hand-written.
Barrel Length: 5 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a tall Patridge style blade. The rear sight is a “U” shaped groove in the top of the receiver.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth walnut panels. The grips have a few scattered minor marks, light nicks around the edges, and there are some more notable marks on the bottom of each panel, mostly from the lanyard ring. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Refinished, likely Arsenal Refurbished
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is scattered minor erosion in the bore, mostly in the grooves and most notable at the muzzle and forcing cone.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 90% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The grip areas have light handling wear. There are a few scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches. The side faces of the hammer show light surface oxidation. There are a few other spots of minor oxidation. The action shows operational wear including a turn-line on the cylinder. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Very Good-plus condition as refinished.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder lockup has no play with the trigger depressed on all chambers. The single action trigger pull is crisp and the double action is smooth. 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: With America’s entry into WWI, it was found that Colt could not produce enough Model 1911 pistols for the U.S. Army. Some .38 revolvers were distributed to rear echelon troops, guard, and the Navy, but the Army also wanted some commercial revolver production to be used for a revolver capable of using the same ammunition as the 1911 semi-auto. Both Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector and Colt New Service revolvers chambered for .45 ACP were approved as substitute standard and designated the Model 1917. Colt’s M1917 was built on the same large frame as the Colt New Service revolver, making for a very rugged service revolver. There were many still in inventory when the United States entered WWII and, for much the same reasons, they were once again pulled from inventory and issued out as a substitute standard. Most of those which were issued during WWII were arsenal refurbished and given a parkerized finish. This example has been refinished, but it appears to have been an arsenal refurbish, with the markings still in great shape. This revolver retains the majority of its parkerized finish, a good bore and strong mechanics. It would make a nice addition to a U.S. Military sidearm collection and should still make for a fun shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!