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Old September 21, 2012, 01:38 PM   #1
Bob Wright
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Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
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Last Issued Army Revovler prior to M1911?

The question came up recently asking about the last revolver issued to the U.S. Army prior to the adoption of the M1911 .45 Auto. This was answered, correctly, as the Colt M1909, the military New Service. But between that and the various .38 caliber revolvers, the Army recalled many Colt Single Action Army revolvers from reserves for re-issue.

In addition to that, the Army also bought a quantity of Colt Model 1878 rod ejector double action revolvers chambered for the .45 Colt, though Frankford Arsenal produce only the .45 Schofield or S&W round for issue. These guns were designated the Model 1902.

These M1902 revolvers were not too popular as they had a terrible trigger pull, making accuracy a sometimes affair. The Army asked Colt to rectify the problem, and Colt's response was to lengthen the trigger for added leverage, and enlarge the trigger accordingly. Somewhere along the way, somebody got the idea the enlarged trigger guard was for gloved hands and these have been dubbed "The Alaskan Model."

I never tried to fire one of these double action, but I had a friend who had one of these in .44-40, and it was a good single action gun.

Incidentally, the .45 M1909 cartridge was never loaded commercially, only by government arsenals. It was nearly identical to the .45 Colt, but had a larger diameter rim. The rim will not allow these round to be loaded in adjacent chambers in Colt Single Actions nor the 1878 DA, as the rims overlap.

Bob Wright
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