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Old March 20, 2013, 09:44 PM   #1
Guinness2
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Colt 1917 revolver question

Do all U.S. Property "G.I.Issue" Colt 1917 revolvers have the "rampant colt" etched into the sideplate? I am looking to buy one and it has all the correct markings but no Horsey. Anybody know what that means? Serial # is 104XX if that matters.
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Old March 21, 2013, 03:19 AM   #2
Hawkeye146
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Does it say "colt" anywhere on it. It may be a Smith and Wesson, because they also made model 1917s. Also sometimes those ponies get rubbed off depending on condition.
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Old March 21, 2013, 10:02 AM   #3
Mike Irwin
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It could mean that it was lost during an arsenal refinish.

Many of the 1917s, both Smiths and Colts, were refinished, and the military didn't really care about preserving logos and the like.
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Old March 21, 2013, 10:38 AM   #4
Bob Wright
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I understand that many WW I vintage M1917s were refinished during WW II and were Parkerized. This would almost certainly remove the logo.

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Old March 21, 2013, 12:07 PM   #5
Mike Irwin
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Exactly what I was thinking, Bob.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:46 PM   #6
Guinness2
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It says COLT DA 45 on the barrel. It is not parkerized. Looks like original finish. Going through all the 1917s on gunbroker it seems that 1 out of 10 do not have the logo. Maybe it has been re-finished off in the past. In your opinion, should I pass on it as a collectible piece?
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Old March 24, 2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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I agree on parkerization, I once owned an arsenal refinish and the parkerization removed the horses and the rest of the markings were faint.
It was a nice shooter and one I wish I still owned.
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Old March 24, 2013, 03:23 PM   #8
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I believe all Model 1917's have the Colt on the sideplate, but I am willing to be corrected. In many cases the stamping is very light and doesn't show well when the finish is that "brush blue" common on those guns. If the gun is refinished, either Parkerized or blued, the "pony" can be easily lost.

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Old March 24, 2013, 03:33 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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Yesterday I bought a circa 1934 Police Positive in .32 Police (.32 S&W Long).

The finish is original, but the Colt logo is, as James mentioned, pretty faintly stamped.
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Old March 24, 2013, 03:39 PM   #10
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The reason is that even if supported, those sideplates are easily bent and a bent sideplate makes the gun inoperable. I don't know whose idea it was to put the "pony" on there, but it was not really a good one.

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Old March 24, 2013, 03:43 PM   #11
Mike Irwin
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Makes you wonder, then, how Smith & Wesson put the logos on their sideplates.

My 1917 Brazilian issue has the Brazilian crest stamped so deeply on the sideplate that it looks almost as if it is bas relief.
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Old March 24, 2013, 04:12 PM   #12
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Good point, Mike, and I don't know how S&W did that. But I do know those Colt sideplates are pretty easy to bend, and I think it is reasonable to believe they would not have stamped them very hard.

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Old March 24, 2013, 05:25 PM   #13
Mike Irwin
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Stamp the blank then mill to final thickness?
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Old March 24, 2013, 05:48 PM   #14
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Probably not. Stampings were almost always done after completion of the part, sometimes even after final assembly and finishing of the gun (the Ordnance "belt" on M1911A1 pistols was stamped through the Parkerizing).

I doubt we will ever know that kind of detail, but that "pony" was lightly stamped, even on civilian guns. Maybe Guinness will provide pictures so we can see the overall condition of the gun and try to provide a better answer.

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Old March 24, 2013, 10:42 PM   #15
Guinness2
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It's on gunbroker here:
But the photo is poor.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=333310885
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Old March 25, 2013, 07:15 AM   #16
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That's what I thought, too. But somehow they managed to whack the hell out of my 1917 without messing up the sideplate.
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