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Old April 30, 2015, 01:51 PM   #1
potpieguy
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Please date two guns

Hi, brand new here, just stumbled across this site (literally), if this question isn't in the correct area please direct me.
Finally looks like I can get the 'date of birth' for two of my fine old friends.
1. Straight M1917 .45acp with Brazil Crest. # 489xx. No US Prop. or any other US markings. Import mark of Navy Arms under L grip. BBl. and frame match, frame and yoke match but cyl. is # 2082xx (?) Nothing on butt but ser. # Great bore and chambers, near perfect parkarize.
2. Spittin' image of M1917 but longer bbl. in .455. Bunch of British markings, no import marks. # 846x, all matching. VG+, near EX.
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Old April 30, 2015, 01:57 PM   #2
Deaf Smith
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I'm married so I can't date...

But the British one might be a RCMP.

You have any photos?

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Old April 30, 2015, 02:25 PM   #3
potpieguy
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My old friends

gonna try with a pic. CAn't do it, says my file too big ??????????
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Old April 30, 2015, 02:38 PM   #4
James K
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The Brazilian revolver was part of a 1938 contract for 25,000 with that government, with the guns reportedly for their Naval Academy graduates. By that date, S&W was not set up to make that many guns of that model, so they bought Model 1917 guns and parts back from the U.S. government to fill the contract. Not all were ex-U.S. guns, but many were and they can be identified by still having small flaming bombs on the frame and on the bottom rear of the barrel. The cylinder serial number should match, but it's not a big worry. Those guns were originally blued; the Parkerizing was done some time later, possibly when they were imported.

The .455s are more confusing. During WWI, 808 .44 HE's were converted to .455 for sale to Britain. 666 were shipped, (in the serial range 9883-10007) the rest sold commercially here.

Later, S&W made 5000 of the .455 Mark II First Model, a triple lock made from scratch in .455. The triple lock proved too closely fitted for trench warfare, and the Second Model Mark II was a straight hand ejector; About 70,000 were made of that model. Most went to England, but the Canadians purchased 14,599 for issue to the Canadian Army; some reportedly went to the RCMP.

Jim
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Old April 30, 2015, 05:32 PM   #5
Deaf Smith
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Quote:
gonna try with a pic. CAn't do it, says my file too big ??????????
You can resize the photo with your pc's photo manager like Gimp or Photoshop.

I do it all the time.

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Old May 1, 2015, 11:34 AM   #6
potpieguy
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2 old S&Ws

Trying again with the pics.
As for the M1917 the #s listed in answers are way higher than the 48,xxx number of my piece......any explanation?
The .455 doesn't seem to fit in the serial # ranges listed either. It is in the 8,xxx range, that should make it rather early, no?
Isn't there any way to put an appx. date of mfg. on these?
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Old May 1, 2015, 12:55 PM   #7
James K
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AFAIK,the Brazilian contract revolvers were not given a separate number series. The ones that were originally made on the US contract and refurbished for Brazil retained their original numbers (or were re-stamped with the original numbers).

As to the .455, there is a problem. S&W converted some First Model .44 Special guns to .455; the serial numbers of those are known and many are in the 8xxx range. But they also made .455 revolvers from scratch; the second model (without triple lock) was in the 5001-74755 range. So your 8xxx gun would either be a converted .44 (if it is a triple lock) or a .455 Hand Ejector Second Model. The triple lock is the more desirable from a collectors' viewpoint.

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