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Old June 7, 2019, 09:55 PM   #1
Bob Wright
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Curious about a .45 Revolver of 1910 test trials...

Reading an article in the American Rifleman I saw an interesting tidbit. Quoting from the article "On November 10, 1910, a Board of Officers conducted shooting tests using a Colt Model 1910 pistol, a Savage Model 1910 pistol. and a Colt Model 1909 revolver, all in .45 ACP." That is not exactly ver batim but the general context.

A Colt M1909 in .45 ACP?

I'm guessing the cartridge used in the revolver was the .45 M1906 rimmed round for use in revolvers. Springfield Arsenal produced two cartridges that were to be used for consideration, both identical except one was rimmed and the other was rimless. The Colt M1909 likely had a bored through chamber and could not accommodate a rimless round without half moon clips which were not invented for another seven years.


Any body got any data?

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Old June 8, 2019, 07:06 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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This is from Phil Screier's write up on the tests...

"s stated earlier, the Army was not yet convinced that an automatic was best suited for the rigors of service, so two revolvers and the Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver were tested alongside the automatics in the evaluations. The cartridges were identical to the ACP cartridges with the exception of a rimmed base as opposed to the cannelured base of the ACP cartridge. The board adopted the program of the previous tests for evaluation of the revolvers."

Seems to say that the revolvers used rimmed cartridges loaded to identical ballistics.
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Old June 8, 2019, 08:31 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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Strangely, the 1909 Colt New Service was NOT in .45 1906 Rimmed and for sure not in .45 ACP. It was in .45 Colt and Frankford Arsenal loaded a special variant with larger rims for simultaneous ejection.

By 1910 the 1909 New Service was GI and I suspect it was being shot just for comparison with the automatics the Army was determined to get.
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Old June 8, 2019, 11:30 AM   #4
Bob Wright
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Jim Watson said:
Quote:
Strangely, the 1909 Colt New Service was NOT in .45 1906 Rimmed and for sure not in .45 ACP. It was in .45 Colt and Frankford Arsenal loaded a special variant with larger rims for simultaneous ejection.

By 1910 the 1909 New Service was GI and I suspect it was being shot just for comparison with the automatics the Army was determined to get.
So far as I know no M1909 cartridges were used during the testing. The only acceptable cartridges by 1910 were the .45 M1906 rimless and the .45 M1906 rimmed. The standard bullet was a 230 gr. round nosed full metal jacketed bullet for both cartridges, loaded to a muzzle velocity of around 870 f.p.s.

What I'm trying to determine if these M1909 revolvers were unmodified original .45 Colt chamberings, or were they specially chambered for the M1906 rounds. Not that for these trials the Webley had already been discarded, along with all the others, only the Colt and Savage pistols remained in serious competition.

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Old June 8, 2019, 01:42 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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A couple of cartridge collector boards show the latest FA '06 ammo headstamped 1908.

Considering that the 1909 in .45 Colt was ordered in 1909 and there is surviving ammo headstamped in early 1909, I kind of doubt they were shooting 1908 ammo in the 1909 gun in November 1910. Especially since the revolver was just an experimental control to see how the newfangled automatics compared with its mature design.

But I don't KNOW it. Ezell does not distinguish and that is the best reference I have left.
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Old June 8, 2019, 07:00 PM   #6
Bob Wright
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From Jim Watson:
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A couple of cartridge collector boards show the latest FA '06 ammo headstamped 1908.
I'd like to see those if you can give me a link.

White and Munhall state that the first lot of cartridges made in 1905 and early 1906 were plain with no headstamp. The only known headstamp is "FA 4 06."

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Old June 8, 2019, 07:07 PM   #7
Bob Wright
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Well, from further research, this possible conclusion.

The late Charles Suydam, in his work US Cartridges and Their Handguns states "...........a few Colt double action revolvers chambered for this round [.45 M1906 Rimmed ] were purchased, issued for trial and use in the Phillippines." This for trials held in 1906-1907.

It would seem to me that these were commercial Colt New Service revolvers. White and Munhall ( Pistol and Revolver Cartridges, Vol. I ) make this statement: "The revolver portion of these tests resulted in a number of Colt Revolvers being purchased and placed in the hands of selected troops for further experimentation."


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Old June 8, 2019, 08:04 PM   #8
Jim Watson
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I'll see if I can relocate those cartridge collector posts.

I can imagine some .45 '06 trials revolvers going to the Philippines in 1907, after all, the Army had recently bought a thousand .30 Lugers to try.
But there were already a lot of refurb SAAs and 1878-1902 DA Frontiers there, so there was no doubt plenty of .45 Gov't/Schofield ammo available. FA had only made 10,000 rounds of .45-06 rimmed for the trials.

I have seen it mentioned that S&W made a few of what they called ".45 Special" Triple Locks for the RFP but the Army was not much interested in another deal with Smith.

By 1910, the competition was between Colt and Savage automatics.
The 1909 New Service was already GI, nothing for it to prove except as a benchmark to compare the autos to. Which they failed on. Not until 1911 did the auto equal the sixgun.
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