WWI Colt New Service Model 1917 US Army .45 ACP Military Revolver, 1919 C&R

SOLD FOR: $805

WOA#: WY240318JL008

Make: Colt

Model: New Service Model of 1917 US Army

Serial Number: Government Serial Number: 74105, Factory Serial Number: 226761

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. JULY 4. 1905″. The crane cut is marked “H”, “L”, and “226761”. The crane is marked “226761”. The left trigger guard bow is marked “3”. The butt is marked “U.S. / ARMY / MODEL / 1917 / No / 74 / 105″. The sideplate has a rampant colt logo. The left of the frame above the sideplate is marked with eagle’s head over “S20”. The bottom of the barrel is marked “”UNITED STATES PROPERTY””.

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 some light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The left panel has a small loss at the bottom-front corner. There are no cracks. Overall, the grips are in Good-Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 96% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. There is some finish wear and marks on the muzzle. There is some discoloration around screw heads, it appears to be dried grease. There are a few scattered minor marks. The action has minor operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Fine 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: This revolver comes with two full-moon clips and two half-moon clips.

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 after leaving service, with a consistent finish on the plug filling the hole for the previously installed lanyard ring. The revolver retains the vast majority of its new finish and has well-preserved markings, a great bore, and strong mechanics. It even comes with two full- and two half-moon clips. 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!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

WWI Colt New Service Model 1917 US Army .45 ACP Military Revolver, 1919 C&R
WWI Colt New Service Model 1917 US Army .45 ACP Military Revolver, 1919 C&R