The Story of the .45 ACP revolver.

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Bob Wright, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    During WW I, the British purchasing Commission approached Smith & Wesson with the porposition of producing Webley revolvers under license for the British Army. Smith & Wesson argued that tooling up would be too expensive and take too long. Instead, the offered to produce their New Century revolver chambered for .455 Eley. They made up a trial gun, and submitted it to the British. The British had two complaints: Eliminate the third lock at the yoke as being too expensive and unnecessary. And eliminate the under lug shrouding the ejector rod, as they feared this might get fouled with mud and not be able to close the cylinder. These changes were made and several thousand were sold to the British.

    With America's entry into the war, there was a shortage of M1911 pistols. Smith & Wesson proposed to make the British revolver except chambered for the .45 ACP round. These Smiths had the shoulder in the cylinder and could fire the ACP cartridge, but the half moon clips were nedded for extraction. These became the S&W M1917 revolvers. Colt also produced thei New Service in the same chambering, but the earliest Colts required clips for firing, as they were bored straight through.

    Both Colt and S&W produced these as commercial models after the War. Smith & Wesson continued a similar model known as the Army model with fixed sights, and the Target model with adjustable sights.

    The Target model was updated in 1950 as the Model 1950 Target Model, while the M1917 became the Model 1950 Army Model. A further modification in the target model became the Model 1955 Target, all these aimed at NRA and USRA bullseye target matches.

    With the acceptance of auto loaders in target shooting, revolver use has waned.

    Bob Wright
     
  2. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    That's a like! Thanks Bob.
     

  3. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Thanks. I knew they came about in WWI but I didn't know they came about because of the Brits asking S&W for a new revolver.

    I've been wanting a M1917 for awhile now. Eventually I'll have one.
     
  4. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    As a little brother to my 25-5, I purchased a 325 PD. About as far away from WW I as you can get. With an alloy frame, it's like holding a squirt gun. However, it is not a toy. A great shooter, with easy reload full moon clips. Normally I stick to the classics, but thought one quick step into the 21st century wouldn't hurt.
     
  5. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    I was browsing through some gun magazines on a news stand today when I caught sight of an article quoting Roy Jinks as saying the modifications were alredy being considered by S&W before submitting the gun to the British. This to lower the cost of the New Century revolver.

    Maybe so, I'm not sure. The lug shrouding the ejector rod was continued on the .44 Specials and the .38-44 Heavy Duty revovlers. In fact, that lug continued on all S& W revolvers except those disignated for Military and Police use. Including the .41 Magnum revolver which did not appear until the 'Sixties.

    And according the S&W, the Model 1917 was discontinued in 1949, this in favor of the Model 1950 Army Model.

    Bob Wright