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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started saving up again and this time I'm trying to see if I cant find a s&w 1917 in 45acp or something similar. I don't know why, but for some reason I want a larger caliber revolver. I know that Taurus and smith have their 45/410 revolvers, but I just don't like the looks of those. 45acp is actually cheaper and easier to find than 38 special in my area so that's helping push me in the direction of that caliber. So far I've found an older 45lc Colt new service that someones chopped the barrel down to 3inches on for some reason. Asking price is $400. What do you think? Yea or nay?

Also, for those who've had them, what are your experiences with older Colt or S&W 45acp revolvers.

If all else fails, ill just buy a 66 or 608.
 

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I once owned a Taurus 455 snubbie a Taurus 455 Tracker , a custom S&W 1917..a S&W 625....a Ruger BH 45 Colt/45acp.and a Ruger Vaquero in 45 ACP and one in 45 Colt...I own only a Taurus Judge Poly PD in the 45 cal ..(revolver that is) ..I own 5 Semis in 45acp

I wish I still owned a few of'em

If the Colt is solid and in good working condition ..I'd go for it
 

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I have had two .45 acp revolvers, a Colt 1917 in my college days and the S&W 1917 I have now. People unfamiliar with the old Colt large frames don't realize that they are a lot bigger to average hands than the Smith. The S&W '17 is a treat in several ways. They have gone nuts in price and I got such a deal, it is fun to shoot and accurate and kind off fun to see how fast you can reload with full moon clips.

Do a lot of research, S&W Forum/ pre 62 hand ejectors, is a good place, so you know what to look for. There are a lot of details you need to know before you plunk down money. I could fill a page with collectors or shooters details. "Which variant you want if you reload, 1917, 1935 Brazilian first or second contract," etc
 

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Charter Arms said it was coming out with a clip less 45ACP revolver. The 9mm and 40 made it but it never did materialized. I have an old Colt 1917 that takes moon clips.
The chopped 45lc 1917. Does it use clips. $400 sounds good if it was nicely done. Post pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your reply's. I got a chance to handle a S&W 1917 during a gun show not too long ago and liked the looks and feel of it. I also like the idea of it using moon clips despite their drawbacks. The problem is that they usually run around $500+ nowadays even in beat up condition. Ill probably have to troll gunbroker and hope I can find one for a lower price.

@rogertc1: I called the shop and asked how the timing and lock-up was. Guy said it at least locked up tightly with the trigger held back though it had a "little" play when at rest(not sure how to describe that properly). Unfortunately I found it on a website for some gun store somewhere so I cant physically inspect it, so I would be somewhat buying it sight unseen. Here's a link ---> Colt New Service : The Ocala Armory, A Real Gunstore . Clerk says its in 45lc and it doesn't appear to have been machined for moonclips. Im not a fan of the chopped barrel though.

@leftcoastrebel: I read a few older posts suggesting that the Brazilian contract revolvers were supposed to be the less valuable of the 1917s, but it seems they're going for just as much now. I'm a little concerned about the early hammer block design on hand-ejectors, and the overall lack of parts(easier to find parts for the colt ironically). I'm mostly looking for a shooter grade one. If I have to take it to a smith im ok with it, as long as I get it for a reasonable price I guess.
 

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Good luck in your search.
 

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I have had two .45 acp revolvers, a Colt 1917 in my college days and the S&W 1917 I have now. People unfamiliar with the old Colt large frames don't realize that they are a lot bigger to average hands than the Smith. The S&W '17 is a treat in several ways. They have gone nuts in price and I got such a deal, it is fun to shoot and accurate and kind off fun to see how fast you can reload with full moon clips.

Do a lot of research, S&W Forum/ pre 62 hand ejectors, is a good place, so you know what to look for. There are a lot of details you need to know before you plunk down money. I could fill a page with collectors or shooters details. "Which variant you want if you reload, 1917, 1935 Brazilian first or second contract," etc
That was me when I was younger. In my mid 20's I bought a Colt 1917 cheep, like $150. Shoot it loved it, but had a hard time holding on to it. I sold it a couple of years later for a small profit and moved on. I wish I could find a nice Smith 1917 for a good price.
 

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I had at one time a 1917 Alaskan in .45ACP, It shot OK but I couldn't get around how ugly that revolver was with that huge trigger and trigger guard so it was traded off....
 

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Oh, On the Colt. There is a difference between a genuine "New Service" in .45 Colt and a 1917 that a .45 Colt will fit in because it lacks the chamber shoulder for the ACP round, owing to the use of moon clips. It doesn't mean that the Colt was designed to fire either cartridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again for the reply's. I didn't know that people were having such a hard time with gripping the colt revolvers. I had read that they were a bit larger than the smiths, but but figured a grip adapter or some Pachmayr's would help. Perhaps I should just stick with looking for a Smith 1917 instead as I have medium to small hands. Or perhaps I should just accept that I have small hands and go with a smaller caliber that fits me better.

@leftcoastrebel: Thanks for the info. Interestingly enough, I found out that there are a few SAA replicas chambered in 45acp from Uberti and Cimarron.
 

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Thanks again for the reply's. I didn't know that people were having such a hard time with gripping the colt revolvers. I had read that they were a bit larger than the smiths, but but figured a grip adapter or some Pachmayr's would help. Perhaps I should just stick with looking for a Smith 1917 instead as I have medium to small hands. Or perhaps I should just accept that I have small hands and go with a smaller caliber that fits me better.

@leftcoastrebel: Thanks for the info. Interestingly enough, I found out that there are a few SAA replicas chambered in 45acp from Uberti and Cimarron.

"N" frame S&Ws aren't that bad and there are a heck of a lot of aftermarket grips for them. My hands are technically a perfect "medium" size and the N frames work well for me with the right grips. Oddly I still have a very old grip adaptor for a Colt New Service NIB in my collection of "stuff" and I don't have a New Service. I think I keep it as an excuse if I find a NS.
 

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There are probably more single action revolvers with 45 acp cylinders on the market now than double action. Taurus made the Tracker in 45 acp in both 4 and 6 inch barrel guns. The Trackers I owned shot with the Smiths and single action convertibles. The Smiths in their later models are nice guns but price will probably be more than you want to pay. I have had several over the years and they are fun guns.
 

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Hi, my name is GhostHorse and apparently I'm turning into a TOTAL sucker for old Colts, be they sliders or wheelies. I took one look at that chopped New Service and thought COOL!!! I don't know why, but that simple barrel hanging of the front of that big .45 Colt cylinder is awesome. Wow.

Yes, I realize this response is totally irrational.
 

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If single action is of interest Ruger Blackhawk convertible comes with a 45 colt and 45 acp cylinder. No moon clips needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@ghosthorse: Hello! I agree completely. I don't know what it is about colts that I like in their design, but I just prefer their aesthetics to smiths revolvers. With its exposed ejector rod and simple straight barrel, you can kinda see some faint traces of their SAA design still present. I wont feel bad if you get it first :). Also, I found out that 2nd gen SAA barrels will fit colts new service revolvers as the threads are the same. Strange huh?

Did some digging, Its common to have a 45acp cylinder added to an 45lc SA revolver. It seems all I need to do is pick up a Uberti cattleman and source a cylinder to be fitted after the fact. Sadly, I dont like rugers Blackhawks. It looks too modern to me for some reason. Their Vaqueros are nice though. I just wish more manufacturers would offer their single actions in a all polished blued finish instead of case hardened. Heritage, Ruger, and EAA seem to be the only ones.
 

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I have a Uberti that I got a 45 acp cylinder for. Numrich had the cylinders a few years back for around $100 plus shipping. I like the Rugers better because of the transfer bar. Can carry with 6 instead of 5, also stronger gun for heavier loads in the long colt round.
 

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I love the feel of the S&W 625, and the trigger is beautiful on the Jerry Miculek models. However, for the price tag I could buy my S&W AR and at least a Hi-Point pistol and a decent amount of ammo.
 

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I dunno - if I was going to get a .45 revolver, I'd be looking for one of three firearms:

Remmy 1875
Colt SAA
SS Raging Bull .454 with the 6 or 8" barrel

That said, good luck - chasing down and acquiring a tough to find gun is half of the fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@MisterNoisy: Thanks! I need all the luck I can get. I really like the looks of the early colt and s&w hand ejectors in large calibers and so does everyone else it seems. Somewhere just north of $500 is my goal.

I've actually been considering going the Single action route as my local gunsmith is very knowledgeable about them and its easier to find parts. I have more options for customization and don't have to worry about ruining something with "collector value" either. I think I would either go with an uberti cattleman or a Model 1890 Model 1890 .45 COLT/ .45 ACP Dual Cyl., 5 1/2 in. Std. Blue, 1 Piece Walnut, Std. Blue, Model CA159. I like how its all blued and has that lanyard on the bottom.
 

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If you own an Uberti made single action, check with VTI Gunparts to see if they have an ACP cylinder for it. VTI was Uberti's US parts house before the merger and was ran by a Uberti- Maria to be precise. I've dealt with them several times over the years and they are both knowledgeable about their products and some of the nicest folks in the business to deal with. I think they are running about $125-150 for the SAA clone cylinders right now. I converted one of mine to .45 Colt/ACP convertible 15-20 years ago and the cylinder was $75 for a blued one back then and my local 'smith charged me $25 to fit it.

About half the times I called, they were answering the phone while working on the warehouse floor and would just walk over to the proper bin and personally see if what I wanted to order was in stock while on the phone with me. If that ain't customer service, I don't know what is.
 
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