Here is a find that I made just this year. It's one of those that just pop up out of nowhere and would never expect to find at your average gun show. I just couldn't pass this one up.
What I found is an S&W .45 Hand Ejector Model 1917 U.S. Army service revolver. Normally these aren't that hard to obtain but this one is rather special. It did come complete with the original U.S. Army flap holster and belt. But the best surprise about this gun came when I checked the serial number. And seriously, this is no joke! The serial number of the gun is 45. That's right! A low two digit serial number and all the numbers match. The serial number is the same as the caliber of the gun. This is one of the 1st guns made for the war!
This gun has it's original bluing which survives about 85%-90%. The bluing is worn off the front strap and back strap of the grip frame. It has the standard 5-1/2" barrel for the Model 1917's, five-screw frame, and fixed sights. Lanyard ring on butt of the gun. This is a used gun from the war and there are some nicks and scrapes from use. The bore is excellent, no rust or pitting. The rifling is strong and crisp. Lock-up is perfect with no play.
This is a very early gun which has the smooth concave walnut grips and the concentric cut hammer. The grips still have traces of the penciling but I am unable to make anything out. Right side of barrel is marked S.&W. D.A. 45 and the bottom is marked "UNITED STATES PROPERTY". The name and patent dates are on top of the barrel. Bottom of butt marked U.S. ARMY MODEL 1917 with serial No. 45. There is no flaming bomb ordnance stamp or an inspector's eagle head stamps. The only ordnance mark on this gun is the GHS cartouche which is found on the upper left side of the frame next to the hammer.
The SCSW3 states 169,959 were made and with mine such a low number it's quite easy to figure out what year mine was made. I paid $1200 for everything and believe its worth it. This is one that will definately get factory lettered! I am real curious to know what that last big paragraph has to say about my gun. It will be posted here when I get it.
Any comments out there!
My camera just doesn't have the resolution for fine details.