Identify S&W 1917

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by bamjr, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. bamjr

    bamjr New Member

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    Can anyone help me with this pistol carried by my cousin Capt. James V. Johnston in Germany in 1944. Is it a Brazil export? The flutes look too long to be a WWI issue. There is no lanyard ring?? What series is it?

    Thanks for your help.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  2. ciwsguy

    ciwsguy New Member

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    Uh, Looks like an M3 Grease Gun to me. :D

    More seriously, that appears to be a 6" barrel on the revolver. I know of no military issued firearm that issued a 6" revolver. Did S&W make a Model 29 back then? Looks a bit like a 44.
  3. williamd

    williamd New Member

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    S&W 44 Hand Ejector 2nd Model ?????????

    Produced 1915 to 1937.

    44 S&W Special, 38-40, 44-40, 45 Colt.

    4, 5, 6, 6.5 "
  4. williamd

    williamd New Member

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    And, great pics

    By the way bamjr, thanx for sharing a neat picture. Your Uncle-Captain looks like a high schooler! But, there as baby face Audie Murphy!
  5. ciwsguy

    ciwsguy New Member

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    Then that revolver is likely not military issue. Does anyone know if your average Joe WW II GI's were allowed to bring their own sidearms for the conflict? Obviously, GSP (George S. Patton) was an exception as he carried his ivory handled revolvers - I think one was a S&W and the other a Colt Peacemaker.
  6. bamjr

    bamjr New Member

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    He was with the 334th Regt. of the 84th I.D. Siegfried Line, Ardennes, and was leading Church's Task force as CO of 2nd Battalion ( had been promoted to Major) when he was killed 1500 yards from the Rhine on March 4, 1945. Bronze Star, Silver Star, Purple Heart. The division named its stadium in Salzwedel after him - "Johnston Stadium." He was 5'5" and weighed about 135 lbs wet. His brother 'Mitch" was a Navy Ace in the Pacific flying Hellcats in O'Hare's squadron and then in VBF-17 on the Hornet.

    I'm trying to put together more info on him and that is why I would like to precisely identify the pistol. He also carried a P38 in a shoulder holster and a Model 12 12 ga. in his jeep. He could have been another Audie Murphy.

    I've tried to precisely compare barrel lengths in the picture to other 1917's and I'm fairly certain that the barrel is 5 1/2" It may look like 6" due to his small size.

    Anyway, thanks to all for your help.
  7. jeanp1948

    jeanp1948 New Member

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    Looks like either a 6 or 6.5 inch barrel, large cylinder diameter bigger than a .38 caliber. Possibly a .44 or .45. That's my best guesstimate.
    Sorry for your loss, I lost my 18 year old cousin on July 9, 1944 at Anzio area of Italy.

    Lucian J. Potelle
    135th Infantry Regiment
    34th Infantry Division

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
  8. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

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    Officers


    Looks to be a hand ejector and agree looks bigger than .38
  9. 300 H&H

    300 H&H Active Member

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    bamjr,
    I have two Brazilian S&W 1917 contract revolvers. They are 5 1/2" barrels. They were exported in 1937 to the Brazilian Navy. The pistol in your picture is I believe a 5 1/2" also. They do not have a lanyard loop, but have small grips. The butt of the grip is to large to be one of these guns as they do not cover the grip frame at the bottom as the grips do in your picture. Apparently the grips in the pic are oversized and cover the grip frame. Thats about all I can tell you other than it is a 45 ACP calliber. Best reguards Kirk
  10. jeanp1948

    jeanp1948 New Member

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    Didn't they make a S&W in a .41 Colt caliber for a while. My brother-in-law had one from when he was in Viet Nam while in the Marines. He got it over there somehow, I don't remember just how, but back then when I first noticed it (1970's) he had a heck of a time getting ammo!
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