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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Posts: 18
(12/17/02 11:47:22 am)
Reply | Edit | Del All S&W 1917
All matching numbers including the grips. Appears to have been arsenal refurbished, probably WWII. Serial number 47xxx. Near perfect shape, great lockup and very accurate.

Posts: 6631
(12/17/02 8:14:33 pm)
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Re: S&W 1917
According to my info here, in 98% between $600-$700.00
provided it's in original condition and hasn't been re-blued.

Someone else may have more detailed info for you, keep
checking back.

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Posts: 3233
(12/18/02 8:51:37 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: S&W 1917
According to the serial #, your M1917 was made in 1918.

It looks like a re-blue job to me.

I know a lot of M1903s, M1911s and M1s were arsenal rebuilt during WWII.....but I don't know if any M1917s were.

If this is an arsenal rebuild, it should have one of the following stamps:

AA = Augusta Arsenal
AN = Anniston Arsenal
BA = Benecia Arsenal
MR = Mt Rainer Ordinance Depot
OG = Ogden Arsenal
RA = Raritan Arsenal
RIA = Rock Island Arsenal
RRA = Red River Arsenal
SA = Springfield Arsenal
SAA = San Antonio Arsenal

Posts: 19
(12/18/02 9:22:23 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: S&W 1917
It is Parkerized instead of a blue and there are absolutely no signs of any grinding or polishing. The stampings are very crisp. I'll look and see if there is an arssenal stamp that I can identify. Where ever it was refinished they did a great job.

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It took me seven years to offer a definitive answer to this question. I just acquired a Model 1917 Smith and Wesson which appears to have the original factory blue finish (not parkerized), and all parts are matching numbers. It is stamped "AA," which indicates an Augusta Arsenal rebuild for WWII. However, instead of a rebuild I believe it only had a thorough inspection before being stamped with the AA marking. So, yes, Model 1917 revolvers did actually go through the WWII rebuild process. On the other hand, I have another S&W 1917 which was given to me by a retired military police army colonel who was issued it in WWII, and it also appears to have the original factory blue finish but no rebuild marks. Incidentally, it came with a right hand military Textan holster, while in WWI they were issued only with left hand holsters.

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Any Model 1917 revolver refinished in the WWII timeframe would have been Parkerized, but refinishing took time and was not done unless necessary. If the bluing was intact or nearly so, without bare spots that could reflect light, guns were not normally refinished, even if they were inspected and even had minor parts replaced.

Small arms were not rebuilt or refinished automatically due to age. Guns in depots or in the hands of troops were regularly inspected and those requiring work were turned in. But if a WWI vintage gun, handgun or rifle, was in good shape, it would not be worked on. Even the "low number" M1903 rifles were never "recalled" in spite of some writing to the contrary. When they came into depots or arsenals for rebuild, the receiver would be scrapped, but there was no effort made to search them out. In the early part of WWII, when weapons were desperatly needed, even the scrapping of low number receivers at rebuild was stopped and the receiver was not destroyed unless it was damaged. Before re-issue, of course, all rebuilt guns were subject to intensive inspection and proof firing.

Note also that guns to be sold to the public were proof fired, even if unissued, and given the same marking as guns that had been rebuilt. Many brand new M1903A3 rifles have depot/arsenal proof marks, and some collectors believe those guns were rebuilt, when in fact they are new and were never issued.

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