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Posted: 10/19/2010 11:07:17 AM EDT
I just got one at an estate auction of a co-worker, mostly just to have one in the collection.  This gentleman used to conduct the historical shoots we do here, which I do now.  When I was a cadet, these were the firearms I learned on and I'm happy to have something out of that collection.

I will shoot it, and it was a good price, but is there anything good or bad or nifty I should know about these?  I like the ability to fire without the clips- that is one nifty feature!

Link Posted: 10/19/2010 11:26:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/19/2010 11:41:09 AM EDT
The moon clips can be a bit of a PITA to deal with.

Buy them in bulk and at the first sign of a binding cylinder toss the clip.  There are "demooners" on the market, and they are generally a good idea as they will preserve the life of the clip by keeping it straight.  You can pry out the casings by hand but sooner or later you will bend the clip.

I have never had a 1917 but I had two 625s at different times.

Enjoy your new rig- they were made to shoot.  If it isn't a minty collector item then by all means hit the range with it!

If you find accuracy disappointing then measure the throats.  My buddy has an old Model 25 .45acp and the throats on it are quite large as I recall.

This may matter more to you if you are shooting lead loads (sized to .451").  Also, it may not apply to you at all as you have a 1917, not a Model 25.
Link Posted: 10/19/2010 6:23:04 PM EDT
I think you've got a great gun.
I grew up shooting those as a kid. You could buy them for $35 to $55 each back in the late 60s and early 70s.
As many as I've shot, I don't own one.
I will when I find the right one at the right price.
Enjoy the one you have. They are real firearms history!
Link Posted: 10/20/2010 6:25:29 AM EDT
Thanks all!
Link Posted: 10/23/2010 3:23:00 PM EDT
The cylinder is kind of special, because the steel was not heat treated.  I wouldn't put any thing high pressure through it, and would limit normal .45 ACP to limited use.  I think these old ladies have earned a dignified semi-retirement.

Having said that, back in the day it was common practive to over load them, and most of them survived.  Some of them didn't however.
Link Posted: 10/24/2010 7:53:23 AM EDT

Mine had a hard life in WW2 carried by a Tank Corps Officer.
Brought home, it lay in a leather holster in a leather suitcase in an attic until 1988 when it was given to me, in very sorry shape.
The holster had basically rotted away and the gun was orange with rust.
All springs were replaced and the gun was parkarized, new grips made and fitted.
The original dished grips were actually in very good shape and I sold them to a fellow who has an excellent condition GHS marked 1917 that was missing the grips.
Interestingly the barrel bore and chambers had been well greased and were, and are, still in excellent condition also.
Not worth much value wise, it is a fun shooter and I enjoy owning it.

ETA; I have a reproduction holster for this gun as well as an original belt and clip pouch.
I have a number of half moon clips but normally shoot the gun with ful moon clipped ammo.
I also have 150 .45 Auto Rim cases that I load with a 225 lead semi wadcutter Keith style bullet and 231 powder for this revolver as well as a few HKS .45 auto rim speedloaders. Good stuff to play with.
Link Posted: 10/28/2010 6:02:36 AM EDT
I just took the after-market oversized rubber grips off it last night, and put the correct wood ones and lanyard loop back on.  Not quite as ergonomic now, but at least she's legit again    
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