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Readers Respond: If You Have Experience With the Colt 1917 Army, What's Your Opinion?

Responses: 30


Ever owned and/or used a Colt 1917 Army Revolver? Have an opinion on it? If so, let us know what you think! Do not ask a question or expect a reply! I cannot reply to you here. Please post in the forum if you have a question. Your Opinion of 1917 Colt

Well-used M1917 Colt

I picked mine up in Fulda,Germany at the Rod & Gun Club in 1961 for $50.00 (if memory serves correctly). I have shot it quite a bit and love it! It always draws attention when I take it out to shoot. I have been using RIMZ 25 polymer full moon clips, and they work great. They are a lot easier to load and remove empties than the steel half-moon clips. I did put a set of Herter's grips on it to better fit my large hand.
—Guest Carl Price

.30-40 Krag Shot Shells

Colt big cylinder release lever OK even with heavy gloves. Pachmayr Grips. Gunsmith smoothed trigger. "Ranch" mfg. made "double horse shoe" clips. I'm looking for original early model "New Service" cylinder for .45 Colt / .410. Rifling is shallow for easy combat cleaning so lead bullets shoot lousy. Worn so not great with hardball either; 1800's patents on barrel are cool so maybe a barrel insert sleeve? Old-Time Gunner showed me how to make .30-40 Krag Shot Shells to fit. The .45 ACP Rimmed head and reloading case holder is same / similar to .30-40 Krag. Since the counter-bored cylinder cannot chamber .410 for snake loads (volunteer wildlife water "Guzzler" projects desert country) he showed how-to, let me use his gear. Cut .30-40 Krag to cylinder length, (ream case mouth thinner was either step 2 or 3), load with blow-out / case-forming charge to fill cylinder (edge of counter-bore / "step" shows) and reload as shotshell.
—Guest David

U.S. Army Model 1917 Colt 45

I just inherited one from my uncle! I shot it once and scared me lol, but it was awesome to shoot. I love U.S. Made! I always told my uncle what a fine piece that was, and now she's mine.


I have shot mine on several occasions and it is a good shooter. My wife likes it better than all the other handguns because it is in 45 ACP and easier to operate than a semi-auto (her hands are too weak to operate a slide).
—Guest Mike Bryant

S W 1917

My 1917 is a recent acquisition. Wanted one for a long time and now that I have one, can't understand why it took so long for me to buy one. I shot mine without the clips and could easily remove the spent cases with a fingernail. Great gun, accurate and fun to shoot.

1917 Colt vs. 1917 S&W

Like the former Detroit cop stated about gaining respect- these monsters get it. I own three Colts stamped with both U.S. Army and Navy markings, and I can attest to them commanding respect when I was working security in Detroit. The one with the Navy stamps was WW1 issue, but restamped with the .455 proofs by the British government on the arms lend-lease during WW2 (Glad it made it back!). The S&W went to Canada after leaving the plant, via Remington Arms Co. which acted as the purchasing and transfer agency. It is also restamped with the .455 proofs and went to the RCMP, whereas it was carried by a Mountie on the Canadian/New York borders during the Prohibition and Great Depression eras. It it the lightest of the four and with the fluted barrel looks more streamlined than the Colt models, which I prefer to carry at work.
—Guest Jim Agapitos

1917 Colt

The 1917 Colt 45 ACP revolver is one of the world's finest combat handguns. A proven man stopper and completely reliable. Mine is a WWII issue with a Parkerized finish and is one of my two favorites. 1917s are getting expensive, but if you can find one you'll never regret it!
—Guest Rick R

1917 Colt 45 Revolver

I have a 1917 that my wife's grandfather brought back from WWI. Once I got the hang of using the moon clips, I really like the gun. It's easy to shoot, fairly accurate, and easy to clean. I fire it both single and double action - it's more accurate in the single action mode for me. I highly recommend getting one to add to your collection!
—Guest Bob

Colt 1917 DA

Just purchased my iconic Colt 1917 revolver...very tight mechanically, but horrible remnants of blued finish. It even has pipe wrench gouges on the barrel where someone tried some home gunsmithing. I bought it as a shooter, but am sensitive to 'ruining' the value by refinishing it. Any opinions? Also, how did the soldiers carry their half-moon clips? In their pockets or was there an ammo pouch built for these? I'd be interested in corresponding about the history and values of these weapons...lmj255boise@yahoo.com. What is a source for SN year of manufacture records?
—Guest Larry Jones

1917 colt

I believe this revolver to be the best in the world. I have a holster to match. [Note to all: A revolver is not a pistol. - RC]
—Guest warren m ratliff

1917 Colt 45 ACP New Army Date of MFG

This revolver is Blue in great condition and has a step in each cylinder Serial #on the Crane is 191456 and below 5468 on the frame below the barrel 7H 7 198018 and below 9994 butt looks like 41803 Wood Marked 303 0r 803 [Edit - I was unable to find that info in my books. - RC]
—Guest Harry

1917 snub nose 45 cal. revolver

I bought a 1917 45 caliber revolver at a pawn shop, it has been chromed but it only has about a 2 1/2 in barrel. I know it was probably cut down, but I was wondering if it is okay to shoot it with a barrel that short. Maybe it is factory made like that? Anyway some of the chrome is coming off at the end of the barel and on the cylinder. I only gave 180.00 for it. Was I ripped off? Where can I find another barrel, if I want to extend the barrel? It has a emerald blue color hand grip. Tell me anyone who can give me any type of professional reply. It doesn't have anything that tells what caliber, brand or anything except on the handle base US Army 1917 , model 33. [FROM RUSS CHASTAIN: The barrel was likely cut down. The "chrome" is probably nickel. You should have it inspected by a competent gunsmith to determine whether it's safe to fire and what ammunition should be fired in it, especially since the markings you describe don't sound quite right. Enjoy!]
—Guest jim montgomery


The colt 1917 and the smith 1917 are great guns for whatever purpose. Good for defense with 45 ACP and moon clips, and with a long history to talk about on the firing range and wherever handgunners convene!
—Guest Mike

Modern 1917

These are great guns. Mine was not a 'perfect specimen,' nor rare, so I have modernized it. I cut the barrel to 3.5", opened up the rear sight channel to match the new XS tritium sight that is mounted in a sweat-on ramp. I slicked up the trigger, and slightly chamfered the cylinder mouths to speed up reloads. The hammer is bobbed and the rear of the butt is rounded off. The biggest improvement you can make on these is to install a grip adapter like the Tyler T-grip. It fills in behind the trigger guard and totally changes the grip angle and feel of the weapon. I shoot it in IDPA competition, and run 200-500 rounds through it monthly. It is reliable and fast, and makes all others at the range that day green with envy. Speed reloads with full-moon clips is very fast, and makes it a fine, intimidating self defense carry gun.
—Guest Senorpistolero

Love My 1917!

Daddy won mine in a raffle at work 40 years ago. He carried it every time we went blackberry picking and such, for snakes. Shot it a lot when I was young. Now lovingly cared for, and shot a few times a year. I hope to pass it down to my daughter.
—Guest Greg

Your Opinion of 1917 Colt

If You Have Experience With the Colt 1917 Army, What's Your Opinion?

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