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Thread: Question about S&W 1917

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Question about S&W 1917

    So I recently picked up this Brazilian 1917 at an auction for $300. All numbers match, and it has a serial #199,8xx and what I consider a pretty nice refinish job. Under the grip is an "X" stamped on the frame; can anyone tell me the significance of it? I've heard that S&W stamped the frame when they refinished it but have not particularly heard that they used an "X".
    Yes, I hate the grips and would like to find a set of originals (and a lanyard ring) for a reasonable price someday, but I'll just enjoy/shoot it the way it is for now.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    swheeler's Avatar
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    No idea what the x means but nice looking revolver. The cylinder has that "plum" look to it, Ruger 77 tang safety style.
    Hell, I was there!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master TNsailorman's Avatar
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    I have had 3 of those in the past and none of them had an "X" mark on the frame, so no idea. I do like the revolver though but I would loose the grips. Originals are very hard to find and I wish you luck. All 3 of mine 1917's had original grips but all were sad cases. I left them that way though to keep them original as possible. I made a set of grips to use when at the range and still have those but they are large grip style of todays handguns. james

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Neat old revolvers, what caliber is the brazilian? I found an old Canadian hand ejector that was converted from .455 to .45 Colt, really a nice shooter. Mine was missing the lanyard loop too, but I found one off a S&W Victory model that fit. E-bay or Sarco might have one.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by swheeler View Post
    No idea what the x means but nice looking revolver. The cylinder has that "plum" look to it, Ruger 77 tang safety style.
    Thank you, swheeler, it sort of "matches" my Ruger 77 tang safety 7mm Mag and 22-250! LOL
    From what I've been told the cylinder's steel is a different hardness than the frame on that model and when they're refinished they take the bluing differently. It's one way of knowing it's not the original finish.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNsailorman View Post
    I have had 3 of those in the past and none of them had an "X" mark on the frame, so no idea. I do like the revolver though but I would loose the grips. Originals are very hard to find and I wish you luck. All 3 of mine 1917's had original grips but all were sad cases. I left them that way though to keep them original as possible. I made a set of grips to use when at the range and still have those but they are large grip style of todays handguns. james
    Yeah, there are plenty of better options someone could have chosen for aftermarket grips, but again--for the price I paid there is some financial wiggle room for picking up other ones.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gewehr-Guy View Post
    Neat old revolvers, what caliber is the brazilian? I found an old Canadian hand ejector that was converted from .455 to .45 Colt, really a nice shooter. Mine was missing the lanyard loop too, but I found one off a S&W Victory model that fit. E-bay or Sarco might have one.
    The model 1917 is .45 ACP. The Brazilian government ordered thousands of them from S&W for their naval forces and perhaps other departments, thus the "Brazilian" designation. It has their logo roll-stamped on the side plate.
    Is the Victory model lanyard ring absolutely identical to the 1917 lanyard ring? It would appear that it's intended to be attached with a roll pin, is that correct?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Where is the serial number located?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    Where is the serial number located?
    On the bottom of the butt, on the cylinder and on the bottom of the barrel.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    When they removed the lanyard ring, they didn't touch the serial number?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    The 1917 Brazilians spent decades in Brazil and the X could mean anything. Mine has various screws and a piece of wire for the locking bolt pin. Gunsmiths in small towns of Brazil would do anything...

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    When they removed the lanyard ring, they didn't touch the serial number?
    No, the lanyard ring is easily detached by driving out a retaining pin. It would not affect the serial number in any way.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I have a 1917 S&W that had the lanyard ring removed at some point, and whoever did it also removed the serial number. And that's the only serial number that matters. It's also on the barrel, the cylinder, the extractor, penciled inside the grips but not on the frame. I contacted the local BATF and they were very helpful. I wrote to the BATF technical office in Virginia, explaining what had happened to the gun, and I'm waiting for them to give me the official OK to have the number restamped. But, it's been a few years and I haven't heard anything. If I have to surrender the gun, the only part I'd have to turn in is the frame. Real pain in the butt (now there's a pun). Nice gun, though. It has the flaming bomb on the frame.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    That's a crying shame, Battis, and I truly hope it all works out well for you. If by any chance you're so unfortunate as to have to surrender the frame, please keep me in mind for the grips and lanyard if you don't mind.
    Now some friendly, honest words of advice... Considering the agency that you're dealing with I would not assume they don't have a problem with the gun just because it's "been a few years". Because you notified them of the situation you must assume that their official records show that you own it in its current state, and with their track record of less-than-friendly tactics I would again contact them to see if they'll allow a re-stamp. If they approve it, make SURE to get it in writing on an official document. If you don't, it would not be completely unreasonable to think that one day they could take drastic measures because you're such a "threat" with your "illegal" weapon and your life could quickly become very unpleasant.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Yeah, it's a problem. I've written to them twice and that's the only way you can contact them. I might write once more or just surrender it to them. Then I'll have some spare parts and I'll keep you in mind.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I hijacked this thread. I'll start a new one.
    Last edited by Battis; 10-24-2019 at 07:11 AM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy sharpshooter3040's Avatar
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    The serial number can be brought back with an acid reagent that is how the they do it in the lab. The serial number is also in the yoke cut if Iím not mistaken


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I'll start a new thread.
    Last edited by Battis; 10-24-2019 at 07:12 AM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    LeadHead, I'm not sure if the Victory model lanyard ring is identical, but it fits and looks proper on the gun, but I don,t have an original to compare it to. Those big frame Smiths feel right, look right , and are a joy to shoot.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gewehr-Guy View Post
    LeadHead, I'm not sure if the Victory model lanyard ring is identical, but it fits and looks proper on the gun, but I don,t have an original to compare it to. Those big frame Smiths feel right, look right , and are a joy to shoot.
    Thank you. From closeup pictures I couldn't detect any difference, but of course fine measurement differences often can't be seen, only measured.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check