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Thread: Colt US Army .45ACP Model of 1917

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub varifleman's Avatar
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    Colt US Army .45ACP Model of 1917

    Here for your perusal is Colt US Army Model of 1917 .45ACP serial number 119613 1918 production. Came with half and full moon clips so will post range report soon.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Nice piece. Would be curious as to what cylinder gap measures and diameter of cylinder throats. I expect its throats will be .455ish and cylinder gap about 0.008". Ordinary Ball ammo is fully adequate, but probably less accurate than .45 Auto Rim 230 factory lead or handloads with .454 diameter lead bullets and modest load of about 4.5 grains of Bullseye, if yours is like mine.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Very nice! I really enjoy mine, very accurate (was a pleasant surprise!).
    I'll bet she's a shooter!

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I hope you enjoy yours as much as I have enjoyed mine. Congratulations.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
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    45 ACP revolvers are a delight. That one is in NICE SHAPE.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub varifleman's Avatar
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    I'll take it to the range on Saturday and will post report later.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Nice piece. Would be curious as to what cylinder gap measures and diameter of cylinder throats. I expect its throats will be .455ish and cylinder gap about 0.008". Ordinary Ball ammo is fully adequate, but probably less accurate than .45 Auto Rim 230 factory lead or handloads with .454 diameter lead bullets and modest load of about 4.5 grains of Bullseye, if yours is like mine.
    Your post made me measure mine - even split of 0.454 and 0.455 (though not necessarily adjacent throats). Made me realize why I always seem to get a few fliers! I intend to load just those like measured and gauge results. I also loaded 100 45 auto rim a while back, guess I need to give them a whirl.
    Cylinder gap is 0.007 on mine.

    Thank you for the great info!

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    As FYI my two Colt New Service M1909 .45 Colt and M1917 .45 ACP both have .456 throats, .454 groove diameter and 0.008" cylinder gap. I use Accurate 45-246H in both with 4.5 grains of Bullseye in the Auto Rim and 6.5 in the .45 Colt, which shoots to the sights, casting bullets 1 to 30 tin-lead and loading as-cast and unsized at .455" lubed with Lee Liquid Alox or 45-45-10
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    SWEET !!!

    Brings back memories , of the first handgun I was ever allowed to shoot . It belonged to my best friends Daddy , (army vet and sheriff's deputy) He would give us each a double handful of 45 acp war surplus hardball, the big S&W and let us go down to the river and shoot them . 1/2 moon clips or bring a pencil , shoot without clips and poke empties out with the pencil . I liked pencil ...my buddy liked to load the clips . Had to bring back empties . His Daddy had the first reloading press I had ever seen ... a Lyman All American Turret !
    I guess Mr. Verbick was the man who put the reloading bug in my ear .
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Very nice historic handgun. The original "War Finish" is in excellent condition. Mine is also a 1919 production and in excellent condition was well. These handguns were made into 1920 and the ones that did not go "over there" are most likely to be found in good condition.
    Last edited by Char-Gar; 07-24-2021 at 01:57 PM.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy

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    I really enjoy mine although I found the double action pull was pretty stout, I ordered a Python spring from Jack First which made a huge difference.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Big old guns. I miss the 1909 .45 Colt that I had in the 70s. I got a good deal on it because someone had put Kings adjustable sights on it. It sure mowed the bowling pins down. I never bench tested it, but it shot my jacketed reloads good as far as I could tell.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub varifleman's Avatar
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    The Colt 1917 shot well and accurately at metal targets at various ranges (25/50/75 yrds); trigger pull in both single/double action was smooth/fluid when compared to my S&W US Army Model 1917 pistol (single/double action were both rather stout but a little lubrication and more usage should correct that). Using half and full moon clips sure speeds up loading/extraction. Has anyone ever shot the .45 Auto Rim ammo in their 1917s? Since my friend's range is in the middle of nowhere also had a chance to shoot a British Lend-Lease Tommy Gun and a USMC Johnson Model 1941 Semi-auto rifle; quite an experience!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy

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    I like and use the 45AR in mine, and probably use them more than I do the ACP in clips. The only .454 bullets I had were some 45 Colt 255 grainers and they shoot much better than standard .451 bullets. I got the Lee 230 grain tumble lube mold and they come out just over .454 so I've got a bunch of them waiting to try through the 1917.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    You've got a very nice example of the old Colt.

    DG

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Decent.
    Where I grew up in E. St. Louis THAT was a 'hogleg'.
    Maybe Starline has some Auto Rim cases in stock?
    Always an impressive piece of artillery easily recognizable by people who have never seen one as a gun that means business.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master smkummer's Avatar
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    I have one and so do 2 of my friends. I usually treat them by bringing over auto rim ammo loaded with 452423 Keith bullets and a full charge of unique. Auto rim ammo makes them act like a normal revolver. From these posts, I’ll quit sizing that bullet. They were accurate enough for the 20 yard range. I believe it was that bullet that I remember blowing chunks of wood out of bowling pins.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master



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    I am an old man (born in 1935) and can remember when the 1917's (both Colts and Smiths) were available here in SW Ohio for $25.00 a piece in decent condition. My Dad picked one up (we had a Hardware store with a small gun section and Dad traded and sold guns). He picked up a Colt 1917 with a bad barrel (corrosive ammo and not properly cleaned). There was a well known gunsmith in the Cincinnati Area (Joseph Lamping, who also made barrels, etc). Joe fitted a REALLY nice ribbed barrel (yeah, ribbed!) that worked REALLY well. Dad got into Bullseye shooting and decided he needed a brand new Smith 1950 Target revolver, so he sold the Colt and got the 1950. Later, when the 1955 Smith Target (heavy barrel) came out he traded up.

    That 1917 Colt really looked sharp and worked VERY well with the new ribbed barrel. I still remember it quite fondly!

    Ah, yes! Those were the days!

    FWIW
    Dale53

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale53 View Post
    I am an old man (born in 1935) and can remember when the 1917's (both Colts and Smiths) were available here in SW Ohio for $25.00 a piece in decent condition. My Dad picked one up (we had a Hardware store with a small gun section and Dad traded and sold guns). He picked up a Colt 1917 with a bad barrel (corrosive ammo and not properly cleaned). There was a well known gunsmith in the Cincinnati Area (Joseph Lamping, who also made barrels, etc). Joe fitted a REALLY nice ribbed barrel (yeah, ribbed!) that worked REALLY well. Dad got into Bullseye shooting and decided he needed a brand new Smith 1950 Target revolver, so he sold the Colt and got the 1950. Later, when the 1955 Smith Target (heavy barrel) came out he traded up.

    That 1917 Colt really looked sharp and worked VERY well with the new ribbed barrel. I still remember it quite fondly!

    Ah, yes! Those were the days!

    FWIW
    Dale53
    You know, that's about on par with what I see a well used one go for now!

    In 2021 dollars, $25 from 1940 is around $500!

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtebay View Post
    You know, that's about on par with what I see a well used one go for now!

    In 2021 dollars, $25 from 1940 is around $500!

    Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
    If I could find 1917 from either Colt or S&W that was in decent shape for $500 I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Everything I've seen for sale is easily 3-5X that.
    NRA Benefactor.

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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
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check