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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My M1917 Colt revolver seems to a normal issue M1917, with the exception of no upper left frame inspector's stamp.
The pics arn't perfect, but the grain of the metal doesn't seem to indicate a buff or grind removal of this mark.
The grain and milling pattern seems identical to the same place on the upper right frame.

Were any of these pistols made without this mark?

Regards, Ned
 

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Read Bob Murphy's book.
That was rude. Title is: Colt New Service Revolvers, by Bob Murphy. Book is long out of print, and hard to find. Amazon doesn't even have an ISBN number. bayoned, I would suggest keeping an eye on ebay, and gunbroker. You might get lucky. I did see a new book on the New Service. $79.00, but might be worth it, if you are going to get into 1917s'.
 

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The Model 1917 Colt New Service differed in several ways from previous made versions, both military and commercial. What I need from you is the actual Colt serial number inside the crane and on the frame, NOT the Army serial number you see on the butt of the pistol.

The standard New Service frame of the period was used with minor changes. The initial "G" was stamped on the grip frame under the left grip, indicating the government contract. There was no Colt proof mark (looks like a small triangle) on the frame. 1917 Colts bearing this proof mark have been reworked and proof fired at the factory. Instead of the proof mark, Army Ordnance inspectors stamped various monograms and marks onto the frame to show acceptance. The "GHS" monogram (Gilbert H. Stewart) appears on pistols up to about serial number 170,000. Then "JMG (J.M. Gilbert) appears on pistols numbered 184,000 to about 220,000. After that, the Ordnance inspector’s marks consisted of the eagle head over a number, usually S15, S18, S19, S20 and "7". This may have been in reference to individual inspectors.

One variation, which I will show you photos of, appears on the barrels of the pistol from serial number 209,000 to about 233,000. It is the addition of the patent date of April 09, 1901. This was a patent date on the adjustable target sights or could have been for some other patent. It was only on these referenced pistols for 3-4 months and was probably due to a mistake made by a foreman in the barrel shop.

Here are the pics, take note of the barrel markings that I was referencing;

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ltcboy/Colt 1917s/?albumview=slideshow

As far as your finish, all 1917's had the wartime finish which was not polished before bluing. The final tool marks were left on the pistol and this resulted on what you see as the "brushstroke" finish. If the pistol has a green or gray Parkerized finish this was done later on, probably during WWII. A few frames have been noted without butt numbers, or with "X" on the butts. These may have been pistols built or rebuilt with a replacement frame. The sounds really dumb, but if the frame was ruined or damaged during service, all parts that were still serviceable were stripped off and used for spare parts. Those parts might have been used to rebuild a pistol on a replacement frame.

Your pistol might have an Ordnance inspector’s mark that was lightly struck or has worn off over the years. Could it be a replacement frame, who knows? Once again, I would need to see Colt's factory serial number on the inside of the crane and the frame.


Hope this helps.


Mike
 

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That was rude. Title is: Colt New Service Revolvers, by Bob Murphy. Book is long out of print, and hard to find. Amazon doesn't even have an ISBN number. bayoned, I would suggest keeping an eye on ebay, and gunbroker. You might get lucky. I did see a new book on the New Service. $79.00, but might be worth it, if you are going to get into 1917s'.
Actually, Trenchwarfare, you are wrong and should stand corrected. I just bought my copy of Mr Murphy's book (this past year) and it's not out of print. Murphy's book is pretty much all you need if you are a beginner to the Colt New Service. This booklet can be had here;

http://www.idsabooks.com/cgi-bin/idb455/order.html?mv_arg=100306

Hope this helps, sorry I forgot to mention it in my last post. Forgive my rudeness
 

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I own a Colt 1917 that lacks the inspectors stamp too.

My Colt also lacks the horse as well. Both marks possibly buffed off, but I believe the old revolver just never had these markings. My theory being that this particular gun may have been made just after the gov. contracts got canceled. This Colt 1917 has all the normal Colt and military ownership markings visable, but no sign of the inspectors stamp or horsey?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Mike,
The Colt serial number on the inside frame and crane is 220689. My serial looks like it's in the transition period between the initials style mark and the change to the Eagleshead style.
The Army serial number on the butt is 69450.
What my photos tried to show was the evident "brushstroke" pattern on the blued metal finish that looks totally correct, yet no sign of an inspectors mark.
I have another Colt M1917 and it has the inspectors stamp. (I also have an S&W M1917 with the inspector's stamp in the same place)
All my major components have the small "H" mark.
Regards, Ned
 

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I couldn't find it. I stand corrected.
 

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Not that it is extremley rare, your pistol is one out of less than 25k to have that patent date stamp. Out of the 25k that had that stamp, you just wonder how many are still out there.
 

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I bought Mr Murphy's book when it was 1st published back in the late 80's . As mentioned , it is still available for purchase . I highly recommend it for any New Service owner . :cool:
 

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Nice ! :)

Your exact gun or the variation ? I can check my copy if it could be your gun . Just email me with serial number .
 

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My M1917 Colt is in original finish and like some of those described the colt pony is so lightly struck it is nearly invisible, and same goes for the eagle head inspection stamp, - you can only make out the very faint head of the eagle and no number. BTW it occurs to me that the finish on M1917 Colts is most similar to that on "Black Army" M 1911's ... sometimes not very carefully applied over relatively coarse brush polish. My 1917 has some flaky finish loss in not particularly high wear areas. Again similar to the flaky finish loss seen on 1918 production M1911's and sometimes attributed to incomplete surface cleaning prep before bluing. Best to all Steve McG
 
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