Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Colt M1917 .45 ACP Revolver

More camera play today. I learned long ago that I get my best shots outside, but lately we have only had clear days, and the harsh light has not been camera friendly. The picture that I took of the SP-101 a few days ago, for example, was taken inside the cab of my pickup. Today I took these pictures after sunset but before dark, so I didn't have to contend with the sun. These pictures were not meant to be arty, but to be informative (I hope), so I can ask some questions about it.

As I have said before, I am not a gun expert, but I will make a few comments for any readers who may know less about this gun than I do. For those who know more, please correct me if I make any mistakes.

During WW1, as I understand it, Colt was not able to produce enough M1911 pistols to satisfy the demands of war. So they tooled up their revolver factory(ies) to create a revolver that used the same cartridge: the .45 ACP. Some of these were re-issued for use in WW2, and the revolvers that were re-issued were Parkerized (the originals were blued). The revolver I have here is one of those re-issues that has been Parkerized.

This gun was inherited by my wife. I suppose it went to her because the rest of her family are not really gun people, other than the standard hunting firearms, and they knew it would be in a place where someone (such as myself) would greatly appreciate it. So here are the pix. All these pictures can be clicked to view much larger (1024x768) versions.

As you can see, there is some rust on the outside of this gun. The inside of the barrel, as well as the front, back and insides of the cylinder are spotless. I took a tip from Xavier to check the lock-up, and I believe the tightness is comparable to that of the Colt Army Special he wrote about (although I have my doubts about Tammy Faye Baker). My big question is: what can I do to improve the appearance of this gun? Or should I do anything at all? Can the rust be carefully buffed off with steel wool, or something else? I would like to change the grips also. Or should I just do normal cleaning as I would on any gun and shoot it as is? Any recommendations as to some suitable leather for this gun? All comments are welcome.

UPDATE: I checked the serial number at proofhouse, as suggested. This gun has a 6-digit serial number that doesn't seem to fit any of the given categories, so I may be reading the serial number wrong. It is in the 266xxx range, but the only numbers I can find there that begin with 26 are four-digit numbers, so I don't know for sure.