Colt M1917
World War I .45 Revolver

January 4th, 1918 Service Number

In the year 1917 the M1911 production still was not sufficient for the need caused by World War II, therefore both Colt and Smith & Wesson furnished their heavy-frame double-action revolvers in .45 ACP to the U.S. Army.  The original number of Colt M1917s bought by the U.S. was approximately 154,802 of those approximately 96,503 Colt M1917s were on hand at the end of WWII. This revolver was shipped January 4, 1918 to Commanding Officer of Springfield Arsenal.

  • The Original finish on the Colt M1917 was blued (un-polished), with trigger being fire blued, hammer bright metal and were configured to use the .45 ACP ammo with a moon clip (holds 3 bullets, also allows for extraction).

  • The inspectors mark of Col. Gilbert H. Stewart (GHS) can be found on the left side of the receiver from Serial Number 1 to 30,000 +/-, from about serial number 29,700 to about 64,000 the mark of Colonel John M. Gilbert (JMG) and from 64,000 (May, 1918) to end of production a Eagles head with a number.

  • The serial number can be found in the yoke recess and under the grips. This example  has matching serial numbered grips, written in pencil on both left and right inside panels.

  • "H" stamp on cylinder and bottom of the barrel should match. Provisional inspection mark Francis l. Hosmer.

  • "United States Property" mark is located on the bottom of the barrel.

  • Barrel is tapered. Unlike the M1909 barrel.

Right profile

Left Profile

Colt and Cylinder latch

Army service number

H mark on cylinder face

Acceptance mark of Col. Gilbert

Colt .45 barrel marking

United State Property and
H inspector mark

Colt legend

H inspection mark

Top - M1909
Bottom - M1917
Images courtesy the
T. Moore collection