Colt M1917
"United States Property" and "AA"
January 31st, 1918 Service Number 29786

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 on January 31st, 1918 along with 8,600 revolvers to the attention of the Commanding Officer at Springfield Armory. This gun was actually refurbished twice, first by Augusta Arsenal in preparation for World War II and then by Colts post World War II. When Colts refurbished it they then added the VP or Verified Proof mark you see pictured below. The M1917 was not originally shipped with this marking. Upon close inspection of the Colts Verified Proof mark it appears it was applied after finish while the Augusta Arsenal mark is under the finish. This in my opinion supports the theory that this M1917 was rebuilt for WWII by AA and post World War II by Colts.

It is documented that the government had M1917s and .38s refurbished by Smith & Wesson and Colt for a special assignment overseas in 1949, the project code name was "EVIL" and is documented in the book "US Handguns of WW II - The Secondary Pistols and Revolvers, Page 69" written by Charles W. Pate. One of the neat things about these arsenal and manufacturer refurbished revolvers is they participated in both world wars and represent a lot of history.

  • 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 (normally written with pencil on right inside grip panel).

  • "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.

Left profile

Right profile

U.S. Property Mark

Colt Legend

Augusta Arsenal mark and
Colts Verified Proof mark

Inspectors Cartouche
Lt. Col. John M. Gilbert

Model and S/N

Cylinder markings

Cylinder Crane

Crane recess

provisional inspection mark
Francis l. Hosmer
Notice common "627" on crane, crane recess, and cylinder and Hosmer mark on crane recess.

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From the T. Moore collection