In this video, I give Smith & Wesson’s M1917 revolver a shot and go over the features and general history. But here is the run down:
The United States made a fortune supplying arms and ammunition to the Entente Powers during the early years of World War I, but by the time it came for the US to enter the war, we did not have enough guns for ourselves. Military handguns were badges of rank, but in the reality of trench fighting, pistols proved to be the raider’s best friend.
The US primary military sidearm when the US declared war on Germany in the Spring of 1917, was the Colt M1911 semi automatic chambered in the legendary 45 ACP cartridge. But the fact was, there was not enough of them. So the government tapped Colt and Smith & Wesson to help arm the doughboys. They rechambered their big 44 caliber revolvers in the rimless 45 ACP cartridge using half moon clips to facilitate loading and ejecting. What resulted was a six gun that proved to be the last gasp of the service revolver and one that stuck around to see use through much of the 20th century, giving birth to today’s 45 ACP competition and defensive revolvers.
More in depth details can be found at mark3smle.com