Featured Gun: Colt DA M1917 45 ACP Revolver for Sale!

During the first World War, many U.S. civilian arms companies including Colt and Remington were producing M1911 pistols under contract for the U.S. Army, but even with the additional production there was a shortage of sidearms to issue. The interim solution was to ask Colt and Smith & Wesson, the two major American producers of revolvers at the time, to adapt their heavy-frame civilian revolvers to the standard .45 ACP pistol cartridge. Both companies’ revolvers utilized half-moon clips to extract the rimless .45 ACP cartridges. The moon-clips were used to hold the cartridges in position, facilitate reloading and to aid in extraction since revolvers had been designed to eject rimmed cartridges and .45 ACP rounds were rimless for use with the magazine-fed M1911.

In early Colt production revolvers, attempting to fire the 1917 revolver without the half-moon clips was found to be unreliable as the cartridge could slip forward into the cylinder and away from the firing pin. The military service of the M1917 did not end with World War I. After being parkerized and refurbished, most of the revolvers were re-issued to stateside security forces and military policemen, but tens of thousands of these revolvers were issued overseas to “tanker troops and artillery personnel” throughout the course of U.S. involvement in World War II.

This revolver did have its downsides. Although full moon clips allow a 1917 to be very quickly reloaded, loading and unloading the clips is tedious and bent clips can bind the cylinder and cause misfires. However, this revolver saw some limited use beyond the World Wars.

During the Vietnam war, the M1917s were reportedly used by members of the “tunnel rats” during the Vietnam War. They were soldiers who performed underground search and destroy missions. Overall, the M1917 enjoyed more than 50 years of service in the U.S. armed forces.

With such rich history and intrigue associated with these , these guns are harder and harder to come by as more and more time passes. D4 Guns is happy to say we have one of these Colt M1917 revolvers currently in stock and is this week’s “Featured Gun.”