WWI Wheelgun: The S&W Model 1917
By Garry James
Designed as a supplemental sidearm in World War I, this .45 ACP sixgun was made to commercial specs and is still a great shooter.
Following the sinking of the liner RMS Lusitania in 1915 and the interception of the “Zimmerman Telegram” (in which Germany proposed an alliance between herself and Mexico) in 1917, America’s pacifistic attitude toward the war in Europe took an abrupt turn, and a clarion call to arms was heard throughout the country.
Unfortunately, when the Yanks entered the conflict in World War I, stocks of arms, while not unsubstantial, were still deemed to be inadequate for the large number of troops that were being raised.
While the standard 1903 Springfield rifle and the 1911 Government Model pistol were being produced with as much speed as possible, other arms, such as the 1917 Enfield rifle and modified Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers, were also pressed into service.
In 1915 and 1916, Smith & Wesson had made almost 75,000 of its high-quality Second Model Hand Ejector double-action revolvers in .455 for Britain and Canada. In anticipation of America’s involvement in the war, the factory, under the guidance of S&W President Joseph Wesson, stepped …Read the Rest
Source:: Guns and Ammo