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See photo of the three locks below: Britain asked if this model could be converted to accept the .455 Mark II British Service cartridge.
Eight hundred and eight of these revolvers were converted for immediate dispatch, this was duly done and the British armed forces received 666 of the 808.
After the outbreak of the first World War in 1914 the British Army was a very small highly professional Volunteer army of less than 250,000 regular soldiers spread all over the world serving in her colonies.
It quickly became apparent that it was going to be a long war on a very large scale against the major military power in Europe, Germany and her allies, the British forces would need to expand rapidly.
The lock was simplified using only five main components instead of nine to twelve as used in other revolvers.
I have details of all the numbers if anyone should require verification.
The grips were of plain smooth walnut on the military guns and the grips on the commercial model were chequered with a brass disc containing the S&W logo.
This model continued in production with Smith & Wesson until 1946.
The serial number range for this contract began at number 1 and continued on up to 175,000.
The Colt and Smith & Wesson Model 1917's were introduced so that the same ammunition could be used in both of the service issued handguns, those being the .45 ACP Colt 1911 and the .45 ACP Model 1917 revolvers.