Jump to content

WWII Smith & Wesson .45 Revolver S/N - Manufacture/Issue Date?


752ndTank
 Share

Recommended Posts

752ndTank

My dad saved a fellow tanker's life on the outskirts of Rome on 4 June 1944. Three tanks were hit, including my dad's. In an attempt to identify the charred remains of the 3 tankers, the Army tried to trace the owner of a "damaged Smith & Wesson .45 revolver" that was found inside one of the tanks. It was later reported that the weapon belonged to the man whose life my dad had saved.

 

The serial number was reported as 99961. Can anyone tell me the approximate date of manufacture or issue? I'm assuming it was an M1917, but I'm really out of my element when it comes to firearms.

 

Many thanks for any help. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Charlie Flick

752:

 

I gather that you do not have the firearm or a photo of it.  If that is the case, then the assumption is that it was a S&W Model of 1917 of which almost 170,000 were made during and just after the end of hostilities in WW1.  It is probable that serial 99961 was produced in 1918.

 

Hope this helps you.

 

Regards,

Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

752ndTank

Charlie,

I wish I had the S&W or a photo of it but that's not the case. I came across a chain of documents that mentioned this firearm while researching a battle where my dad's tank and two others were destroyed. Seven months after the tank was destroyed, Army investigators questioned a local Italian farmer about the tanks and the remains of the crews. When he mentioned the S&W, the Army confiscated the weapon since its serial number could be used as a clue in identifying the remains of the tankers, who were still listed as MIA. The weapon was described as badly damaged, so I'm sure that the Army scrapped it after the investigation was completed. 

 

In trying to research S&W serial numbers, this one struck me as relatively low so I wondered if it was produced during WWI. Thanks very much for your input, much appreciated!

 

Regards,

Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According the "Clawson's" big book, pg 411. 

The first contract for 100,000 S&W 1917 revolvers was completed August 31, 1918, with the last 2491 revolvers being made ending in that week.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

cmjordan77

Smith and wesson has a form you can fill out but you have to pay but they will give you the details on where/ who the serial number was sold to.

Im going to do this with my smith.

Not sure if this helps

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

752ndTank

Thanks very much, jangle. With the serial number being so close to 100,000 I wonder if this weapon was one that was produced in that final week you mentioned. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

752ndTank
On 3/24/2021 at 9:15 AM, cmjordan77 said:

Smith and wesson has a form you can fill out but you have to pay but they will give you the details on where/ who the serial number was sold to.

Im going to do this with my smith.

Not sure if this helps

 

 

Thank you cmjordan. Very helpful, I will check that out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If produced in numerical order, then yes, revolver 99961 would have been made in the week ending August 31, 1918.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...