Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23

Thread: Looking at a New Service, what do I need to know?

  1. #11
    A panopoly of panopticons awp_101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    DFW
    Quote Originally Posted by CTX44 View Post
    Not trying to talk you out of buying the gun! I certainly like mine.
    No problem! I think I’m trying to talk myself out of it more than anyone else is.

    I fell hard into the S&W camp early on so Colt's aren't a big draw for me but therein lies part of my dilemma. It's not very often I run into one of the big .45 Smiths or Colts and when I do they're spendy. This one is tagged at $600 but I'm thinking something in the low $500 range could get it but I'm only interested if it's something I can actually shoot, even if it's only CAS level loads. I've even got 100-200 pieces of Autorim brass I can use for really light loads (at least I think I can).
    Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

    This is my cup of coffee. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Without me, my coffee is useless. Without my coffee, I am useless.

  2. #12
    Not if it is unaltered .45 Colt.
    A .090" rim in .060" headspace doesn't work.
    There is the obscure .45 Cowboy Special, ACP length, LC rim for tenderfoot loads in CAS.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  3. #13
    A panopoly of panopticons awp_101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    DFW
    Thanks I always manage to confuse myself when it comes to the Autorim and .45CS.
    Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

    This is my cup of coffee. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Without me, my coffee is useless. Without my coffee, I am useless.

  4. #14
    This is coming from someone who shoots guns from the 1890's and early 1900's (with CAS level loads), but I wouldn't worry about shooting a New Service, especially with cowboy action level loads. You can always use Trailboss and get decent case fill. Metallurgy back then wasn't up to today's levels, though it was certainly good. 45 Colt is a low pressure and pretty efficient round in terms of terminal ballistics vs pressure. It's nice and easy to load for, brass is easy to find and lasts a long time. I'd feel good loading it to the pressures of when it was made. It's a great woods round. Even at low velocity, a big keith or LFN bullet really does smack with a lot more authority than any of the .358 bore handgun rounds. Mine has pretty big throats, .455, guessing that one you're looking at will, too, but .454 bullets are easy enough to find.

    For under $600 I'd guess you'd at least get your money back if you got bored with it.
    Last edited by CTX44; 07-15-2019 at 11:35 AM.

  5. #15
    A panopoly of panopticons awp_101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    DFW
    I didn't get back like I thought I would and the NS sort of slipped my mind. For some reason it came back to mind a couple of days ago so I stopped in today. Checking cylinder play and end shake the proper way this time, I found nothing of concern. Locks up tight on all 6 chambers and any end shake is minimal at best. Did a little haggling and it followed my home for less than $550 OTD. No pics but will get some ASAP.

    4.5" straight taper barrel (no shoulder where it screws into the frame), SN is in the 65,000 range which puts it roughly in the 1914 time frame, smooth wood grips without medallions instead of the correct hard rubber, replacement/repop lanyard ring, most of the markings have been buffed out or otherwise worn away but it locks up tight and has a pretty nice bore. The cylinder closes with .45 Colt snap caps in the charge holes but not with .45 Autorim.

    But it gets more interesting.

    The barrel is marked "New Service .45". Or so I thought. Under my 10X loupe, what I though was a ding just after the ".45" was more lettering that's been scrubbed. Most likely it's "New Service .455 Eley" but there are no visible Commonwealth markings..

    I was digging around the interwebs looking for info and pictures and came across an interesting tidbit from this cruffler.com article:
    Colt was to manufacture upwards of 55,000 .455 New Service revolvers for British and Commonwealth armed forces. The majority of these were directly purchased by the British government and bear broad arrow government acceptance markings, as well as various inspection and proof marks. Not all New Service revolvers used by British forces in the war will bear official markings. British officers were expected to furnish their own kit, with a sidearm being only one of the required items. As a result, many British and Canadian officers purchased New Services commercially for use as their personal sidearms. These personally purchased sidearms may bear personal engravings, but are devoid of official markings. Most of the wartime New Service revolvers chambered for the .455 cartridge can be identified by a capital letter E stamped on the grip frame under the left grip.
    I'd already pulled the grips and seen a capital "E" but had no idea what it might indicate and I'd already presumed any other markings I couldn't see had been buffed away. My working thesis at this point is it was a private purchase sidearm for a British or Canadian officer.

    IIRC Colt gets $100 or so for a factory letter. I'm thinking hard about lettering this one.
    Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

    This is my cup of coffee. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Without me, my coffee is useless. Without my coffee, I am useless.

  6. #16
    A panopoly of panopticons awp_101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    DFW
    A few quick pics





    Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

    This is my cup of coffee. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Without me, my coffee is useless. Without my coffee, I am useless.

  7. #17
    Hillbilly Elitist Malamute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northern Rockies
    Its difficult to tell for sure in the pictures, but do the chambers have a ridge or lip in them, such as the point where a 45 Colt or whatever case comes to and transitions to the throat?

    The barrel marking does look like the last part of 455 Eley was obscured. It may have been done when chambering the cylinder to 45 Colt.

    Its been reported that some of the wartime New Service/1917s made for 45 auto didnt have the lip for the case mouth in the chamber, they relied on the half moon clips to hold the shells in position, but they supposedly changed it to a normal chamber type. If you gun has the transitional lip, its not likely a rechambered 45 auto cylinder. Those straight through bored 45 auto cylinders will have throats in the .480"-something range (the same basic diameter at the back of the chamber as the throat), not .45"-something diameter range. That 45 AR shells wont allow the cylinder to close is also a strong indicator that its not a re-done 45 auto cylinder.

    Comparing dimensions for 455 Eley and 45 Colt should tell you how close they are for body diameter and rim thickness. If close, and was rechambered well, it may be fine to use as is. Id certainly get it figured out and be shooting it if reasonably possible if it was in my house.

    Im not familiar with the large frame Colts, but the D frames, people that work on them have said that older ones can be shimmed for end shake, newer (1970s I think?) cant be. The crane barrel is stretched in the best case scenario to correct end shake and in later guns. I was quoted roughly $50 or so for only that operation to be performed by the guy in Phx thats known for good Colt work, of course other stuff may be found that needs attention once in the hands of someone that knows about them, but that operation alone wasnt crazy expensive when i checked on it for a D frame.

    ETA: looks like 45 Colt has .015-.020" thicker rim than 455 Eley. so its not unreasonable to assume the rear of the cylinder may have been shaved some. If 45 Colt shells fit with no problem, its possible it was done. Cartridge diameter is pretty much identical, and barrel groove diameter very close for older versions of 45 Colt (.454" for 455, older 45 Colts were often larger groove diameter than the current .452" range. With softish cast .454" bullets and chamber throats in a size that wont constrict them, it should shoot OK.
    Last edited by Malamute; 08-25-2019 at 01:59 PM.

  8. #18
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    South Louisiana
    Don't know if they're still available, but Remington used to sell 250-grain HBRNs for .45 Colt as a reloading component. They were supposedly sized .454. I've never used them, just remember them.

  9. #19
    Member 03RN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Rhode Island
    That actually looks pretty cool. Looks right at home in a Threepersons next to a camp fire.

  10. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Texas
    My opinion is this specimen is not a $500 gun. $500 plus the money in labor and parts would cost as much as a much nicer specimen. I bought and sold these revolvers over the years when they were cheap. I owned many. This one will be a money pit.

User Tag List

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •