"In 1917 Smith & Wesson redesigned their large caliber 44 frame revolver to take 45 ACP ammunition. This gun became the Model 1917 Smith & Wesson revolver. 20 years later they brought this gun back, made a small run of them, and sold them to Brazil. This is the Model 1937 Brazilian.
On another board someone is saying how he had needed a 1917 revolver, and now had found a 1917 Brazilian at an auction site and bought it, and he is just so happy. Many people responded to his post telling about how happy they were with their 1917 Brazilians.
There is no such thing as a 1917 Brazilian. It is a 1937 Brazilian. And calling it a 1917 Brazilian annoys the living hell out of me."
This is incorrect. When S&W's contract with the US Army was cancelled, the company continued to build 1917 revolvers, up until 1946. In 1937, the Brazilian government placed an order for 25,000 1917 revolvers. These 1917s received a Brazilian crest on the side plate, with "1937" stamped below the crest. Delivery was made in 1938. The Brazilian 1917s had serial numbers within the regular 1917 production SNs. These revolvers were made on new commercial frames, with square notch rear sights, unlike the "dimple" rear sight that was used on the WW I made 1917s.
Post WW II, S&W found a number of WW I vintage 1917 frames and completed them and sold them to the Brazilians in 1946.
I have a commercial 1917 that was probably built in the early 1930s, but wasn't shipped until 1936, a good 5-6 years later than others that were in the same SN range.
The information about the 1917 can be found in The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson written by Jim Supica and Rick Nahas.