When the United States entered World War I, the US military realized the production of the new M1911 pistol would not be enough to fully supply troops. Springfield Armory and Smith & Wesson worked together to develop a new weapon for the US military that could meet production demands and also fire the same .45 ACP cartridge already used in the M1911 pistols. The result was the M1917 revolver. The new revolver used two half-moon clips, which allowed for rapid reloading, and was a modified version of the hand ejector models already being produced by Smith & Wesson.
This revolver belonged to Private James W. Anding (1896-1976), of Martinsville, Mississippi. Private Anding served with the newly formed Tank Corps during World War I. His assignments included the 331st Tank Battalion and 306th Tank Brigade, which saw service in France during the final months of the war.