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  #1  
Old 03-22-2020, 04:26 PM
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Default Any Colt 1903 or 1908 fans?

There are some guns that are just plain elegant and I think the Colt Model M Pocket Pistol in .32 or .380 falls into that category. I've had this .32 ACP version a few years and it's one of my favorites shooters.

I really love the old school craftsmanship in these Pocket Pistols.

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Old 03-22-2020, 05:10 PM
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That’s been a very popular pistol for over 100 years, I run across many vintage holsters for them.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:43 PM
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I have 3 (1 in .380, 1 on. 32 and 1 in .25). No real practical use - just love them!!
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:48 PM
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I have a Model 1908 that will be a centenarian in just a few years. One of the great handgun designs from John Browning. Interesting that Audley Safety Lock holster for it has more drop than their model for a Savage Model 1907.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:27 PM
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Got this one a while back from a well known forum member. Sweet little shooter and elegant to boot.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:37 PM
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Nice examples. Have a couple and wouldn't give them up. I found a nice holster one time online. Bought and when it came it stunk to high heaven. Came outa Louisa na. Guess it was moisture laden. Threw it away. Never found one after that for sale. Granddaughter likes shooting the 32cal.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:33 AM
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Those pistols were shown in so many movies during WWII and after. I always thought they were so neat looking.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:35 AM
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I have two .32s and one .25. I need a .380. Everyone that likes small autos needs at least one of each. Larry
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:39 AM
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they do multiply when left alone
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:46 AM
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Definitely one of the guns on my bucket list to have.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:51 AM
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I like the ones with a military connection.

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Old 03-23-2020, 10:57 AM
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Default I have a few of them.

And the book that goes with them.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:06 PM
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My mother's father had one in 32 ACP, it was nickel. He carried it in a suede IWB clip holster - Bianchi or Safariland? I do not know where it went once he passed.

This was as close as I could get to a replacement - 380 version.

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Old 03-23-2020, 12:50 PM
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Type 1,ser.# 7228 (4in.barrel) 1904

Dick

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Old 03-23-2020, 12:56 PM
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Lovely guns. That level of detail in factory made firearms has not been surpassed.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max View Post
Those pistols were shown in so many movies during WWII and after. I always thought they were so neat looking.
Bogart used one in "Key Largo":

Any Colt 1903 or 1908 fans?-largo-jpg

And if you want to see a movie with quite a few, historically accurate, watch "Anthropoid" about the 1942 assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by Czech agents who were armed with Model M's by the SOE.

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Old 03-23-2020, 04:31 PM
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Bought my Dad one back in the early 70s that has British proofs in several places, wondered if it was sent over when they called for civilian firearms because a German invasion seemed eminent.
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawandorder View Post
Bought my Dad one back in the early 70s that has British proofs in several places, wondered if it was sent over when they called for civilian firearms because a German invasion seemed eminent.
It could be one of several situations: a.) these were popular guns the world over and British dealers imported and sold lots of them; b.) early in WWII the British Purchasing Committee bought everything it could from Colt; c.) there may have been a few sent by U.S. citizens but this is the most unlikely scenario; d.) a lot of U.S. PROPERTY marked guns were sent via Lend-Lease; e.) quite a few U.S. PROPERTY marked guns were bought by the OSS and then provided to their counterpart organization, the SOE.
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Old 03-23-2020, 05:12 PM
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Another fan here.... shown with the "hideout" cigar box I made for it.
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  #20  
Old 03-24-2020, 12:20 AM
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I had a beautiful 1908 that I purchased when I was stationed at Ft. Knox. It came with factory box, instructions, factory target, and even the hang tag for the trigger guard.

On leave in El Paso prior to going to Korea I had El Paso Saddlery make me a copy of the General Officer flap holster for it. I also took my 4 year old daughter to the Ft. Bliss Rod & Gun Club, and it was the first gun she ever fired. I don't know what is wrong with that girl, but now in her 40's she has a Glock 19.

Sadly, I sold it after I got out of the service in order to pay for a semester of grad school. Because it was so nice, I have never seen another 1908 or 1903 in a gun case that comes close, regardless of price. As a result, I have never replaced it.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:18 AM
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When doing things like high risk search warrants and such I'd usually carry this one in the plate pocket of my vest. I carried it a few times working undercover as it was easy to conceal, not a sharp edge anywhere.
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Old 03-24-2020, 12:44 PM
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Found this one at gunshow years ago. After I found out how easy the CCW range course was, I used this one to qualify. It was a hoot and the instructor liked it ... alot.
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:41 PM
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"SNICK-SNICK" and one is up the spout. I call my one and only 1903 my "Bogy baby". It was born in 1927. It was late Sunday at the Denver Tanner show a few years ago . One of my regular vendors said to me as I picked it up to look it over - "I'm moving to Florida next week, $400 and it's yours" -- I was sorry to hear he would no longer be at the shows. I had obtained some very nice items from him at fair prices over the years and had fun conversations in the process. So I took my "Bogy baby" home. It is one of my all time favorites just to hold, appreciate it's old school quality, watch an old "Noir" on TCM......and .... "SNICK-SNICK"
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:01 AM
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Charlton Heston was "good to go" with a 1903 and 3 mags in his "Planet of the Apes" survival pack.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:11 AM
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I have always been curious about the connection between the 1903 and the hammerless 1911 prototype Browning entered in the Army trials that was never produced. See bottom pistol. Look familiar?
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:00 AM
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I have a type 4, 1903 in .32ACP, that my Mom carried when she worked for the
Border Patrol/Immigration in San Antonio in the late 1930s. My Dad carried it as a
pocket pistol when he went to the Pacific in WW2. They gave it to me in 1978
and I have carried off and on since I retired from the Army in 1990.
It is really easy to carry as it is so thin and relativity small. To bad .32ACP is such a "mild" caliber.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:09 AM
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Here's mine...with its little brother...



And hey...you can't forget to make it safe!!



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Old 03-25-2020, 09:28 AM
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I've long thought my collecting menagerie was incomplete for not having an example of one of these.

May have to rectify that.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:44 AM
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Here's a couple of the smaller 1908s.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:45 AM
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Update to carry:
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:04 AM
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A Colt brochure and a couple more holsters.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:09 PM
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I also like them. Only have one. It was made in 1916, and it's part of the WWI Belgium contract, so it has seen some use.

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Old 03-25-2020, 05:22 PM
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I have a question about Belgian Contract pistols because I'm interested in WW1 history. I looked them up and only 1000 or so were made for the 1916 contract, but this leaves some questions,

Since Belgium was invaded and occupied by the Germans 1n 1914, the King and government fled to France for the duration of the war. Were these pistols delivered to the exiled government in France? Well, I guess they had to be unless some other arrangement with Colt were made and Belgium was blockaded by the Allied forces. Also, was the contract let in 1916 with the government in exile? I couldn't find any historical information and hope someone here knows. Also, who used these pistols during that time, since the Belgian military virtually didn't exist?

It would be interesting to know how it got where it is now.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene L View Post
I have a question about Belgian Contract pistols because I'm interested in WW1 history. I looked them up and only 1000 or so were made for the 1916 contract, but this leaves some questions,

Since Belgium was invaded and occupied by the Germans 1n 1914, the King and government fled to France for the duration of the war. Were these pistols delivered to the exiled government in France? Well, I guess they had to be unless some other arrangement with Colt were made and Belgium was blockaded by the Allied forces. Also, was the contract let in 1916 with the government in exile? I couldn't find any historical information and hope someone here knows. Also, who used these pistols during that time, since the Belgian military virtually didn't exist?

It would be interesting to know how it got where it is now.

Just watch this.

Edit. By the way. Belgium was not completey overrun and the King did not go into exile, he was in fact the Commander in Chief of the Belgian Army that did not cease to exist and resisted till the end of the war. Furthermore the non occupied area had access to the sea.

Further reading.

Belgium in World War I - Wikipedia
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:58 PM
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My Uncle left me a very nice 1903. I have shot it a bit and they are sweet. I then decided I needed to have a 1908, but was too cheap to spring for a really nice on. So I ended up with one that is in a little poorer condition that I got a decent deal on at a local shop.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:04 PM
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I have a question about Belgian Contract pistols because I'm interested in WW1 history. I looked them up and only 1000 or so were made for the 1916 contract, but this leaves some questions,

Since Belgium was invaded and occupied by the Germans 1n 1914, the King and government fled to France for the duration of the war. Were these pistols delivered to the exiled government in France? Well, I guess they had to be unless some other arrangement with Colt were made and Belgium was blockaded by the Allied forces. Also, was the contract let in 1916 with the government in exile? I couldn't find any historical information and hope someone here knows. Also, who used these pistols during that time, since the Belgian military virtually didn't exist?

It would be interesting to know how it got where it is now.
Brunner lists all the shipments in his book. There were some overruns shipped to commercial dealers but he shows a total of 24,002 pistols shipped in 241 packing cases along with 33 cases of spare magazines and 5 cases of cartridges. Colt Archive letters just show the shipping destination as "Govt of Belgium" so it's unclear where they actually shipped. They are marked with a diamond around the letter A on the left side of the frame. This stamp is through the finish and is presumed to be the Belgian acceptance mark. I speculate that the Belgians had an agency in the U.S. that accepted these pistols and took delivery of them at the Colt factory.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:30 PM
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Thanks for the info. I would guess your speculation about the Belgian agent is correct. Wonder why I never thought of the obvious. I still wonder if any were used in WW1 by Belgians, for which no one appears to state. C&Rsenal had a lot of info on the 1903 Colt, and some on the Belgian contract guns, but mostly on the mechanics and not much on what I was interested in knowing. I guess that's a historical trivial detail lost in tumultuous times, and maybe I'm the only person who wants to know.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:38 PM
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I still wonder if any were used in WW1 by Belgians....
Yes! In fact they were used so much that many were refinished. The Belgians also manufactured their own replacement grips.

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Old 03-25-2020, 06:42 PM
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Thanks for the info. I would guess your speculation about the Belgian agent is correct. Wonder why I never thought of the obvious. I still wonder if any were used in WW1 by Belgians, for which no one appears to state. C&Rsenal had a lot of info on the 1903 Colt, and some on the Belgian contract guns, but mostly on the mechanics and not much on what I was interested in knowing. I guess that's a historical trivial detail lost in tumultuous times, and maybe I'm the only person who wants to know.
I edited my post and added more info of what happened in Belgium in WWI. It's very different than what happened in WWII.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:44 PM
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Yes! In fact they were used so much that many were refinished. The Belgians also manufactured their own replacement grips.
They even went into Belgian police use after the war.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:45 PM
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So, if I can ask a question - if a gun is called a 1917 Colt Automatic what difference is there between that and the 1903?
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:50 PM
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...1917 Colt Automatic....
Not aware of any such model! The last JMB designed automatic was the M1911.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:10 PM
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I don't own one, but I love them! My ROTC instructor, SgtMaj Fox, had one in .380. A Grail gun for me. I like to think that the Kahr K9 is a modern 9mm equivalent in size, shape and feel.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:51 PM
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Yep, Colt 1903’s are great! I have one and a few first cousins, a Browning 1903 in 9mm Browning Long and two 1907 Swedes rechambered to .380 ACP, all very fun shooters!



Out of the four, the 1903 Browning is my favorite.

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Old 03-25-2020, 08:40 PM
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They used to be my area of focus in my collection. I have these 3 plus a shooter.





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Old 03-27-2020, 12:58 PM
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:27 PM
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I have a 1903 built in 1920. It is a shooter, having been re-blued many years ago (albeit a good job). It has new springs and I carry it on occasion. Can't ever tell down here in Texas-I might be filling up the truck one day when Clyde Barrow decides to rob the gas station...
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