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  #1  
Old 07-30-2020, 05:02 PM
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Default Colt 1903....

Wife and I hit a local re-sale shop here on the island.
She is looking for an old trunk.
Guy that owns the joint always has a showcase
with some "guy" stuff".
I am looking at some old Zippos's and spot this laying in the back.

Colt 1903 Hammerless in .32 cal. living in an old
Bucheimer/Clark rig.
Based on the condition it likely spent most of it's life here
on the island. No rust...lots of holster wear.
Serial number puts it at 1913 mfg.
$300 firm. I bit.....

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Old 07-30-2020, 05:12 PM
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Well, I would certainly hope so!
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Old 07-30-2020, 05:16 PM
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One on my list. That is a great buy.
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Old 07-30-2020, 05:30 PM
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Very nice. I'm fond of the Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless and 1908, but they tend to be rather pricey, (upwards of $800 in good condition) so you got a good deal. I've only see one other in person of a similar price, but it had basically all of its finish worn off and didn't come with a holster.

What's more, the Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless and its .380 ACP counterpart the 1908 have become increasingly scarce over the years, so prices are on the rise.

Personally, I abandoned my persuit of a Colt 1908 due to lack of availability in anything resembling decent condition for a reasonable price and settled for a Tokarev TT33, which is really more of a hybrid between the FN 1903 and the Colt 1911, but the aesthetics are close enough to satisfy me and it only cost me $220. Plus it comes chambered in an interesting cartridge, the 7.62x25 Tokarev, which is basically the 1930's equivalent of the 5.7x28 FN.

My ongoing misadventure with a MilSurp Romanian Tokarev TTC.-20200612_173510-jpg
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Old 07-30-2020, 05:39 PM
Charlie Foxtrott Charlie Foxtrott is offline
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Default I have three of the 03s and an 08.

And Brunner's book to boot. They are slick guns no doubt.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:02 PM
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Congrats. I would have bought that one too.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:06 PM
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Oh man! A deal at twice the price! Congrats!
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:17 PM
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That was a heck of a deal you made!
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:23 PM
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I would have hurt myself getting my wallet out.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:27 PM
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Nice find. I do love the Colt model 1903. It is the only pistol I do own. (rest is revolvers) It is well made and sturdy. Love the looks of it to.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:34 PM
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$300 is a very fair price. Add in the holster and it is darn near a crime in progress.

I have bought two 1903s in the last five years, both shooter grade. The prices have nearly doubled in that time - and original mags are a better investment.

The 1903s are superb shooters and masterworks of Art Deco age in design/production. Every time I disassemble one, I am reminded of the brilliance of John Moses Browning - and wonder why did he make this decision or that?

That and nothing.…nothing! feels as reassuring slipped in AIWB as that 1903. JMB seemingly had the hand of providence guiding him in shaping the 1903 to sit behind a man’s strongside braces.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:40 PM
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Mine is from 1912, or very close....same condition! great shooters. wouldn't sell mine for that....good buy!
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:50 PM
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Nice find! I wouldn't do anything to it except clean it and shoot it. wonder what tales it could tell?

I have a 1943 wartime manufactured 1903, issued to my stepdad, who gave it to me before he passed 20 years ago. It's blued and has the "US Property" stamp on it.

You may find that this pistol will only like FMJ rounds, or hollow points with a rounded nose. The flat-sided, tapered rounds like Hornady XTP don't feed well. I only occasionally take mine out to shoot, it's the closest I have to a safe queen.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:57 PM
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Prior to buying my Kahr K9 Elite I carried a 1903 made in 1916 from time to time.. It felt so good in my hand.
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:11 PM
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the 1903 was designed before. they had H.P bullets .They have a tendency to multiply
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:14 PM
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Donít pay the crazy prices for original mags - U S Armament is the company that made the current 1903s for Colt and they sell great mags (and barrels):

1903 - 8 Round Magazine for .32 cal ACP - Blued
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:25 PM
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I bought one like yours back in the early 1960s; bought a box of factory ammo. I couldn't hit anything smaller than a barn and traded it off. The ammo was expensive too considering we got paid small beans back then!

I have noticed in the old 1930s gangster movies that Cagney, Robinson, Bogart and other small bad guys were carrying Colt 1903s or 1908s. Little Alan Ladd in "This Gun for Hire" did a lot of damage with a little Colt.
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xfuzz View Post
....
No rust...lots of holster wear.
Serial number puts it at 1913 mfg.
$300 firm. I bit.....
Great deal! I paid $249 for this one after discovering it at the back of the gun case in a Cabelaís gun library some years ago, and still think I got a great deal despite the fact that all the finish is rubbed off. Itís a 1917 vintage. For just 50 bucks more you got a basically intact blue finish!


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Old 07-31-2020, 12:08 AM
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Also in old comics like Smilin' Jack and Vic Flint.

The real Norwegian resistance agent in David Horwath's, We Die Alone had a.32 Colt, I think. OSS used them, and generals were issued those.
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
....
The real Norwegian resistance agent in David Horwath's, We Die Alone had a.32 Colt, I think. OSS used them, and generals were issued those.
And as I always point out in threads about these, the British SOE got a bunch and most famously armed the Czech agents sent to Prague to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich with them in 1942.

The photo shows an original Model M on display in Prague at the site of the final stand, although itís unclear whether it is one of the actual pistols.


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Old 07-31-2020, 03:51 AM
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Default Colt 1903....

You got a great deal.....mine are not impressive, very well warn and one nicely reblued.....picked them up here in north Texas.



Last edited by moralem; 07-31-2020 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:00 AM
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Great gun. That is the deal of the decade.....
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:34 AM
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I'd say you got a fabulous deal! When I got out of Colts many years ago in preparation to get into S&W firearms with passion, the SAA's, the 1911, 1911A1's, the Python, Trooper all went for decent money and fairly quickly.

I had two 1903's, 1 was a 1919 that was gifted to a former USMC, Nam vet who had sold his to make ends meet way back in the late 60's and upon his retirement, I gave him a package (the gun was original finish and mag, the grips cracked so we had repro's installed)....he was thrilled and I know he still treasures it to this day.

The other one also original and in great condition, original mag and grips was known as Type III (integral barrel bushing) first year (1910-1926). Interesting is that the gun had the early patent date of 1897 on left side rollmark...considered a plus by Collectors. Also it had the early Type I grips, which were also common to type II (1909-1910) manufactured guns as well as first year issue type III as Colt used up inventory.

As said for many years there was no interest in my gun and it was priced right around $500. I withdrew it from sales outlets that I use, and stashed it away along with a box of ammo. Lo and behold about 3 years ago I got a call wanting to know if I still had it for sale. Guy wanted to shoot it first so we met, he tried it, was so satisfied he gave me six hundred on the spot.

Now I see them when available for $800 to $1000 in similar shape, but since I got out of Colts I don't have any seller remorse.

Enjoy yours and in case you don't have a Manual for that little beauty....attached please find one.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:08 AM
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I got this 1903 recently from a member here. I had bought the holster on a whim because it was just to nice to pass up and had no idea what gun it fit. So after some advice from the holster gurus here we figured out it fit a 1903 so I had to buy a gun to fit.
Here's a couple of photos of the rig, they're some of the holster missing the stud which I have since replaced.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:11 AM
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Always wanted a nice clean 1908. Recently made an offer on one and could have gotten it for $650 but ended up passing on it in the end. It was in pretty nice condition.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:27 AM
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I only have one in this pattern. I bought it because my mother's father had one in nickel (32 ACP) when I was a young lad. I admired that gun and when he passed, it found an avenue to another home (not me). I looked for years before my dad found this one for me. It is 380, but I like it just fine. I even found some neat leather for it.

Colt 1903....-dscf0569_zpsbe9ha7d5-jpg

This little Colt has several pairs of shoes. I had the mother of pearl on to give it a fancy air to go with the floral carved holster. I have sambar stag and the original black plastic stocks for this one, but the stag has a loose escutcheon and the black plastic stocks have a crack that I don't wish to see spread.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAFireman View Post
I only have one in this pattern. I bought it because my mother's father had one in nickel (32 ACP) when I was a young lad. I admired that gun and when he passed, it found an avenue to another home (not me). I looked for years before my dad found this one for me. It is 380, but I like it just fine. I even found some neat leather for it.

Colt 1903....-dscf0569_zpsbe9ha7d5-jpg

This little Colt has several pairs of shoes. I had the mother of pearl on to give it a fancy air to go with the floral carved holster. I have sambar stag and the original black plastic stocks for this one, but the stag has a loose escutcheon and the black plastic stocks have a crack that I don't wish to see spread.
That is one beautiful holster. My grandfather made one similar for my cap pistol in the early 1950s. The plastic and nylon of today don't compare!
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:00 PM
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Exclamation Colt 1908

$300 in almost any condition is a great deal, Congratulations!

Mine was only $150, but as you can see, it was in somewhat worse shape. In fact it sat in Kroil for weeks before I could even get the magazine free.

Having said that, itís a point of pride for me to say that not only does it function, but Iíve fired it several times and it functions perfectly (the magazine was obviously replaced, as well as the smaller grip springs, that thin metal didnít hold up well to this extensive oxidation). It also gave me my first chance to try rust bluing, and while the pitting remains, the bluing came out pretty well.

Someone mentioned it earlier, But it bears repeating, if you ever have the opportunity (read as painful experience) to disassemble and reassemble one of these, you will know what a genius John Browning really was.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:35 PM
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Well, you did a fantastic job restoring it, NavySCPO. My TT33 (pictured in a previous post) was all dirty and rusted up in the mag well just like your 1903. I had to let the magazine soak in Ballistol for a week before I could even disassemble it, and once I did it was all rusted out inside.
Fortunately, I was able to clean the TT33 itself up quite nicely. (Unfortunately, I forgot to take any "before" pictures, so all I have are the "after" photos.)
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:12 PM
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Default 1903 Colt

My Spanish Echave Y Arizmendi from Eibar is similarly based on the Browning 1906. It is the 6.35 1918 Model Automatic Pistol 'Bronco'. Mine sat in a leather holster too long but functions okay for a 100 year old piece.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:52 PM
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My Spanish Eschave Y Arizmendi from Eibar is similarly based on the Browning 1906. It is the 6.35 1918 Model Automatic Pistol 'Bronco'.....
Baby Ruby!

Quite a few Eibar gunmakers produced pocket-sized versions in .25 after the end of the French contracts. And of course the Ruby was an unlicensed derivative of JMBís 1903 design. Mine is by Arizmendi y Goenaga. The Arizmendi name was associated with several gun producers in Eibar.


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Old 08-02-2020, 01:53 PM
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Default My early Colt 1903

Not as nice as in many of yours, but this came through my uncle who became City of Kalamazoo police during World War II when the younger men went to fight. Have shot it a few times but definitely need to find a mag spring. Was apparently storted for many years and not used. Passed to me when my mother died. Very early four digit serial number.
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