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Old 08-15-2009, 12:35 AM   #1
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Default Colt 1903 .32 slide problem

First off I would like to state that I just inherited this gun, and is my first firearm. I do not know much about guns, so I thought I would try to get some advice from the helpful community here at firearmstalk.

The problem I am having is the slide seems to be jammed or maybe just stuck, but I can't seem to be able to pull the damn thing back. I made sure both the grip safety and the trigger was pressed and the gun wasn't loaded before I attempted to do this. One other thing I noticed was the manual safety was also stuck in the off position (not sure if this has anything to do with the slide).

A bit about the gun: This gun was issued to my great grandpa in 1917 while he was a supply officer in the US Navy. ColtAutos.com has some more information on it:

World War I Navy Colt Model M .32 ACP - From the beginning of production until WWI, there was only one significant military order for the Model M. It was a 200 gun shipment ranging in serial number from 227226 to 260924 on September 29, 1917 to the U.S. Navy Yard, Washington, DC...These pistols had no special government ordnance, inspectors or acceptance markings applied at the factory."

Besides it not working, the gun itself looks to be in great shape, no dings, nicks, or scratches; just some slight wear on the finish around the grip. Being this gun has a lot of family and american history associated with it, I thought it would be best to restore it to working condition.

A friend of mine says I probably need to oil the slide, but I thought I would get your opinion before I try anything.



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Old 08-15-2009, 04:17 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by BigBeerBellyMan View Post
First off I would like to state that I just inherited this gun, and is my first firearm. I do not know much about guns, so I thought I would try to get some advice from the helpful community here at firearmstalk.

The problem I am having is the slide seems to be jammed or maybe just stuck, but I can't seem to be able to pull the damn thing back. I made sure both the grip safety and the trigger was pressed and the gun wasn't loaded before I attempted to do this. One other thing I noticed was the manual safety was also stuck in the off position (not sure if this has anything to do with the slide).

A bit about the gun: This gun was issued to my great grandpa in 1917 while he was a supply officer in the US Navy. ColtAutos.com has some more information on it:

World War I Navy Colt Model M .32 ACP - From the beginning of production until WWI, there was only one significant military order for the Model M. It was a 200 gun shipment ranging in serial number from 227226 to 260924 on September 29, 1917 to the U.S. Navy Yard, Washington, DC...These pistols had no special government ordnance, inspectors or acceptance markings applied at the factory."

Besides it not working, the gun itself looks to be in great shape, no dings, nicks, or scratches; just some slight wear on the finish around the grip. Being this gun has a lot of family and american history associated with it, I thought it would be best to restore it to working condition.

A friend of mine says I probably need to oil the slide, but I thought I would get your opinion before I try anything.
Best advise is to find a good local gunsmith and take it to him for review and possible repair. Sounds like a firearm that is important to your family so do it the right way.


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Old 08-16-2009, 10:48 PM   #3
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Default colt 1903

check the barrel is not turned.the safty will not work if not cocked.pull it back hard as it has a strong spring.I just took mine out to check.get the slid back to second notch and raise safty,you can then turn barrel and let slide down and off.

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Old 03-04-2010, 12:04 AM   #4
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Something about this post tickled my memory so I did some more checking. Also discovered there are multiple versions of this post. New user blues?

The gun described is supposedly one of the USN WWI pistols. That is what tickled at me. I finally dug out my copy of Brunner's book on the Colt Hammerless pistols this AM and looked up the Navy sale. I also wish to point out the serial #s of the Colt sale to the USN are known. According to Brunner in his Volume II edition (written fairly recently) there is only 1 (yes, one) of those 200 pistols ever found in private hands. If Big Beer Belly is reading this, and he really does have what he describes, pretty please, what is the serial number? Of the answer is correct, there might be some people out there willing to pay serious bucks for it.

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Old 08-19-2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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Something about this post tickled my memory so I did some more checking. Also discovered there are multiple versions of this post. New user blues?

The gun described is supposedly one of the USN WWI pistols. That is what tickled at me. I finally dug out my copy of Brunner's book on the Colt Hammerless pistols this AM and looked up the Navy sale. I also wish to point out the serial #s of the Colt sale to the USN are known. According to Brunner in his Volume II edition (written fairly recently) there is only 1 (yes, one) of those 200 pistols ever found in private hands. If Big Beer Belly is reading this, and he really does have what he describes, pretty please, what is the serial number? Of the answer is correct, there might be some people out there willing to pay serious bucks for it.

Ever get an answer?
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:06 AM   #6
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Something about this post tickled my memory so I did some more checking. Also discovered there are multiple versions of this post. New user blues?

The gun described is supposedly one of the USN WWI pistols. That is what tickled at me. I finally dug out my copy of Brunner's book on the Colt Hammerless pistols this AM and looked up the Navy sale. I also wish to point out the serial #s of the Colt sale to the USN are known. According to Brunner in his Volume II edition (written fairly recently) there is only 1 (yes, one) of those 200 pistols ever found in private hands. If Big Beer Belly is reading this, and he really does have what he describes, pretty please, what is the serial number? Of the answer is correct, there might be some people out there willing to pay serious bucks for it.
Tried to pm you the SN, but your box is full.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:16 AM   #7
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Tried to pm you the SN, but your box is full.
Okay, so I decided to google "Colt 1903 2XXXXX" with the X's representing the gun's serial number, and came across this website which indeed has my serial listed.

So now that it's confirmed that this is in fact one of the 200 colt 1903's issued to navy officers before WWI, what's my next step in finding out the gun's value?

-Beer
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:10 AM   #8
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Okay, so I decided to google "Colt 1903 2XXXXX" with the X's representing the gun's serial number, and came across this website which indeed has my serial listed.

So now that it's confirmed that this is in fact one of the 200 colt 1903's issued to navy officers before WWI, what's my next step in finding out the gun's value?

-Beer
Sometimes I find in some of the book stores a copy of "Firearms Values", have you looked there?

Did it finally get fixed?
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:43 PM   #9
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It isn't at all confirmed to any of us. There is no legitimate reason to call the serial # 2xxxxxx. Simply put, either you have the second one of the 200 or you don't. The other known one is not missing, so it isn't like someone is going to claim ownership without proof. Take a nice clear jpg of the gun's serial # and post it here. If it is correct, I am sure someone here will contact the Colt Collector's Society and the word will spread.

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Old 01-22-2011, 05:14 PM   #10
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Sometimes I find in some of the book stores a copy of "Firearms Values", have you looked there?

Did it finally get fixed?
Yes, it's in working condition, the slide was just stuck from not being used in so many years. I'll work on getting some pictures up asap.


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