1903 Colt Pocket Hammerless

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by Deadman1, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. Deadman1

    Deadman1 New Member

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    I just picked this little 1903 Colt Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP up in a trade, externally it looks rough but the internals seem to be perfect. The bore is shiny and the rifling looks new. And all of the springs are strong and the gun is "very" tight. The grips aren't correct for the gun but that is minor. I plan on picking up a couple boxes of ammo and trying it out soon.

    Do you all think there's anything I need to worry about?? I've inspected the gun thru and thru mechanically I can't see a thing wrong with it...

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  2. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    Except for the grips...shudder... it looks fine to me. Can't really tell because of the flash, but is all the finish gone? Mine's in the brown, but I like it. I've considered refinishing it but decided to leave it as is. I'm not concerned about the collector value, I plan to keep it.

    Here's a page with serial number dates so you can check out the manufacture date if you don't know what it is.

    It's a fun gun to shoot and it's a little peppy on the recoil. I'm using it as my main sidearm when out shooting. Considering how many were made, I guess the little old .32ACP must have been good for something, even though we now know for sure it's waaaaay too small of a caliber to actually, you know, be effective. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010

  3. Benning Boy

    Benning Boy New Member

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    If you have ANY doubts, I'd have a gunsmith give it a going over. Other than that, nice acquisition.
     
  4. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Clean it, lube it, load it, shoot it. We'll expect pictures and a range report. :cool:
     
  5. Deadman1

    Deadman1 New Member

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    Best advice I've seen all day! :D

    I've been thru this little gun from to to bottom, I can't find any reason not to try it. So Im looking for some ammo now, I may have to order some. I haven't seen any .32 ACP around locally in a while.

    As for the finish, I'm not sure. I believe it's just a really really crappy nickle plate as the little colt engraved on the slide is almost filled up as are a couple of the letters. I think nickle mostly because of the X scratched on the side, looks like somebody was checking it, and I'm not sure the steel would be soft enough to scratch that easy. :confused:

    Is there a way to tell??
     
  6. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    Very cool gun! What did you have to give in trade, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  7. Deadman1

    Deadman1 New Member

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    Hmm well, let's just say I don't have much in it. :eek: To be honest, I didn't have any idea what it was worth and it looked terrible. Where as now I feel I got a better deal than I deserved. But it's with a friend that I trade with all the time, so I don't feel so bad. Kinda like playing poker, somtimes I get lucky but most time I loose my...
     
  8. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Fun little guns. Stay away from the +P+++++ golly-geewhilikers-super-duper plutonium nitrate ammo, and stick to standard .32 ACP. I used to load a single pellet of single ought buckshot over a mild load of Bullseye for a plinking load.
     
  9. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    Check out a few of your local Walmarts. The couple in my area are starting to get the .32. Still can't find .38 or .357.
     
  10. Deadman1

    Deadman1 New Member

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    Yep, you called it Scott! I stopped in the local Wally World this afternoon to pick up some stuff for an oil change. Low and behold there was one lone box of Winchester 71 gr FMJ's sitting on the shelf. ;) The price was $18.89, don't know if that was good but I grabbed it. I'm good to go! :cool:
     
  11. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    That's about the price I paid for a box of Remington 71gr. Found a few bricks of .22 and one, only one box of .30 Carbine.... If only I had the money for that. Prolly be gone when I get paid thursday. :(
     
  12. Deadman1

    Deadman1 New Member

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    And here's quick range report on the 1903 Colt .32 Auto. I loaded the antique mag up with seven rounds of the 71 gr Winchester FMJ's, for starters. The mag actually holds eight but I didn't want to put undue stress on the 90 year old spring. I then stepped off seven yards from the base of my favorite shooting tree. I won't say much except; Mr. Browning was a fairly intellegent individule for his time.

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    I set up a fresh target then reloaded the Colt's mag and stepped off 14 yards.

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    The 1903 Colt Pocket Hammerless functioned flawlessly, I ran a total of 35 rounds thru it with zero FTF's, no jams or even the slightest reason for concern. I have a new found respect for this antique pistol.

    The last four rounds I fired directly into a large seasoned piece of Hickory in hopes to dig a bullet out to see how well the .32 ACP penetrated. Well I found that the .32 ACP is very adequate. I gave up before recovering a bullet as I didn't want to break the tip off the blade of my pocket knife. In conclusion; I also have a new found respect for the .32 ACP! :eek: Go ahead and laugh if you like.
     
  13. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    I'm not laughing. I love mine. There were so many pistols manufactured chambered in that round that I think we've lost sight of how effective a round it can be. All the big calibers have taken away the spotlight from this round. All the insecure guys want the biggest baddest round and denigrate this classic. I'll take all the .32ACPs these guys don't want....
     
  14. Dcomf

    Dcomf New Member

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    Ask the Stasi how many the 7.65 has killed.
     
  15. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Excellent! I'm glad you like it and that it's a good shooter. Enjoy that rascal. :cool:
     
  16. ALSGUN

    ALSGUN New Member

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    Nice little pistol, use to have one, stolen years ago... miss it
    looks like in good condition, congrats and enjoy:)
     
  17. superc

    superc Member

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    These things are great fun. I have had several in my time. The first check is to take the slide off and be absolutely sure there is no movement of a cocked hammer with the safety on, then make sure that with the safety off there is no hammer movement with the trigger pulled but the grip safety left untouched. Towards the last three decades of production there was also a magazine safety to check. Tests passed, in all of mine I have done complete Wolff spring set replacements. In every instance the original springs had taken compression sets over the past 80+ years.

    There is a gentleman named Dale Woody in WA who restores corroded lettering on these things. The one pictured here is in his shop as we speak. I'll Novak sight mine when it comes back. They are very efficient pistols and we were all made poorer by Colt's decision to stop making them after WW2. By all means, please put those grips in the fire pit with the other rubbish and get some of the proper ones. :)
     

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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  18. Monster118

    Monster118 New Member

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    I recently received a colt 1903 colt .32 type II pistol. The serial number is 72535. This really is a neat gun. I have fired it and it is fairly accurate. Actually it is quite accurate! In addition I have field stripped it and cleaned it a few times.

    Recently I have noticed that the slide is not very smooth when pulling it back. It seems to be "catching up" on something. I am wondering since the recoil spring is slightly bent and who knows how old it is; could it be causing this little catch. Or is there some other internal piece that may be causing this?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  19. Boyerracing343

    Boyerracing343 New Member Supporter

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    Nice pick up, i like it.