Questions about Colt .25 Auto


July 4, 2006, 12:46 AM
I just inherited a .25 Colt automatic. It has a 5 digit serial of 79XXX. On the side it says, "COLT'S PT F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U S A" and beneath that it says, "PAT'D AUG. 25, 1896, APR. 2, 1897, DEC. 22, 1903, JAN. 25,1910" The handgrips are mother of pearl with a medallion of a colt set into it.
I was wondering if someone could tell me what year it was produced. Additionally, I would like to know how much it is worth. Lastly, I've never tried to purchase 25 caliber ammunition, I was curious as to how difficult it is to find and how expensive it is. I'm much more interested in keeping the gun than selling it. I think it might need to be refurbished, it hasn't seen light in decades but it was stored indoors.
I would like to know where I can find information on refurbishing or where I could get replacement parts if necessary. I'm also curious as to how reliable a weapon it is. Sorry for all the questions, but this is the first gun I've owned that wasn't made during my own lifetime. I appreciate any help.


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Old Fuff
July 4, 2006, 01:41 AM
You have a Colt model 1908 Vest Pocket Pistol. The serial number (79XXX) indicates it was made in 1912, and the "medallion" Colt pearl grips (being a Colt product) add considerably to its value if they are in good shape. Depending on its condition the pistol is probably worth between $200 to $300 - add an additional $75 to $100 for the grips.

>25 ACP cartridges are made by a number of mainline U.S. and European makers. You should have no trouble finding it. Cost will probably be around $20.00/box.

The gun had a reputation for reliability, but some users recommend that one be carried with a loaded magazine and empty chamber. That said, they aren't known for going off unexpectedly. Given that it was discontinued in 1946 parts and "good" extra magazines can be difficult to find.

Field stripping is easy, but detail disassembly should be left to an experienced gunsmith. The best way to clean one is with a solvent bath. If you want to shoot it, it might be advisable to replace the recoil and firing pin springs. For those, go to

Ron James
July 4, 2006, 02:16 AM
As old fluff stated, the 1908 Hammerless ( also called the vest pocket) is one of the most reliability .25s ever put on the market. It is one of Colts and Brownings ( his design) success storys. I've never heard of a Colt going off in a pocket but it is striker fired ( no hammer) and in a little gun that always makes me nervous. I have seen other striker fired small guns go off by accident. If in excellant shape I would put the value at closer to 500. These are getting to quite a hot little item. Don't refurbish it or refinish it or even over clean it. It would be very easy to over do it and cause the value to lower. And yes the Mother of Pearl will add quite a bit to the value. I've had several of these and all have been jewels. ( I'm down to one now). Good luck, any more questions just post.

July 4, 2006, 02:17 AM
For a good site with info on your COLT .25 auto and other COLT autos goto

July 4, 2006, 11:27 AM
Thank you kindly for the help. It definitely needs a new recoil spring, so I'll be looking into that. Can't wait to get her to the range. Appreciate all the help.

Johnny Guest
July 4, 2006, 12:08 PM
This is an antique gun by any standards and should not be judged by whether or not it has ALL its original finish. On the collector's market, a first model Colt .25 pistol with 30 or 40% original finish is worth far more than one with a "perfect" reblue from the local gunsmith.

Another factor is that you termed your acquisition an inheritance. To me, this would mean from a family member or a good friend, and it would be worth MORE to me with the signs of honorable service in personal or home defense. Even if the pistol suffered from some rust on one side due to improper storage, it can be GENTLY cleaned up and make a better keepsake than even a "pretty good" rework.

And, if at some future time you or your family needs to sell this piece, it will be worth more money with original finish and the mother of pearl stocks.

Best of luck

Jim K
July 4, 2006, 01:27 PM
That little Colt is one of two or three .25 autos that I would consider reliable enough to carry. It is one of the very best.

(The others, FWIW, are the nearly identical FN (not the newer "Baby Browing" and the Czech DUO. Others I have tried, including the Baby Browning, were not reliable enough. I never tried the Walther PP/PPK in .25, though.)


July 6, 2006, 04:26 PM
Numrich Gun parts has springs and pins... mine came with a replacement mag that wasn't made for the pistol and still worked. Numrich magazines work fine.

I had to replace a guide rod and a recoil spring.

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