Is there any interest in reviving the Colt 1903?


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Candiru
October 13, 2006, 02:42 PM
Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_1903) is the Wikipedia article on the Colt 1903 "hammerless" pocket pistol, chambered in .32 and .380 ACP. What I don't understand is why these pistols haven't enjoyed the same rennaisance that the 1911 experienced. The 1903 pistols are, after all, the 1911 of mousegun calibers: safe cocked and locked carry, grip safety, and a short, crisp trigger. While you can get smaller and lighter guns in the calibers offered, I would be surprised if they were anywhere near as conducive to quick, accurate shooting. I've long held the opinion that a gun's usefulness for self-defense lies not in how tightly you can wrap the gun around the cartridge, but how shootable the resulting gun/cartridge combo is.

Am I the only one who would love to see a new run of these guns in both .32 and .380? Aside from adding a slight lip to the safety and offering stainless steel as a construction option, I think these guns are every bit as ready for the 21st century as they were for the 20th.

What do you think?

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DogBonz
October 13, 2006, 03:05 PM
I love that little gun, I love old Colts, and I love the 32 ACP. So yea, Id buy one.

Just_a_dude_with_a_gun
October 13, 2006, 03:20 PM
I would buy one.

Logan5
October 13, 2006, 07:31 PM
Maybe with a thumb safety that positively locked in the "on" and "off" positions, and a lot better sights than my 1903. They are neat pistols.

Geronimo45
October 13, 2006, 07:44 PM
Certainly. I think one in .380 would be the most successful - with a gun that size.
Always interested in reviving a good-looking gun.

Stevie-Ray
October 13, 2006, 09:00 PM
I don't know if I'd buy a new one. I have an old one and it's less accurate than my Kel-Tec P-32. A new one that had frills, though, like night sights, better grips and an accurized barrel would be cool. Yeah, I'd probably buy one.:D

tipoc
October 14, 2006, 01:24 AM
And now days you could do it in 9mm.

tipoc

s&w 24
October 14, 2006, 03:33 AM
the problem with the 1903 in a modern world is that it requires too much machine work. You would be looking at a pistol that cost more than a seecamp and was larger and heavier. They are one of the best pocket autos made but it would be a $1000 gun .

Autolycus
October 14, 2006, 03:40 AM
If they made it look cooler and chambered it in 9mm I would buy it. So I am sure most manufaturers would update it and I would be interested.

DFW1911
October 14, 2006, 04:23 AM
IF they didn't cost a fortune. Sure I'd love to have one, but I'm only willing to pay so much.

I don't mean to hijack: would you rather have the 1903 or a newly-minted Luger?

Take care,
DFW1911

Iggy
October 14, 2006, 10:07 AM
In a heart beat!!!

Chipperman
October 14, 2006, 10:22 AM
I already have one in .32.

If I could get a new one with an ambi safety in .380 or 9mm I'd definitely buy one.

kokapelli
October 14, 2006, 10:42 AM
If I could get a new one with an ambi safety in .380 or 9mm I'd definitely buy one.

It's a nice pistol in 32 or 380acp, but since it is a blowback, it would not be practical for 9mm.

This is mine in 32acp.........

http://www.wtv-zone.com/jnib/images/ktog/colt_1903.jpg

RCouch
October 14, 2006, 01:28 PM
I'm 77 years old and I've loved the 1903's since I was a kid. I'm currently
looking for one after all these years and they are not cheap. Wish I could come across one (regular length or pocket model with or without a hammer) in .38 ACP.

nero45acp
October 14, 2006, 03:20 PM
Yes!



nero

denfoote
October 14, 2006, 03:34 PM
I'd also like to see Colt bring back the Magnum Carry and the Mustang!

aspen1964
October 14, 2006, 04:59 PM
I found and bought one....made in 1923, and mint condition!...I will post some pictures when recieved...it will be my pocket-gun after rejecting various other models...ideal for that purpose...

NORTEXED
October 14, 2006, 05:14 PM
This is mine (was my Great Uncle's carried as a pocket backup along with his New Service in .45 LC while a sheriff in N. Texas during the 30's -40's) It is sooo sweet, the sights are a little fine but shoots great and never bobbles. It's in 380 and was given to him by the Colt Sales Rep. for this area back in the 30's for high Colt sales, (he also owned the local hardware store).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v368/NORTEXED/MVC-001F.jpg

Archie
October 14, 2006, 05:54 PM
I'd buy one.

But not if it had front slide serrations, a tatical light rail, beavertail grip, fully adjustable trijicon sights and a finish done by a monkey with a sheet of 200 grit sandpaper.

As mentioned, the problem with making the gun is the level of machining needed. However, a CNC machine could solve that problem.

I have one in .32 ACP. It's a fun gun and something for those occasions when I wish to be armed but not greatly armed. It's not in collectable condition so I think I'll have it engraved and refinished. If it's possible, I'm going to replace the original sights with standard sights from a 1911A1 (that is, the little sights.)

tipoc
October 14, 2006, 09:17 PM
The internals can be redone in a way that both lowers cost and increases reliability. What you're looking for in this gun is the completely snag free exterior and the basic accuracy that a good one is capable of. Improved sights of course. The gun meets the old school criteria of being smooth "like a well worn bar of soap".

There are remarkably few guns produced these days that are actually smooth.

tipoc

MountainBear
October 14, 2006, 09:18 PM
Just another toy for the collection, but when it comes to reviving hallowed antiquities, I'm all for it.

aspen1964
October 14, 2006, 10:50 PM
..the small sights are one reason the pistol pulls from a pocket so freely..

jon_in_wv
October 15, 2006, 12:52 AM
I was thinking this very thing the other day. The problem is that modern manufacturing would not capture the elegance of the weapon. Today so much is done for the sake of saving a dollar that the art of making firearms is a dying one. Deep polished bluing, hand fitting, old world craftsmanship, these things are nonexistant in todays guns. I would love to see a revival of the 1903 but I'm afraid it would be turned into something that is a far cry from what it was for the sake of "improvement"

ugaarguy
October 15, 2006, 12:56 AM
There is a company that makes new Baby Browning 25 ACP pocket pistols. If anyone could pull off the 1903 hammerless I think they could. This should also give an idea on how much it would cost. http://precisionsmallarms.com/

Mortech
October 15, 2006, 01:50 AM
Took me a while I finally found a 1903 last year in a pawnshop , its pretty well worn and dinged up but shoots like a dream . i figure paying $200 for it is a steal since it still shoots . I wouldn't mind paying say something in the area of $500 - $600 for one with minor modern internal improvments , but for goodness sakes the the external appearance alone !

spooney
October 15, 2006, 02:29 AM
This is one of my dream guns. I would love to have a new one in .380.

JimC
October 15, 2006, 09:32 AM
I voted yes and would love to have one in .380 however, if it were Colt made I doubt if I could afford one. :eek:

jon_in_wv
October 15, 2006, 02:15 PM
With our luck it will be produced and it will be matt black with "Charles Daly" stenciled in BIG letters on the slide.

jon_in_wv
October 15, 2006, 02:16 PM
or maybe it will have a nice, sprayed on polycoating!

kokapelli
October 15, 2006, 02:25 PM
As intriguing as the 1903 is, it is way to big to be considered for concealed carry in 380 or 32 acp.

The 1903 is twice as big and over 3 times the weight of a P-3AT that fires the same round.

I enjoy shooting mine every now and then, but I carry a P-3AT.
-
http://www.wtv-zone.com/jnib/images/ktog/colt_p32.jpg

Onmilo
October 15, 2006, 03:42 PM
There are enough of these pistols on the market that if you want one, you can find one.
http://www.fototime.com/12A7CA1C4A35EBE/standard.jpg

rbmcmjr
October 15, 2006, 04:48 PM
As intriguing as the 1903 is, it is way to big to be considered for concealed carry in 380 or 32 acp.

The 1903 is twice as big and over 3 times the weight of a P-3AT that fires the same round.

I enjoy shooting mine every now and then, but I carry a P-3AT.

The comparison between a beautifully crafted 1903 and that plastic fantastic in a non sequitur. They appeal to vastly different markets. I wouldn't be caught dead shooting, let alone owning, a polymer pistol. I would pony up for a modern 1903 in a red hot instant.

kokapelli
October 15, 2006, 06:19 PM
The comparison between a beautifully crafted 1903 and that plastic fantastic in a non sequitur. They appeal to vastly different markets. I wouldn't be caught dead shooting, let alone owning, a polymer pistol. I would pony up for a modern 1903 in a red hot instant.

They both have have their uses and place and that's why I own both!

An old Chinese proverb _________
A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood.

aspen1964
October 15, 2006, 08:37 PM
too big?..nonsense...I never liked micro-sized guns or their micro-weight...the Colt Hammerless is the same length as a Colt D.S. or Cobra but a little lighter...and with much cleaner lines...and the weight makes it pleasant to shoot...so practice won't become an un-fun drudgery...and if you must shoot someone in self-defense, why not do it with class..the Hammerless has class to spare...there is nothing outdated about it, only in the minds of trendy-minded people...those are a few of the reasons why it will become the pocket-gun I chose...

Snake Eyes
October 15, 2006, 08:43 PM
The 1903 is twice as big and over 3 times the weight of a P-3AT that fires the same round.

Uh huh. And the 1903 is single action, with a sweet JMB trigger that no fluff-n-buff KelTec will ever match. Plus, I believe, the 1903 is thinner.

Some of us guys with clumsy, over sized hands kinda like a gun we can more than 2 fingers around.

(I guess y'all know which way I voted)

kokapelli
October 15, 2006, 08:50 PM
trendy-minded people...
Is that a definition for people that have a different view then yours?
...and if you must shoot someone in self-defense, why not do it with class.

About the last thing I care about in a self defense sidutation, is how classy I look!

I just checked my 1903 (I guess I have a little class) against my P-3AT and although it is very thin, it is thicker in both the slide and grip than the P-3AT.

aspen1964
October 15, 2006, 08:59 PM
I wouldn't take the classy comment I said too seriously..I didn't, when I said it!...there is an awful lot of people who are narrow-minded enough to look at only what was produced this year and five years ago or even what is being touted in today's ads...rather than explore further back in the past...that is what trendiness is...


as the above threader said and I missed another fine point of the Colt is how thin the 1903 is...nothing produced today makes an impression that outshines the Hammerless...unlike the 1903, they are generally ugly, angular, blocky, thick-looking things & I don't think they would pull from a jacket pocket all that well either...I guess I will have to defend the 32 auto cartridge next...

Old Fuff
October 15, 2006, 08:59 PM
A number of companies have considered introducing a 1903/08 Pocket Model clone, and given up on the idea. For one thing, current buyers want a pistol of that size to be chambered in 9mm Luger, not "weak" cartridges like the .32 or .380 ACP. Unfortunately the straight-blowback design of the 1903 won't stand up to the more powerful cartridge, and the magazine well isn't wide enough (front to back) to take the longer cartridge.

The frame was designed to be made from a machined forging, and has very thin cross sections and walls in the handle area. This sort of thing doesn't lend itself well to investment castings or polymer technology, and if the pistol was made "the old way," you wouldn't buy it.

There are those - including me - that like the old pocket pistol, and there are enough used guns on the market to satsify the need at prices that are lower, sometimes much lower, then what a quality reoroduction would cost.

kokapelli
October 15, 2006, 09:08 PM
aspen1964, I agree that the 1903 is without a doubt one of the best looking pistols ever and it does feel great in my hand as well.

I enjoy shooting it, but it just does not work out as a 24/7 pocket pistol, at least not for me.

If I ever have to shoot in self defense, I'm hoping the only part of the pistol the BG sees is it's muzzle flash.

By the way, there is another pistol in 9mm that comes close to the style and thinnes of the 1903.

It's the Tokarev.

If only it had a little better grip angle!

aspen1964
October 15, 2006, 09:13 PM
..it isn't necessary for either of us to convert the other...we each choose what we choose and that is the end of it...It makes no difference to me what one man wants to carry on his person(thats his business), only what I choose to carry on my person...:)..and I am barely containing my anticipation of my new 1903's arrival...

gc70
October 15, 2006, 10:03 PM
The 1903 is a beauty and I would love to have a new one. In the meantime, I have my eye on a more recent Browning 1910 in .380 ACP, which was built into the 1970s.

Dr.Rob
October 16, 2006, 12:58 AM
Considering a NIB vintage Colt is well over $600... how much is too much?

I'd love to have one... heck I'd like to have a refinished one. I'd like one I can shoot, rather than a safe queen.

Recently there was a 'pocket gun' shoot-out in a big issue of the shotgun news... the Colt came in last compared to many new designs. The writer's biggest beef was the tiny sights, the hard to manipulate safety and the turn of the century ergonomics, which make a snappish feel for such a little (and compared to the others HEAVY) firearm. However you can alter the grip of the Colt with skinny or fat grip panels and overall the gun was very svelte. The trigger stands alone among its competitors.

A 1903 isn't a Kel-Tec, well I already knew that. The market for each is very different.

PS the Walther PPks also scored badly in the test.

Nightcrawler
October 16, 2006, 01:04 AM
Instead of an exact 1903 copy, I'd like to see a pseudo-1903. It'd basically be a scaled down 1911, breech locked, a very thin single-stack 9mm. Give it better sights and better controls. Make the frame out of alloy.

It'd be like Kahr but classic looking.

M2 Carbine
October 16, 2006, 01:24 AM
I voted No because I already have two.
They are nice accurate pistols but for carry use a more powerful pistol could be carried for the size.

Before legal carry my Wife and I used to carry the 1903 in our cars.

I got in the middle of a attempted Quick Stop hold up and felt very undergunned with the 32.
I put bigger pistols in our cars.

My Colt.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Bucks32Colt.jpg

Wife's Colt
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Hazels32Colt.jpg

kokapelli
October 16, 2006, 10:55 AM
wow, what a pair!:)

Who did the refinish job?

crucible
October 16, 2006, 10:59 AM
Very nice! Notice too 1911 folks (I'm one), the external extractor.

C-

Mad4Pistols
October 16, 2006, 01:35 PM
I've been in love with the 1903 since I was a boy. John Dillinger was killing full grown men (Policemen) with his. Don't know how much more real it can get. This gun represents to me the romanticism of the old days. The saying goes that more men were killed with 32 and 380 then all other calibers combined. Now this is hear-say but I'm willing to look further into that claim to see if there is any truth. My Father taught me how to shoot and his addage was aim small and miss small. We were taught that a 22 would kill and that its all in the hands of the shooter as to what will stop a man or not.

Now laying my opinion aside I see what the polymer guns have going for them. They are lighter, smaller, more concealable and for the most part probably shoot more accurately. But you can't forget history. History tells us that technology doesn't always claim rule over quality. Colt 1903 has a quality that may never be seen again.

Given the choice when wearing suit and tie, I would most likely be pulling out a 1903 out of my pants to do the unthinkable to a perp...

P.S. M2 Carbine,
If you get tired of those old chunks of steel (1903) then you be sure to let me know. LOL.. I just can't get enough of these old colts...

Old Fuff
October 16, 2006, 03:40 PM
Very nice! Notice too 1911 folks (I'm one), the external extractor.
All of the pistols Browning designed for Colt had external extractors except for the 1911 .45 Government Model. This was partly to seal off the extractor from fouling and dirt, and also to make it possible to remove the extractor to clean or replace it without special tools. That was a feature the Army wanted very badly, and Browning gave it to them.

Given a choice I still prefer the internal extractor on the 1911 platform, for the same reasons it was made that way in the first place. However some current clone manufacturers like the external kind because they are less expensive to make. This doesn't necessarily make them better.

gopguy
October 16, 2006, 06:14 PM
I don't think Colt could do it for a price the public would be willing to pay. The guns have been out of production since 1945....they may not even having the original tooling to do it....

As said before plenty are on the used market. I passed on a nice nickeled 1903 for $350 at a gun show over the weekend. The nickle looked really good but I doubted it was original. I have a nice 1908 in .380 but it is a safe queen.

News Shooter
October 16, 2006, 06:22 PM
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b240/notrevo/th_Colt1903.jpg (http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b240/notrevo/Colt1903.jpg)

isp2605
October 16, 2006, 09:19 PM
I carried mine (.380) for several years in the pocket on my vest carrier as backup. I found it perfect for that location - not a sharp corner anywhere and thin.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c125/ispcapt/guns/1908B.jpg

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