Colt 1903 or 1908??


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News Shooter
July 23, 2008, 05:54 PM
I inherited my grandfather's Colt, what I was told was a 1908 in .380. It had one magazine with it and I ordered another 1908 .380 magazine.

When I went to use the gun the first (original) magazine fed fine. The second (new one) didn't feed and then got stuck in the grip.

I took it to the smith and he says the gun is actually a 1903 in .380 and that I bought the wrong magazine. The serial # is 1108xx.

Can someone help me tell exactly which model this is?

I do appreciate it

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rcmodel
July 23, 2008, 06:00 PM
Go here for complete information to identify it.
http://www.coltautos.com/

Finding aftermarket magazines that work for those guns is a crap-shoot at best.

Triple-K's are junk, and so are most of the others I'm familiar with.

Your best bet is to find an original Colt mag from one of the factory mag vender's at a major gun show.

It won't be cheap, but it will work!

rcmodel

Chipperman
July 23, 2008, 06:08 PM
The original 1903 was in .32, the .380 model was often called the 1908. Make sure the mag you buy is for .380 and not .38 ACP.

Stevie-Ray
July 23, 2008, 07:26 PM
Does it have a hammer? If not, you probably got the mag for the '03 Pocket Hammer .38ACP

News Shooter
July 23, 2008, 07:50 PM
Stevie-Ray
That is what is confusing. Mine is hammerless. The smith says it is a .380 version of the 1903, but I can't find any references to that, much less where to buy an appropriate magazine

MAKster
July 24, 2008, 11:38 AM
It sounds like you are trying to put a 1908 (380 ACP) mag in a 1903 (32 ACP) gun. It should say on the slide what caliber it is.

rcmodel
July 24, 2008, 12:56 PM
Your gunsmith is wrong.
There is no .380 ACP version of the 1903 in that serial number range.

From the serial number you gave, and the website I posted in post #2,
you have a Type IV Colt Model 1908 made in 1931.

Pocket Hammerless 1908 .380 - integrated barrel bushing, 3 3/4" barrel, and magazine safety. (.380 sn range 93001 - 136000)

A 1903 with that serial number would have been a .32 ACP made in 1911.

rcmodel

News Shooter
July 24, 2008, 01:12 PM
Thanks all. I believe my smith needs to stick to repairing:)

mnw42
July 24, 2008, 03:01 PM
Just to confuse things a little... Colt also made a Vest Pocket m1908 in .25 ACP which is a different gun entirely.

Here's a m1908 .380

http://www.docstech.com/pertinax/arms/1908-rh-sm.jpg

alistaire
July 24, 2008, 03:51 PM
Do the two magazines appear to be identical?

Have you cleaned the magazine well?

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