Question about Colt .380 Government model


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Monster Zero
December 26, 2010, 02:51 PM
Help me out.

A family member has a 30's vintage Colt .380 Goverment model that he is unsure about. He doesn't plan to make a range gun or anything like that out of it, but he would like to shoot it maybe once a year or so, and eventually pass on as a family heirloom. It's in 99.999 percent condition, but that's not really what he's concerned about.

What's the deal with the internal hammer on this gun? Is is safe to carry loaded and cocked the way General officers (presumably) did in the 40's? Or is it better to just leave it in the safe and take it out and shoot it at the range once in a while and then clean it and put it back?

How about giving it to a family member? As an example, is it safe for a lady to keep in her nightstand as a nightstand gun, or for a gentleman to slip in his pocket going out to feed the cattle just because he's not gonna need it?

Or should it just be kept in someone's safe and passed on to great-grandchildren someday?

The main consideration here is the way that internal hammer operates and the relative safety of it. Relative to say, a revolver or a 1911.

TIA

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The Lone Haranguer
December 26, 2010, 07:40 PM
That sounds more like a 1908 Pocket (the 1903 was a .32), not a Government Model .380, which looks like a shrunken 1911 and came out in the 1970s. But enough nitpicking. ;) The concealed hammer can be carried cocked and locked if desired, although I doubt that was its original intent. It doesn't have a modern firing pin block "drop" safety, but the hammer not being exposed - therefore nothing to strike - should cancel that out. But, although it is very slender, flat, snag-free and has a fairly crisp single-action trigger, it is still a nearly 80-year-old gun with parts subject to breakage, difficult magazine availability and will probably not feed modern hollowpoint ammunition. Therefore I would keep it as a collector to be shot occasionally, not a range/self defense gun.

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