Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32ACP recoil spring guiderod/magazine safety


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Chuck Dye
January 25, 2004, 03:42 AM
When my Dad gave me his 1903 Colt Pocket Hammerless, it may well have been unfired, certainly had not been fired much. When I first disassembled the pistol, I found the recoil spring guide rod at the muzzle end of the spring, defeating the magazine safety. I have fired fewer than 500 rounds through the gun, roughly half of them with the spring as found, half with the guide rod at the breech end of the spring and activating the magazine safety. I can see not difference in function other than the mag safety. Does anyone have any reasons to run it one way or the other, besides, of course, the magazine safety?

For the historically minded, Dad bought the pistol in Shanghai right after WWII. Local rickshaw drivers had a custom of taking their passengers down back alleys where they would tip the passengers over backwards to waiting accomplices. The solution was to open fire fore and aft as you went over. After a few accomplices and drivers were shot, the problem largely abated.

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Old Fuff
January 25, 2004, 06:33 PM
I have never tried reversing the recoil spring guide, but I can see where the pistol might (just "might") be jammed because the spring bowed at the back because of the lack of a guide.

Anyway, if you contact Numrich at www.e-gunparts.com they could probably sell you a guide that was made before 1927 when the magazine disconector was introduced. The earlier guide doesn't have the little spring-loaded plunger in the back that operates the disconector when the magazine's removed. Then you can assemble the pistol the way it's supposed to be and not be bothered by the magazine disconector.

Given its age, I would also replace the recoil spring with a new one.

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