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1903 Colt Pocket Hammerless

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by JohnnyCremains, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Well-Known Member

    Since this page is always lousy with modern plastic autoloaders and guns that are pure function with no beauty...here's something from 100 years ago.

    Yes they made .380s 100 years ago. This one was made in 1911:





  2. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Very nice... I went to a gun show this past weekend with the sole intention of finding one. Unfortunately, the few that were there the owners were off their rockers. So now I have three on gunbroker on my watch list. It's one of those guns that just speaks "engrave me".
  3. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Well-Known Member

    I bought this one a couple of years ago from Cabelas for $465.
    They thought it was refinished. I know better when it comes to these early Colts..so I win :)
  4. DesertVet

    DesertVet Well-Known Member

    I have a .32 caliber version.
    Neat historic pistol.
  5. Dmath

    Dmath Well-Known Member

    These guns hold a special place in my heart. My dad had two that were issued to him as an Air Force officer -- one in .380, the other in .32 ACP. I don't know what became of them after he passed on, but a few years ago I found a Model M .380 at a gun show, bought it for $400, and these days it's one of my favorites.

    At one point I had a link to a site that would let me track down the date of manufacture by serial number for it, but that was two computers and two ISPs ago. Where can I find out, do you know?

    The serial number is 106XXX, has an integrated barrel bushing, 3¾ inch barrel, and magazine safety. According to Wikipedia, that would mean it was made in 1911, but I somehow doubt it's quite that old.
  6. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    I have a handful of these including an M and a US Military issue.
  8. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    Technically isn't it a Colt 1908 Pocket Hammerless if it's in .380? I have one in 32 and one in 380. They are fun little guns.
  9. Dmath

    Dmath Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Tarosean.

    But my reading of that site puts it at at 1931 -- or am I missing something?
  10. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    My reading skills? Lol.. I was thinking you said you had a 32. My bad.
  11. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Very nice guns, still. Among my favorites to shoot, in fact.
  12. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think the 380 ACP version was called a 1908 and the 32 ACP version was a 1903. Essentially the same pistol except for caliber.

    I have one of each and shoot them on occasions. They are wonderful to shoot.

    I wish current manufacture pistols were made as good.
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Collectors call the .32 the Model 1903 and the .380 the Model 1908; the .25 Vest Pocket is also called the Model 1908.

    But Colt didn't use those model dates; the .32 and .380 were both called just the Hammerless Pocket Automatic. They are not quite the same; the early .380's had a larger mag well than the .32 and .380 mags won't fit .32 pistols. (The Model 1903 Pocket Model is a dual link gun in .38 ACP.)

  14. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Well-Known Member

    (The Model 1903 Pocket Model is a dual link gun in .38 ACP.)


    I have a couple of those as well. 1903 Pocket Hammers. Great pistols:

  15. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Well-Known Member

    Oh heck while we're at it here is my 1908 Vest Pocket in .25 ACP


    This was another great Cabelas deal for about $700. Original box with the fairly rare one year only pamplet (1917) on the tansley magazine safety. And 4 extra Colt factory magazines which are worth about $100 each:
  16. Dmath

    Dmath Well-Known Member

    I have the impression that the 1908 .380 was about the first "pocket" auto that was also a decent self-defense caliber. In other words, just about the first true CCW auto -- pocketable, anyway.

    Heavy, though, compared to present-day pocket autos in .380.
  17. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Well-Known Member

    Thin & Flat Colts

    Nice little Colts!

    My .32 is cosmetically challenged but it is a reliable shooter. The holster in the picture is an A.E. Nelson (since 1938) cross draw specific to the .32 & .380 Pocket Auto pistols. It is marked "Colt 32" on the back.


    My one and only 1908 Vest Pocket .25 looks better and also functions great.


  18. JohnnyCremains

    JohnnyCremains Well-Known Member

    I've also got this 1903 from 1917. Although it is shiny it isn't nickel. I think it might just be bare steel. There are traces of blue in certain areas so I think someone removed the finish. Perhaps when someone engraved the monograms they intended to have it plated but never did:


  19. iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns

    iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns Well-Known Member

    GORGEOUS photos all around! My screensaver says thank you :D

    I can not wait to own both the .32 and .380 versions, they are so sweet, I know a few different guys who always have one on them
  20. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Well-Known Member

    Here's Old Toasty. My Grandpa carried it for many years in the old days and passed it down to my father. It's been mine for 25 years. From 1919.


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