Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Colt 1903

Well, in celebration of a new better-paying salt mine type situation (I am a janitor at a large institution), I treated myself to a boom stick.

I got that 1903 Pocket Hammerless in .380 caliber, I’ve been drooling after. And I can still afford a plane ticket to visit my Ma in FLA.

I never would have gotten one, or really known about it, except for excellent sales pitch put up by 2 women bloggers, Tam and Denise. Also, both women are in part responsible for me starting this little blawg you are reading. To recap, this blog started after 1) MBtGE let out that there was a rifle range near him, and we went. 2) interest in improving my shooting now that I had a place to go lead to internet searches, finding many things there, including some very good blogs like Tam’s and Denise’s 3) realizing that I had an unique angle, the ability to string 3 words together, often spelling the same words correctly, and plenty of time on account of my lonely existence to share narcissistic gun thoughts to a panoply of eager readers (both of them.)
Anyway… the Colt .

It’s early-ish. 1920’s maybe. And the bluing is in decent shape. Everything Tam and Denise gush on about with regard to the lost art of steel bluing is true. This is a very handsome finish. It is a very pretty gun that way. It is also Browning design, and that was a feature I desired, and first impression from the range is that it is much more accurate than I am. It’s sights are indeed small, but that’s ok by me. It’s just so simple, and fits in a Jeans pocket.

The .380 cartridge is about the same as the ubiquitous 9mm. Wimpy? Yes. But this gun would never be intended as a primary self defense weapon for me, assuming I get a Concealed Carry License someday, somewhere. It would be a back-up or the gun you take when you really need to be discrete while packing. Like a wedding or somesuch. So the gun HAS a role in a self defense scenario, but I really didn’t NEED to splash cash on such a tertiary weapon at this time. I just WANTED to. Again, back to the Women’s saleswomanship. Plus all the cool people were getting one, and I need to jump on THAT bandwagon.

And Patton carried one when he wasn't in a 'dressy' mood and sporting the ivory handled pistols. If it's good enough for Patton, and Olympic-Level Pistol-Shooting competitior in the Pentathlon, then it is good enough for me.

I could have gotten the same caliber and same role gun cheaper and in a smaller package, but this is the weapon for me. History, aesthetics, function. It’s just right. And I had to get it now, as I mentioned, as Engage Armament is getting rid of the more historic guns.

I got a pocket holster to go with it at the gun show.

So, I’ll need to update the Master List now…


Jay G said...


A 1903 in .32 ACP is on my list of "guns to get someday". VERY nice acquisition. I'm jealous... :)

Anonymous said...

I have a 1903 in .32 ACP and love it! Ever found any field stripping instructions on the net?

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Never found any field stripping manuals, or anything for the 1903. I knew from Denise that taking it apart was finicky, so I had the gun shop guy show me. It's a Pull the Slide Back to this Line, Spin Barrel 180 degrees, Then the Slide Slides Off. Reverse procedure to reassemble

There is the slide, barrel, slide recoil spring, and empty mag as the only easily disassembled 'parts' on the gun.

Anonymous said...


go to the drop down menu and select "Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP". then select "instruction sheet" right above the picture and when the window pops up type "coltautos.com" it will give you a whole period accurate brochure, including field stripping and re-assembly.

Anonymous said...

our family auction service will be selling one of these, serial #562, saturday june 28th, 2008, in west salem, illinois. visit www.parrottauctions.com any time after 6-10-2008 for photos

John M. Tomeček, PhD Student, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences said...

I use a Colt 1908 in the .380 for conceal carry. While some might consider it "wimpy" I find it to be more than adequate when loaded with the Federal silver-tip rounds designed for conceal carry. Be careful not to load CORBON rounds into it. They're too powerful for the recoil spring to handle.

Also, if you are needing spare/replacement parts, look to Numrich Corporation. e-gunparts.com, I believe. They produce very good items.

Have fun with your pocket hammerless, they're great little guns. And as you say, if it's good enough for Patton...and Al Capone, and Bonnie and Clyde...

Wes' Girlfriend said...

I have a 1908 .380, I just ordered some black/gray wood grips from ajax grips, and I am sending it to Shumaker Gunworks to have all the sharp edges rounded off, and gunkote applied, I carry it as concealed about 20percent of the time, there is just so much appeal to carrying a weapon that is still incredibly reliable even at 100 years old!!!

Wes' Girlfriend said...

I have a 1908 .380, and I love it. I love carrying it concealed, because its thin and its just coll carrying a firearm 100yrs old and still reliable. I just ordered some black/gray wood grips from ajax grips, and am sending it to a gunsmith in north texas to break all the sharp edges, and apply some gunkote to it, ill have a new-age 1908.