The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 5, 2013, 07:59 PM   #1
ttarp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 4, 2013
Posts: 294
Pocket Hammerless

I'd had a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless on my to buy list for quite a while, I was looking more for a .380 than the .32, but when this showed up at the pawn shop I jumped at the opportunity.

I've only been able to shoot it once, but I was pleasantly surprised at how soft shooting it was, more recoil than a .22 for sure, but quite fun to shoot. On top of that as poor a shot I usually am, I did fairly well with it. Only thing that really bothers me about it is finding .32 ammo and how expensive it is.

I know .32 isn't perhaps a good choice for carry purposes, but do any of you carry a 1903? If so, what kind of holster would work with the Colt?

Finally, I don't like threads without pictures, so here it is.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1566.JPG (96.1 KB, 163 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1567.JPG (90.8 KB, 108 views)
ttarp is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 08:25 PM   #2
Groundhog34
Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 91
A classic pistol but not one to carry for several reasons: weak caliber, unsafe to carry loaded, old design lacks reliability, ammo expensive and not readily available. get yourself a Glock 27 of Springfield XDs.
Groundhog34 is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 08:47 PM   #3
Quincunx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2005
Location: West "By God" Virginia
Posts: 377
I'd have to politely disagree with the above assessment of the 1903. My father's (made in 1915) has digested all manner of .32 Auto rounds (including the 60-grain Silvertips) with nary a malfunction, and is quite safe for carry if secured in a proper holster and not just slapped in a pocket. I'm not aware that the price/availability of .32 Auto ammunition is wildly disproportionate to that of the majority of other rounds these days. As for the power of the round, well, it's certainly no 9mm +P. OTOH, if one is recoil-averse, one may be better defended with a .32 Auto that one shoots with great accuracy rather than a 9mm or .45 that one shoots less well.
__________________
A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation. --- Cicero
Quincunx is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 08:54 PM   #4
PetahW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 4,679
Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundhog34

A classic pistol but not one to carry for several reasons: weak caliber, unsafe to carry loaded, old design lacks reliability, ammo expensive and not readily available
Sounds like elitist Bull-Pukey

Euro Police used to regularly carry the .32ACP/7.65mm, and it'll work just fine if the shots are kept dead center.

I've got a .32ACP I carry often, just because it's smaller/lighter than my .45ACP 1911.

The Colt 1903/1908 isn't any less or more reliable than any other autoloader - just clean & lube it, check it out, and carry a good SD ammo, like Grizzly Self-Defense, in it.

I check out zero & function with the premium ammo, but practice with FMJ's, to keep the cost down a bit.



.
PetahW is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 09:16 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 7,088
I agree. Great gun. I WOULD recommend buying and installing a set of replacement grips, and putting the originals away.
__________________
Bill DeShivs
www.billdeshivs.com
Bill DeShivs is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 09:28 PM   #6
jrothWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2006
Posts: 1,944
During WWII the OSS carried the Colt Model M,...

and the majority preferred the .32ACP for better accuracy and fast follow-up
shots.

Does that have a bushing for the barrel? Then its a first series, with a 4"(?) barrel. Subsequent barrels were 3 - 3/4" but the extractors varied.

Reference the egunparts catalog, for followup information.

Also, locate the NRA disassembly handbook for pistols & revolvers, that article indicated that swapping the barrel and magazine between the .32ACP & the .380ACP.
jrothWA is offline  
Old April 5, 2013, 09:41 PM   #7
ttarp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 4, 2013
Posts: 294
Where would you suggest finding replacement grips? Also are there any aftermarket magazines made for these, I haven't been able to find any. It doesn't have the separate barrel bushing, the S/N puts it in 1914. I was thinking about getting it refinished, any thoughts on that?
ttarp is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 12:14 AM   #8
Quincunx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2005
Location: West "By God" Virginia
Posts: 377
Check out grips4u.net, as they have some nice-looking grips. Also not uncommon on eBay and gunbroker. The magazines, even the reproduction ones, are somewhat expensive, but again not super-difficult to find.
__________________
A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation. --- Cicero
Quincunx is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 12:16 AM   #9
9mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2011
Location: Land of the Free
Posts: 2,711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundhog34

A classic pistol but not one to carry for several reasons: weak caliber, unsafe to carry loaded, old design lacks reliability, ammo expensive and not readily available
+2


Carrying a 100+ year old gun is not smart, not up to date on safety standard and old parts. They are made for the range or collecting. If you want a 32 buy a kel-tec.
__________________
See user title
9mm is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 11:05 AM   #10
Sharpsdressed Man
Junior member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,176
^^^BAH! Carry a classic if the mood strikes you. If you get into a gunfight, yeah, you could get killed, but wouldn't you want to go in style? ................................................. [IMG][/IMG]........................And yes, my gun is 100 years old this year!
Sharpsdressed Man is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 03:11 PM   #11
richardcorey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 4, 2009
Location: SW Ok
Posts: 113
100 year-old gun not safe, not smart??? Colt 1911A1. Nuff Said.
__________________
sometimes your shadow leads,
sometimes your shadow follows,
BUT when your shadow says "Cuidado!!"
LISTEN!!!
richardcorey is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 03:12 PM   #12
Frasier
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 10, 2011
Posts: 190
I wished that they still made this model
Frasier is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 06:25 PM   #13
Sharpsdressed Man
Junior member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,176
The 1911A1 version didn't arrive until 1924.
Sharpsdressed Man is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 07:53 PM   #14
PT-92
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2007
Location: "Undisclosed Bunker"
Posts: 1,413
IMO any gun that is mechanically reliable (gunsmith inspection recommended) is sufficient (different than ideal) for CCW/HD. The world's not perfect and at times one improvises until such time alternate arrangements are available.

That said I love the historical piece and would love to add it to my modest collection .
__________________
NRA Life Member
“A free people ought...to be armed..."
George Washington
PT-92 is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 08:10 PM   #15
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,474
The Colt "1903" .32 auto is probably the most reliable pistol in that caliber ever made. Agreed that the .32 ACP is not an ideal defense round, but the gun is accurate and well made, much better than some more recent designs.

The "1908" in .380 ACP is not quite as reliable, especially with other than FMJ bullets, but again it is as good as any and better than many.

Both the grip safety and the manual safety lock the sear, though the small safety is a drawback.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old April 6, 2013, 08:44 PM   #16
shouldazagged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2013
Location: Louisville, KY, USA
Posts: 273
"I wished that they still made this model"

Agreed. A nice internally-updated version. But then I'm really old...
__________________
"Don't let macho be your epitaph."
---Ed Lovette
shouldazagged is offline  
Old July 5, 2013, 10:34 AM   #17
chaosrob
Junior Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2013
Posts: 1
The 1908 isn't reliable? So my two examples that have never had one malfunction are somehow less reliable than a 32? My 1908's have eaten everything including the most aggressive of hollow points. Guess I have a couple rare reliable ones
chaosrob is offline  
Old July 5, 2013, 04:56 PM   #18
9mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2011
Location: Land of the Free
Posts: 2,711
Why would you carry a 100 year old peice..... ? Some tiny part could be about to rust off and break. It was reliable in it's day.
__________________
See user title
9mm is offline  
Old July 5, 2013, 06:20 PM   #19
ttarp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 4, 2013
Posts: 294
Wow can I call this a zombie thread? Looking over the gun I have no fear of small (or large) parts rusting off and blowing up, its not like I dug it up in my backyard. Honestly I'm quite disappointed that people chose to judge the wisdom of my carry choices and ignored what I intended as my main question. All I was really looking for was non custom holster suggestions but thats the one thing not discussed in this thread.
ttarp is offline  
Old July 5, 2013, 07:00 PM   #20
40-82
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2013
Posts: 177
I really like the El Paso Saddlery Ultra Cover holster. This holster is so finely fittted to the gun that they make a different holster for the 1903 .32 auto and the 1908 .380 acp., although my 1903 32acp's will fit into the slightly larger holster for the 380. This holster allows the shirt to be tucked over the gunbutt which makes the rig suitable for summer wear without a jacket.

Sure, the little .32 acp Colt is a small caliber, but sometimes modern clothes are so tight you can't get even a J-frame Smith into a front pocket. If you wear a shirt and a belt you can conceal this little Colt with an Ultra Cover holster. These little Colts are reliable and with my RCBS 78 grain cast bullets, the 32 acp has enough penetration to get into where they live. No one who understands stopping power wouldn't prefer a bigger gun, but the little Colt certainly beats going without. Once in hand I prefer the 1903 to any 32acp I have ever shot because it has inherent accuracy--it will shot a ragged hole at fifty feet, and its practical accuracy is enhanced by its weight advantage over most other newer pocket pistols.

Maybe these little Colt pocket automatics are a relic from a time past, but then so am I.
40-82 is offline  
Old July 5, 2013, 09:22 PM   #21
Sharpsdressed Man
Junior member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,176
I think you might look at any holster intended for the newer (1980's?) Colt Government .380. They are very similar in size.
Sharpsdressed Man is offline  
Old July 6, 2013, 07:03 AM   #22
kcub
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2010
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 2,020
You might consider the Kimber Solo Carry which I consider the great grand son of the Browning pocket models. It's modern, reliable, looks awesome, shoots 9mm and is laserable.



But it kicks more and is pricey. Keep that old Colt anyway. Don't replace guns, augment them.
kcub is offline  
Old July 6, 2013, 12:37 PM   #23
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 5,147
This fine old pistol reminds me of all those great 1930s and 1940s movies.
To do it justice requires wearing a wide brim felt fedora and a loose fitting suit with wide lapels, though.
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
g.willikers is offline  
Old July 6, 2013, 03:06 PM   #24
LarryFlew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2009
Location: Minnesota CZ fan
Posts: 895
The 2 1903s I owned where extremely reliable and very accurate. Wish I had them back but they where nice enough and with original holsters and spare mags that they sold for barely short of a grand each when I needed the money.
LarryFlew is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13157 seconds with 8 queries