View Full Version : 1903 Colt Hammerless REassembly??

September 24, 2007, 03:28 PM
How the HELL do you reassemble the "rear end" of a Colt 1903?? :mad:

The grip safety will go in without the hammer or the hammer without the grip safety but not both?? This little pistol is giving me brain damage! :eek: Any tips?? Anyone? Pleeease! :(

Colt must have had it down pat for mass production damn it!!!!!! :rolleyes:

September 24, 2007, 03:58 PM
Try this. It has diagrams. http://marstar.ca/AssemblyColtAP32.htm

September 24, 2007, 05:11 PM
I believe that the Marstar diagrams are correct. Similar (but different) instructions that I found on the internet were bass-ackwards!

I gave up on assembly of mine and took it to a real gunsmith buddy. He had it back together in 10 minutes. He did it for free!

Warning to others! DO NOT remove that multi-function spring from a 1903 or 1908 Colt unless you know what troubles lurk there. Put a bend in that spring and you are in for real grief.http://thefiringline.com/forums/images/smilies/frown.gif

James K
September 24, 2007, 06:51 PM
OK, assemble the internal parts, then install the sear/trigger spring, the mainspring and the grip safety. You may want to use a slave pin or a punch instead of the grip safety pin until everything else is in place.

When that is all OK, pull the trigger and squeeze the grip safety and hold them. The hammer will go right in and you can line up the hole and install the thumb safety. When you release the trigger and grip safety, the mainspring will engage the hammer and you are in business. If you have used a punch or a slave pin, use the regular pin to drive it out.


Steven Mace
September 24, 2007, 09:34 PM

tomovich, the password to the link above is coltautos.com

Hope this helps!

Steve Mace

September 25, 2007, 02:19 PM
Thanks guys............just for the hell of it I'll let you know. :)

And......I AM a real gunsmith damn it!!! :eek: I swear this is giving me an inferiority complex, and that's hard to do! :D

James K
September 25, 2007, 02:27 PM
Pay no attention to the "reassemble in reverse order" stuff. Read carefully what I wrote.


September 25, 2007, 03:30 PM
Ohhhhhhhhhh.....................Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :rolleyes: ;)

I told you............there's a TRICK

Thanks Jim........I'll give 'er a shot tonight. I'll let you know.

One more time..........thanks.

September 25, 2007, 05:52 PM
sorry wrong forum

September 25, 2007, 06:33 PM

September 25, 2007, 08:49 PM

August 21, 2010, 01:24 AM
I just assembled one for a friend. Here's what I did fwiw. And so I can remember if I ever have to do it again.

Assemble everything except for 2 pins: slide lock safety (21) (hammer pin) and the grip safety pin (31)

Place a loose slave pin to hold the hammer in place. Install the grip safety pin (31). Only now will the hammer be free enough that you can install the slide lock safety (21).

I know this is essentially what Jim Keenan wrote, but writing it this way will make more sense to me if I ever have to do this again. Heaven knows I won't be able to remember what I did.

Thanks to all!

January 10, 2014, 01:08 AM
Thanks for all the tips. After working on it for about a total of 6 hours, I finally finished fitting all of the parts back in my m1903 frame.

This link has another helpful guide for reassembly (with pictures):


While working on it, I thought to myself that one would need about four hands to assemble this pistol. After placing the springs and grip safety in the frame and securing them with rubber bands or a pin as the link above shows, you have to depress the grip safety, pull the trigger, push the sear back and push down the disconnector, allowing you to push the hammer in place (with a lot of force) so that it engages the mainspring.

I found that it helped to wedge a piece of wood or folded paper or something like that in between the grip safety and the frame so that it would stay depressed. Likewise I tied a shoelace over the trigger and around the frame to keep it pressed. This frees up one of your hands to help you depress the disconnector, get that hammer placed correctly, and get the safety/hammer pin in. Even while using string and rubber bands, it's still a bit tricky.

I would have taken a picture, but I'm done now, and I'm never taking this pistol apart again!

January 10, 2014, 12:08 PM
Good show! I have a .32 and a .380, have started down the road of disassembly, then buttoned them up again. A dirty gun beats a box of parts! Seriously, I just put them in a small foil pan and let them swim in CLP, drain, and voila!

January 10, 2014, 02:52 PM
Way back in time, before computers were in common usage and the internet was but a fantasy. I once spent several hours reassembling a 1903. No books, no internet and just a few tools. I stared after dinner, and it was past midnight before I finished. I was about to give when, as so often happens, it seemed to go together by it self. Now that I have books. tools and the internet I just got rid of my last Colt Pocket Hammerless.

January 11, 2014, 09:06 AM
Jim K hit it right on the nose. There's ALWAYS a trick.