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Old August 28, 2014, 02:35 PM   #1
TTro89
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Colt 1903 questions

(photos in next post)

Hey folks, I hate to be one of those guys that ask obvious questions to people who have heard it all before. With that being said I'm going to ask some obvious questions

I know next to nothing about guns other than safetly handling them.
I was given this gun by my grandfather a few years ago and have few questions. I was told it was a Colt 1903 model. He had somebody look at it and said it was safe to shoot. But here are my questions.
1) What ammo does it take?
2) Do I need a specific brand or something?
3) Is it rare or worth anything?
4) Is it possible to get a new barrel for it if this one eventually rusts? How much would it cost?
5) Is it a good gun?
6) Where could I get a new plastic handle?

Thank you for your time! Any response would be greatly appreciated!

Tyler
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Old August 28, 2014, 03:10 PM   #3
RickB
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1) What ammo does it take? .32 ACP/.32 Auto
2) Do I need a specific brand or something? No
3) Is it rare or worth anything? Not really, and in that condition, no
4) Is it possible to get a new barrel for it if this one eventually rusts? How much would it cost? Numrich sometimes has replacement barrels, and you can also sometimes find them on gunbroker and other sites
5) Is it a good gun? They were extremely popular in their day, but larger and heavier than what most today want in a .32
6) Where could I get a new plastic handle? Do some searches for companies offering vintage Colt parts. There might be reproductions available, too

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/Manufac...less-34909.htm
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Old August 28, 2014, 03:17 PM   #4
AKexpat
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Quote:
But here are my questions.
1) What ammo does it take?
2) Do I need a specific brand or something?
3) Is it rare or worth anything?
4) Is it possible to get a new barrel for it if this one eventually rusts? How much would it cost?
5) Is it a good gun?
6) Where could I get a new plastic handle?
JMO:
1) .32 ACP
2) Just go to your local gunshop and tell them what you need
3) Not in that condition; have a gunsmith check it out for safety reasons
4) Looking at the exterior surfaces, the barrel might well be rusted/pitted now; try SARCO http://www.e-sarcoinc.com/
5) It was at one time
6) Try SARCO
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Old August 28, 2014, 05:37 PM   #5
TTro89
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Thank you!
Really wish it was in better condition because I really wanna give it to my son or daughter when I have kids.
Will it cost money to have a gunsmith check it for safety reasons?
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Old August 28, 2014, 06:17 PM   #6
James K
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Some gunsmiths/gun shops will check over a gun at no cost as matter of good will toward a potential customer. Of course if a check involves firing the gun or doing any special work, that is another matter.

In fact, those guns are very rugged and it is pretty unlikely that there could be a safety issue; it might not fire, but it is unlikely to be dangerous if it does, other than, of course, as any gun firing a bullet is dangerous.

Jim
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Old August 28, 2014, 06:20 PM   #7
DaleA
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Quote:
Will it cost money to have a gunsmith check it for safety reasons?
Welcome to the forum. There is tons of neat stuff to be found here. Apologies for busting your chops on your first thread but...

Okay. You will not be bringing home something in a box or a bag...that is something you can hold in your hands...and I am at least as cheap as anybody else but you would be asking for a service and the guy's (or gal's) expert opinion using his experience which you (or me) don't have...don't you think he should be compensated for this?

That said I don't know what a gunsmith would ask to do an evaluation. If he DOES do it for nothing buy a couple boxes of ammo from his shop.
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Old August 28, 2014, 06:36 PM   #8
Venom1956
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it isnt a bad idea. Especially if you are new to guns. Posts make it seem that way but It might not be the case.

Since it has no collector value you can always pay to have it restored or refinished. So it will hold up better as time goes on.
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Old August 28, 2014, 06:57 PM   #9
AKexpat
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If you have not googled it, check this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_Mo...ket_Hammerless
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Old August 29, 2014, 08:56 AM   #10
Jim Watson
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How strange, rusted on the left side but not the right. Probably left laying on or covered by something nasty.

I can only add
4. If the barrel is even halfway decent now it will shoot about as well as a .32 auto can. It is not likely to rust and require replacement unless terribly abused. Fresh ammunition will have noncorrosive primers as has been standard for about the past 70 years and the barrel will last roughly forever with it.
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Old August 29, 2014, 10:53 AM   #11
RickB
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Yeah, it should shoot pretty well, even with a less-than-perfect bore.
I shot mine at an IDPA match, a few years ago, and was easily able to make 15yd shots, and the bore on mine is less than mint.
The small sights are not good for speed, but excellent for "aim small, miss small".
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Old August 29, 2014, 12:26 PM   #12
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I think many of these were stored under truck seats, in car trunks, etc.
I have seen several over the years that had one nice side, one badly pitted similar to the OP's.
My 1923 version has a pitted bore but will shoot one ragged hole at 10-15 yards. Well, the gun is capable of that anyway...
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Old August 30, 2014, 10:19 PM   #13
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Tyler -

I have no idea how much you gave for your pistol, nor how much more you're willing to spend on it. If it were mine, though, I'd give some thought to buying replacement springs, sear and firing pin (as a starting point) and send it to someone like Loren Fogle in West Mansfield, Ohio (http://www.foglesgunsmithing.com/)
and get it reblued. It's not like you're going to destroy the value of a real collector's item, anyway, and it would be something you can pass down.
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Old August 31, 2014, 01:45 PM   #14
James K
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Check www.gungrip.com for grips; save the screw and bushing from the old ones.

If it is of interest, that two-tone magazine alone is worth around $100.

Jim
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Old August 31, 2014, 10:01 PM   #15
AGFNTB
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I recently worked on one my friend inherited. His was manufactured in 1906. I stripped it, inspected it, cleaned/lubed, reassembled, and we took it shooting. It was a blast to shoot it. 108 years old and still functioned perfectly! Here is a pic of it along with the 1911 (manufactured in 1915) I inherited from my father.



Based on your serial number it looks like it was manufactured in 1919. Here is a link to a site (http://www.coltautos.com/1903ph.htm) with some good info (including pdf file of the original manual/ field strip instructions).
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Old September 1, 2014, 05:02 AM   #16
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Your 1903 hammerless Colt is a .32 ACP model. They also came in .380. Have a gunsmith check it over. As rough as it is you'll at least have an idea if it needs any parts replaced before shooting. I own 2. Though not as rough as yours I still had them checked out before putting ammo down the pipe. I paid the gunsmith for his time and my piece of mind. The pistol actually has a hammer, but it is hidden by the slide. They are really fun to shoot and are pretty accurate to boot. They were quite popular in their day. I had a custom holster made for mine and will carry the older my two guns on occasion. It was made in 1905 and shoots as good as the day it was made. They are virtually snag proof and point very naturally. Get it checked out, refinish it if you wish, or keep it in all its battered glory. I wish they made a similarly designed pistol today. It really would make a great carry piece in .380 or maybe even 9mm. Personally I like the original .32. It's just a fun gun to shoot and own.
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