1. Get Gear'd Up! Enter to WIN $1000 in gear!

    Please Click Here for full details and to enter. You will need to be registered and logged in to view the details and to participate.

    Thanks and good luck to everyone

Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer .38 ACP - Rimless Smokeless

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by ford, May 10, 2012.

  1. ford

    ford New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Washington State
    I have a Colt Pocket Hammer .38, that I inherited and don't know anything about it.

    The serial number is 403xx - (don't have it in front of me to get exact number). It's in good condition, other than the blueing has faded. Grips are in great shape.

    My understanding is that ammo is a challenge to find and expensive. Given that, I don't think I'll keep it as I'm not a collector.

    Any idea what the gun is worth, and/or what I could realisticly expect to get for it?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,074
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    All of these old Colt automatics are worth decent money if they are in decent shape, but it has been 80 to 100 years since they were made, and a lot can happen to a gun in that time. To get a really useful estimate on your particular gun, could you post photos of it? Both sides and the magazine would be good.

    You have to remember that if you sell it to a dealer, he is going to want to buy it for 'wholesale' so he can sell it for 'retail'. If you sell it yourself, like on one of the Internet gun auction websites, you can get 'retail', but there are costs involved in that, too.

    You are right about the ammo being scarce. Your gun uses 38 ACP (ACP = Automatic Colt Pistol), and I am not sure anyone makes it any more. A much more powerful cartridge called 38 Super will fit in your gun, and will also damage it and possibly you.

    All this is just my $.02; I hope people who know better or think differently will chime in soon.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    If you decide to take down that pistol, do NOT try to drive out the wedge. Push in on the concave plug under the muzzle and turn the pistol on its left side and the wedge should fall out. And a big second to Lanrezac on NOT using .38 Super (nickel plated cases) in that gun. If you can't find .38 ACP, do not fire it at all.

    Jim
  4. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,097
    Your pistol was likely made in 1918; thus about 94 years old.

    Depending on condition, it could be worth a few hundred to more than $2K, depending on how badly a collector wants it.

    DO NOT FIRE IT WITH ANY AMMO MARKED .38 SUPER on the box or, more importantly, on the primer end of the cartridge case. Doing so will quickly damage the pistol as the "Super" cartridge produces much higher pressure and ballistic power.

    Frankly, I have reached the point where I do not recommend firing many 80 plus year old handguns and shotguns for fear of breaking (or cracking) a part and devaluing the gun.

    Hope this info is useful.
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    Parts are often available for the old "parallel ruler" Colts. A year or so ago, I bought one of those M1903 hammer models that had a home-made firing pin. I ordered one from Gun Parts Corp. and was astonished to receive an original, bronze firing pin, in the waxed cloth wrapping, just as Colt made it at least 70 years ago.

    Jim
  6. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    666
    Location:
    Ardmore, OK
    Your description "blueing has faded" leaves much to imagination. If the blue is mostly gone value at auction would be about $600, value increases with better condition up to around $1500 for one in exceptional used condition.
  7. ford

    ford New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Washington State
    I understand that you can't really give an accurate valuation of the gun without seeing it in person. I have a few pics that I took with my phone camera and it's not the best.

    I understand about using .38 acp ammo and have no intention of either firing the weapon or stripping it down. I inherited the gun and I'm not a collector. I've always prefered owning something that I can use.

    I'm having trouble figuring out to post pics here. It looks lik it wants an http location whcih means I'd have to have the pics stored someplace on the web? Can anybody help me?

    Thanks to everyone for the information provided here so far.
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    No, if you have the pictures in your MyPictures file, you can reply, then hit GO ADVANCED, then MANAGE ATTACHMENTS. There are four blanks; hit BROWSE, find your picture file and click to open the picture. That will upload the picture to the site as an attachement to your post. You can attach four pictures per post.

    Jim
  9. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,097
    I have found that the best way to get a realistic idea of what an item will sell for is to sign up with various major Internet auctions that deal in the type of goods under consideration. Relative to firearms, there are at least two big auction firms that can be easily located from any major search engine.

    Once you get signed up, you can usually view current auctions and recent sales of similar goods. It matters not what someone asks for an item. All that matters is what near identical items are actually currently selling for.

    Hope this is useful.
  10. ford

    ford New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Washington State
    Here's a few pics o th Colt. Not the greatest pictures, but maybe it will give you moreof an idea of the condition ofthe gun.

    Attached Files:

  11. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,097
    Except for one spot on the slide near the ejection port, you have an overall "Excellent" condition gun, inferring from the photos. Today, such guns are rarely encountered outside of serious collectors' collections.

    This gun should bring near top dollar from a collector who wants it.

    Do not do anything to it to try to improve it, other than keeping its metal parts oiled. Leave the accumulated lint around the grip screw heads. It does not devalue anything; and speaks to your claims for it.
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  12. texasleaguer

    texasleaguer New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    not mentioned but very important. Is the magazine original to the gun? if it isn't, it'll cause a big deduction in price.
  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    No way to tell unless the magazine is after-market or in a condition not consistent with the gun. Colt mags were not numbered to the gun, so if it is an original mag from an early Colt, there would be no way to tell if it was original to the gun. (Unless it is too early, like with a Diss patent marking.)

    Jim
  14. ford

    ford New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Washington State
    Thanks for everone's help. The gun belonged to my dad who just passed away. I was/am familiar with the rifles that he owned, but this gun came as a surprise. I didn't know he owned it until recently when we started going through some things. As I mentioned, I'm not a collector so I won't be keeping it.
  15. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,074
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    That gun will make some collector very happy, ford. Thanks for showing it to us.

    PS - I sent you a private message today.
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Colt Model 1903 .32 ACP U.S. Property - a gift from Eisenhower? Jun 27, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Colt Model 1911 handgun Jun 1, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Colt Target Model .22 LR Dec 3, 2013
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Colt Model 1908, U.S. Property General Officer Issue Feb 28, 2013
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum New Model 1863 Sharp and 1882 Colt shotgun Dec 1, 2012

Share This Page