Vintage Colt 38 rimless

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Jackman, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Okay I have a automatic Colt 38 rimless smokeless ,patent dates April 26, 1897 and Sept 9 ,1902, is in very nice shape I took it to a gun shop checked out good he gave me a source for ammo at 50 dollars a box ,38 APC,,,, can I use this old firm arm as a regular shooter or does the vintage stats make a regular shooter a bad choice?
  2. zb338

    zb338 New Member

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    At $50 bucks a box I doubt if you will shoot
    it enough to break it. If the gunsmith says
    it's O. K. then have fun. The only thing that
    might stop you is collector value preventing
    you from shooting for fear of parts breakage.
    Zeke
  3. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    No doubt the ammo cost is a factor but if I buy 4 boxes 40 per box I could blow through that in an afternoon might have to get in to reloading to solve the cost factor, really just wondering about the reliability of a 100 year old firearm being used after a long long nap.
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    They made 1902s up through 1929. I have, and fire, several guns that were made prior to 1930, and have no worries about shooting them.
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT, fire .38 Super in that gun. The old .38 ACP and the .38 Super are dimensionally identical, but the latter is much more powerful and will damage that old gun.

    You have one of the 1902 models or the 1903 hammer model. Some of those guns are quite valuable and probably should not be fired because of the possibility of damage.

    Pictures or a full description of the gun and the markings will be needed to provide more info.

    Jim
  6. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    I will try to post some pics,its serial #35957 and has a hammer.
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    35957 was made in 1913. Probably December, since 36000 was the first gun in 1914.

    As Jim said, 38 Super will fit, feed and fire. And your gun (and maybe your hand) will be in very sad shape. One of Colt's more stupid ideas.

    38 ACP is out there, but it is hard to find. If you or a friend reloads, you can make some, using 38 Super brass and dies.
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    One more safety point. Make certain the slide lock (that is what Colt called that wedge at the front that holds the slide on) is in place properly. If the gun is fired without it, the slide will come off and back into the shooter's face. Not one of Browning's better ideas; the Army made him change it in the Model 1911.

    Jim
  9. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    That little wedge is a bear to get back in , I got it in right and fired the gun for the first time only 9 rounds ,I like it seems like a nice pistol ,same day I also fired my 1911 also for the first time we put a 120 rounds thru it its a nice pistol but its hard to understand how the 1911 is the replacement for the 1902 its bigger heavier and hard to hit the side of a barn at 20 yrds I do like the 1902 better...
  10. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

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    I have a 1903 pocket hammer that I used to carry, very accurate. I did not even know it was such a collectors piece untill i went to look for ammo for it. I lucked into some for about $6 a box about 10 years ago and bought all they had, about 7 boxes.
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    "a bear to get back in"

    It should drop right in. That comment makes me wonder if you understand that you have to push in on the front of the takedown plug (the concave plug under the muzzle) before removing or inserting the slide lock. The two parts are interlocked and if you don't do that, you can damage the slide lock and/or the takedown plug.

    Also, the slide lock has a little "tit" that fits into a small notch in the slide; if that is not in right, the lock will be in the wrong position and also can be damaged or come out.

    Jim
  12. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Jim ,I have it right like you said,,,,,,,,,, maybe my spring is too tight cause pushing down on that plug to make the room for the wedge is the bear part,,,,,its really tight and hard to do on my .38....... Does that sound normal to you, this gun is from the family tree and has not been fired in 50 or more years so anything is possible but the gunsmith said is was good to go shooting :confused:?.....
  13. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Alpo,

    Where can I find that serial number info?

    Anyone know if I have a civilian or military model?

    Thanks Jack
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Pushing in on the takedown plug shouldn't be that hard, less difficult than pushing in on the recoil spring plug of a Model 1911. If it is really stiff, maybe there is crud in there or something else is wrong.

    Jim
  15. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    http://proofhouse.com/
  16. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Okay this is an old thread but I have learned pic posting (sort of) so bring it back up for comments. I have been told this is a 1903 pocket hammer model anyone have info on that name I don't see were the term pocket comes from:confused:. This gun is a pleasure to shoot :) more so than my WWI 1911...



    [​IMG]
  17. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's a 1903 Pocket Hammer model.
    The Pocket refers to it being a shorter version of the 1902 Sporting Model.
    The Pocket Hammer naming is to distinguish it from Colt's other 1903 model, the Model M or Pocket Hammerless, which is a compact .32ACP or .380ACP.

    From your picture, it sure looks like it's still the original finish. This would put it up near the top end of the price range and desirable to collectors.


    Personally, I'm kinda glad to see folks enjoying these rare old guns with some time at the range.
    I don't know if I would make a regular habit of shooting it for fear of breaking parts that are hard to find anymore, but I sure wouldn't let it collect dust in the safe either.
  18. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Thanks for the ID help:cool: and I agree it looks like the original finish. I doubt this gun got shot very much just went to the office just in case a bad guy showed up , I can't bear the thought of not shooting this gun but I am in the market for a modern 1911 to take the pressure off these old ones
  19. Brisk44

    Brisk44 New Member

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    That is in beautiful shape. WOW
  20. Jackman

    Jackman New Member

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    Thanks , I really really like this one shoots nice and smooth and just feels right.
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