SOLD FOR: $4525
Model: 1903, U.S. Property Marked
Serial Number: 566195
Year of Manufacture: 1942 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup), shipped December 30, 1944 (per the included Colt letter)
Caliber: .32 ACP (7.65mm Browning)
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto Pistol with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A. / PATENTED APR. 20, 1897. DEC.22, 1903” with a rampant colt logo behind the serrations. The left side of the frame is marked “566195”, found again marked on the bottom of the slide. The left-rear of the frame has a faint Ordnance Wheel marking (frequently lightly struck on this model). The right side of the slide is marked “COLT AUTOMATIC / CALIBRE 32 RIMLESS SMOKELESS”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle, “X” at the rear, the right of the trigger guard is marked “73”. The right of the frame is marked “U.S. PROPERTY”.
Barrel Length: 3 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated, ramped bladed with a rounded front fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed into the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with silver-colored Colt medallions at their tops. The grips have light handling wear with a few scattered light nicks and scuffs, most notable on the rear of the left panel. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. The finish is generally strong throughout with minor thinning at some edges, minor handling wear in the grip areas and a few scattered minor marks. The action shows minor operational wear. The screw head is tool marked with a strong slot. The markings are generally clear, the Ordnance wheel is incomplete, common on these pistols. Overall, this pistol is in Fine-plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and the slide has minor play to the frame. It has a grip safety, a manual safety and a magazine disconnect safety. We did not fire this handgun. As with all firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with one blued 7 round magazine and a Colt Archives letter. The magazine is marked “CAL .32 / COLT” on the floorplate. The magazine has light operational wear, scattered light surface oxidation, intact feed lips and a strong spring, in about Very Good-Fine condition. The letter states that this pistol shipped December 30, 1944 to the Transportation Officer of Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts with a parkerized finish. The letter is in Excellent condition.
Our Assessment: In addition to its commercial popularity, the Colt 1903 served as United States General Officer pistols from the 1940s until their replacement by the M15 General Officers pistol in the 1970s. The Office of Strategic Services issued the Model 1903 to its officers during World War II, it was used by the British SOE, and they were issued to various other intelligence and investigative personnel. This U.S. Property marked example is in Fine-plus condition with 96% of its original parkerized finish remaining, a great bore, and strong mechanics. This would still make a great shooter, but with this pistol’s history, and coming with a Colt Archives letter, it will also be of great interest to Colt and WWII collectors. Please see our photos and good luck!