SOLD FOR: $1300
Model: 1903 Type IV, Pocket Hammerless
Serial Number: 444423
Year of Manufacture: 1923
Caliber: .32 ACP
Action Type: Hammerless Semi-Auto. There is a NOT magazine disconnect on this pistol, which means the hammer will drop after a trigger pull even without a magazine inserted.
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” and with a rampant colt logo behind the serrations. The left side of the frame is marked “444423”. 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 and “R”, the right front with “34”. The bottom of the slide is marked “444/423”.
Barrel Length: 3 ¾”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short rounded bladed fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a U-notch, round-top sight dovetailed into the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are the correct Type 4 configuration. These grips are round-top black checkered hard rubber with “COLT” in a banner at the top and the Large Rampant Horse at the bottoms. The details and checkering are still clear and pronounced. The grips have just barely begun to discolor towards brown and there are no cracks. These are tight on the gun. The grips rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore shows some stubborn fouling and the rifling is still sharp. There is apparent severe erosion in the bore, but it needs a more thorough cleaning.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 95% of its metal finish. This is a very sharp and very lightly used gun, exhibiting almost no finish wear or evidence of use but instead showing more age and surface frosting from storage in a humid environment. The largest scabs can be seen on the sides of the slide at the muzzle, with a more even and lighter freckling seen on the grip straps. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions properly. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: One factory “CAL / 32 COLT” marked magazine is included. There is some freckling on the magazine, but it is still lightly used like the pistol.
Our Assessment: The Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless is a semi-automatic pistol designed by John Browning, and was the 1st of the Colt concealed hammer models, followed by the M1908 in .380 ACP. Despite the title ‘Hammerless’, the M1903 and M1908 pistols do have a hammer, which is covered and hidden from view under the rear of the slide. This allowed the weapon to be carried in and withdrawn from a pocket quickly and smoothly without snagging.
These pistols were popular civilian firearms for much of their life, and also 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 and it was a popular back-up/off-duty model with police officers in the United States. Gangsters also favored this pistol, including Bonnie Parker and John Dillinger.
This is a Colt 1903 Type IV Pocket Hammerless semi-auto made in 1923 and probably stored in a Florida sock drawer ever since. There is very little wear on this gun and if someone had stored it OILED 80 years ago, it would be about mint… Regardless of the surface rust, this cute little pistol remains sharp and attractive.
Please see our photos and good luck!