SOLD FOR: $2330
Model: 1903, Type III Pocket Hammerless Belgian Contract
Serial Number: 200679
Year of Manufacture: 1916 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
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 “PATENTED / APR.20, 1897. DEC.22, 1903” and “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.” with a rampant colt logo behind the serrations. The left side of the frame is marked “200679” and “A” in a diamond. 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”.
Barrel Length: 3 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short rounded bladed fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a “U” notch dovetailed into the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered black hard rubber with “COLT” in a banner near the tops and a Rampant Colt logo in the bottom half of the grips. The grips have light handling wear with a few scattered light nicks and scuffs. The most notable wear is in the right panel which has a patch of discoloration in the checkering above the grip screw. Otherwise, the checkering and lettering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is worn, but visible. There is erosion and minor pitting scattered in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 80% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. There is thinning at all leading edges. The grip areas show light handling wear. There is scattered light surface oxidation. There are several scattered nicks and scratches. The action has operational wear. The screw head is tool marked with a strong slot. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and the slide is tight to the frame. It has a grip safety and a manual safety but does not have a magazine disconnect safety (correct for this period of production). The safety can be used to lock the slide back. 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 7 round magazine.
Our Assessment: 1903 Colt .32 Belgian Contract serial number 200,452 circa. 1916 – marked with the Diamond “A” proof mark on the left side of the frame behind the serial number. This pistol was part of a World War I contract between Colt and the Belgian government to supply Belgium with a large number of Colt pistols in .32 caliber. A notation in the Colt shipping books indicates that these pistols were marked with an “A” in a diamond shaped box. This pistol was one of 1200 shipped to the Government of Belgium on March 8, 1916. 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 III Pocket Hammerless semi-auto made in 1916. This pistol is in about Very Good condition with 80% of its blued finish remaining. Please see our photos and good luck!