SOLD FOR: $4,805
Model: Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless General Officers Pistol (Army Model M)
Serial Number: 561466
Year of Manufacture: This pistol was shipped by Colt as part of Factory Order No. 4711 to the OSS for use by the British Special Operations Executive in late 1944. The Nov.-Dec. 1944 date is from “The Colt Hammerless Automatic Pistols” by John W. Brunner, with the Factory Order No. supplied by a telephone call to Colt.
Caliber: .32 A.C.P. (.32 Auto)
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”, and at the rear with a Rampant Colt logo. The left side of the frame is marked “561466”. The right side of the slide is marked “AUTOMATIC COLT / CALIBRE 32 RIMLESS SMOKELESS”. The right side of the frame is marked “U. S. PROPERTY”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a punch dot inspection marks and “VP” in a triangle. The right rear of the trigger guard is marked “4” and the right front of the trigger guard is marked “13”. The groove on the underside of the slide on the left side is marked “561466”. The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT 32 AUTO”.
Barrel Length: 3 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short rounded bladed fixed to the top of the slide. The rear sight is a square notch with a rounded top dovetailed into the rear of the slide. These sights are correct for a pistol made before SN 562,000, when the front sight changed to a serrated rear ramp and the rear sight to a flat top.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with nickel Rampant Colt medallions at the top of each grip. The grips show oil staining and light to moderate uneven wear in the checkering. There is a tiny mar at the bottom front corner of the left grip and a light mar in the left grip between the grip screw and the medallion. The grips are in about Fine overall Condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: The finish is original. The entire lot of 4682 shipped under Factory Order 4711 was parkerized.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 94% of its metal finish. The pistol shows thinning on the edges of the slide and frame with a spot of thinning on the back of the slide. There are a few light handling marks scattered over the finish. There is also a small ding on the left side of the slide at the front and several tiny nicks in the top of the slide in front of the rear sight. The serrations and checkering on the slide, safety and magazine release are sharp. The grip screw is sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and the slide is tight to the frame. It has a grip safety, manual safety, magazine disconnect, and a barrel bushing. The slide has 17 serrations and the sights are the correct type for a pistol made prior to SN 562,000. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with an eight round blued magazine marked “CAL. 32 / COLT” on the floorplate. The magazine shows minimal wear and is in Excellent condition.
Our Assessment: From Wikipedia: “The Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless is a semi-automatic pistol designed by John Browning, and was the first of the Colt concealed hammer models. Despite the title ‘Hammerless’, the Model 1903 does have a hammer, which is covered and hidden from view under the rear of the slide. These pistols were popular civilian firearms for much of their life, and also served as United States General Officer pistols (Model M) 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 Pocket Hammerless semi-auto shipped to the OSS in late 1944 for use by the British Special Operations Executive. It was made at the time of changeover in the production of the pistol: it has the new parkerized finish vs. the old blue but retains the older sight configuration and the 17 serrations in the slide. The pistol is marked “U.S. PROPERTY” on the right side of the slide and the serial number on the frame and slide match. It is in about Fine condition with about 95% of its parkerized finish remaining. It shows thinning on the edges of the slide and frame with a few light handling marks and a few small dings in the slide. The grips are checkered walnut and show light to moderate wear with two light mars in the left grip. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. This model is highly collectable and in its nice condition should elicit significant collector interest.