Sold for $1575.00
Model: 1903, Type III Pocket Hammerless
Serial Number: 236125
Year of Manufacture: 1917 (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 “236125”. 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, the rear with “E”.
Barrel Length: 3 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short rounded blade 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 type IV 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 show minor handling wear with only a few tiny marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright and the rifling is sharp. There is some minor erosion in the bore at the muzzle-end.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 95% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There are some scattered minor nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is some light oxidation in the fronstrap. The action shows minor operational wear. The screw head is lightly tool marked with a strong slot. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and the slide is tight to the frame with little play. It has a grip safety and a manual safety but does not have a magazine disconnect safety. 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 8-round magazine with a two-tone finish on the body and the floorplate marked “CAL. 32 / COLT”. Also included is a Colt box. The box has heavy damage and the serial marking on the bottom is worn, but appears to match.
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 III Pocket Hammerless semi-auto made in 1917. This pistol is in about Very Good-Fine condition with 95% of its original finish remaining, strong mechanics and a fairly good bore. Given the pistol’s age and that most of these were carry pieces, the condition is quite good and it will make a fine addition to a Colt or early autoloading handgun collection. It should also prove to still be a fun shooter. Please see our photos and good luck!