Colt 1903 General Officer Pistol BG Francis Howard U.S. Property .32 ACP Pistol & Holster, 1944 C&R

SOLD FOR $3,975.00

Make: Colt

Model: Model 1903 Type V Pocket Hammerless

Serial Number: 567132

Year of Manufacture: Late1944 (“Colt Pocket Hammerless Automatic Pistols” by John Brunner. Proofhouse gives a date of 1942, but this doesn’t match the factory orders as documented in the book.)

Caliber: .32 A.C.P. (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”, and at the rear with a Rampant Colt logo. The left side of the frame is marked “567132” and the left rear of the frame is marked with an ordnance wheel acceptance mark (lightly struck). The right side of the slide is marked “COLT AUTOMATIC / 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 “VP” in a triangle and the left rear with “e”. The right front of the trigger guard is marked “44”. The underside of the well at the back of the slide is marked “G” and “H”. The left groove in the underside of the slide is marked “567132”.

Barrel Length: 3 3/4”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short rounded blade with a serrated rear face fixed to the top 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 nickel plated Rampant Colt medallions near the tops of the grips. The grips are dark with oil staining.  The left grip checkering shows moderate to heavy wear and the right grip checkering shows moderate wear with heavy wear along the bottom shoulder. The grips are in about Very Good overall condition.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: The finish is original.

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 95% of its metal finish. There is thinning on the edges of the slide, the front edges of the frame and the edges of the trigger guard. There is a small scratch through the finish on the top of the slide on the right side and another behind the port on the right side. There is also a tiny ding in the upper rear edge of the port and a few light marks scattered over the slide and frame. The slide serrations and safety knurling are sharp. The markings are clear. The ordnance stamp is poorly struck with only the bottom half visible, but the Rampant Colt logo is crisp. few of the patent dates and the ordnance mark are thin but the rampant Colt and the inspection mark on the right side of the trigger guard are crisp. The grip screw is sharp with light marks from a screwdriver. 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, a manual safety and a magazine disconnect. 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 three blued 7 round magazine, a black soft leather General Officer’s holster, matching double magazine pouch and paperwork. The magazine floorplates are marked “CAL. 32 / COLT”. Two of the magazines show minimal wear and are in Excellent condition. The third shows two spots of erosion: one on its right upper rear corner and another at the right lower rear corner. It is in about Fine condition. The holster has a thumbstrap with a brass snap for securing the pistol and the inside of the holster is lined with soft leather. There part of the inside liner is folded over at the top and riveted to the back side of the holster. The holster shows a few light handling marks and is in about Excellent condition. The magazine pouch’s belt loop is marked “BRAUER BROS. MFG. CO. /ST. LOUIS MO” and “7  32C”.  It has a flap covering for the magazines with a chrome plated snap closure. The pouch shows a few light marks on the outside surface and several dings in the belt loop. The pouch is in about Fine Plus condition. The belt is a pre-1960’s style marked “HICKOK / 36” on the inside (Hickok made almost all of the pre-1960 GO holsters). It has a gold plated brass buckle with the U.S. Coat of Arms on it, three small leather straps on the inside for fastening the belt to a dress belt, and several snaps for adjusting the overall length of the belt. The belt shows a few scuff marks and compression marks. It is in about Fine overall condition. The paperwork consists of a letter from the Springfield Research Service stating that this pistol was issued to Brig. Gen. Francis E. Howard by the U. S. Ordnance Dept. on Dec.30, 1952. A copy of his biography is also enclosed showing he was the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Ribbon, the French Croix de Guerre, the Order of the British Empire, and Commander, Order of Vasco Nunez de Balboa from Panama.

Our Assessment: From Wikipedia: “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 V Pocket Hammerless semi-auto made in late 1944 with a parkerized finish. This pistol comes with documentation that it was issued to a General Officer, Brig. Gen. Francis E. Howard in 1952. The pistol is in Fine condition and the bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. The slide is serialized to the frame. This pistol, with its nice finish and complete with a GO holster and magazine pouch, and with paperwork confirming it was issued to a decorated General Officer, will make a fantastic package for the discerning Colt collector.

CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This C&R eligible pistol CAN be transferred as a dealer sale in California and CAN be sold as a Private Party Transfer (PPT) at our Simi Valley shop. All cartridge firing handguns (even C&R’s and antiques) sold to a California resident must be DROS’d. This does not apply to out of state residents.

Colt 1903 General Officer Pistol BG Francis Howard U.S. Property .32 ACP Pistol & Holster, 1944 C&R
Colt 1903 General Officer Pistol BG Francis Howard
U.S. Property .32 ACP Pistol & Holster, 1944 C&R