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  1. #1
    Junior Member candt is on a distinguished road

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    Colt 1903 serial numbers

    I went looking at a few Colt 1903's today, and have a question about something I noticed on one of them. It had the serial number on the frame, but it didnt have the serial number on the slide in its normal location. It was just blank there. It was a type 4 if that matters. The other pistol had it on the rear underside of the slide. Any idea on why it wouldnt be there?

  2. #2
    Supporting Member ei8ht is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by candt View Post
    it didnt have the serial number on the slide in its normal location.
    The normal location moved around through the years. Prior to 1917 there was no slide serial number.
    First location of the last three digits was on the firing pin housing.
    About 1919 the last 3 digits appeared in the hammer clearance cutout.
    Later that same year the complete serial number was stamped in two rows at the same location.
    About 1924 the slide serial number moved to the ejector groove beside the firing pin housing in one line.
    It is possible the pistol in question has a replacement slide with no numbers .
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  3. #3
    Junior Member candt is on a distinguished road

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    One other thing I noticed on both guns, is they had what looked like a semi-circle shaped gouge at the rear of the chamber. On the left side looking from the chamber end. What would cause this?

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    Senior Member txBulldog is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by candt View Post
    One other thing I noticed on both guns, is they had what looked like a semi-circle shaped gouge at the rear of the chamber. On the left side looking from the chamber end. What would cause this?
    Without pics, I'm not sure if I understand the question correctly but I'll take a crack at answering. If your referring to the area on the underside of the slide where the slide has been milled to clear the hammer, those circles are part of the manufacturing process. Neither of mine have them but others I've had have. The hammer will also develop semi to full circles depending on how much use they've had. Again without pics I'm not sure I'm on the same page.

  5. #5
    Junior Member candt is on a distinguished road

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    The gouge is actually in the chamber. It looks like a deep scratch, half circle shaped, running vertically at the rear of the chamber. Both of the 1903's had it, and wasnt sure why. I think I am going to pass on both of these pistols, and keep searching. One of them had a bulge in the barrel, which is too bad, because the finish was excellent, and otherwise the bore looked nice, had original box too. The other had a little more finish wear, and what looked like some rust in the barrel, but not too terrible. Also had the original box. $800 for each, with one mag. Thanks for the help.

  6. #6
    Senior Member txBulldog is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by candt View Post
    $800 for each, with one mag.
    Ouch! My latest 1903 came home for less than $300 90% finish, type 1 pinned mag, good grips, and very good bore. I'd pass on any 1903 over $350 without a good barrel. Because by the time you get a replacement your into it almost $500 and that's about the high water mark for a great looking shooter, IMO of course.


 

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