Old Family Colt Model M
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Thread: Old Family Colt Model M

  1. #1
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    Old Family Colt Model M

    This Model 1903 Type-I was an old family gun. Just not from my family.



    I bought this around ten years ago from a fellow in his mid to late 30s. He was the last remaining family member still living at the old homestead in Anson, ME. He remembers that his father inherited it from his grandfather in ca. 1985, and he received the gun around 2005.

    When I answered the classified and arrived at the farm, the barn had collapsed. There were no more crops, no more livestock. The acreage was sold, and he was moving to New Jersey (I didn't ask why). He sold me the pistol $200, and that was plenty at the time.

    It's a weathered old piece, serial number at 38,928, barrel bushing style, triangular cut slide serrations, type-I magazine, and second style roll stamp on the left slide with "PATENTED" instead of "BROWNING'S PATENT". The grips don't have a lot of handling wear, but the metal has hardly a lick of finish remaining. Perhaps a little fire-blue can still be seen on the trigger.

    Anyway, its still an old Colt. And it shoots straight.

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    Some more pics.

    Enjoy, and thanks for looking.

















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    Nice pictures.
    It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived.

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    Just curious:

    I know that feature and marking transitions aren't always a sharp break, meaning that there is often overlap during production. But I'm wondering the approximate serial number range when the slide markings changed from BROWNING'S PATENTED to PATENTED?

    Mine is PATENTED at serial number 38,928.

    If you have an example near the change, please post it up! Thanks
    ei8ht likes this.

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    20151018_140652.jpg Mine has the Browning patented serial # 32257

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    A magnificent score...as are the images.

    Thanks for sharing it with us...

    .
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    NRA Life Member since 1977...

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    Quote Originally Posted by martin08 View Post
    Just curious:

    I know that feature and marking transitions aren't always a sharp break, meaning that there is often overlap during production. But I'm wondering the approximate serial number range when the slide markings changed from BROWNING'S PATENTED to PATENTED?

    Mine is PATENTED at serial number 38,928.

    If you have an example near the change, please post it up! Thanks
    My 1920 type 3 has only 'patented' on it, the font used is block not serif, and it says 'colt automatic' not 'automatic colt', and the pony logo has no circle around it. The grips logo also has no circle pony anymore.

    Wonder what led to so many changes on an established pistol design....
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    Last edited by 2ad_vet; 08-09-2019 at 09:36 AM.
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    After early 1906, "Browning's Patent" was replaced by "Patented". There were several variations of script and arrangement over the remainder of production. Brunner deals with this on pg.12 of 'The Colt Pocket Hammerless Automatic Pistols'.

    Actually, there were so many different markings and inscriptions on these things, and what with overlap between years and production runs, it became quite a complicated task to sort them all out. Some features were kept as contract requirements in accordance with the franchise agreement the Company arrived at with JMB himself, until the agreement expired, and others were abandoned when new tooling was acquired. Recall that Browning had negotiated certain contracts with both FN and Colt, and although the pistols were Colts, they were originally JMB's proprietary design. (For example, the FN 1905 & 06 are of identical design as the Colt model N of 1908.) Now, with all that bein' said, there is the possibility that some variations may be found in adjacent serial number ranges that seem out of sequence. Do not lose sight of the fact that the Company was resolute in its' commitment to the bottom line, and would use every available part, piece, and bit in stock to assemble pistols. They were also known to use rollmarking dies until they became useless. As I have said before, this is just another feature about Colts that makes 'em so interesting (and sometimes so frustrating).
    We can be content with the general distribution of the various features throughout the entire production of these pistols, but there are always the ones that pop up and change the actual time frame of which was first with any particular feature or variation.
    This, of course, applies equally to the technical and mechanical variants. The Company was diligent in its' pursuit of high quality, mechanically
    sound, and safe firearms, and the model M proves that point. It is a great pistol, and will have a place, for all time, in the history of firearms.
    Last edited by oberon; 08-09-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    It is a great pistol, and will have a place, for all time, in the history of firearms.
    He is right you know...
    martin08 and oberon like this.
    ei8ht of 9ine
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