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just bought a 380 colt hammerless auto...........the patented says 4-20-1897, 12-22-1903, so I'm guessing it's a 1903 model with ser#103***

What do I have for sure, is it a 1903 or 1908 model? It has walnut press grips on it if that helps

Thanks for your time
Al
 

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It is a 1908, the first series of 380's should have hard rubber grips with a circle around the horse, there were only about 6200 made, does yours have a barrel bushing? post some pictures to be sure, Geraldo
 

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As noted, in .380, it is a 1908 (the .32 Pocket Hammerless was the 1903). With the serial number you mention, in the 103 thousand range, your pistol was manufactured in 1930 (serial numbers that year ran from @ 100000 to @ 105000). The checkered walnut grips are probably correct on a Pocket Hammerless of that vintage.
 
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I acquired a M1908 in .380 on GB some 2 months or so ago that was listed "1903/1908 Colt". Even the seller didn't know the difference, and it probably ran under the radar due to the description, my gain there. The M1903 "Hammer" pistol was set up for.38 smokeless, The M1903 Hammerless in .32. The M1908 model "name" is shared by the .25 Vest Pocket and the .380 but there is no confusing the two. If you'd have asked me this stuff 4-5 months ago I'd not have an answer as they weren't on my "list". They sure are now :)
 

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As noted, in .380, it is a 1908 (the .32 Pocket Hammerless was the 1903). With the serial number you mention, in the 103 thousand range, your pistol was manufactured in 1930 (serial numbers that year ran from @ 100000 to @ 105000). The checkered walnut grips are probably correct on a Pocket Hammerless of that vintage.
Am I reading this wrong or are you saying if it's a 380 it's an '08 and if it's a .32 it's an '03??
 

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No sir that indeed is a M1903 HAMMER (that's the key word). Previous replies dealt with .25, .380 and the .32 HAMMERLESS. So that description is accurate. From what little I understand about the hammered M1903 they are fairly rare and were manufactured from 1903-1929 but shared serial number ranges with the Model 1902 Military version starting (according to TBOCF) about #30200. Other forum members with great experience in these semi auto's will undoubtedly add to this brief explanation. Hope that helps some.
 

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OK!! I knew the 1903 hammer was a .38 but when mentioned above thought maybe I got confused again when no one clarified a 1903 in .38 could be the Hammer version. I have, an albeit, rough one that I found awhile back. Appreciate the clarification here!!

 

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I acquired a M1908 in .380 on GB some 2 months or so ago that was listed "1903/1908 Colt". Even the seller didn't know the difference, and it probably ran under the radar due to the description, my gain there. The M1903 "Hammer" pistol was set up for.38 smokeless, The M1903 Hammerless in .32. The M1908 model "name" is shared by the .25 Vest Pocket and the .380 but there is no confusing the two. If you'd have asked me this stuff 4-5 months ago I'd not have an answer as they weren't on my "list". They sure are now :)
I get schooled at lot here, so here's my $.02s' worth.
The 1908 'vest pocket' .25 calber Colt automatic pistol is correctly designated a model 'N'. N'est pas?
 

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Obiwan the force has thrown yet another Letter at me :) i need more reference material. Thanks for the designator. I call em my lil fellers. ;)
 

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We cleared this on the last page :)
I just wanted to be sure I was clear, as your initial question concerned my post, and you seemed to be confusing both the type of pistol as well as two different calibers, .380 and .38 ACP.
 

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Look on the slide. It will probably say .32 or .380.
 
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