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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know about what serial number these changed from the round hammer to the spur hammer?
 

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I don't know the exact serial number but since parts interchanged with the 1902 sporting and their hammers changed in late '07, early '08 per Liskers great Colt Auto's page. I would guess the 1903 PH's did the same. That would put it somewhere around s/n 23000. mine is 30XXX and it has the spur hammer. Lisker shows one s/n 16012 that has the round hammer.
 

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Pocket hammer 38acp : PerDoug Sheldon pg 144, the stub or round hammer was the first produced until the end of 1908 circa the high 24,000 serial range. The change in hammer design occurred simultaneously on both the Pocket and Military model. Note that the earliest round hammers were hand checkered, then done by machine. Total production of 31,250 Pocket Hammer Models include 8500 with the round or stub hammer and 22,750 with the "low" spur hammer. However I own an early serial #20220 then 24528 and up with the "low" spur hammer. Maybe #20220 was made out of order, who knows?? Yet 20411 and 20695 have the round hammer.

That said I have all my Model 1900's with the round hammer. My 1902 Sportings have the "high" spur hammers # 4606, 4714, 5104, 5732, 5742, 5834, 6018, 6148, 6246, 6284, 6842, 6894. All my other Sportings have the round hammer. The round or stub hammer was developed circa 1901 however it was not used exclusively on the Sporting model until the 7000 serial range. Prior to the 7000 serial range it was decided to use the "high" spur hammer on the even serial numbers until they were all used up, around June 1904.

The "low" spur hammer was a later development for the Military and Pocket Hammer Models.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses. Do you guys know what type of markings the magazine would have from a serial numbered gun around 28,285ish? I've heard some don't have any markings. Any ideas?
 

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Mine, s/n 30876 ish has a full blued body, with high polished blue floorplate with no markings. I can't testify that it is the original magazine though as I didn't buy it new..:)
 

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Now I know why I have had such difficulties in finding a nice 1902 Sporting model... tedm has them all!! :cool:

Gunnut... here are a couple of my 1903 pocket hammer pistols. Of particular interest to this thread is the bottom pistol is S/N 28699 - which is pretty close to the S/N you mentioned. I'm not sure how the magazine is marked - I'll have to pull it out of the safe to see.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just picked up my new one. Serial number 28280. Mag is just like yours Ratzo. I'll post pics soon.
 

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I recieved a call about a couple of older Colt's. I showed up and one was a 1903 in 32 that was very rough. I asked to see the other and the "gun expert" went and grabbed this one and proceeded to tell what kind of gun this was and all that he knew about these guns. He told me that since it was reblued they were only askink $800 instead of the $2k price for an original gun. Lucky for me they didn't know that the early Colt's had that brilliant blue finish that can't be reproduced nowadays. The finish is %115 original and beautiful! It has some holster wear but someone (B.H.G, because its scratched inside the left grip) did a great job caring for this gun. The fire blue is still brilliant on the trigger and mag release as well as the pins. The mag is a full blue but the base plate is a high polished finish. As you guys know, I would normally be gettin ready to list this thing but this one is goin in the safe. I honestly think it's gonna be very hard to find another 101 year old with this much finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
While looking at some older posts I noticed that the slides were serialized in the very early guns and the very late guns. Does anyone have a gun close to this serial number that can look at their slide? I pulled the slide and it looks great underneath but there is no serial number. Let me know what you have. A pic would be nice to give me a location.
 

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Serial numbers were stamped on underside from 19999 to 19000 then it stopped. From serial number 36000 on up should have serial number stamped.
 

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Thanks kryten. Rob, this wasn't a normal source. Just someoneI had dealt with before. Got pretty lucky on this one.
 

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I recieved a call about a couple of older Colt's. I showed up and one was a 1903 in 32 that was very rough. I asked to see the other and the "gun expert" went and grabbed this one and proceeded to tell what kind of gun this was and all that he knew about these guns. He told me that since it was reblued they were only askink $800 instead of the $2k price for an original gun. Lucky for me they didn't know that the early Colt's had that brilliant blue finish that can't be reproduced nowadays. The finish is %115 original and beautiful! It has some holster wear but someone (B.H.G, because its scratched inside the left grip) did a great job caring for this gun. The fire blue is still brilliant on the trigger and mag release as well as the pins. The mag is a full blue but the base plate is a high polished finish. As you guys know, I would normally be gettin ready to list this thing but this one is goin in the safe. I honestly think it's gonna be very hard to find another 101 year old with this much finish.
Yup that was a steal! I see this type of thing happen a lot with those amazing original high polish blue finishes. Thats why I got this for $465 at Cabelas last year:



And Charlene bought this for $300 from a gun dealer about 4 years ago. The reason the finishes look a little different is they were shot at different times of the day and different times of the year. They actually look identical and are both from 1911.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Beautiful guns Twaits. I'm having a problem with the ammo for this thing. I had a box of 38 auto about a year ago just for collecting and now I can't find it. Gonna keep looking though.
 

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Just a word of caution about shooting the 1903 pocket hammer... the slides were pretty prone to cracking by the slide block. (I think this was far more prevalent in the 1905's, but this is a similar design.) Obviously, it is your gun to enjoy how you wish, but I would recommend not shooting it much - if at all. These are seldom found in this condition...

Twaits... your pistol is the other "expert" sold pistol I know about. Charlene's pistol is simply breathtaking! Both are great finds!!
 

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Got my info today. Sold to A.B. Schuster, Shipped to McIntosh Hardware in Albuquerque,NM, Dec,27,1910. Only gun in the shipment. Apparently Mr. Schuster owned a large hardware store in the southwest in the late 1800's.
 

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Just a word of caution about shooting the 1903 pocket hammer... the slides were pretty prone to cracking by the slide block. (I think this was far more prevalent in the 1905's, but this is a similar design.) Obviously, it is your gun to enjoy how you wish, but I would recommend not shooting it much - if at all. These are seldom found in this condition...

Twaits... your pistol is the other "expert" sold pistol I know about. Charlene's pistol is simply breathtaking! Both are great finds!!
I do not think this was ever a problem when staying with actual .38 ACP Ammunition.

Lots of people have fired overly hot Home-Loads as well as .38 Super in these, or, even 9mm Bergman Bayard aka 9mm Largo, and, these can lead to that 'crack' since they are a lot peppier than .38 Auto as such and the Slide will slam back hard effecting the 'Key' since the Recoil Spring never intended that much recoil.


Same with the Model 1905 .45 ACP Pistol, people would simply shoot all the m1911 .45 ACP Ammunition they liked, and, finally, end up cracking the Slide there by the Key, because the m1905 Ammunition was not as powerful as the m1911 Ammunition was, and, no one knew or cared to be sure to distinguish them, or, at some point, there was no more m1905 .45 ACP anywhere on the shelf anyway, so, people just used regular .45 Auto which was hotter than the original Cartridge was, and, cracked their Slides at the Key, at the nose there.

So long as the Slide is not battering at the end of it's cycle, there would never be any stress of the kind needed to occasion a Crack there in front of the Key.

Probably one would do well to evaluate the recoil Spring one has to see if it is still stout enough...since, if it is weak, the Slide could end up banging the Key against the end of the frame stop during the recoil cycle apex, and hitting it pretty hard, and, that would be bad or could lead to a crack there at the nose.


Anyone know who would carry new Recoil Springs for these?

Are there 'Wolf Kits' available?

Probably be a good idea if one wants to shoot it much...
 
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