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I have a 1916 manufactured 1903 Colt Pocket Hammerless .32 acp. I bought it and it had a failure to feed so I sent it to a gunsmith locally (family friend in need of some business) to get some filing done or see if I just needed to order some new magazines or replace the spring in the original. He could not field strip it, so he removed the safety BEFORE taking the slide off (thinking this was how you removed the slide). Now I cannot pull the slide far enough back to properly field strip it. I shake the gun and I hear no loose parts, so I'm unsure if it is being jammed on a loose internal part. Goes to show no good deed goes unpunished. Anybody have any ideas?
 

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I sent it to a gunsmith locally (family friend in need of some business)
Well that was your first mistake, a good gunsmith is never “in need of some business”. Most failure to feed problems with a semi automatic are magazine related.
 

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These pistols are very difficult to reassemble if going beyond field stripping. The pin on the safety also holds the hammer which I assume has fallen in and jammed things up. I cant offer a solution but this is the best youtube video I've seen on Colt 1903 Model M pistols.

 

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First off I didn't think you could remove the thumb safety / slide lock on a Type III (no screw retainer) without the slide off. There's a cam and hole that requires rotating it beyond the "normal" position. It was redesigned to not come out under normal circumstances so the screw in the end of the shaft was no longer required.

So you may have a damaged safety now and/or damaged frame if he beat on it to remove it. But I can't think of an easy way to get the hammer freed up without taking the grip safety and springs out of the back. It's probably not wise to use excessive force to drive the slide far enough back, since the hammer is all catty-whompus now. It may be remotely possible that fiddling with it can get the hammer pin hole to line up enough to get a small drift/punch in there and retain the hammer, and with some manipulation get it aligned enough to get a proper-sized pin inserted just to get the slide off. But I suspect that will not work.

Taking the frame apart is probably the only way, doing that typically isn't too hard (although in this situation it could be... interesting) but as mentioned above getting it all back together can be tricky. And you need the right sized punches, a steady hand and some patience throughout.

Maybe just as well he couldn't get it apart and attack it with a file !
 

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I'm tryin' to imagine what would have to be broken, bent, twisted, or slightly crushed to get the the thumb safety out of the frame with the pistol still together......... It does not seem plausible in a real world scenario. But, then, we have all seen type III barrels with visegrip imprints on the barrel lug, now haven't we?
somd_mustangs has the most useful idea. If the hammer pivot can be teased into a spot where a drift can hold it, you won't necessarily have to do the whole smash on the frame.
If you haven't surmised, re-assembly of the frame is tense, awkward, and otherwise tedious if you haven't done it before. There are adequately skilled and trained gunsmiths who can solve this problem for you. It is likely you will need some parts.
 

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Welcome to the COLT Forum from the Cradle Of Liberty...Pennsylvania !!



Enjoy Our Community Sir...Congrats on your '03 pocket hammerless and good luck with that repair !!

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