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I have a 1959 vintage Colt Junior with black plastic grips. I bought a set of Colt wood grips cause I think they look better, but I wonder , were most made with wood grips and earlier one made with plastic? What's the scoop?
 

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I have 1 from 1968 that's blue and 1 from 1970 that's nickel plated. Both have wood grips.
From what I understand many earlier ones were made in Spain for Colt. Then in 1968 the 1968 Firearm's act was enacted and prevented importing the completed firearm from Spain. Colt started importing the parts from Spain and assembling them in Hartford. My 1968 one says "made in Spain" and my 1970 one says "made in Hartford".
I am still newer to collecting, so that is all the limited knowledge I have!
 

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I have 1 from 1968 that's blue and 1 from 1970 that's nickel plated. Both have wood grips.
From what I understand many earlier ones were made in Spain for Colt. Then in 1968 the 1968 Firearm's act was enacted and prevented importing the completed firearm from Spain. Colt started importing the parts from Spain and assembling them in Hartford. My 1968 one says "made in Spain" and my 1970 one says "made in Hartford".
I am still newer to collecting, so that is all the limited knowledge I have!
Allison Gamelli,

Welcome to the Forum ! (When you can,...post pictures of your Pistols ?)

Best Regards,
 

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I have a 1959 vintage Colt Junior with black plastic grips. I bought a set of Colt wood grips cause I think they look better, but I wonder , were most made with wood grips and earlier one made with plastic? What's the scoop?
Early Colt Juniors had black plastic stocks. Later Juniors had checkered walnut stocks which had a smooth uncheckered border. Importation of the Junior was stopped by the GCA of 1968. Colt introduced the Automatic 25 to replace the Junior in the product lineup. The Automatic 25 used checkered walnut stocks that were completely checkered (no uncheckeed border). Hope this helps.

Would like to see pictures of AG's nickeled Automatic 25. Pretty scarce gun.
 

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Early Colt Juniors had black plastic stocks. Later Juniors had checkered walnut stocks which had a smooth uncheckered border. Importation of the Junior was stopped by the GCA of 1968. Colt introduced the Automatic 25 to replace the Junior in the product lineup. The Automatic 25 used checkered walnut stocks that were completely checkered (no uncheckeed border). Hope this helps.

Would like to see pictures of AG's nickeled Automatic 25. Pretty scarce gun.

Here's a picture of my 2 Juniors. Pardon the appearance on the nickel one, I just got it Tuesday and hubby hasn't gotten his meticulous hands on it to clean it! :)

juniors.jpg
 

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Here's a picture of my 2 Juniors.
Only the left pistol is a Junior. The right pistol is an Automatic .25. (Note the the "Made in Spain for Colt's" notation on the Junior's frame, which is absent on the Automatic .25. The Automatic .25 was never cataloged in nickel. Most likely the finish on the Automatic .25 is aftermarket. An archive letter will verify the original finish.

A Junior with black plastic stocks is an early one for sure, and a very desirable variation.
 

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Colt started importing the parts from Spain and assembling them in Hartford.
Ms Gamelli:

I apologize for not reading your earlier post more carefully. You obviously realized that the earlier pistol was made in Spain and that the later one was made in the United States. To split some hairs, the Automatic .25 was not made in Hartford. (It was made in Florida by Firearms International.) Here, I will make my usual soapbox speech regarding the two pistols.

There is often confusion between the Colt Junior and the Colt Automatic, and who made the Colt Automatic. It is common to see Colt Automatic pistols incorrectly advertised as Colt Junior pistols.

The Junior was made in Spain by Astra for Colt beginning in 1958, and was discontinued in 1968 due to the 1968 Gun Control Act that forbade importation of "non-sporting" firearms. The Junior serial numbers have a "CC" suffix, and the guns are marked "Junior Colt" on the slide and "Made in Spain for Colt's" on the frame. Junior serial numbers began at 1CC and ended at 85082CC. The Junior was made in both .25ACP and .22 Short chamberings. Colt even offered a Conversion Unit to convert a .25ACP Junior pistol to .22 Short. The Colt Junior and the Astra Cub are physically identical. Early Colt Juniors even have plastic stocks like the Astra, not wood stocks like the later Junior production.

Because the 1968 Gun Control Act outlawed the importation of the Junior as "non-sporting," Colt contracted with Firearms International of Florida (FI, not FIE) in 1970 to make the clone of the Junior. (The Automatic .25 is not made of Astra parts.) The Colt Automatic was introduced in 1970 and was discontinued in 1973, perhaps coinciding with the demise of Firearms International. The Automatic serial numbers have an "OD" prefix and the slides are stamped "Colt Automatic." The Automatic serial numbers began at OD1001 and ended at OD120471. (I have always thought it to be an interesting detail that every Automatic box end label was individually typed on a typewriter!)
 

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There was a factory recall on some of these guns. Apparently they were prone to discharge if dropped on the hammer with a loaded round in the chamber. The recall modification involved replacing the firing pin and firing pin spring. If this recall modification has been done the pistol will have a small "m" marked on the outside of the chamber of the pistol's barrel. You will be able to see the "m" with the slide close but may have to look carefully. I doubt Colt still does the recall modification.
 

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Ms Gamelli:

I apologize for not reading your earlier post more carefully. You obviously realized that the earlier pistol was made in Spain and that the later one was made in the United States. To split some hairs, the Automatic .25 was not made in Hartford. (It was made in Florida by Firearms International.) Here, I will make my usual soapbox speech regarding the two pistols.

There is often confusion between the Colt Junior and the Colt Automatic, and who made the Colt Automatic. It is common to see Colt Automatic pistols incorrectly advertised as Colt Junior pistols.

The Junior was made in Spain by Astra for Colt beginning in 1958, and was discontinued in 1968 due to the 1968 Gun Control Act that forbade importation of "non-sporting" firearms. The Junior serial numbers have a "CC" suffix, and the guns are marked "Junior Colt" on the slide and "Made in Spain for Colt's" on the frame. Junior serial numbers began at 1CC and ended at 85082CC. The Junior was made in both .25ACP and .22 Short chamberings. Colt even offered a Conversion Unit to convert a .25ACP Junior pistol to .22 Short. The Colt Junior and the Astra Cub are physically identical. Early Colt Juniors even have plastic stocks like the Astra, not wood stocks like the later Junior production.

Because the 1968 Gun Control Act outlawed the importation of the Junior as "non-sporting," Colt contracted with Firearms International of Florida (FI, not FIE) in 1970 to make the clone of the Junior. (The Automatic .25 is not made of Astra parts.) The Colt Automatic was introduced in 1970 and was discontinued in 1973, perhaps coinciding with the demise of Firearms International. The Automatic serial numbers have an "OD" prefix and the slides are stamped "Colt Automatic." The Automatic serial numbers began at OD1001 and ended at OD120471. (I have always thought it to be an interesting detail that every Automatic box end label was individually typed on a typewriter!)
Thank you for the information. I am newer to collecting and my research on the Junior has been limited up to this point. I appreciate your additional information on them!
 

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There was a factory recall on some of these guns. Apparently they were prone to discharge if dropped on the hammer with a loaded round in the chamber. The recall modification involved replacing the firing pin and firing pin spring. If this recall modification has been done the pistol will have a small "m" marked on the outside of the chamber of the pistol's barrel. You will be able to see the "m" with the slide close but may have to look carefully. I doubt Colt still does the recall modification.
colt modified mine in the not too far distant past. 5 yrs ago?
 

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This is the recall information:

COLT
MODEL JUNIOR COLT,
25 AUTO CALIBER, PISTOL

RECALL: It has come to our attention that some of the small pocket automatic pistols marketed by Colt in 25 ACP between 1957 and 1973 (these have serial numbers ending in CC or beginning with OD) are susceptible to accidental discharge if improperly carried with a round in the chamber and dropped or otherwise carelessly handled. This is because of the type of firing mechanism in these pistols. Some of these pistols were marked "Junior Colt/Cal. 25," others "Made in Spain for Colt," and still others " Colt Automatic/Cal. 25."
COLT WILL MODIFY THE FIRING MECHANISM OF THESE PISTOLS FREE OF CHARGE. This modification will substantially reduce the possibility of accidental discharge.
If you own one of these pistols, please notify Colt in writing (see below) but do not return the pistol at this time. You will be given further details and instructions as to when and how to ship your firearm to Colt. We will replace the firing pin and the firing pin spring, and return the gun as promptly as possible.
Please do not delay in writing to us. Meanwhile, carry your pistol only with an empty chamber. Please send a postcard or note giving your name, address and the serial number of your pistol to:
Colt Industries, Inc.
Firearms Division
P.O. Box 1868
Department RC 25
Hartford, CT 06101

Source:

  • Law Enforcement Technology, December 1984; page 29
 
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