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The recent acquisition of a 1903 hammerless is the first semi-auto I have owned so I am in the process of learning the differences between it and the Police Positive I traded for it. I have downloaded the instuction sheet from the Colt website but still have what may be a stupid question. How should the pistol be stored in the case between outings (no ammo)? Should the slide be secured back and the action open? Is there a way to release the hammer without pulling the trigger? I wondered if it was undue stress on the metal parts to leave it cocked, etc.
Thanks for the info.
 

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I would either store it by dry firing or by leaving the hammer cocked and the safety on. I would not store it with the slide locked back.

Make sure it's empty before dry firing.
 

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What Muley Gil said, for long term storage I would dry fire it to leave the hammer down. Of course "make sure it's empty before dry firing" goes without saying....
 

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Congratulations on your 1903 hammerless. I've been collecting them for over 30 years and recently completed my collection of at least one example from every year of production.

For prolonged storage, remove the grips and coat the metal surfaces lightly with a moisture displacing oil. The best one that I've ever used is Tectyl 900 made by Daubert Chemical as it's also a rust preventative.
 

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If you are worried about snapping the firing pin on an empty chamber, buy a snap cap and use it for storage; or an empty cartridge case is better than nothing. I have one of these "Model M's", and they are sweet shooters, my favorite auto (I'm a D.A. fan).

Thiokol - that's quite an accomplishment, I can imagine how many serial numbers you read to get one from each year. I'm going to chase down this Tectyl 900.
 

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There are three sources of production data. The Sutherland & Wilson Book was the first but it has a lot of errors. Sam Lisker of www.coltautos.com also publishes a list. The most accurate listing is that of John Brunner. He's considered to be the preeminint expert on them. His book is the best reference source that I've ever found. It's out of print but you can still find them. I saw them available recently IDSA Books. Here's the link if you're interested. www.idsabooks.com/cgi-bin/idb455/search.html?id=Qymp6fTv
 
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