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At a local show today I was looking at a Model 1902 Military that the owner is finally starting to come down abit in price (he's had it at that same price for over 18 months - has finally figured perhaps its been a tad high). Clean with a very nice bore and a bit of fire-blue left on the trigger. The question I have is about the accompanying magazine, not only on this 1902 but on a 1903 Pocket Hammer he has we're talking a two-fer price on.
For the Forum Experts:
The magazine for the 1902 Military is blue with the wear seemingly consistent with the gun but it has absolutely no markings on the base. Would that be appropriate? Also should this magazine be two-toned?
The magazine he has for the 1903 Pocket Hammer is nickel, also with no markings on the base. A later replacement?
As always I look forward to the experts here straightening me out. Any magazine photos for either would, of course, be appreciated as well.
 

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The earliest Magazeins for the various Colt .38 Automatics were Nickel Plated and had the James Paris Lee Patent date on the bottom, as:



After that, Blue ones, and, the JPL Patent info continued if for only a short time...

Given the Patent would have run out in Sep't of 1901, I am not sure when exactly Colt discontinued the Patent Stamping on them, or, if Colt had simply got way ahead early on with the magazines, then was still using them up after they had otherwise stopped stamping their Bases with the Patent info.

Then, plain base, nothing stamped...and this persisted for a while, into the mid to latter teens I think.

Later on Magazine bases for the Military and Pocket has a series of Calibre Stampings and or even 'Mil' or 'Pkt'...and if memory serve, the fonts went from Serifed to Gothic.

A Nickel Magazine with no stamping would possibly have been either for a Factory Nickel Pistol, or, had been Nickled by someone privately.

The old .38 Autos often come with Magazines now, which do not date from the same period as the Pistol itself.


Blue Magazines would be 'Two Tone'...

Aftermarket Magazines for the Military and the '02 Military, and, the 1900/Sporting and Pocket do exist and would not be two-tone, and or would be a little different in appearence in their way.
 

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Further to Oye, all correct, I add, two things common to the early mags is the bottoms are attached by two tiny pins that go thru from side to side, you can usually see as spots about 1/16" or less diameter, the other is the latch groove on the rear wall is raised, which is to say pushed out from the inside. Repros usually just have a cut across the back wall that the latch engages.
 
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