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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a retired Naval Officer & started my C&R collecting abut 6 months ago. Just got a Colt 1903 Hammerless (.32) off GunBroker & when delivered today, some of the markings did not match info I had about this model. Photos from GB were very fuzzy and I didn't notice; what intrigued me was the indicated 4 digit serial number. Hoping some of the experts on here could provide some info/opinions.

1. As a Type I (SN 4489) early 1904 Mfg under SN 10000, I expected to see the following on the left side of slide:

“BROWNING’S PATENT” COLT’S PAT F.A. M’F’G. CO.
PAT’D APRIL.20.1897 HARTFORD. CONN. U.S.A.

but instead, my piece has the following (almost polished out), which I thought didn't start until about 1918:

COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD. CT. U.S.A.
PATENTED APR. 20. 1897 . DEC. 22. 1903

2. There's a Verified Proof mark on the left side trigger guard which I thought didn't appear until 1905.

3. Unknown "1" on left bottom trigger guard. What does this represent?

4. Rampant Colt at left rear of slide is not in a circle.

5. Right side frame: "I" in RIMLESS and part of "M" is missing

6. Right side frame: screw holding in safety; didn't think these appeared until around SN 8000.

7. Right side trigger guard: looks like an "&" at bottom/rear. What does this represent?

Barrel measure 4", slide serrations number 14 tapered, & takedown arrow has 4 feathers as expected. Only numbers I see in the rear inside of slide to match with frame are 489. Is this the only location & are only last 3 indicated?

For a 109 year old handgun, the finish and grips are excellent. My concern is that it's been refinished and the slide restamped/rolled with incorrect markings. Hope my poor pics below help in your assessment. Thanks in advance.

Ron Honey

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Welcome to the Forum, Ron. Nice to have another "O" on board. I'm no Hammerless guy, but many are here among us. You've presented quite the challenge and the Hammerless experts will have plenty to work with, what with all the pix and info you've included here. Stand by, help is on the way. Enjoy!
 
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