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Here's what they look like. Not sure if they are original or not. I'd really have to letter it to see how it left the factory. The finish looks original to me. Of course if it didn't I wouldn't have bought it. But that's always a gamble unless a letter comes with the gun. I may letter this at some point.

Very nice pistol! As Sam says, the grips are aftermarket. They have locating pins rather than factory red or black hardboard spacers attached with flat head brass screws. Also, (even though I can't tell from the posted photos) most aftermarket hammerless mop's have escutcheons with smooth perimeters, rather than serrated, as do factory escutcheons. Although they are of earlier round top grips, the photos below show hardboard factory spacers. Later square top factory mop and ivory grips used the same spacers.

n mop 2.JPG FPN  2.JPG
 

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Sam Lisker's site shows 6 types of mother of pearl grips for 1908s but does not show square top without medallions. So unless Sam forgot to list them perhaps these aren't original to the gun? Tim's are the same as mine. Is yours lettered Tim?

Erik, I haven't lettered mine.
 

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My wife wanted a "cute gun" a few years ago so I got her a nickle/wood Colt Vest model. Haven't fired it because racking the slide is painful with my osteoarthritic left shoulder and right elbow, and she doesn't have the necessary hand strength.
Could it be a problem with the gun or is it just us?
 

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My wife wanted a "cute gun" a few years ago so I got her a nickle/wood Colt Vest model. Haven't fired it because racking the slide is painful with my osteoarthritic left shoulder and right elbow, and she doesn't have the necessary hand strength.
Could it be a problem with the gun or is it just us?
It's you. I'm starting to have the same problem with my left hand. Arthritis.....and just not enough "surface" to hold onto with that small slide.

Buy her a cute Detective Special, Cobra, or Agent.
 

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My wife wanted a "cute gun" a few years ago so I got her a nickle/wood Colt Vest model. Haven't fired it because racking the slide is painful with my osteoarthritic left shoulder and right elbow, and she doesn't have the necessary hand strength.
Could it be a problem with the gun or is it just us?
Is it the 1903 version or the later exposed hammer Astra design? If the latter try cocking the hammer before racking the slide.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Erik,

Congrats on your latest acquisition -- a very nice 1908 Vest Pocket indeed. The stocks on your gun are aftermarket, which was not uncommon. Aftermarket stocks were a great option for buyers who didn't want to pay a premium for stocks of the same material with Colt medallions.

Sam
Thank you Sam. I know that Hartley and Graham used to install their own pearl stocks on pistols before they sold them. I had a Smith & Wesson 1st model hand ejector that was nickel and pearl lettered to Hartley and Graham. Roy Jinks stated that it was shipped with hard rubber stocks but it had MOP stocks. He said that the MOP was most likely added by Hartley and Graham as they did this frequently.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
One last interesting thing here. I was looking at images online of nickel 1908s and I ran across one that was in a RIA auction. It was a consecutive serial number to mine. What are the odds? Here is a photo. This one has correct stocks. It would be interesting to know if both of them shipped to the same place.
Here's a shot in the dark but did someone from the forum end up with this? I'll letter mine if you letter yours :)

 
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