Colt Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've acquired a Pocket Hammer that has British proofs on the slide- one just below the circled logo on the left rear of the slide, the other on the right side just to the rear of the ejection port. I understand that the proofs usually, but not always, also appeared on the barrel and frame. These are not present. Is there any way to determine via shipping records/serial #s (22744) if this pistol indeed went to London, or if the frame and slide were just switched out at some point? It is an un-numbered slide correct for this range, and the condition/patina of the frame and slide are a match. Any information would be appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
#22741 was shipped to China and Japan Trading Company on 9/27/1907. #22754 went to Bonebrake Hdwre and Implement on 10/18/1907.

I own 28687 shipped 1/9/1911 to Colt's London Agency 1 of 10 which has British barrel, slide and frame markings, and I own 30397 and 35450 both correctly British marked including barrel. Serial 34448 has a British proofed barrel "NP 38 8G5 6 130 GRS" that was shipped to W Grace and Company, NY on 1/23/1914 - but has no British markings on the slide or frame; my guess is this pistol was for private purchase. About 900 1903 38's went to England most during the start of the Great War. All have barrel markings - yours was probably a replacement barrel. See pg 132 in Clawson's "Colt 45 Gov't Commercial series" for proof act 1904-1925 markings.
Also see if your pistol has "JJ" markings?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. No, the JJ markings are not present. I wanted to get an idea of the possibilities before I lettered it. Frankly, I was under the impression that the records were good only about as far back as 1909. This being a 1907 pistol, I was hesitant to letter it, anticipating a goose egg. tedm- please explain the "private purchase" of the barrel-proofed pistol shipped to New York. Did someone from England order it from the New York dealer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
I have been unable to find the significance of the "JJ" markings, but have seen them on some early British Colt autos including a 1902 military 38, see the picture and description in Sheldon's book, " A Collector's Guide to Colt's 38 Automatic Pistol' pg 118-119 but don't know what it means? Anyone venture to guess??

In addition to the 900 1903 Colt Hammer 38's, Colt had 14% of the 1902 military 38 shipped to England; about 1/3 of these for the WW l war effort in 1914-1915 including the one I own #37928, see Goddard's book " Gov't Models" pg 190 for serial #'s and shipping dates. This pistol was probably used for the Canadian Expeditionary Forces even though it was shipped to the London Armory. I also have an earlier 1902 military #14048 mfg'd in 1903. Both have the complete slide/frame/barrel british markings.

My guess is that my pistol #34448 shipped in 1914 to the dealer William R Grace and Co., NY who sold it to someone. How it made it's way to England is anyone's guess. There was a need for arms of all types during the great war, so it's easy to see how/why it ended up in England. It would be nice to think that some British officer, Canadian Officer, or British intelligence may have used it, but it may have gone to anyone. If it had been shipped to the London armory / Colt's London Agency, it would have been marked in all 3 places, frame/slide/barrel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
Went back to your first post. In your serial number range the slides were NOT serial numbered to the frame. Another thought, even though the finish appears to match, look closely to see if someone might have ground off a British Marking on the frame or barrel (unlikely).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
That is correct. My slide is not numbered. I did not know that a London Agency gun would be marked in all three places. Thank you for that info. The frame and barrel are not ground; in fact, looking closer at the barrel, it may be a replacement. So... with the 1907 vintage, do records exist that will allow for the minimal factory letter info?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
JJ Marking

The JJ marking is believed to have been applied by the London Armoury Company, the initials being from the first two names of the manager. I have also seen the JJ marking on a Winchester Model 1907 rifle.The LAC had the agency for both Colt and Winchester for a number of years.
One suggestion is that the mark would help with warrantee claims. To my knowledge no paperwork has been sigted to prove this.

Regards

AlanD
Sydney
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the great info. Looks like I need to pony up for letters on both the Pocket Hammer and my 1902 Military # 33082. tedm- I sure would like to see your collection!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,849 Posts
If you are ever in Raleigh, NC look me up.
Shipping records do exist for these early Colt autos, but are getting pricey.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top