Colt Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
People here have been great with answering my questions and I greatly appreciate it. Where would you place the value of this pistol if you were sellling it? TIA My friend happened up this rifle not long ago and I was curious if there is any reason not to modify it (i.e. scarcity). It is in overall pretty poor condition finish wise, including where someone apparently tried to wire wheel/brillo pad/steel wool it, but mechanically seems really sound. Can anyone tell me year of mfg? Are the English Proof'd ones scarce enough to leave as is? He wants to send it off to have custom work done (sights, refinished, a few other thing). Here are some pics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,013 Posts
Mfg 1915. I like these model M's especially with the British proofs. I would not modify this one even in its condition. However, the owner can/should do as he/she pleases. Instead of altering it, might I suggest nothing or just refinish to as near original.
Ted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the information Tedd. He wants to make a pair of carry guns out of 1908's. He wants to modernize the features. I field stripped it for him, it is really neat how it comes apart and goes back together. Slick actually.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,384 Posts
Having a refinish to try to make this Mod M look like it originally left the factory might not be do-able, or practicle. The gun and all pre war Colts had gas oven bluing and the polishing was done with a different material than was used after the war. I don't know if Turnbull's offers that type of finish but if they do it will surely cost a lot.

I wouldn't change it at all. Whomever abraded the finish on the left side should be taken out to the country, made to dig their own grave, then shot in the head. The family gets billed for the bullet.
At least, that's what the Chinese used to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,832 Posts
Yeahhh...leave it be. It's been Steel Wooled a little, but is still overall, very appealing as-is, and, an interesting one, what with the British Proofs...and, it has merit as an Original Pistol which has seen a little abuse and wear.

If re-finished it would be a total bore to anyone familiar or of experience.

If your friend wants a 'Modern' gun, there are plenty to choose from.

He could get a Norinco Tokarev for example...and 'customise' that into some slick, refinished, up-dated to his taste version. And do the 9mm conversion to boot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mike,
Novak or similar night sights, and maybe the top of the slide grooved or checkered like a 27-2 smith, extended safety, checkered front strap/grip safety, Custom grip panels and relocated magazine release
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Agree that there are many modern pistols to choose from but sometimes you just cannot beat the feel of one of the older works of art. That, at least to me, is what these pistols are. Very few modern pistols can even begin to compete with the way some of the older classics feel. This is one of the greatest looking designs I have ever seen. It just feels....American, old American to be exact.
Yeahhh...leave it be. It's been Steel Wooled a little, but is still overall, very appealing as-is, and, an interesting one, what with the British Proofs...and, it has merit as an Original Pistol which has seen a little abuse and wear.

If re-finished it would be a total bore to anyone familiar or of experience.

If your friend wants a 'Modern' gun, there are plenty to choose from.

He could get a Norinco Tokarev for example...and 'customise' that into some slick, refinished, up-dated to his taste version. And do the 9mm conversion to boot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,719 Posts
I believe that one has had plain on emery cloth used on the some scratches in the receiver. When that one was made Colt was still using the brilliant oil finish and bluing in a charcoal fired oven. Colt went to a "fine" finish around 1915/16, and changed to gas fired bluing ovens in 1918.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
The Colt 1908 M is a timeless design where simplicity and function coexist to the highest level. People who like modern designs and function will bemoan the 380 caliber, the safety issues, and the sights, but it is a pistol of a bygone day, an art deco testimonial to American labor and mechanical ingenuity where guns were assembled painstakingly by craftsmen and companies didn't worry about labor hours and product disposability. Is it any wonder that it is still going strong after these many years?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Last question guys, i get the history, etc, but do the english proofs give it additional value. if not, it is off to the shop
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,832 Posts
Yes...they give it added value, and, many of the WWI private Purchase Guns saw use and had Blueing Loss or Corrosion as well from Field Carry in the War.

British Proof Colt Automatics ( or other American Arms of the period ) are prized by several kinds of Collectors who have interest in the Great War and it's relics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you guys for your very informed and expert opinions. I guess instead of destroying some type of history I will advise him to list it somewhere and get a more "common" set of pistols to alter. Any suggestions on where it should be listed or offered? Price? Again, I cannot thank you guys enough for all your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,719 Posts
While not factory, the markings sometimes tells a pistol's history. This 1911A1 Colt was Lend-Leased to Canada during WWII, and there had the Canadian broad-arrow C property mark applied to the receiver and slide. After WWII the Canadian government sold most of the remaining pistols to a British arms merchant, and they were sent to England. In England they had to be proofed before they could be sold commercially. The British proofs on this one are post 1954 Birmingham Proof House.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,832 Posts
Thank you guys for your very informed and expert opinions. I guess instead of destroying some type of history I will advise him to list it somewhere and get a more "common" set of pistols to alter. Any suggestions on where it should be listed or offered? Price? Again, I cannot thank you guys enough for all your help.
Hi chaosrob,


This is a question many of us face now and then - we too sometimes yearn for a 'Custom' Revolver or Automatic which is based on an old example, but are not willing to destroy the honest character of an old Gun which is still in it's 'Original' finish and in fairly decent condition.

The solution then, is to find an example which has already been re-finished, where, one's own re-finishing or other custom details, are not then destroying anything still in it's 'Original' Blueing or other details.


Even a Pistol or Revolver with no Blue left on it, but which is mechanically good, will be left be, to favor waiting for one which has an old re-finish...for making a 'Custom' of some sort. Revolvers with Bulged Barrels, are usually felt to be 'Okay' for converting into a 'Snubbie'.

Guns with damage or serious Rust, but which have no provenance ( ie: known or surmised History or noteworthy owners or significant Foreign Proof Marks - especially if relating to WWI ) one may feel free generally, to make a 'custom' and not feel they have violated anything to worry about.


Modern Guns of course, are a different Matter, and, I see no reason for anyone to demur about Customizing anything being made today.


Similarly, with Guns made within the last several decades, especially common models or forms, there is no reason not to customize them or have it done to one's taste.


You could ask some advice on Value from our Members here, and, List it in the Classifieds section of the Forum, knowing it would be going to a good Home where it will be appreciated and respected, even cherished.

Or, you could list it on Gunbroker, with a starting Bid that represents the least you would take, and, let the Auction run.

It is a very nice old Colt .380 with the 'early' Blue, and even with it's little scrapes and bumps, it is a charmer, it has interesting History from 'The Great War', and there are many Collectors and aficionados who would love to have it.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top