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  #1  
Old 08-09-2020, 10:29 AM
Schlitz 45 Schlitz 45 is offline
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Oldest Pistol I've Shot

Just got a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless manufactured in 1917.


Installed new Wolff spring kit, got two new magazines, & went out for our usually Saturday morning shootin' session.
1st three 8 round magazines shot at 25' were all easily kept on the plate.

150 trouble free rounds fired & managed to retrieve all the brass so I can give reloading 32 auto a try-they're so tiny!
What an elegant design, as beautiful in its simplicity today as it was 103 years ago & a joy to shoot. Mrs Schlitz has requested a Colt letter to get a little bit of history on it, should be interesting.
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2020, 10:46 AM
HarryO45 HarryO45 is offline
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Wow, very cool... congratulations
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Old 08-09-2020, 10:57 AM
apipeguy apipeguy is offline
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Very nice and a cool gun to be able to pass along to the kids, someday.
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2020, 11:09 AM
400cor-bon 400cor-bon is offline
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I have a 1918 Erfurt luger
It's fun shooting old guns
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2020, 11:52 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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1918 M1911 and 1920s .32.

1907 M1892 and 1912 M1885 Winchesters.

I had a couple of 1880s top break Smiths that I shot occasionally, but I sold them to collectors.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2020, 12:08 PM
Hawkeye fan Hawkeye fan is offline
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Very nice.
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2020, 12:19 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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I have shot my Colt 1911 made in 1914 with a 1918 slide on it

But not much lately. I shoot my 1913 Colt New service revolver from time to time. Along with the one that was made in 1915. Not sure when this Colt Official police chambered in 38-200 was made but it was a while ago.
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2020, 02:24 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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That is actually a first year gun! 1903

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlitz 45 View Post
Just got a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless manufactured in 1917.


Installed new Wolff spring kit, got two new magazines, & went out for our usually Saturday morning shootin' session.
1st three 8 round magazines shot at 25' were all easily kept on the plate.

150 trouble free rounds fired & managed to retrieve all the brass so I can give reloading 32 auto a try-they're so tiny!
What an elegant design, as beautiful in its simplicity today as it was 103 years ago & a joy to shoot. Mrs Schlitz has requested a Colt letter to get a little bit of history on it, should be interesting.
The three digit serial number makes that a certainty. Nice shape also. Those grips are from a later gun. Very cool I have several of them. Nice score!
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2020, 03:20 PM
Schlitz 45 Schlitz 45 is offline
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It's a Type 3 manufactured in 1917, serial number 259XXX-I obscured the last three digits in the photo.
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  #10  
Old 08-09-2020, 03:23 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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OK I got you!

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Originally Posted by Schlitz 45 View Post
It's a Type 3 manufactured in 1917, serial number 259XXX-I obscured the last three digits in the photo.
You did a good job on that serial #
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  #11  
Old 08-09-2020, 06:16 PM
Plaidad Plaidad is offline
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The oldest thing I ever shot was my grandad's Iver Johnson .32 S&W revolver. I'm not sure what year it was made, but I believe it was from the teen's. It was rated for smokeless powder, so it couldn't be much older than that.

I think that if Colt brought out a pistol that looked like the 1903 in 9mm, they'd have to add another shift.

Last edited by Plaidad; 08-09-2020 at 06:18 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2020, 06:38 PM
specs specs is online now
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The oldest pistol I own and have fired is a P 08 made in 1914, no I don't shoot it much.
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2020, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlitz 45 View Post
It's a Type 3 manufactured in 1917, serial number 259XXX-I obscured the last three digits in the photo.
I immediately knew it couldn't be a first-year pistol because those had a longer barrel and used a barrel bushing. By the way, if you're going to shoot it a lot you should probably remove those hard rubber grips and store them in a sealed bag somewhere away from moisture or sunlight. After 100+ years they usually have become dry and brittle, and they'll crack or break into pieces easily. It's also extremely rare these days to see them still in such great shape with no wear. Most look like a well-used penny by now.

As for oldest pistols, I used to have a Colt 1911 that was made in January 1913, but like a dope I sold it. Currently my oldest is a 1911 made in July 1918. I have shot it a few times, but normally I avoid doing so unless there's a special occasion.
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2020, 11:41 PM
RON in PA RON in PA is offline
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S&W model 2 .38 S&W break top vintage 1877 shot with black powder cartridges.

Russian Nagant revolver vintage 1912. S&W model 1917 .45 ACP vintage 1918.

My three oldest handguns.
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  #15  
Old 08-10-2020, 06:35 AM
VIS35 VIS35 is offline
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My neat little Ortgies .25acp; ca.1919. Great early German engineering and unique design. Reliable and accurate at reasonable distances.


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  #16  
Old 08-10-2020, 12:37 PM
William_Brown William_Brown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlitz 45 View Post
Just got a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless manufactured in 1917.


Installed new Wolff spring kit, got two new magazines, & went out for our usually Saturday morning shootin' session.
1st three 8 round magazines shot at 25' were all easily kept on the plate.

150 trouble free rounds fired & managed to retrieve all the brass so I can give reloading 32 auto a try-they're so tiny!
What an elegant design, as beautiful in its simplicity today as it was 103 years ago & a joy to shoot. Mrs Schlitz has requested a Colt letter to get a little bit of history on it, should be interesting.

New parts... thats like a brand new pistol... (just kidding)

I have a 1914 vintage 1911 (a Springield with a 1942 refurbish including a Savage slide and a colt wartime barrel). I shoot it all the time... OK... i really dont shoot it all the time.

I have a 1916 DWM army luger that shoots straight as an arrow... ive fired a thousand rounds from it... just kidding, more like 12 :-)

Finally I own an inherited 1873 colt, circa 1884. It is a cattleman model and I have fired it with an appropriate black powder cartridge and spent the next week cleaning it.
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  #17  
Old 08-10-2020, 04:32 PM
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Those of us who are lucky to own vintage firearms are always torn between keeping them in the safe and shooting them. It's not an easy answer and will depend on the gun itself. Anybody who would shoot a Singer M1911A1 in top condition would be an absolute fool. But a pistol that was made in the millions is another story. There aren't many 1903s left that are in the same condition as the OP's, but they are out there and the .32ACP isn't exactly a caliber likely to induce parts breakage. As I said earlier, the biggest concern is with the grips cracking or crumbling due to their age. Swap those with a set or modern repros and you can shoot the pistol with a lot less worry.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #18  
Old 08-10-2020, 06:16 PM
tgt_usa tgt_usa is online now
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Nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlitz 45 View Post
Just got a Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless manufactured in 1917.
...
150 trouble free rounds fired & managed to retrieve all the brass so I can give reloading 32 auto a try-they're so tiny!
What an elegant design, as beautiful in its simplicity today as it was 103 years ago & a joy to shoot. Mrs Schlitz has requested a Colt letter to get a little bit of history on it, should be interesting.
Another JMB success story.
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  #19  
Old 08-10-2020, 08:11 PM
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I have a 1908 in .380, made in either 1927 or 1929 depending on which SN list to believe. Amazingly enough, three times more .32ACP 1903s were sold than the .380 1908s. One would think that made no sense if using today's logic, but back then .32 and .380 FMJ was all there was, and the difference in effectiveness between them was negligible. Plus the recoil was noticeably less with the .32, and as an added bonus you got 8+1 shots instead of 7+1.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #20  
Old 08-10-2020, 10:14 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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I am pretty much with you on this dsk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
I have a 1908 in .380, made in either 1927 or 1929 depending on which SN list to believe. Amazingly enough, three times more .32ACP 1903s were sold than the .380 1908s. One would think that made no sense if using today's logic, but back then .32 and .380 FMJ was all there was, and the difference in effectiveness between them was negligible. Plus the recoil was noticeably less with the .32, and as an added bonus you got 8+1 shots instead of 7+1.
As far as the .32 verses .380 issue. The .32 acp round worked well insofar as what it was intended to. I have conducted informal tests of my own that display no marked difference in performance between the two.

People knew back then that if you got shot in the torso by pretty much any round. You might not die right away. But there was a pretty good chance that you would die at any rate. A pretty good deterrent towards criminal activity at any rate, and under any normal circumstances of the era.

Unfortunately today we are seeing violent crime being elevated to a whole new level, fueled no doubt in part by chemical influences. Sad but true.
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  #21  
Old 08-11-2020, 05:57 PM
old doc old doc is offline
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Mine was a 1900 Colt .45 Single Action. It had been refinished by Colt years before I bought it and looked new. I got a Colt letter on it, which said when it left the factory in 1900, it was a 7/12 inch 38-40. So apparently, when it was refinished, the caliber and barrel were also changed because it now had a 5/12 inch barrel.I only shot it a few times but it was a tack driver. Something to be said for old time craftsmanship.
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  #22  
Old 08-11-2020, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
As far as the .32 verses .380 issue. The .32 acp round worked well insofar as what it was intended to. I have conducted informal tests of my own that display no marked difference in performance between the two.

People knew back then that if you got shot in the torso by pretty much any round. You might not die right away. But there was a pretty good chance that you would die at any rate. A pretty good deterrent towards criminal activity at any rate, and under any normal circumstances of the era.

Unfortunately today we are seeing violent crime being elevated to a whole new level, fueled no doubt in part by chemical influences. Sad but true.
Back then people didn't have gun rags or Internet forums to tell them that anything shy of a .45 was a pathetic weakling. As you said, being shot with anything was bad news. Penicillin hadn't been invented yet and depending on where you were at the time you were shot it could take hours to get to a decent hospital. The .32ACP was for many decades a common police cartridge in Europe and Asia, and it wasn't until the 1970s when hallucinogenic drug use became rampant that cops in those countries felt the need to upgrade their armament.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2020, 05:24 AM
old doc old doc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
People knew back then that if you got shot in the torso by pretty much any round. You might not die right away. But there was a pretty good chance that you would die at any rate. A pretty good deterrent towards criminal activity at any rate, and under any normal circumstances of the era.
It never seemed to be an issue on Gunsmoke. As long as Doc Adams could get that bullet out, you were good to go, no matter what it may have hit on the way in.
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Old 08-12-2020, 12:59 PM
Snapdragon Snapdragon is offline
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I have shot the 1851 Navy Colt my great grandfather used to kill Yankees in the unpleasantness in the 1860's. I have also shot my Pomeroy muzzleloader that was made around 1840, but it is not a pistol.

If anyone gets their panties in a wad for calling a revolver a pistol, I think Sam used that term frequently when referring to the revolvers he made.
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  #25  
Old 08-12-2020, 02:33 PM
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A revolver is a type of pistol. The word was in common use long before semi-automatics ever existed.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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