Pawn Shop Circuit: A Vintage Carry Gun
Specifically, it was a 1903 Hammerless in .32 ACP. It appeared to me to be a Type 4, with the original magazine. The nickel finish was well worn, and I wasn't sure if it was original. The wood grips did not appear to be original either. The pistol had just come out of hock, and did not yet have a price tag. I asked Kenny how much he wanted for it.
"How about three hundred?"
"You're dreaming!" I handed it back to Kenny, and he placed it back in the case.
The Colt 1903 Hammerless is a 32 caliber pistol that makes a very nice carry gun if you feel comfortable with the bullet size, and if you can use the sights. I recall reading somewhere about a Colt 1903 that had Novak sights installed and the front strap checkered. As a durable alternative to the KelTec P32, a Colt 1903 in good shape is a viable carry option. They carry like a dream.
Several years ago I purchased a Colt 1903 at a gun show for $240. It had very little blue left, and I probably paid too much, but I wanted the pistol for my wife. It has been a reliable shooter, although accuracy is not all I would like it to be.
If you purchase one of these pistols, be sure to get one with the original Colt magazine. Aftermarket mags are generally a recipe for poor feeding, and the originals are hard to come by and pricey if you do find one. Buy the pistol in the best condition that you can afford, and if possible shoot it first. Do not purchase a non-functional example, unless it is for parts. Parts are generally unavailable. Reproduction grips are available from Vintage Gun Grips Inc and NC Ordnance.
A plethora of information concerning these fine little carry guns can be found at Sam Lisker's website, Colt Autos.com. Before making a purchase, learn as much as you can there, compare the pistol you are considering to the many photos and run the serial number through the data base to determine the year it was manufactured.
Perhaps I will check back in a few days to see if Kenny adjusted his price.