Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 7/12/2002 4:46:06 PM EDT
I have the opportunity to purchase a Colt M1903 .32 Auto that is in damn near new condition (fired, but no finish damage at all) with original box and instructions for $500. I was wondering if that is a decent price for an old Colt. I don't know what the year or serial number range is, but the guy selling it said his father purchased it in the early 1920s.

Should I get it for $500 or try to talk him down?
Link Posted: 7/12/2002 4:56:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2002 4:56:50 PM EDT by ar10er]
I would try to talk him down. But it is a good price.

Here is one, compare it:www.gunsamerica.com/fast.cgi?guncat=1335
Link Posted: 7/12/2002 4:58:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/12/2002 4:58:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Redmanfms:
I have the opportunity to purchase a Colt M1903 .32 Auto that is in damn near new condition (fired, but no finish damage at all) with original box and instructions for $500. I was wondering if that is a decent price for an old Colt. I don't know what the year or serial number range is, but the guy selling it said his father purchased it in the early 1920s.

Should I get it for $500 or try to talk him down?



(I know 'nothing' about this pistol but did check a reference source.)

EXC - $550.00
VG - $500.00

4" barrel add 20% (serial numbers to 72,000)
Early model 1897 Patent Date add 40%
Nickel Plated with pearl grips add $100.00

Approximately 572,215 civilian versions and about 200,000 more for the military were manufactured between 1903 and 1945.

(Any errors and omissions are the fault of someone else !)
Link Posted: 7/12/2002 6:08:49 PM EDT
R.M. Farms,

I should have mentioned if this is a military pistol issued to a General Officer the price goes up - dramatically !!

(The serial prefix is "M" and will be marked "U.S. Property" on the frame if military and these pistols were parkerized.)
Link Posted: 7/12/2002 6:16:03 PM EDT
It's just blued, but it is still really neat.

I'm going to ask the guy to go down on the price a little and see if he'll sell it. He actually has two that are consecutively serial numbered, but the other is in maybe 65% condition with very noticeable pitting on the slide and frame, with stains on the barrel.
Link Posted: 7/12/2002 6:29:27 PM EDT

Maybe one last thing to get you date oriented......

In 1924 the grips were changed to checkered walnut with the Colt medallions.
Link Posted: 7/12/2002 6:46:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2002 7:55:19 PM EDT by John_Feamster]
These are very fine pistols -- incredibly well made, accurate and totally reliable, even with JHP's in my experience. However, as the .32s were made in such vast numbers, condition is EVERYTHING to the true Colt collectors. There is a significant monetary difference (maybe 100-300 dollars) between 100% and 98% condition. The Blue Book, etc. are not a real accurate reflection of what these will bring on the current market, and are a bit low for minty guns in my opinion. If you ever plan to fire it, you should be aware of the importance of mint condition and look it over carefully before deciding to shoot or carry it, as you could devalue it severely even with only a little use.

The box,etc. add significantly to its value. If you think you want to carry or shoot a Colt 1903, I'd see how cheap I could get the second one, as it can take all the abuse and let your mint one stay pristine. I'd try for $200-225 or so on the second one. The consecutive serial numbers are an interesting feature of that pair.

For those with a shooting interest in this model, the aftermarket mags for these NEVER EVER work properly in my experience. Correct mags may or may not be "two-tone" depending on when they were made, but will be stamped "Colt .32 Auto" or similar on the baseplate. A few have their baseplates pinned on with two round pins, and most have two very heavy dimples on each side where they were crimped. These make wonderful carry guns, even though they are not tiny, because they are so slim. They are very easy to shoot well, despite the small sights.

About the only part I have seen wear on them is the safety. As they come from the factory, they click on and off like a 1911 safety. As they wear, the click fades and eventually it becomes more of a friction fit. The safety is low profile, however, and if reasonably tight, is very unlikely to work its way off; moreover, the grip safety is another good backup feature on these guns. I've taken my .380 Colt 1908 to an IDPA match for fun and had a blast with it-- didn't do bad at all, either, to the point that after the match people were crowded around asking about it and wanting to know where they could get one!! The .380's are especially sweet but much less numerous, and tend to be priced higher than "user" condition .32's as they are still much in demand as shooters.
Hope helpful,
John
Link Posted: 7/12/2002 10:44:14 PM EDT
Thanks John. Both of the pistols are pre-1924 if sub's information is correct because they both have checkered rubber grips with Colt in large lettering in circles at the very top of each grip panel.

I'm only really in the market to buy one of the weapons, but I thought it would make a great conversational piece and an occasional range gun. I've never really considered it as a carry gun at all because of the weight and the chambering.

I'm going to find out tomorrow if I can get the VG condition pistol for $400, but I don't know if he'll go that low because that is what he is asking for the pistol in only so-so condition.
Link Posted: 7/16/2002 2:06:01 PM EDT
Just for an update:

Today I dropped $700 and bought both pistols. He wanted $500 for the nice one and $400 for the not so nice one, so I offered him $700 for both and he took it. The not so nice one will be my knock-around pistol. I don't intend on refinishing it though, because on closer inspection it is pretty good shape. Steel wool and some oil will take out most of the rust spots (which are minor).

It'll make a pretty decent back-up to my 686 on the trail.
Top Top