Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
PSA
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 4/28/2011 10:33:46 AM EDT
I just saw this on Gunbroker, and I can't make up my mind about it.
Gunbroker Link


I love the 1903, and I happen to have a trashed one with no finish, a barrel that looks like rusty sewer pipe, and no grips.  It's not worth anything to speak of right now.  Looking around it will cost me nearly $200 just to get a used barrel and reproduction grips for the thing, which would make the gun worth about $250.  So, should I:
1.  part out (most economically feasible)
2.  put it back together and shoot it (common sense)
3.  put it back together, get sights that you can actually see, refinish, and shoot it.  (economically insane)
4.  insert your idea here



Link Posted: 4/28/2011 11:48:36 AM EDT
It's a handgun, and handguns are made to shot. They made these things by the thousands and, personally, I can't think of a good reason you shouldn't rebuild it ( however you want to!) and enjoy it. I'd bet Mr. Browning never intended for any of his creations to be treated like an invaluable museum piece. That gun on GB is damn nice and I'd be proud to own it or one like it.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 1:10:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 1:13:23 PM EDT by DakotaFAL]
I got some stuff from Cylinder and Slide about their limited production 1908 esque .45 pocket pistols, and I had similar thoughts about the desireability of it (classic styling and shootable rather than collectible, but then again they only make 50 per year....

In this case, the damage to a collectible gun has already been done and if the reserve was not insane, I'd bid on it. I'm not wild about the novak sights, but otherwise it's a well done restoration.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 1:34:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 1:37:54 PM EDT by Dieselman]
I love the Novak sights!!   That is awesome!   I think that its a sexy looking gun.   I have always thought in the back of my mind how awesome it would be to take a 1903 or 1908 and modernize it for concealed carry with some good Novak Night Sights.  But this is the first example I have ever seen.  These people who whine and piss and moan about how horrible it is to modify old guns are idiots.  Guns are meant to be shot, not sit in a gunsafe or a museum.
If those people who disagree with modifications made to old pistols want a pristine original untouched pistol then hey that's totally fine. I have no problem with that, but don't tell someone else that they shouldn't modify theirs.      $0.02

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 1:41:16 PM EDT
I'd like to have one in pristine or "restored pristine" shape but with nickel plating.

That gun just needs to shine!
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 2:28:07 PM EDT
That is what the 1903 should have been.  The factory sights on a 1903 are virtually unusable.  The front sight is a barely-there fingernail sliver, and the rear sight has a tiny little v-notch.  Old guns are often marvels of engineering and craftsmanship, but

I'll be getting something similar done to mine when money permits.  Mine is an early model (made in 1906) so it has a separate barrel bushing instead of the lobed barrel on the later models.  It's got some ugly scratches, so it'll need to be refinished properly too.  Still, it's a sweet little pistol, and I couldn't pass it up at the price.  Hopefully I can find a 1908 to go with it.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 3:30:55 PM EDT
I like it.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 5:53:34 PM EDT
Looks great!
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:14:42 PM EDT
I have a 1903 and love it. IIRC, I saw a custom 1903 from Novak that had been customized. The mag release was moved to the side of the frame where it should have been to start with, and he'd installed a set of mini novak sights on it, among other things. It was a really sweet piece. I've considered sending mine off to be freshened up a little.






Originally Posted By Sawgunner101:


That is what the 1903 should have been.  The factory sights on a 1903 are virtually unusable.  The front sight is a barely-there fingernail sliver, and the rear sight has a tiny little v-notch.  Old guns are often marvels of engineering and craftsmanship, but



I'll be getting something similar done to mine when money permits.  Mine is an early model (made in 1906) so it has a separate barrel bushing instead of the lobed barrel on the later models.  It's got some ugly scratches, so it'll need to be refinished properly too.  Still, it's a sweet little pistol, and I couldn't pass it up at the price.  Hopefully I can find a 1908 to go with it.


The sights aren't great, but neither were the sights on most other guns from that period. I've hit coke cans with mine at 20+ yards, but you really have to work at it.



 
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:15:55 PM EDT
Hot damn those are some classy grips, and a fine blue job too.  I like it, I wouldn't mind doing a similar project one of these days if I can find a well worn 1903 to play with.  For old guns like this my philosophy is that as long as your workmanship can do the gun justice, resto-mods like this are great.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:31:34 PM EDT
I'm with it up until the sights.  I would have been happier with a standard style blade and rear but  3x as high as the originals with a generous rear notch (square).  That way it wouldn't look so anachronistic.

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:59:36 PM EDT
I freakin love that pistol....I sport it HARD.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 7:17:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:
I'm with it up until the sights.  I would have been happier with a standard style blade and rear but  3x as high as the originals with a generous rear notch (square).  That way it wouldn't look so anachronistic.

That's my feeling as well. For example I have a hi power with very nice 3 dot sights but they still retain a classic shape that compliments the pistol. The same approach on this 1903 would have offered modern utility without sacrificing classic styling.

Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:04:07 AM EDT




Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:

I'm with it up until the sights. I would have been happier with a standard style blade and rear but 3x as high as the originals with a generous rear notch (square). That way it wouldn't look so anachronistic.







This.  If your gun is a step above trashed I'd say do it, except for the silly sights.  If yours was a 1908 I'd say go with the sights but not the 1903.  My 1903 is ugly on the outside but fully functional and pristine on the inside.  I don't think mine's quite there yet.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 7:49:19 AM EDT
I vote "sexy".   Novak sights are very visible and contribute a lot to a snag-free profile, which is of great utility in what is basically a pocket auto.

Nobody thinks twice about chopping up a 1911, why should a 1903 be any different?
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:59:54 AM EDT
Sexy... but also a sin !!!!!
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 10:01:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Alex_B69:
Sexy... but also a sin !!!!!


Sinfully Sexy would be the right term.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 11:19:09 AM EDT
this thread has giving my great ideas on mine.  It has been sitting in the safe since I got it 4 years ago.  This would definately get it out and on the road with me.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 11:31:47 AM EDT
I like it.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 11:40:22 AM EDT
I find it interesting to compare the responses in this thread vs this one where the guy was nearly universally demonized for modifying his Garand.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 12:15:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2011 12:17:17 PM EDT by ZekeMenuar]







Originally Posted By Lokjell:




I find it interesting to compare the responses in this thread vs this one where the guy was nearly universally demonized for modifying his Garand.




When one speaks of a Garand God, country and patriotism become involved.  Lot's of people put the Garand on a very high pedestal, deservedly so.  



Customizing a Garand is similar to high treason for some folks.
No one is calling the Colt 1903 "the greatest battle implement ever devised".  That's why it's OK to bring a 1903 up to modern standards.
 
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 12:50:24 PM EDT
That barrel does look bad!
I would go for it.  The one pictured looks great, even though it has the modifications.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:33:29 PM EDT
Local guy at the last gunshow I went to had a couple polished, engraved and reblued. Top notch work.
.
Grandfathers pistol and my fathers revolver.
.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:51:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2011 6:52:55 PM EDT by Billy_Dee]
I love these guns, and the '08s. I think as long as yours is up and running (OP), it's awesome, no matter what you decide to do with it.

The new school one with the Novaks is cool (those grips are awesome), def more practical than stock config. But I would personally rather have one set up traditionally. Just as kind of a throwback collector your not afraid to shoot. It would make you feel like you were in a Cagney flick carrying it in a shoulder holster. Prob have to get a fedora if you carried it for long

So whatever you choose to do I vote yes, as long as it includes you shooting your '03. We got to keep as many of these alive as we can. BD
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 4:56:46 AM EDT
1903/1908's are great little CCW guns. If Colt was to bring them back, especially in 9mm with a few tweaks like better sights I think they would be a huge hit.

I don't think much of the 32 ACP round but if you can have your's rebuilt/upgraded to a 380 acp for a reasonable cost and you have the money to do so, I'd say go for it. They make for a great pocket or IWB pistol. I wouldn't worry about keeping it original or collector value. They are not that rare and the one you have is pretty beat.

If you can't have it upgraded then I would sell it like is.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 5:22:40 AM EDT
I f he would've polished and maybe contoured the sides of the rear sight it would be perfect.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 5:23:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2011 5:25:22 AM EDT by bgenlvtex]
Double
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 5:13:12 PM EDT
i like it, but i would go with something simple like trijicon dovetail sights or Harrison Retro sights instead of the novak.
these are the sights i would go with
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 6:47:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2011 6:51:39 AM EDT by douglasmorris99]
colt could reissue that gun in that updated design in the 1908 .380 caliber and it would sell for$850 to $1000 and probably revitalize the company back into the TOP of the Pistol industry.
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 8:05:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By douglasmorris99:
colt could reissue that gun in that updated design in the 1908 .380 caliber and it would sell for$850 to $1000 and probably revitalize the company back into the TOP of the Pistol industry.


I would so ditch my P3AT for that.
Link Posted: 5/3/2011 8:09:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By douglasmorris99:
colt could reissue that gun in that updated design in the 1908 .380 caliber and it would sell for$850 to $1000 and probably revitalize the company back into the TOP of the Pistol industry.


Yes please.
Top Top