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Posted: 1/8/2006 9:05:41 AM EDT
I realize that it has been many years since this was a state of the art weapon for concealed carry, but I have owned a lot of guns and few have the appeal or proportions of this old design. For those who aren't familiar with it, this is the Colt Pocket Hammerless pistol in .380 ACP, an unusually flat gun with comfortable, rounded corners.

I would love to have a modern equilivant of this pistol to carry, but I expect Colt is not going to reintroduce it again any time soon. Like never.

Assuming you had one in top-notch mechanical condition and with a suitable durable finish, what would be the drawbacks of this weapon for CCW? Would there be legal ramifications of using an antique firearm when defended yourself (presented as being inherently "unsafe" simply because it was old) or does it matter?

Food for thought for old Colt fans.

Link Posted: 1/8/2006 11:05:48 AM EDT
The Colt 1908 is the .25ACP "Vest Pocket" (also a Browning).

The .380 you're probably referring to is the 1903 and came in .32 or .380.

I've owned a couple of the 1903s in both .380 and .32 (which I sold dangit), and I still have a 1908 .25ACP. I've carried them all, and they work fine. I would think they appear fairly "neutral" to a jury, since there's nothing really "assault pistol" about them, nor do they appear in the latest action flick, or on the TV news. If anyone actually did recognize it, it would be from Bogart films and such, so I don't think there's really any liability that automatically comes with the gun. Other than just being a gun that is.

The guns themselves are nice and well designed for the purpose. Both have grip safeties in addtion to manual safeties. There are no firing pin safeties. They're nice and flat, but more importantly, they are comfortable to hold. They're just nice guns.

The manual safety on either gun is "mushy". More like an old BHP rather than the "click" safety on a M1911. There's a way to fix that I'm sure. Though they seem quite small, and possibly may be harder to hit, I never had a problem flipping the safety off either model.

Other than the 1903 being kinda big for .380/.32, they seem to kick more than I expected. My .32 1903 (it was a U.S. Property marked one that I definately should have kept) kicked more than my Beretta .380 does. I don't know if it was just old springs, or whatever, but they just seemed to kick a little more to me. Nothing bad, just suprising. The heel mag release slows you down a bit.

Overall I think there's better guns out there. The 1908 .25ACP isn't exactly a big caliber for defense duties, and the 1903 is almost as big as some 9mm's. Still, they're well built and nice guns. If you feel like carrying a .380, there's nothing wrong with the 1903.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 2:51:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 2:51:33 PM EDT by mr_camera_man]

Originally Posted By Tirador223:

I would love to have a modern equilivant of this pistol to carry, but I expect Colt is not going to reintroduce it again any time soon. Like never.




Have you considered a Pony or Mustang? I'd have a hard time subjecting such a nice piece to daily CCW, unless you found a beater and had it hard chromed.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 3:11:30 PM EDT
Yes, I had a Pocketlite version of one of those - I forget which. Should have kept it, but it still didn't have the qualities I admire in the old Colt.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:42:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tirador223:
I realize that it has been many years since this was a state of the art weapon for concealed carry, but I have owned a lot of guns and few have the appeal or proportions of this old design. For those who aren't familiar with it, this is the Colt Pocket Hammerless pistol in .380 ACP, an unusually flat gun with comfortable, rounded corners.

I would love to have a modern equilivant of this pistol to carry, but I expect Colt is not going to reintroduce it again any time soon. Like never.

Assuming you had one in top-notch mechanical condition and with a suitable durable finish, what would be the drawbacks of this weapon for CCW? Would there be legal ramifications of using an antique firearm when defended yourself (presented as being inherently "unsafe" simply because it was old) or does it matter?

Food for thought for old Colt fans.





IIRC, these guns had some fame for the ability to be "self-actuating", ie if left cocked the the spring pressure could overcome the mechanism and "bang!" Seems like I read about one going off by itself in a coat pocket, coat on hanger in closet. The only reason it stays with me is that my aunt had one many moons ago. I'd stick with the modern stuff, metallurgy and manufacturing have come a long, long ways in the last century. YMMV
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:48:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 6:51:43 PM EDT by NateM4]
Mine is to old and not in the shape to carry which makes me want one in good enough shape to carry from time to time. As for reliability, my old Colts are just as if not more reliable than any modern gun that I have owned. As for reaction from a jury I don't see that as a factor. You will either get people that understand or people that don't. For me, the caliber might be an issue. I am not a big fan of small caliber guns for self defense. I think that this gun is best as a hideout or back up gun.

If I remember correctly Colt can restore the gun if that is your cup of tea.
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