I need some help with a 1903 colt hammerless

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by tacmotusn, Nov 9, 2010.


  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    I recently acquired a 1903 colt hammerless pocket pistol for free from a friend. It was a sad reflection of its original grandeur. No grips, rust all over its nickel finish, no magazine, and froze up solid.
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    He was using it as a paper weight on a table on his covered but open back porch.
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    I thought it had promise of better things and readily accepted it.
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    Surprisingly all the parts I seemed to need to get it back in service seemed to be available thru Numrich Arms.
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    I first soaked it and freed it up. Then I obtain info on disassembly and took it apart. I cleaned and scrubbed and brushed and polished. I reassembled it and all seemed to function properly.
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    I then purchased a new recoil spring, grips, grip screw and escutcheons, and a new magazine. also a box of .32 acp cartridges for it.
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    Today, I disassembled it and installed all the new parts, cleaned and lubed it and reassembled it.
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    I then decided to test fire it.
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    Inserted a full 8 round magazine, and racked the slide. It jammed. I could not get the safety/slide lock to engage in the slide to the rear position, and had quite a chore of a juggling act trying to remove the loaded magazine prior to completely clearing the weapon. As I finally was able to remove the magazine two things happened simultaneously..... the slide slammed forward (there still was a round in the chamber) and the gun slam fired. (the trigger had not been pulled).
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    Now with no magazine inserted, after racking the slide and cocking the weapon the grip safety, thumb safety, and trigger seems to work properly when the thumb safety is on or off (no hammer release when on, and trigger releases the hammer when thumb safety is off). However the slide lock function, no longer works. (you can not lock the slide at all, it immediately releases on it's own).
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    Any input or suggestion on how to resolve these problems will be highly appreciated.
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    Thanks
     
  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    There may be an additional firing pin problem somehow associated with this entire mess. I single loaded one round directly in the chamber and slowly eased the slide forward and then gave it a little bump from the rear of the slide even though it seemed fully forward where it should be. Engaged the thumb safety an attempted to fire it. No go..... good. Flicked off the thumb safety, pointed it down range and squeezed the trigger. The hammer (it's internal, but there is a hammer) loudly clicked as it should, but the gun did not fire. After waiting a respectable time I cleared the round and it appeared the primer was not even struck.
     
  3. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I have absolutely nothing to input in this thread except for a free bump and....

    I love Numerich! I just bought every available spring for a High Standard Sentinel (Dan Wesson M14 copy) that I am refurbishing. For $40 I am able to replace a good amount of the springs in this revolver. After refinishing, I will be beyond the value of this gun, but it's a hand-me-down from the Father-In-Law and it will be a decent carry gun in the end. :)

    As for the slam fire... have you checked the firing pin spring? It could be rusted up with firing pin protruding or broken so a free floating firing pin caused the slam fire??
     
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Thanks I will pull it apart again. I am kicking myself for getting no before start pictures. This thing really looked sad. I picked it up and scraped at some of the surface rust with my fingernail, and it was obvious it wasn't deep and could be cleaned up. The parts I got all came from Numrich Arms. I was very pleased dealing with them.
     
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Maybe it need a hammer? ;)
    I'll be watching this project as well. I love restoration.
     
  6. asharpshooter

    asharpshooter Monkey+

    Get a new spring set from wolf.
     
  7. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    TAC, I always liked that design - but sadly never owned or even handled one. FOund one at the local gunshow once, but the seller seemed to think it had been JB's personal carry piece and had it priced accordingly......
     
  8. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    At this time I don't think anything else is broke. The disassembly/reassembly videos I initially found reccommended no further disassembly beyond a certain point. This was wrong in the case of a weapon such as this one that had been neglected and abused for so long.
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    The firing pin is frozen in the extended position, thus the slam fire. The slide lock internals (extension function) is degraded (does not always or often extend properly) although it retracts just fine.
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    I am going to break out the drift pins and do a full dissassembly
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    I think all will be fine soon.
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    Thanks for all the advice.
     
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Suggest a good soak in kero before tapping on the pins. Might loosen things up enough to save the effort.
     
  10. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    When you remove the firing pin try running a pipe cleaner with ATM fluid on it down the firing pin setting... it should help remove any corrosiopn/stickyness and lube it.
     
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Good idea, and don't forget to remove the fuzzies if any get left in. Or find a set of oxy-acetylene torch tip cleaners.
     
  12. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Hadn't thought about the torch tip cleaners.... great thought...
     
  13. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  14. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Kroil would work but if used would need to be cleaned out as residue could penetrate your ammo....
     
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Yep. You could also try automotive brake cleaner. (Works GREAT for cleaning, but as a lube, meh, notsa good.) Leaves no residue at all. All of this soaking and flushing, these are going to loosen things up for disassembly. If there is rust or other corrosion inside you gotta take it apart anyway.
     
  16. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    LOL, all is noted and will be accomplished. Thanks to all! .... Chastised rookie staring at floor, looks up, snaps to attention, and replies loudly, "Sir, yes Sir!!!"
     
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Let us know what you find. Don't forget pix this time ---
     
  18. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    TAC, it's great when a classic old 'rusty-crusty' firearm can be brought back from death and made a good serviceable weapon again! Best of luck, sounds like the project is coming together! [applaud]
     
  19. Maxflax

    Maxflax Lightning in a bottle


    Maybe, maybe not... Box O Truth tested WD40 and it didn't penetrate primers

    But since the channel needs some light lube or dry lube, it should be cleaned out anyway. The OP also needs a new firing pin spring for sure..

    I have a 1903 in .32 just like the OPs but it's in better shape.. I bought it FTF for $50 sans barrel and a few small parts

    Numrich Arms fixed me up and for about $200 total I now have a perfectly functioning pistol with 4 new Pro Mags. I use FMJ in it
     
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