Morning Robert- Just finished this up this weekend: Colt 1903 picked up locally as a $75 “parts gun.” Someone long ago had taken it apart then couldn’t get it back together. The Colt sat in a drawer for years, losing all the internal parts. The slide was stuck to the frame; they somehow managed to get the recoil spring plug wedged between the barrel and the recoil spring. Took almost four hours to figure it out. I used a dental pick to pull the end of the recoil spring through the recoil plug hole, then needle-nose pliers to pull as much of the spring out as I could before it broke off. I deployed a wood dowel and a “BFH” to drive the slide off. I was able to get the internal parts from a Gunbroker auction (ended up with a very nice extra 1936 slide, which I’ll sell back on Gunbroker). I should end up into this thing for about $165, and my time, of course. And then . . .
There was quite a bit of pitting and corrosion. I was able to preserve the lettering nicely- The Colt Pony on the left rear of the slide was pretty much gone, so I ground another dental pick to a chisel point and went over the pony using a magnifier. It came back pretty nice. Not as crisp as the original factory strike, but pretty good considering the corrosion. Re-finished the gun using Oxpho-Blue—this does a good job at replicating the old Colt “Bone” bluing.
Interestingly, this gun was made in 1920—the slide is numbered to the frame—but seems to have had a period conversion to .380. The sights are from a 1908. The .380 bore looks like new. The .380 magazine slides right in (tightly) and can’t tell if the mag well has been modified or not.
White box .380 ran flawlessly. The recoil is sharp, but not as bad as say, a Walther PPK. After a couple weeks playing with this fine little pistol, a 1911 seems HUGE!
John D (Suttie)