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I misread Ray M’s pocket dump I thought he’d listed his occupation as Overnight Stalker. He’s actually an Overnight Stocker. What he stocks is unknown. But gun dealers who stocked the SIG SAUER P320 were in for a bit of a shock when the gun’s drop safe issues were revealed. And then . . .

rectified. To the point where I carry one from time-to-time. And enjoy shooting it at the range every time. But you know what I’d really like to carry?

My Colt 1903. John Moses Brownings .32 caliber pistol is the slimmest, softest shooting pistol I’ve ever had the joy of firing. It’s Steve McQueen cool. But it’s not drop safe.

Nope. Not at all., 2009 . . .

Longtime S.W.A.T. Magazine Contributing Staff Member Steve Malloy was killed in a tragic shooting accident at his home on April 16.

As best as can be determined, Steve had a 1903 Colt pistol in his waistband and when he bent over to tie his shoes, the pistol fell onto the floor and discharged—the bullet struck Steve in the chest. He was found in the garage, apparently trying to leave the home to summon aid.

Should I carry the 1903 anyway? Israeli carry? And do you ever worry about dropping your EDC? Have you ever done it?

edc everyday carry concealed carry

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  1. My first pistol was my grandfather’s 1903 (1921 version). I carried it for about 2 yrs. before I got my SIG P228. I carried it in a holster, like I do all my handguns.
    It’s a beautiful pistol and I still shoot it a couple of times a year. I don’t carry it anymore because my SIG and my 1911 pack a little more wallop.

  2. My 1903 Colt was all that and a bag of chips.

    Why can’t modern gun makers come up with a gun that’s as sleek, compact and just as sexy?

    • They should totally bring back those old designs with a fresh face, like the Peterson action model 51!

      /troll (sorry, couldn’t resist)

      • I see the humor. And the tragedy. If anybody other than remington…….

      • My R51’s not actually that bad. It shoots really nice, and doesn’t malfunction unless I try to put a full magazine in with the slide closed (which I agree it shouldn’t do, but it’s manageable). Just makes it a 7-shot instead of a 7+1.

        And it shoots really well. REALLY well. I prefer it to the XD, XDS, and Shield. I’m not quite convinced enough to carry it yet, but I really want to.

        • Typical Remington magazine problem.
          It will gradually work out, OR you can cut somewhere between 1/8 or 3/16 inch off the bottom of your magazine follower legs.

          I have 5 magazines for my two R51s and two had to be modified as such.
          The others ran about 50 % needing other mag tuning, but all now run 100 percent!

          One of them has even been drop tested, twice!
          Once from 5 ft on concrete!
          Love the grip safety!

          Accurate, soft shooting!

    • Hey, now – I happen to like the R51! Now that they fixed it, that is…
      If that damn car of mine hadn’t crapped out on me in January I’d be packing one right now.

  3. I had a nickel plated Colt 1908 (.380ACP) which I carried for several years before I sold it. I’m still heaping ashes on my head for that bit of stupidity. I got it at a bargain price from a dealer who was clearing out his inventory. Couldn’t replace it now for 10x what I paid for it.

  4. I would love to own a 1903 someday. I currently have an FN 1922, which is a cheaper knockoff of the 1903 (but striker vs hammer fired). I don’t carry it for two reasons: 1: no good cc holsters for it and 2: not sure how drop safe it is.

    I carry either a snub nose revolver or a single stack 9mm nearly every day. Never dropped a firearm and have not had any NDs. I have been shooting 39 years.

    I don’t see the point in Israeli carry for the private citizen (teachers in a classroom are the exception), carrying a non drop safe firearm with one in the pipe is too risky for me, and while I don’t worry about dropping any of my guys, I understand that it could happen.

  5. I remember reading somewhere about another guy that died the exact same way, I think it was the same gun as well.

    If I remember right he was found dead in his fridge after it fell out of the waistband of his pants when he bent over to grab something off the bottom shelf.

  6. I love me some 1903 Colt. I have no aversion to carrying a later model (circa 1921 and later) with a hammer half cock, with one in the chamber. It is as drop safe as a 1911. That is, it might fire if dropped on the muzzle. That doesn’t scare me nearly as much as the earlier versions that may fire if dropped on the butt. Either way, I tend to exercise more care when carrying/handling the 1903s, because, well, they’re special.

    • And for RF specifically, you can check your 1903 by field stripping and manually cocking the hammer. If it doesn’t have the half cock notch, you can have a smith fit a newer hammer.

  7. “Israeli carry” as it’s called now is simply a very old method of carry from an era when weapons weren’t as dependable as they have been since the world wars.

  8. I once dropped a S&W J-frame on the hard tile floor of a department store changing room. The revolver landed hammer first with the barrel pointed directly at my head. I couldn’t see the round down the barrel, but I was head on enough to clearly see the other exposed .357 hollow-points looking me in the eye. Thank god Smith has been making those things drop proof for over a hundred years.

  9. There is no such thing as “drop proof”. The only true safe gun is one that has nothing but air in the chamber. Period. As far as a half cock notch on the 1903 Model M. Nonsense! The 1903 has always been “hammerless”. It has a hammer internally and has no provision for manual manipulation. Drop any chamber loaded firearm at you or others peril.

    • The half notch is there to catch the hammer if it’s dropped. Colt was aware of the problem almost 100 years ago.

    • Agree, just not a call I want to ever have to make, or others because of me.
      Even the NRA teaches you in the materials used for concealed carry classes. The only correct answer to one of the questions is that a safety is a mechanical device, and mechanical devices can fail.

      The only safe gun is an unloaded one.

  10. Those Colts are sweet to carry but i would not given a choice. Same with old Savage 32s and 380s. They were notorious for firing when jarred with or without the safety on (once they became worn).

    I suppose someone could build an all-steel modern striker fired pistol that would be safe to carry. One in nice blued steel and round edges.

    I’d buy one if they were under 800 dollars. Not a Remington 51 though.

      • No offense….not even in the same universe of sleekness and sexiness as the old Colts.

        Nice pistols though.

        • I agree, I carry a Kahr CW9 but comparing it to my 1903 is like comparing a Honda Accord to a Duesenberg.

    • I have two R51s and just love them!
      Yeah, had to sort out Remington’s magazine problems, but they both now run every thing from ARX 65 grain plus P, through 85 gr DRT, 90 gr Corbon, all the 115 gr including steel case, right on up to the 148 gr, 100 percent!
      Nice excelent acuracy, soft recoil shooter!

  11. How about a tt33, just about like a 1903, and they are basically drop safe if on half cock. …. In 1977 cops raided a house and one cop had a ND that killed s woman, he said the door hit his gun, to prove a point I took a Colt Trooper MK 3 and slammed it on the floor, nothing, did it again until I broke the hammer sear, that cop was lying, because I was slamming it hard right on the hammer. Support Your Local Law Enforcement

  12. My 1903 (mfg. 2016) was my grandfather’s and is one of my most prized possessions. If colt were to make a new one, in 9mm, but otherwise dimensionally the same as the original – I’d carry nothing else.

    • So buy a sig p938. The genius of the 1903 is that it’s the right size for the caliber. Its fast on the draw, it’s easy to shoot quickly, it’s a simple and reliable design. Anything more, and it loses the balance it was designed with.

      • Cody, had a P938 once!
        Key word here, “had”!
        I practically gave the pos away!
        Accurate, yes, but unless I shot it virtually every day, I would be lucky to hit a barn with it.
        Buckle down, shoot a couple of mags and then it came back on target again.
        I know it was me, but if one cant hit a 50 gallon drum at 10 yards with the very first shot out, it’s not a satisfactory self defence gun.

        Plus, the safety just would not stay in the “off” position during carry.
        I even removed the off side lever.
        No better, still off close to 50% of the time!

        Good thing that it had a 20 pound trigger pull!

  13. Mr. Malloy did not have the safety on and I think when the gun hit the grip safety was pushed in which allowed the gun to fire or the grip safety was defective and should have been fixed. these old guns are really nice but should be checked before being put to use because the springs get worn. easy to replace, and the guns are usually ok after that.

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