Highest-Quality Repro Of The
Classic Colt 1903 Pocket Model
By J. B. Wood
This high-quality reproduction of the Colt General Officer’s pistol appeared a while back, so we thought an update would be appropriate as they are still available and it’s an interesting story. On the box, it’s called the “Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless.” Colt collectors will know this is not exactly correct. The true 1903 version had a longer barrel, a barrel bushing and other differences. The right year would be 1908. That’s when Colt shortened the barrel, eliminated the bushing and made some other mechanical changes. Colt gave it no year designation.
Essentially, it’s the .32 ACP “Pocket Model” pistol once issued to high-ranking military and marked “U.S. Property.” (See Mike Venturino’s feature on page 54 for a bit more about this.) Its re-creation was made possible by the cooperative effort of MGE Wholesale, Colt and the U.S. Armament Corporation, the last named being the actual maker.
Some readers may recognize the U.S. Armament name, as several years ago they also produced a marvelous reproduction of the Gatling gun. In their rendition of the Colt pistol, the same precision shows. Of course, none of the original production equipment had survived, so they had to simply take a good example and do a lot of reverse-engineering. They did a fine job.
Our blued sample looked very good and mirrored an original for fit
and finish. To any observer, even a careful one, it’s hard to tell
the difference between old and new. It reminds us of the classic
“Is it real or is it Memorex?” recording tape ads from years ago!
Note the “U.S. Property” marking on the frame
and gold, as opposed to silver grip medallions.
Even the magazine has the proper Colt imprint.
With permission from Colt, all of the original markings were preserved, including the “U.S. Property” stamp on the right side of the frame. So, could some dishonest dealer, with a forged certification letter, try to pass it off as a $3,000-plus original? Nope. Not only would the serial number be wrong, but there’s also the Colt medallion in the grip panels. On the originals, it was silver-colored but in this modern version it’s gold-colored. In addition to this, practically all of the military issue pistols had the magazine-disconnect safety. This one does not have it.
Just as with the originals, the MGE pistol is available in either a nice blue or Parkerized finish. The suggested retail price is $1,495 — about half what you’d pay for a pristine, certified original. Initial production was around 1,500 pistols. At the time this is written, they have around 400 left in blued finish and around 200 Parkerized.
For more info: www.mgewholesale.com, Ph: (800) 734-5965
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