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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Retro Sunday The Colt Model 1902 Military

Here is the latest hardware from the bench! I hope my friends can give some advise!

What to do? Clean and leave alone? Owner says he shot it 20 years ago and worked fine. What are the differences in .38 auto vs. any other .38 cartridge?  Really can't see ".38 Automatic" cartridges laying around anymore. The grips are reproductions, but the originals are with it. One is cracked.

Any advise on the care and history of this pistol would be greatly appreciated!

And thanks to Tam, part number 41 is no longer the lanyard loop, its the bottle opener


  1. The first reaction of anyone who knows anything at all about old Colts is going to be: "Wow!"

    I'm jealous of this direct 1911 ancestor.

    1. I wouldn't even clean it for awhile. I'd check it carefully for fresh rusting and spot treat any of that with fine oil and a cotton cloth only. Collectors love this model, and most of them want to do any necessary cleaning and/or repair themselves.

    2. The .38 Rimless is identical in size to the later .38ACP and .38 Super, but it is loaded to lower pressures, so theoretically you can lay in some .38 Super brass and create light loads for your Colt. Personally, I wouldn't shoot it at all, or at least not until I had had some long talks with a good gunsmith and with a few serious Colt collectors.

    Congratulations on a very nice acquisition.

  2. @Jim,

    Thanks for the advise! This is not my pistol, I have come into a situation where someone is giving me their "stuff" for cleaning and operational checks. It's sorta like going to a library!

    Neither I or the owner are looking to sell it. We just want to know the best methods to preserve and "GASP" shoot it! I have a press and can load something if I know what to do and where to go to get data.

    Welcome to my blog, hope to see you again!

  3. I'm with Jim.
    I'd do nothing except put it in a baggie with a bunch of that desiccating stuff in little pouches and get a written appraisal.

  4. @Ed- Thanks! I am told it lives in a safe with a dehumidifier. Missed the Colt Collectors convention this year, maybe next year!

  5. Yup, just keep it wiped down with oil is all.

    It's pretty as a picture.

    Precision Cartridge is my source for .38 Colt Auto ammunition; they use Graf & Sons brass with a .38 Auto headstamp, which is important, since you don't want to get it mixed up with .38 Super.

    I don't know that I'd shoot it much, but I'd sure have an itch to put a mag or two through it, like I did with my 1902!

  6. @Tam- Thanks for the info and I did find your post about this pistol on your Blog. Great information as always!

    Thanks again!