Manufactured in 1903, likely on the first day of production, and subsequently converted to .380 Auto with a replacement slide and barrel. These guns were favored by those on both sides of the law during the crime rife era prior to World War II due to their compact size and concealability, and continued to be a popular sidearm for American officers during the war. The left side of the early barrel bushing slide is marked with the two-line two-block patent date and address and circled Rampant Colt behind the serrations. The right side of the slide is marked "AUTOMATIC COLT/CALIBRE 380 HAMMERLESS". It is fitted with a rounded blade front sight and rounded top notch rear sight, nitre blued small parts, checkered hard rubber grips with the Rampant Colt and Colt scalloped banner, and a full blue magazine marked "CAL.380/COLT". The magazine release does not lock the magazine in. The included factory letter lists the pistol in .32 caliber and blue finish, with grips and barrel length not listed when shipped to Fred Lyon on 21 August 1903 as a one gun shipment (no information available on this individual). Provenance: The Gus Cargile Collection
Good as converted, retains 25% of the original blue finish in sheltered areas of the frame and replacement slide and strong traces of original niter blue on the trigger with the balance a smooth grey patina and some moderate patches of pitting on the grip safety and back strap. The grips are fine with a couple hairline cracks in the left panel, some mild wear, and mostly well-defined checkering. Apart from the magazine not latching, mechanically fine.
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