Monday, June 29, 2009

Tam, I'm not rich OR famous,

but I found one*

Hell with the news, I found something.

A while back I had a chance to shoot a Colt Model M, more commonly known as the Pocket Hammerless, in .32acp. Very nice little pistol. This led to discussion in places about it, and who wanted one, and that there are two models. Well, I went out of town to visit friends over the weekend. And there was a gun show. And in one of those combinations of "If I hadn't done this... I got one.Colt Model M.

In .380.

The finish is worn silvery, but there's no pitting. The bore is shiny and the action is tight. It was carried a lot and either not fired much, or the owner was careful about cleaning. The grips are aftermarket.

If you're not understanding the emphasis on caliber above, there were a LOT of these pistols made in .32, but a whole lot less in .380; they're harder to find and, consequently, more expensive. Disgustingly so. Which meant that, while I'd seen a couple of them, the prices were on the order of "Yeah, that's going to happen." Except that I lucked out. Hugely. I will not name the price because it would either cause health problems among certain people, or it might cause Tam to say nasty things about me. Or pay me a visit and hurt me. Let's just say that I'm very VERY happy with it.

That combination of circumstances... I just happened to find out about the show, and we almost didn't go. I almost didn't take any copies of my C&R on the trip. I didn't see that aisle-end display until on the way to the door to leave.

It's currently about to be detail-stripped, cleaned and lubed. After which, in the next few days, it will make a trip to the range. Yes, I have .380 ammo and I'm looking forward to it.

Update: I state that John Browning was a genius; among other things, the simplicity of this design is wonderful. But putting the grip safety/two springs/hammer/thumb safety all back together in proper relation either requires a house brownie to help or an Autobot with extendable manipulators, or extensive use of Bad Language of the type that used to cause your mother thoughts of soap. But it's back together now.
Added: Internally, there was a touch of oil on the sides of the hammer and a trace remaining on the trigger; otherwise, the thing was dry. That's not counting some dried stuff under the trigger/sear spring. Seems to be the usual of most old guns, they've either got a lot of old oil/grease/dust in them, or they're dry. That's not counting milsurps coated with cosmoline, of course. But no sign of rust or pitting on anything inside.
And, like several old auto pistols I've seen, the magazine spring and the bottom of the follower was coated with old grease and lint combined into a layer of yecch.

*Og wanted me to start this "Tam, eat your heart out!" I decided against, because for that she might make the trip here and shoot me.


Darlin' said...

My Dad has the .32acp. Has that nice little lemon squeeze on the back. I love that firearm!

Tam said...

Oh, envy!

Goodonya. :)

Firehand said...

I can't wait to get this thing to the range. Next day or two, for certain.

James R. Rummel said...

Good post, and congrats on your find!


DirtCrashr said...

I think the finish is gorgeous and mature, but I like older women. Congratulations!

Ritchie said...

Among other bits of geniosity, note that the reason the ejector is such a complicated piece is that it appears to be a cartridge guide for both feeding and extraction. I think. Mine is not at hand to examine anew.

Firehand said...

Thank you, folks. And yeah, I think the finish is going to stay, aside from a good wiping down the Eezox. It's just so damn pretty as is, and I can look at it and wonder where it's been.

Ritchie, I do believe you're correct.

Graumagus said...

My buddy has one of those in .380 (given to him by his aunt after his uncle passed away).

Smooth as silk. Just one hell of a nice piece to shoot.

I don't care what some people say, I'll pay a bit more for that prancing pony on the grips.
Those horses have never let me down.

Firehand said...

I need to check around on grips. After the pistol I'm pretty sure originals are out of the question(no more guns for a LONG time at this point), but repro grips shouldn't be too bad.

Tam said...

I'm pretty sure Brownell's carries the black plastic repros, and any grip vendor at a decent-sized gun show should have a fair selection of aftermarket stuff, too.