The Armoury > Revolvers



Doug Bowser:

By Doug Bowser

I recently had a Coltís 1903 US Army revolver. It was the last in a series of revolvers that started in 1894. The early Colt revolvers were not a smooth as the Police Positive or Official Police versions. This handgun was chambered for the .38 Long Colt cartridges. I found the single action trigger pull very hard and gritty. It was inspected by Rinaldo Carr and Colonel Hoffer of the US Ordnance Corps. The .38 Long Colt round was woefully underpowered. During the Philippine Insurrection, the Moro Indians were known to absorb 6 rounds of .38 ammo and still kill their intended victim with their bolo knives. The US Army went back into inventory and rebuilt their 1873 Colt Cavalry revolvers. The 7.5Ē barrels were shortened to 5.5Ē and they were reissued.  This solved the problem of our officers being killed by the Moros and their Bolo knives.

The revolver I had was in very good condition. It was in time, mint bore and chambers and 85% of the original blue was intact. The Walnut grips were original with RAC (Carrís) initials. The top of front sight was bent slightly to the left. This was often done by shooters in the old days, to correct windage on the fixed sights. I also have a Coltís Police Positive (.38 NP) with the front sight slightly bent.

I really enjoy handling older firearms. The quality of workmanship is amazing.
Along with the revolver, I received several .38 Long Colt cartridges. Some of them were REM-UMC made for the US Government in 1918. The old revolvers were put back in service for US Mainland guard duty. The other cartridges were REM-UMC with a commercial headstamp. I did not try to fire this ammo because it was very old and could have had Mercuric Priming.

When bought my first .38 Special revolver, my gunsmith friend Charles Demport, gave me a case of USGI .38 LC ammo. It was corrosive but I cleaned my S&W Military & Police .38 Special Target Revolver and I was able to practice handgun shooting at the Elbridge Rod and Gun Club in New York.   
The pics below are in order with my titles

Coltís Model 1903 US Army Revolver
.38 Special on the left .38 Long Colt on the right
Remington 1918 .38 LC Cartridge
.38 LC Remington commercial headstamp

Thanks for sharing


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