The Model 1903 got a new lease on life in 2015 when U.S. Armament came out with their Colt-licensed 1903 Hammerless General Officer’s Pocket Pistol. The project was the brainchild of company owner Curtis Wolf.
Wolf purchased about 125 surplus 1903s, which were dismantled and measured by hand and a coordinate-measuring machine. So true to the originals, most of the new parts will transition directly into originals.
The only changes were to incorporate improved manufacturing techniques and improve safety beyond the originals’ turn-of-the-century standards, said Brent Turchi, a former Colt employee who Wolf brought in to oversee the 1903 project. One safety improvement was to the sear and hammer hook, which on the originals appeared hand-polished or stoned to a small, essentially rounded surface so they had light trigger pulls, Turchi said.
And that gave them the idea of drop-testing the originals. “Every one of them fired,” Turchi said. “If we dropped the gun, it was going off.” (As a concern for carrying an original today, I’m already looking into U.S. Armament replacement parts.) So, U.S. Armament increased the hammer hook depth and sear surface to create a sharper angle, and the new models passed drop-fire tests.
The blowback-operated 1903 is faithful to the original gun in its construction and operation. Although called the Pocket Hammerless, there is an internal hammer inside the frame’s rear.