Home | e-mail

At the beginning or the 20th century, guns were viewed as tools. Self-defense against aggression was viewed as normal by most people. Even the name of this design, "Vest Pocket" indicates that prudent people treated defensive tools the way we treat shoes and underwear, as parts of any unremarkable outfit.

At that time, the first reliable semi-automatic pistols appeared. Since even the smallest hammerless revolvers favored in the United States were a bit too heavy for comfortable carry, this Browning-designed Colt Vest Pocket became quite popular. The design is remarkable in that it took almost a hundred years to improve on it in any meaningful way. Although the sights are rudimentary and the barrel is short, this weapon is surprisingly accurate at ranges up to ten meters. It sole failing is a safety which arrests the trigger but not the striker. It was eventually remedied in the Colt Junior (Astra Cub), just before the 1968 law prohibited their importation.

While .25acp is a weak cartridge, the existing alternatives (.32S&W for revolvers, .22 for pistols) were not much better, and the European favorite 5.5mm Velo-Dog was worse. Contemporary .32acp guns were significantly larger and heavier. Note the robust construction of this gun: these examples date back from eighty and ninety years ago, respectively.

Importation of pocket pistols was banned in 1968 on the grounds that they were"unfit for sporting purposes". Obviously, defense of your own life is not as important...to the political hacks protected by bodyguards. Your taxes pay for that, too!

left and right sides

1903 colt vest pocket

Note the sights: later copied on S&W .380 Sigma

In a small leather holster

Much useful information on this model can be found at the 1908 Vest Pocket section of the Colt Collectors' site.
Why people own guns

Fight, flight or surrender : Depending on others : Wearing arms : Homedefense : Real guns? : Martial Arts

Technology of firearms

Long guns : Handguns : Becoming a gun owner : My Garand : Art of the Arms : Image library

Politics of self-defense
Gun control : Stay Safe : Effective guns : Necessary Evil : Media Bias : Aesthetics : Get active
A fable : FAQ : T-shirts : Support this site : My forum : Newest posters