Sure, you can carry it in your pocket, but there are plenty Colt 1903 holster options.
Who Makes Holsters For The Colt 1903:
- U.S. Armament
- Barranti Leather
- Winthrop Holster
- 1791 Gunleather
My brother, Roley, and I agree the Colt 1903 Hammerless Pocket Pistol is indeed comfortable to carry as its name implies — in a pocket — but it also rides easily in concealed-carry holsters, which are readily available in modern and traditional models for this century-old firearm design.
Testing John M. Browning’s “pocket” intent for his design, I’ve toted my 1916-vintage 1903 consistently in coat pockets, vest pockets and even front pant pockets. Its smooth, rounded-edge design created no hang-ups or obstacle to drawing. The thin design rides snuggly without bulk and prevents undue giveaway printing. All that said, carrying in a holster is superior for a plethora of reasons.
A handful of holster makers offer holsters for models compatible with the 1903 (and outwardly identical 1908, the .380 ACP version), including a U.S.-stamped military flap holster, plus custom makers whose work can provide functional and complementing style to the classic handgun.
U.S. Armament (USarmcorp.com) offers a custom-made military-style flap holster, stamped with “U.S.”, as a fitting companion to their Colt 1903 reintroduction.
Mike “Doc” Barranti (BarrantiLeather.com) can fit four of his custom-made popular models — the Ranger, Border Ranger, Barranti-Myres Lonewolf Ranger and Barranti-Myres Barton’s Special — for the 1903. I went with the Ranger, and if I thought the 1903 carried unobtrusively in a coat pocket, this holster took unobtrusive to another level. This stylishly and simple all-leather holster holds the 1903 snugly, positioned high enough for easy concealment with a forward cant, ready for straight-forward draw.
Another holster-maker I found, Winthrop Holster (WinthropHolsters.com) offers both IWB and OWB, in right- and left-hand models, in your choice of black or brown leather.
Learn More About Legendary Firearms:
- Colt 1903: Is The U.S. Armament Re-Release Fit For Concealed Carry?
- Classic Guns: The Legendary 1911
- M1 Garand: America’s Original Battle Rifle
- Browning Auto-Five Shotgun Started It All
- The Still Sought After Beretta Model 1934 Pistol
- Classic Guns: Remington Model 8 Rifle
Also, 1791 Gunleather (1791gunleather.com) makes its IWB Smooth Concealment Holster out of soft, breathable cowhide lined with suede for the 1903.
The fact that holster makers continue to offer holsters for the Colt 1903 is testament to the longevity and genius — and reliability — of its century-plus-old design.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the Concealed Carry 2019 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
Now you can once again enjoy the towering giants of gun writing, their endlessly entertaining yarns about guns and hunting. In Gun Digest Classics: Stories from the World’s Greatest Gun Writers, you’ll find these tales, pulled from the dog-eared copies of the vintage Gun Digest Annual books of the 1940s and 1950s! Find Out More!