1903 .380 COLT HAMMERLESS AUTOMATIC PISTOL
Serial Number 82230
owners: Tom O. of Texas & anonymous (also, special thanks to Tony Stewart)
The Hideout has researched this weapon, and at this time the findings are inconclusive, but once
again a possible Barrow "item of interest" has been brought to my attention. This vintage 1903
Colt .380 Hammerless Automatic Pistol was handed down to a Hideout visitor by her late father.
The pistol was purchased from a pawn shop in the 1940s. The original grip had been changed to a pearl handle
grip and the rubber cushions on the original grips were then put on the pearl grips. As the inside was being
cleaned, the initials "CB+BP" and the date "1932" began to appear. They became even more profound as the
cleaning had continued. The original grips had a black knarled handle with a gravure of the Colt horse on it.
The pistol was taken to a gunsmith who replaced two original grips with the the custom pearl handle grips.
Photo above shows how the original grips had looked
Photos below show the original "inscribed" rubber cushions on back of the replacement pearl grips
The fact that the initials were carved in an inconspicious place and not on the exterior
part of the gun leads me to believe that it may indeed be authentic. The hidden initials
of two people, "CB+BP" in the year "1932" is a little more than a coincidence to me.
Clyde Barrow was known for carving his and Bonnie's initials, somewhere on many of his
weapons. Although the initials on this gun don't quite match Barrow's initials found on
other guns of his - it is quite understandable, because anyone carving into "rubber"
will have their markings distorted due to the texture of rubber, because the carving
instrument would drag along the rubber more than it would in other materials. Clyde did
have a Colt .380 automatic in the death car in 1934, and it's quite possible that the one
who ended up with it may have fallen on hard times and pawned it off some years later.
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