About The 1908 Model N .25 Caliber

Colt 1908 Vest Pocket .25 caliber Automatic Colt Pistol

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Another John Moses Browning creation. By the way, John Browning also invented the .25 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge fired in this gun. This Colt 1908 Hammerless .25 (Vest Pocket) Model N was manufactured in 1916. This example has real factory mother-of-pearl grips!

Note: The genuine Mother of Pearl grips added $5.75 to the $16.50 base price of the gun for a total new purchase price of $22.25 in 1916.

Occasionally a gun that I have purchased intrigues me to the point that I feel compelled to analyze it's history. This is one such gun, mostly in terms of the price I paid for it and then the price I sold it for. I purchased this gun for $500 in the Fall of 2007. In the Fall of 2008 when President Obama was elected, I sold it for $1,000.

Analysis of this Handgun from 1916 to 2008

1908 Colt Historic Values

Important Note: I believe that the condition of the original nickel finish and the factory mother-of-pearl grips greatly influenced and enhanced the value of this gun. This graph clearly illustrates the slow growth in value during production years, then accelerated growth after Colt ceased production.

Whether I can attribute the market price increase entirely to the "Obama Reaction" (buying frenzy) is in question, although I like to think that it was certainly a factor. I'm sure that if I were 125 years old and had personally owned this gun for 92 of those years, I would have witnessed ups and downs that are not indicated on the graph. If we can't say the "Obama Price Bump" accounted for the entire gain, then I have to question my purchase price.

Was it a bargain purchase price when I bought it?

In retrospect, perhaps. The gun was purchased at a gun show from a dealer. I saw the gun on day one, a Saturday and it appealed to me but for some reason I did not buy it. On the following day when I returned to the event I went to see if it was still there. Sure enough it was. The price tag was $500 and the seller was firm on his price, so I paid him. Therefore I have first hand knowledge that the little gun was exposed to the market. There were many buyers there that Saturday and Sunday.

Did I get a better price by selling on the internet rather than locally?

I don't recall thinking that I had gotten a super bargain at the time. I did feel it was a good deal and that the gun should be worth more. I recall thinking that the grips alone might be worth a lot. There may be some market differences to account for here as well. I bought at a local gun show (big city) and sold on an internet auction (one bidder). Anytime I sell a gun like this (which is not often, except when Obama was elected), I go through a local FFL to transfer and ship, even though I could do it under my C & R License.

closeup of the rampant Colt medallion inlaid in the mother-of-pearl grip

As with many guns over the years, I had "sellers' remorse" and regretted not ordering a letter from the Colt Archive. If one takes a stock market approach to gun collecting, buy low and sell high, then one sometimes has to exercise good judgment. In hindsight I feel I did the right thing. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't collect a gun I couldn't fire if I wanted. Engaging the grip safety on this little gun was uncomfortable for me. It had nothing to do with the gun, just the fit of the gun in my hands.

1908 Colt

When President Obama was first elected on November 4, 2008 I listed a good many of my guns on an online auction. The timing could not have been better. Thank goodness I had stocked up on ammunition long before that time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average isn't the only thing that's doubled since he took office.

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The serial number tables for this line are listed here. Some sources state that an additional 11,644 guns were produced from 1945-1948 when production resumed after WWII. If you own one of these guns I encourage you to call the Colt Archive at 1-800-962-COLT and order a letter of authentication.

Model NSpecifications



Serial NumberTable

Year
of
DOM
Begin Serial Number End Serial Number Yearly
Prod.
Totals
1908 1 799 799
1909 800 21499 20,700
1910 21500 39999 18,500
1911 40000 60999 21,000
1912 61000 81699 20,700
1913 81700 101999 20,300
1914 102000 118999 17,000
1915 119000 133499 14,500
1916 133500 151199 17,700
1917 152000 174999 23,000
1918 175000 192499 17,500
1919 192500 231999 39,500
1920 232000 280499 48,500
1921 280500 303999 23,500
1922 304000 321999 18,000
1923 322000 335999 14,000
1924 336000 342999 7,000
1925 342500 352999 10,500
1926 353000 362499 9,500
1927 362500 366999 4,500
1928 367000 374999 8,000
1929 375000 381999 7,000
1930 382000 388499 6,500
1931 388500 391999 3,500
1932 392000 394999 3,000
1933 395000 397999 3,000
1934 398000 400999 3,000
1935 401000 402499 1,500
1936 402500 403999 1,500
1937 404000 405999 2,000
1938 406000 407499 1,500
1939 407500 407999 500
1940 408000 408999 1,000
1941 409000 409061 61
Total 409,061