Colt Model 380

Working and improving Colt’s Government Model 380.

by Mark R. Hollensen

I recently had a customer deliver me a Colt Government Model 380 for a “stuck hammer.” The customer said he had just purchased it from someone and was interested in getting it ready for concealed carry. He was interested in a full-length recoil rod made of steel, a new trigger, and a trigger clean up job, as he had read an article about these types of modifications being performed on this particular model. The gun was brought in a wooden box. Inside I found a nearly perfect nickel plated beauty that didn’t appear to me to have ever been fired. It was a Series 80 and you could tell that the previous owner took very good care of it.

When I began working on this gun I quickly found that the hammer was indeed stuck to the rear and the gun would not fire when the trigger was pulled. Some disassembly of the gun found that the original composite or plastic trigger had broken and a piece of it was missing from the gun. This allowed the trigger bar to fall below the sear/ejector engagement. With nothing else appearing to be wrong with it, I contacted the customer to go back over his thoughts of turning this gun into a carry gun. I let him know I had found an original Colt plastic trigger assembly for the gun as well as aftermarket aluminum units.

As we were discussing the prices of the repair, I began trying to fully understand why he planned on carrying such a fine specimen.
Read more in the November 2016 issue.

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