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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looking at purchasing a 1974 LW Commander and 'don't know, what I don't know' when dealing with these classic Colts.

I wasn't able to take any pictures but the finish looks very good, with the only blueing wear that I could see externally being on the bottom sides of the grip safety.

Seller is asking $1100. Is this in the ball park for a mid 70s commander?

Grips are slick wood medallion, no checkering on grips, from what I've been able to find, I believe OEM.

Other than asking about the original box and magazines, what should I be looking for when I inspect prior to purchase with these older lightweight commanders?
 

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Again,it all comes down to condition. The price is in the ballpark.
What is the caliber it's chambered for?

I have a 1970 model that I paid $1,500 but it was in NIB condition.
Finish was 99%+. The grips on mine were "Coltwood" -- that's a
plastic material Colt used for a certain period of years, I don't know
how long. Mine was not fired very much, if at all, so I was not
worried about mechanical issues. It was also chambered in .38
Super, a bit more rare than standard.

If yours shows signs of much use I would see if you are able
to do a quick field strip and have a close look at the frame.
It's alloy and with heavy use may develop cracks in some areas.

I'm sure someone with more advice will come along with more
exact info.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Caddy! Its a 45, just updated my post. I was originally looking for a combat commander, was concerned about metal fatigue in older guns especially if previous owner had shot it heavily or run P+ through it.

How much does the price usually drop without the box or stock accessories (I assume an extra mag?)

Does your 1970 run ammo other than hardball reliably?
 

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Check the frame rails for cracks and the feed ramp for gouging on the aluminum frames. Otherwise, do the same function and condition checks you would do on any used 1911. Early LW Commanders also had lightened slides (like the pre-70 National Match Gold Cups). I'm not sure if that extended into the 70s, but some people will caution against shooting high volumes of heavy loads through them.
 

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A 1974 Commander does not have a lightened slide. Skeeter Skelton did a 10,000 round test on a Commander and all that happened was a crack above the slide stop hole. Colt now just removes that area of the frame. Buy it if you want it with no special caution or concern.
 

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I think those slides were used up rather randomly.I have a combat commander that dates to '73-'75 with one
So did I. I was surprised that a Combat Commander would even have the lightened slide

To the rear of where the barrel bushing sits at the front of the slide, metal is removed on the inside back to the lug area.
There is also two lightening cuts in the breech end. My LW Super is out so maybe I'll post a picture in a bit, which BTW is a mid 70's and also has the lightened slide.
 

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The easier way to identify the lightened slides on either a LW Commander or a pre-70 Gold Cup National Match, which also had a lightened slide is to lock the slide back, turn it over and look at the area of the extractor tunnel. If you can see the extractor, you have a lightened slide. On non-lightened slides, this area is solid.
 

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"Grips are slick wood medallion, no checkering on grips, from what I've been able to find, I believe OEM." The non-checkered, smooth wood with slightly raised grain having a silver Colt medallion would be correct for a '74 Commander and Government model. Fully checkered walnut grips and silver medallion appeared around 1976. Sounds like the stocks are OEM for this model.
 

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Those are the right type of stocks, smooth finished with medallions. Eleven hundred is about the going rate in my part of the country without the box on an early to mid 70s LW Commander in 45acp in very good condition.
 
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