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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about trying to find and buy a pre war or right after the war Ace or Service Model Ace. The thing is that I want a shooter grade or better. I want to be able to take it out every now and then, shoot it and not be afraid of it losing its value. Some of you might say just buy the ones made in the 80's, but I want one that has some collector value.

Now the prices on GB are all over the place and I don't know what's a good price for one. I was wondering if some could post some pictures of what they have and what should I look for and according to your pictures you might ask for yours. I guess if prices are crazy I might just have to buy the later version even though I don't want to.

Thanks for any help.

Colin
 

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With the exception of a handful, there are no Post-War Ace or Service Ace pistols until the reintroduction of the Service Model Ace in 1978.


"Crazy prices" are in the eye of the beholder. Nice examples of either are over $2,000, which may or may not be "crazy prices" in your opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I could of been a little clearer what I meant by after war was the Ace that started back up in 1947 and the Service model Ace that started back up in 1945. Then they stopped production....I guess these pistols might have been leftovers from before the war.

I have seen prices over 5K and some around 1800....I like the 1800 better but wanted to see what others thought about prices and condition.
 

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Your quest is an admirable one. IMHO, the pre-war ACE is a far superior product to the latest version and, given reasonable care, would hold or increase its value significantly more. My dad purchased our commercial ACE #3xxx for me at Abercrombie & Fitch in NYC back in '54. It's in its original box but still in 90+% condition. When he was alive, we used to shoot it quite a bit but now only sparingly. Make the "stretch" to purchase the best you can possibly afford. Keep in mind that the Service ACE mags are different from the commercial. The commercial two-tone mags, in good condition, are bringing $200-$250. As for current pricing, I have seen VG commercial ACEs in the high $2000 to mid-$3000 range. The better, the higher.
 

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Production never really started back up on the Ace after WWII. Only those pistols and parts that were on hand when production halted in 1941 were sold in 1947, and that amounted to 150 or so. Service Model Ace production halted with the end of WWII and the government contract.
 

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ping10, as JohnnyP points out, production of the Ace did not really start up again Post-War. There were just a few pistols assembled Post-War from Pre-War parts on hand. No Service Model Ace pistols were assembled Post-War.

ONNS, your information is confusing at best, and incorrect at worst. There was no "latest version" of the Ace. It was the Service Model Ace that was reintroduced in 1978, not the Ace.

Ace magazines are NOT the same as Service Model Ace magazines. The difference has nothing to do with whether the magazines are "commercial" or "military." Pre-War and War-Time "Commercial" and "military" magazines for the Ace and Service Model Ace during a given time period are identical respectively, no matter the destination after manufacture. (I doubt that there were any magazines sold commercially during World War II.)

Generally, Pre-War Service Model Ace pistols have higher market value than Ace pistols. That may have to do with the shooting experience of the Service Model Ace with its floating chamber mechanism and better sights. However, the Ace with its paper-thin slide, roller-bearing firing pin stop and big stack of leather washers on the recoil spring guide, etc. is a mechanical work of art.
 

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From left to right:

Colt Ace magazine, two tone.
Colt Service Model Ace, two tone, all steel.
Colt Service Model Ace, full blue, all steel.
Colt Service Model Ace, alloy base and follower.

 

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Judge Colt, how very kind of you to correct me in such an acrimonial manner. JohnnyP, thanks for the pics. Note the subtle but marked difference in detail of the commercial version. It is an entirely different animal. Please show everyone the different markings on the face of the base plates as well.
 

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From left to right first photo:

Colt Ace follower.
Colt Service Model Ace steel follower.
Colt Service Model Ace steel follower.
Colt Service Model Ace alloy follower.

Second photo:

Colt Ace magazine marking.
Colt Service Model Ace magazine marking.


 

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Many thanks, JohnnyP...I rest my case.
 

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To the best of my knowledge there was no difference in the magazines in regards to whether they were commercial or military shipped. The photos I posted illustrate the difference in the Ace and Service Model Ace magazines, and the variations in the Service Model Ace magazines.

While less than 10% of Colt Ace production went to the military, more than 90% of the Service Model Ace production went to the military. The first Service Model Ace magazines were the two tone blue, but quickly changed to the full blue.
 

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Can't tell for sure, but your follower appears to be the alloy variety. The steel and the alloy were shaped differently, and the photo below shows the difference, with the steel follower on the left.

 

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Thanks, JohnnyP - Great Close up photos - The Follower on the Magazine in my pictures is most similar to the steel follower on the left, with a smaller lip; it also passes the magnet test; it is ferrous while the magazine base does not. Jackson.

 

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Judge Colt, how very kind of you to correct me in such an acrimonial manner. JohnnyP, thanks for the pics. Note the subtle but marked difference in detail of the commercial version. It is an entirely different animal. Please show everyone the different markings on the face of the base plates as well.
ONNS, I am surprised that an old Navy man is so easily offended. Sorry if I hurt your feelings. I apologize. I just felt I had to head off the misinformation in your post about "military" and "commercial" magazine differences - of which there are none.

At the risk of further hurting your feelings, I am wondering if you think that the term "Service Model Ace" identifies a military-only pistol and the term "Ace" refers to a commercial-only pistol. Both were sold commercially and both were also sold to the military. (Note JohnnyP's post of the percentages above.) If you are confused on that issue, then it follows that you would think that there is a difference between commercially-sold and military-issued magazines. Again I say, and JohnnyP says above, there is no difference between magazines sold commercially and those sold to the military. Of course, there is a difference between the magazines for the Ace and Service Model Ace as pictured above.

I rest MY case.
 

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A service Model Ace shipped to the military in the June/July 1941 time period, bearing the RS acceptance mark on the left side.

 
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