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Just a very nice Colt Commando, and likely sold out of service to "NPD" following its war-time or DSC issue. But whatever it did for the war effort and subsequent police service, it couldn't have been carried often. Finish is at 95-plus%.

A similar one sold at Poulin's Auction in May, 2017. It had the NPD NO 21 marking on the butt. It was speculated that it was for the Newark Police (Newport, Napa, who knows?). Seemed a little pricey at $1,000. But maybe a bidder or two knew something more than the average Commando collector


https://poulinantiques.hibid.com/lot/30590248/colt-wwii-commando-revolver-?q=commando


Mine is right in the middle of the 50,000 unit Commando production run of 1942-1943, at serial number 23,001. It was made while the Flaming Bomb proof was still being applied, though lightly struck. The NPD NO 17 was definitely applied post-production, as the address clearly cuts through the parkerized finish.

Full series of pics in the following post. Enjoy, and thanks for looking.
 

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Just a very nice Colt Commando, and likely sold out of service to "NPD" following its war-time or DSC issue. But whatever it did for the war effort and subsequent police service, it couldn't have been carried often. Finish is at 95-plus%.
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Mine is right in the middle of the 50,000 unit Commando production run of 1942-1943, at serial number 23,001. It was made while the Flaming Bomb proof was still being applied, though lightly struck. The NPD NO 17 was definitely applied post-production, as the address clearly cuts through the parkerized finish.
Very nice condition considering its service.

Poulin uses the old incorrect 1942/43 range info. Both Proofhouse and the Colt serial look-up are wrong on this. Only very few were made in late 1942. The bulk of the Commandos were produced in 1943/44.

The serial puts yours in later 1943. They reached the lower 30-thousands by the end of 1943. The rest were made in 1944, with the last assembled in early 1945.

The butt number was definitely struck post-factory, but my money would be on this being a batch that shipped to this police department originally. The majority of DSC-managed orders went out for such recipients. The fact that the Poulin Auction gun's serial is very close to yours makes that almost a certainty.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the production date correction, Absalom.

Do you think a Colt Letter request should be in order?
 

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Outstanding looking gun!!! I would be tempted NOT to shoot that gun too much to keep it in that great condition. Thanks for showing.
 

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Yes. It will remain unfired by me. But it does have just a little powder residue, so it is not a virgin.
 

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Do you think a Colt Letter request should be in order?
Yes. I may be the wrong person to ask, though, because I have somewhat of an interest in the period and letter all letterable guns (Colt and S&W) from those years I get my hands on.

As I indicated, I think there is a good chance (although never a guarantee) that it will letter to the department that stamped it. If you do place an order, ask for the date of manufacture to be included. These are only added upon request and not always available, but usually for Commandos. Just another tidbit of info.
 

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Commandos are much underappreciated Colts. The S&W Victory models seem to get most of the attention because so many were made and were standard issue to Naval aviators. The Commandos were produced in far fewer numbers and generally thought to have been relegated to stateside police and guard use though more than a few saw military issue or even to the OSS.

I think Commandos are prime candidates for getting an Archives letter as it can be surprising where they were originally shipped to. Of my four Commandos, one went to a Chief of Police in Michigan, two went to the US Maritime Commission and one went to Army Counter Intelligence at a military base (now closed) not far from me. While the letters may not add value to the revolvers the information was of value to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again, folks.

I do have several Colts, and a few like this one which probably should probably be Factory Lettered. When/if I do, I'll give an update on the Commando.
 

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Beautiful example! Mine is nice but certainly not in the spectrum of yours with respect to finish which is okay with me as I like to shoot my guns even if it is but once a year. These commandos are similar to a Smith model 10 to me. Just a balanced and soft shooting revolver that reflects an era gone past.

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