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Have seen a Colt Commando Snubnose. I know they made different length barrels. There also is a late model snub. Can anyone enlighten me in regards to this model. Thank you in advance.
 

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I just recently got in stock a 2" Commando Snubnose in the box with a factory parkerized finish. I hear there are only a few of these to go around and they were made in the 1980s. I don't dabble much with the earlier Commandos but there are plenty of Commando followers on this forum who will be by shortly.
 

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are you talking about a "Commando" or a "Commando Special"
the Commando was made during WWII and is the same frame as the Official Police, the Commando Special in the 1980's, I think and is a D frame.
 

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There was the Commando, made during WWII on the .41 size frame, basically the same as an Official Police but with a matte blue finish.

More recently, there was a Commando Special, which was made on the D frame (.38 size frame). It was essentially the same as a Detective Special, only with a matte parkerized-type finish.
 

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The Commando Special, while not as "collectible" as the Commando, is indeed somewhat scarce as it was made only for a short time. It is, however, a totally different animal with quite different provenance. :cool:


BTW This is a 1984 catalog page.
 

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I thought the original Commando was specified with a matted blued fininh as opposed to a polished blue finish and those that went through a refurbishment/rebuild in 1945 were Parkerized at that time. I know the one I had was a dull blue; definately not Parkerized.
 

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The Commando was the Offical Police refind downward to up production for the war. 50,617 were made, all in their own serial number range, starting with the number one (1). All were parkerized and the grips were of coltwood plastic. The left side of each barrel was marked "colt commando .38/special. I hope this helps a little.

p.s. These revolvers came in 2, 4, and 6" barrels with the 6" barrel being the rare one........Mfg. 1942/1945
 

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I do not believe the Commandos ever went through a rebuild in 1945 or any other time, because they were not really military guns. Parkerizing was always the standard finish.

Has there ever been a documented 6-inch Commando?
 

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Here is a link to an article by Charles Pate on the Commando: The World War II Commando Revolver

I only see a reference to a 2" and 4" Commando and the article states "It differed from the Official Police only in having a matted blued finish rather than the polished blued, and eliminated checkering on the cylinder latch and trigger, and the matting on top of the frame. It had plastic stocks. No polished surfaces were visible to reflect light."

According to this link, although, I do not know who wrote it, the author calls the finish a "Matte Blue" http://coolgunsite.com/pistols/ColtCommando/default.html
 

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The author is wrong, the Commando revolvers I have seen and handled have all been parkerized. Not to say none with another finish were made because Colt made some running changes as all companies do.
 

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The quote from Pate cited above is not his writing opinion. He (Pate) is quoting a 1945 report by the Springfield Ordnance Depot Small Arms Branch Administration Section regarding the description and finish of the Commando revolver.

Judge, the same article linked above, by Pate, mentions a re-build program of Commandos turned over to the Army following completion of various defense projects. If there was no re-build program, then who converted all those 4" Commandos to 2" guns after the initial run was over?
 
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If there was no re-build program, then who converted all those 4" Commandos to 2" guns after the initial run was over?
Good question! I have Pate's book, but missed that section. I always assumed the barrel conversions were done by a surplus disposal contractor to enhance their retail market potential. Considering their intended use, I cannot imagine any Commando being used so much that it needed rebuilding. I wonder if that information is correct?
 

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Further on in the article cited, Pate explains goes into a comparison of markings, including one 1942 manufactured Official Police, of revolvers having inspection marks of inspectors that were not inspecting Colt's revolvers at the time they were manufactured, but were assigned as inspectors at a later date. Sounds like we need a new database project comparing manufacture date, finish, inspector marks and dates they were assigned as inspectors.
 

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According to this link, although, I do not know who wrote it, the author calls the finish a "Matte Blue" http://coolgunsite.com/pistols/ColtCommando/default.html
I don't willingly wish to add to the confusion surrounding these scarce collectibles, but please permit me to clarify the finish question .....

Just like the earliest non-blued, WW2 1911-A1's, Colt used a proprietary phosphate finish on the Commando Revolvers that collectors will often casually refer to as "Parkerized",,,,

It was in fact another finish, one more correctly called Du-lite, which was marketed by a local company, Du-lite Corporation of Middletown, Connecticut.

Its generally much darker than Parkerizing, and has a slightly blue tint to it, when new. You can see this best on the NIB Colt Commandos that are out on the market right now.

Please refer to page 75, of Clawson's Collectors Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols for his treatise on Parkerizing.

HTH
 

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Thanks Abe , I read page 75 and it does answer some questions. So it was possible to produce a sandblasted Commando that had the Du-lite chemical bluing process applied to it which produced a dark blue-gray color to it. I learn something everyday on this forum...
 
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