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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any details on the shipping dates/destinations of the wartime Commando revolvers? Also any information on the front site change from half-moon to ramp??? I just acquired a Commando with a ramp front site s/n 22213. It has the ramp front sight... compared to my other Commandos it is identical except for the site??? Any one have any information on possible NYPD use?? Thanks! Bob Best
 

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If I remember correctly, ramp sights were added after WWII, especially in 2'' barrel lengths. Commandos were originally shipped between 3/43 and 8/45 (Pate's Secondary Pistols and Revolvers). About 3500 of the original half moon 2'' were made and they also converted a bunch of 4'' to the 2'' ramp sight after the war. If you have a 2'' with ramp sight it is still a very rare gun. I have only seen two 2'' original commandos and I have never seen one with a ramp sight.
 

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I tried my best to find one of the converted (from 4") Commandos with the 2"bbl. and ramp post war bbl. for a BUG,when I was in 'Nam with Air Force (base) Security back in 66'-67'. They were "still lisited" in inventory,but most went to the Army for use by CID personel upon "conversion". Saw a couple on the hips of older Army W/0s in Huey's. Military used the 2" DS in large numbers,as well as a few 2" Victories left over from W.W. Twof for the CID,police arms,aviators,and plain clothes types.

Wonder what ever happened to many of the fine older Colts and S&W revolvers that I knew in the service,61-67?? Better believe in the post 1968 GCA.that they weren't sold on the open market to "civilians",as many 1917's were.

Bud
 

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Hi Bob:

Charlie Pate has authored several articles in MAA and elsewhere on the Commando, in addition to his seminal book. Charlie reports that the ramp front sights are indicative of a post-war re-barrel. I have the articles in my archives somewhere, so if you need them email me and I'll try to dig them up for you.

On the NYPD connection, contact Bob Vivas who has a lot of the wartime NYPD records on the Victory and may have them on the Commando. I don't have his email address handy here but he will be listed on your copy of the SWCA membership roster. I am sure he would be happy to run your number to see if there is a documentable NYPD connection.

With the Colt letters hovering around $100 I have never bothered to get factory letters on the two 2-inchers that I have owned. Both had the half-moon front sights.

HTH.

Charlie Flick
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Charlie,
Good to hear from you again! I know Charlie Pate has written some articles on them, but I don't have copies of his articles... I believe Scott Meadows also wrote something on them, but I haven't heard back from him yet.

One thing I should have included was the barrel length is four (4) inches, not 2 inches... I have seen the 2" ramp sights but this is the first 4 inch with ramp sight I've seen... I was guessing it was a post war rebarrel, but the interesting thing about the barrel is that it has the old Colt address (wwII era ... "CT"...) not the "...Conn..." as found on the 2 inch barrels... It is also marked "Colt Commando 38 Special" on the left side of the barrel as it should be. The source of the gun is not a collector and the price was more than fair... so I believe the gun was not "redone" by the "cottage industry"!

Robert Vivas checked for me and found no listing on the gun in the NYPD records... Guess it went somewhere else??? ...Thanks for the info, good to hear from you again!
Take care,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Bud,

Yeah... I agree ...there were lots of them floating around in the '60s... I know the Army used them as you indicated for CID and some Warrants I knew carried them too... I thought all you AP guys had the S&W Model 15s... :)??? I know the SAC crews had those "aircrewmen"...

Tahnks for the Info!
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi ColtLarry,
Thanks for the information from Charlie Pate's Book... I should have mentioned in my post that my Commando has the Four (4) inch barrel with the ramp front sight... This is the first one I've seen that way...
Thanks again for the information!
Bob Best
 

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I was an Army Aviator, started in 61, was flying in late 62. We were issued S&W M10s, 4" barrels, mine had the round butt. Also in our arms room were Colt Commandos w/4" barrels, a couple of Commandos that were cut to 2" barrels, and a couple of Detective Specials,the DS looked to be maybe pre WWII or just after(from what I recall of the grips/sights). I could have been issued a Colt but someone told me the Smiths were better guns-they were newer, but now I know not necessarily better. Some time later I managed to get a 1911A1, made by Colt, was in almost unissued condition, should have "lost" it. I also wonder what became of all those Colts(and Smiths). They were in the inventory to my personal knowledge as late as 1979. I am lead to believe that they were gone when the Beretta was adopted in 84. Too bad, the last of the U.S. Military Colts(handguns anyway).
BTW air crew were issued revolvers because of a couple of factors:
1. They could be fired one handed(in case of injury)
2. They could use the flares which could be fired in rapid succession in the revolver
3. It was felt that us airborne jeep drivers might be unable to master the mechanics of the autos(this after learning how fly a helicopter?)
Anyway, it is sad that the original revolver maker for the U.S. now no longer makes a wheelgun that anyone can buy.
 

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I have never heard of a Commando with a ramp front sight in 4". I have a 99%, but fired,4" Commando, serial# 342xx, and it has the half moon front sight. Maybe the sight was a post-war conversion?

Paul
 
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