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Discussion Starter #1
A dealer has A Colt Commando, 4 inch, blued, 38 spl, serial no. 16xxx for sale. Gun looks in reasonable very good condition for $250.
What is a Colt Commando? When were they manufactured? For how long? What S&W did they compete against? Any idea as to the ship date from this serial nimber? Any thoughts as to quality in this gun?

Thanks....
 

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The original Colt Commando was a World War II war-time expedient gun.
It was simply a Colt Official Police with a rough parkerized finish, made only during 1942-45, and only for "official" use.
No sales were made to ordinary civilians.

These were for state-side defense plant guards, police departments, with some being issued to military personnel.

The Commando was made in a 4" barrel, a few with 2" barrels, and possible a 6" version.
There were approximately 50,000 made.

The S&W counterpart was a parkerized Model 10 M&P known as the Victory model.

In the mid-1980's Colt went through a period of attempting to reduce cost and keep making guns during the long labor strike.
They were using replacement workers who didn't have the skills of the regular employees, so Colt offered a short-lived series of revolvers with rough black parkerized finishes.

The Detective Special version in this series was also named the Commando. This is a small "D" framed 2" barreled gun, and should not be confused with the larger WWII Colt Commando.

Quality-wise, the WWII Commando was as high quality as the Pre-war Official Police it actually was. The only real difference is in the parkerized finish.

After the war, the Government gave large quantities of both the Commando and Victory models to civil defense and police departments. From there they made their way into civilian sales.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
dfariswxxxx,

Thanks for the info. I get the feeling this gun is not particularly rare or sought after.

I was kinda curious because I had never seen one before.

[This message has been edited by R. Walter (edited 06-26-2003).]
 

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"I get the feeling this gun is not particularly rare or sought after".

Not necessarily. People do collect these guns for their connection to the war years, and the comparative rarity versus the Official Police.

My most recent gun value book I have,is The Standard Catalog, from 1998. It lists a Commando in excellent at $500.00 and one in very good at $350.00.
Prices since then will have gone UP, so the one you saw may be a good deal.
 

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Mr. Walter: I can't add much to the informed comments of DFaris, but do have a couple of observations. First, if the Commando in question is, in fact, blued, then you may want to check for signs that it has been refinished as I believe it should be parkerized as DF indicated. Also, look for the Ordnance Dept. 'shell and flame' which should be evident on the upper left side of the frame on a true Commando. If it is indeed an unmessed Commando, then it is clearly worth $250+. Let us know how it turns out for you. Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the suggestions here.

I went back and checked over this weapon and it had been refinished in a blue. I then gave up any further consideration of it.
 
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