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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just picked up a super 38 commander with low 3 digit serial number. I assume super, 9mm and 45acp shared same serial number sequence. This one is 210-LW.

Anyone know where in the numbering scheme the super 38 came in?

Any premium on lower numbered commanders?




thanks

Charlie
 

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You have a 1950 gun. The Commander was designed for the 9mm as a candidate for a potential US military contract (the Smith & Wesson 39 was a candidate for the same contract). The military contract never materialized and Colt went commercial with the pistol. A few Commander were shipped in 1949. My understanding is the 1949 Commanders were 9mm. The Commander was made available in 1950 in 9mm, 45 ACP, and .38 Super. There would be a premium for an original high condition 1950 Commander. Of course the paper goodies would add to the price.
 

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According to Clawson the three calibers were introduced at the same time with the first being produced in late 1949. Your pistol would have been produced in 1950.

Any premium for the low serial number would depend highly on condition.
 

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Clawson notes that production began in Oct. 1949 with 001 -to- 065 being produced and in 1950 66-LW -to- 6090-LW were produced. I have never seen any documentation on how many in which caliber. I remember reading Colt had development models in 30 Luger but they never went to production.
 

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Clawson notes that an order of the 70 Series LW Commanders in .30 Luger was shipped to Italy in 1971, with a few being sold in the U.S. Use to see one come up for sale occasionally. The 9mm Luger cartridge was developed from the .30 Luger, and share the same basic cartridge. Only the barrel would be different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The first thing people ask is if the grips has shrunk and cracked. these are not cracked, but what do you do to keep them from cracking. It is heat, sunlight, or firing the gun ..... anybody know?

thanks

Charlie
 

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Nothing you can do to prevent the shrinking, and if you take them off they may not go back on. While the stocks were called Coltwood they were not, and was apparently a new plastic tried by Colt that only showed up as being bad several years later. Have also heard that the molding process had something to do with it.
 

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I haven't heard of the "mottled" grips used in the early 50's, like yours and mine, experiencing much issue with shrinking...
 

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Here are three most excellent examples of very early Commanders. All are prior to the -LW suffix:
October 18th, 1949 Commander 003 in .45 ACP (used as a salesman sample until it was sold to Joe Bodrie aka, "The Fastest Gun Alive") link to 1958 issue of Guns Magazine http://gunsmagazine.com/1958issues/G0458.pdf (scroll down for article)
October 10th, 1949 Commander 0043 in 9mm
April 14th, 1950 Commander 0051 in .38 Super
IMG_3376.JPG IMG_3377.JPG IMG_3378.JPG IMG_3379.JPG
 

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Clawson notes that an order of the 70 Series LW Commanders in .30 Luger was shipped to Italy in 1971, with a few being sold in the U.S. Use to see one come up for sale occasionally. The 9mm Luger cartridge was developed from the .30 Luger, and share the same basic cartridge. Only the barrel would be different.
Here are two examples of the Commander Light Weight in .30 Luger. Both are from the Oct. 1st, 1971 Italian contract. One has Italian acceptance proof marks while the other does not.
IMG_3383.JPG IMG_3384.JPG IMG_3382.JPG IMG_3381.JPG IMG_3380.JPG
 

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MyColt45ACP, I have been a fan of the Commander since it came out. (As a kid, I thought the burr hammer looked "neat!") I have been collecting Colts for over fifty years. During that time, I have never seen a "Pre-LW" suffix Commander. By want miracle were you able to find a "No-Suffix" example in all three chamberings? There are a lot more Walkers than "No-Suffix" Commanders! Outstanding! Thank you for showing these examples (and humbling the rest of us who thought we had "early" Commanders!).
 
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