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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I am new here to the forum want to say Hello! I have a ? about my 1984 Officer model.. Both sides of the slide are a Silver inlay I believe & I notice within three months the Silver turns to a Gold tone in color, Almost like a tarnish of the metal.. I then use Mothers & softly polish both sides of the slide back to a Silver tone followed with Renaissance wax. Is this normal for the metal to turn color every few months?

Thank you, SD
 

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SawDust, that silver does not appear to be more than a couple mils thick (0.002 inch). I doubt that it will take too much polishing (abrasion). Hopefully, the wax will protect it from from further oxidation.
 

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Welcome to the Forum, SawDust. I'm a real sucker for Colt OMs. I've owned them before and regrettably I only have one left. Yours is a real beauty! I hope you'll be able to preserve that silver finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Maj
Thank you for the Welcome. I have it since '84. I don't think the inlay will come off that easy. I will call Colt this week & maybe they can tell me for sure. It's my CCW for many years.

Regards
 

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Fair warning:
The silver "inlay" is not an inlay, it's a photo electro-etching.
This is a form of "printing" a design on the metal using an electronic etching device.

The guns you see advertised in gun magazines from companies like "America Remembers" that commemorate some person, organization, or event are done with this photo etch process because it's a fast, cheap method of dressing up the gun without having to spend BIG bucks to have them actually inlaid and hand engraved by an engraver.

An actual inlay is done on a gun by using an engraving tool to cut a shallow hole in the surface of the gun and then undercutting the edges.
A lump of gold, silver, or platinum is positioned over the undercut hole and a mallet is used to hammer it down in place.
The soft metal spreads into the undercuts of the hole and locks the lump in place.
Then the engraver shapes and engraves the lump.

This is an expensive, slow, and difficult job that requires a master. One of the commemorative guns would cost many times the usual $2,000 they usually sell for.
So, to hold the cost down but add some decoration the photo electro-etch process is used to bond a very thin layer of material to the surface.
This etching is THIN and much wear or rubbing, ESPECIALLY with a metal polish will soon just rub it off, leaving a "shadow" where the precious metal etching was.

I strongly recommend you not use any polish or heavy rubbing.
Look for a jeweler's silver polishing cloth and use it VERY gently and VERY rarely.
Keep a coat of a good wax like Johnson's Paste wax or the even better Renaissance Museum wax on the surface to help prevent the silver from tarnishing.
NO CAR WAX, that will soon remove the etching.

Be aware that if you polish off the etching, unlike stamping or actual inlay work, it almost certainly cannot be restored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Johnny

You may be right. I just used the term inlay to describe it but I am not sure. I ran my finger nail over it & it is not raised from the metal, it's flush if that means anything.
 

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Welcome aboard SawDust!! What you have is an Officer's ACP presented as a "Commencement Issue Limited Edition". Only 1000 pieces were made to commemorate the graduating officers from a US Military Academy - either West Point or the US Naval Academy. It was issued through Colt's Custom Shop.

Here's my copy, the first one issued, FA00001. It is shown, with original wooden stocks, in R.L. Wilson's "Colt An American Legend". It was issued in a Custom Shop box with wood presentation case. I completely agree with DFW (dfariswheel) in that I only use Ren Wax to clean and preserve the little beauty. CONGRATS, you have a wonderful pistol.













 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Hello Colt Sl

I have everything saved pictured above from the day I bought it. Mine is a 800 #. I don't see too many for sale anymore like I used to. Ren Wax seems to work very well & I bought a Silver polishing cloth today as suggested by Dfariswheel. It is a Beauty & very accurate. It's my one of favorite to carry. Now I am starting to buy Colt revolvers! Thank you Both for advice.
SD
 

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.........I have it since '84. I don't think the inlay will come off that easy. I will call Colt this week & maybe they can tell me for sure. It's my CCW for many years.

Regards
Gasp!!!!! SD, do you really carry that museum piece as your CCW? I like Colt OMs, too, but if I had yours I'd corral that little beauty and find me a shooter-grade model for CCW. You know, one of my fears about carrying a top shelf weapon like yours is if I ever had to use it, what would the cops do to/with it between the time of confiscation and the time it's returned to me. I've talked to LEOs who said they routinely etched their initials/date, etc. on every weapon while it was in "safekeeping" in the evidence room. :mad:
 

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What you have is an Officer's ACP presented as a "Commencement Issue Limited Edition". Only 1000 pieces were made to commemorate the graduating officers from a US Military Academy - either West Point or the US Naval Academy. It was issued through Colt's Custom Shop.

Here's my copy, the first one issued, FA00001.

Wow, Tony, you have a beauty there, too! I bet yours never leaves the safe until picture time. At the risk of showing my ignorance here, I never heard of the Commencement Issue until I saw SD's the other day. I bought my 1990 LW OM LNIB in 1991 and still have it today, box, papers & all. But it's long since been a shooter and sometimes my choice for CCW. I like to think of mine as a "poor man's OM" since I was an OCS graduate and not a West Pointer. :(

I see the ship date for yours was 2008, but I always thought the OM production ended long before that. Anyways?
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Yes Ed, I carry it since the day I bought it.

Below is a article I came across & copied about this model Colt.

"Colt Officers Commencement Issue in .45 ACP. Why is this particular model so scarce and desirable? Well, first of all Colt only manufactured 1000 of these total, (in 1984). Now Colt has made other limited run pieces like this before. But, what sets this Officers Commencement Issue apart is the fact that Colt never sold this model to the public, ever. What? Why did they make it then? Well, like the model name implies, for Officers Commencement ceremony. These pistols were presented to very select graduating officers during very prestigious US Marine Commencement Ceremonies. The high polished blue finish is offset with fine hand inlaid silver leaf designs with the model name on one side of the slide and the Armed Forces and Navy symbols with oak leaves and “ACP SERIES 80” on the other side. The detail is exquisite. This is a very attractive pistol with its own special serial number"

Regards, SD
 

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Wow, Tony, you have a beauty there, too! I bet yours never leaves the safe until picture time. At the risk of showing my ignorance here, I never heard of the Commencement Issue until I saw SD's the other day. I bought my 1990 LW OM LNIB in 1991 and still have it today, box, papers & all. But it's long since been a shooter and sometimes my choice for CCW. I like to think of mine as a "poor man's OM" since I was an OCS graduate and not a West Pointer. :(

I see the ship date for yours was 2008, but I always thought the OM production ended long before that. Anyways?
Thank you Ed! Yes, the pistol, unfired since leaving the factory, was made much earlier than 2008. As my archive letter points out, the “Pistol was a sample and display pistol retained by the Colt factory”.

Several of these 'kept' guns were sold at auction and left the Colt plant in 2008. I saw the gun on Gunbroker and realized it was the one in R.L.Wilson's book and thought it would be a good addition to the Colt-SL Museum - LOL!!
 
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