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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to a show in Fort Wayne today. The guy checking walk-in firearms for safety had a nickel commander for sale. I have bought far too many colts this week and I had no intention of buying more. But...I have been looking at commanders for some time just to get a feel for the prices. I gave it a quick look (70 series, a few scuffs, satin finish) and went on in the show. I bought a copy of Mr Wilson's 'Colt An American Legend'. I continued on through the show without seeing anything I wanted. I kept thinking about the Commander, wondering if the guy would come down from 600$ asking price. I was getting hungry so I decided to leave and check the commander on the way out.
It was still there and I proceeded to give it another look. The stocks had been replaced with some smooth dark wood. The finish has some scuffs, call it 90%. A molded plastic paddle holster comes with it. The guy said he was going to have it customized for a race gun but couldn't bring himself to do it since it was a 70 series. I offered the seller 500$ and said he could keep the holster. After a few seconds he said OK.
When I got home I decided I would look this up in my Blue Book and see what Mr Wilson said about it. The BB said 525$ for 90% Combat Commander with a footnote that satin nickel finish is scarce. Mr Wilson's book was a little thin on information in text so I went to the serial # tables to get a production date. The serial # is 70SC61417 which is 1978, I think. My confusion starts with 70BS and 70SC, and Wilson has a footnote about nickel Commander serials between 70SC56801 and 70SC57398, 1971 to 1973.
Does the serial number window refer to bright nickel or satin nickel? Does 1978 seem right for 70SC61417 with satin finish? When did the satin finish first start? The pistol is scuffed but does not look refinished. Any information is good, here is a pic.
 

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Satin Nickle, also known as Electroless Nickle, and at various times, as "Coltguard", was first available on the new all-steel Combat Commander in 1969.

The 1969 models had bright blue or satin nickel finished, both fitted with sandblasted, un-checkered grips with Gold medallions.

The sandblasted finish gave the grips a rough texture, since the sandblast attacked the softer areas of the wood first.

70SC61417 does look like a 1978.

I've never heard a verifiable account of the "BS" and SC" serials, but every blued Combat Commander I can remember had a "BS" serial, and every Satin Nickel had a "SC" number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. It's been a good week except for the bank account. I got a 1903 32acp, a week ago, took delivery of a 1991 Gov't Model, Hi Standard HD Military, and bought Mr Wilson's book and this Commander today. Two weeks ago I got a 1915 Savage Hammerless .380 acp, something I've been chasing for four years. I think I will stop for a while and give some other people a chance to buy stuff. My budget is ruined, but at least I traded money for something of value.
 
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