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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There's no section here for discussion of commemorative Colts. I propose that one be started because I have some and I want to learn more about them. Thanks for considering the idea.

Meanwhile, let's post pictures in this thread.

These are the Colt 1911 World War Commemoratives - four blued 1911s and two nickel 1911A1s:

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Typically commemoratives are discussed in the section pertaining to a particular model. In this case the 1911 board.
 
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A separate forum for commemoratives? Not, if like me, you shoot them and use them hard. Possibly, if you are into the esoteric aspects of them.
 

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Anyone who has a commemorative to sell they think it's a valuable embellishment to the piece. Shooters more or less scorn them except when the asking price is cheap enough to be a good shooter.

As for me...I have a few commemoratives but primarily if they're related to someone or something I'm interested in. I have John Wayne Colts and Teddy Roosevelt Winchesters...beyond that I'm not particularly interested unless it's too cheap to pass on. Ruger has John Wayne commemoratives but it doesn't interest me...Duke didn't carry Rugers.
 

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Go read the 'Hammerless?' thread. The Patton model M pistol got some ink (pixels?) over there the other day.
Generally, the commemoratives don't have a lot of interest for shooter types, or as collector pieces.
The fact is, they are deliberately devalued firearms.
E.g., the gawky, unauthentic G.S. Patton pistol is up around $2.2K.
Money down the drain.
Pfffft!

There is a good image of Gen. Patton's actual model M on there.
 

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Storekeeper3.jpg I wonder about the internals on these commemorative guns. I have a limited run Storekeeper model that was built in 2010 that had to have extensive gunsmith work to bring it up to my standards. Like turning the barrel to bring it to POA, plus working on the hand that would hang up in the hand slot. The front sight was leaning so far to the right that it should never have been sent out the door by quality control. After all that it is my favorite Colt.
 

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Commemoratives are funny. In most cases the sum of the parts, etc. are worth more than the gun in question.

Case in point the John Wayne guns. You have probably Class B engraving, gold enlays, ivory grips, on top of a $2000.00 gun +/-. By all rights if it wasnt a com. it would be an $8000.00 gun (?). As a comm. they struggle to sell for $2500.00
 
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I would agree that commemoratives need their own section.

Opinions on guns (much like music or art) are subjective - there is no right or wrong answer. If you like commemoratives, great. If you don't, get yourself a shooter.

There's no denying that some commemoratives have excellent craftsmanship. Most commemoratives seem over-adorned; much like a classic car that someone has added a strange paint job, accessories, etc., to the point they end up with a gaudy low-rider. But that's my opinion.

If I were to get a commemorative, it would have to be like Hopalong's Theodore Roosevelt SAA; tastefully embellished, but not over-done.
 

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I like the NRA 1871-1971 commemoratives- they are 2nd gens and are not to garnish- the grips are not to good but thats ez to fix.

Usually they sell at a very fair price for 2nd gen SAA's. They make good shooters imo.
 

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Mine isn’t a Colt Commemorative but it’s called a Limited Edition. 70 Series from around 1980. I like remembering familymembers thru Colt but having this one covered a lot of people with my family name. Top picture is most recent,I had to replace grip safety because of prior handling scars that were a bit distracting. I believe there were 500 of this model. Not alot of info about these,either. I really need a letter. Not really into these but fit my family very well. If I were to get onemore it would be to cover my Grandfather ( all the Marines Father) who was an Army Officer atMeuseArgonne in WW1. Pete





 

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Anyone who has a commemorative to sell they think it's a valuable embellishment to the piece. Shooters more or less scorn them except when the asking price is cheap enough to be a good shooter.

As for me...I have a few commemoratives but primarily if they're related to someone or something I'm interested in. I have John Wayne Colts and Teddy Roosevelt Winchesters...beyond that I'm not particularly interested unless it's too cheap to pass on. Ruger has John Wayne commemoratives but it doesn't interest me...Duke didn't carry Rugers.
It's quite the opposite when talking about the Colt Single Action Army anyway. Shooters love them because their prices are typically much lower than a regular production gun but their quality is just as good. My second SAA purchase was a 2nd gen commemorative model Colt Single Action Army and honestly it is one of the best shooting SAA's I have ever shot or owned. They can be quite a bargain.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The first Colt 1911 Commemoratives were the four pistols in the World War I battle series. Interesting thing about that series of four models is the different variations and the quantities in which each variation was made.

Around 7500 copies were made of each of the four pistols in this series. But, within each of the four models, two hand-engraved upgrades were available. 75 of each of the four models of pistol were offered with hand engraving applied to supplement the factory commemorative roll-mark "engraving" and 25 of each pistol in the series were offered with the entire pistol (including the commemorative decorations) having been entirely engraved by hand.

What we don't know is how many of the nominal quantities of 75 and 25 for these specials were actually made. I have reason to believe that the specially engraved guns were not made until they were actually individually ordered - specifically, I learned that my "one of 75" took almost 3 years to be delivered to the original buyer, who had special ordered it to get a particular serial number.

I saw one of the "one of 25" guns that had been completely hand-engraved on Gunbroker and it looked really nice, like all commemoratives would have looked if they had been done without regard for cost.

The quality of the bluing on these guns is superior to standard model 1960s guns. Pistols in this WW-1 series have all the old 1911 (not A1) features like wide hammer spur, long trigger, no finger cut-outs in the frame, flat mainspring housing, short grip-safety, and tiny sights. They actually thought about and worked on these details and didn't just apply commemorative markings to the standard form 1911s being sold at the time.

Here's what the first hand-engraved upgrade on a "one of 75" looks like. You have the standard commemorative roll-marked decorations in place and the empty space around them filled with the hand work of an actual Colt engraver. It's my only engraved Colt!

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
more photos of an example of the "one of 75" offered of each World War One gun that combined commemorative inscriptions and hand-engraving. For much more money, the entire gun would be fully hand-engraved by Colt; these were the "ones of 25."
 

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I thought the two WWII commemoratives (ETO-PTO) preceded the WWI set.

I believe the WW1 set came out in 1967 , 50 years after US entry into the war. The Nickel WW2 set came out in early 70s. Note: All these
guns had numbered slides matching the frame,they were not however in the usual spot,under th3 firing pin retainer.



 
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