Colt Combat Commander 9mm


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Wags
July 18, 2005, 04:31 PM
I picked up last week a Colt Combat Commander 9mm in Satin Nickel finish. Serial # 70SC27XXX. I would give it a 95% overall condition. It came with one Nickel finish magazine, and one blued, bolt Colt. I was in awe on how filthy it was since there was green goop growing all over the insides. Hoppes and a good tooth brush took care of the rest. It cleaned up very nice!

The right side of the slide reads COLT'S COMBAT COMMANDER. The left side says COMBAT COMMANDER, then in large letters COLT, then 9MM LUGER CALIBER, and the company logo. Grips are wood with a silver colt logo medallion. Every single part are nickel satin finish except for the barrel which is shinny steel and barrel link which is blued.

I looked it up in my 1999 Blue Book which said the Nickel Satin finish is considered scarce? Granted, I do not remember seeing this type of finish, or am I impressed from it. According to the serial number I assume it is a 70 Series. My other 1911 I had years ago said MKIV 70 Series on the slide if I remember correct.

Can anyone shine any light on the approx year this pistol was manufactured? And is it scarce with this finish. I plan on shooting it but no cosmetic changes such as grips or sights. Would like to keep it stock as possible. Thank you.

Wags

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1557
July 19, 2005, 08:47 AM
In the early to mid 70's. I had one in .45 that I carried on duty for a while.Identical to yours except for caliber.Don't recall how long they produced them,but that's about the time they were introduced.

Wags
July 19, 2005, 04:15 PM
1973 is year of manufacture. Now comes the hard part, finding a Colt Nickel magazine in 9mm. Have found 38 Super, 10mm and 45ACP, but no 9mm. I could use Mec-Gar and maybe will, but I'd like to keep it stock.

Johnny Guest
July 19, 2005, 07:05 PM
Wags, I bought one of the satin nickel Commanders in .45 ACP when they first arrived at Leonard Brothers Department Store in Fort Worth. I THINK it was actually late in 1969. Mine was one of the very early ones. It was serial number 70SC17XX - - Notice the four digit s/n. Figuring they started numbering at 70SC1000, mine was just a little over 700 into the run.

Paraphrasing your second paragraph: The right side of the slide read COLT'S PT FA MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. USA. The left side said COMMANDER MODEL, then in large letters COLT, then CALIBER .45 AUTO, and the company logo. Grips were rough (sandblasted?) wood with a silver Colt logo medallion. I think the first several hundred utilized the older model slides already in the parts bins. Shortly thereafter, though, all pistols

Leonard's had the new Commanders in all three calibers --9mm, Super .38, and .45 ACP-- and in both finishes, satin nickel and blue. The blue ones were numbered 70BS1XXX. Interestingly, the nickel pistols all had the arched mainspring housing, and the blue ones all had the flat MSH. Another feature I've never seen advertised, but evident on both finishes, was a very slick finish, wich the salesman called Teflon. It eventually wore off, but was nice while it lasted. :p

There were always plenty of the satin nickel pistols available in my area. I carried mine a lot, and so did several friends and acquaintances. It was interesting that, at the time, people were paying good money to have an "All steel Commander" made up by gunsmiths. As I recall, the was the basis for California 'smith Armand Swensen's early fame. Then, all at once, Colt's arrived with their factory version, in a really good looking finish, and stole a lot of the custom-made thunder.

Like many users, I soon became disillusioned about the all steel Commander. Lacking only 3/4 inch, it was as long as a Government Model, and lacking only about an ounce, IT WAS AS HEAVY! It had the shorter sight radius of the real Commander, of course. All in all, it had all the drawbacks of the Commander model, with none of the advantages of the light weight.

Also, I always had a sneaking resentment for Colt's having called the all-steel version by the name COMBAT COMMANDER. What? Did this mean that all the alloy framed Commanders that had been toted around since 1949 were NOT combat worthy? In fairness, I note the immense popularity of the heavy pistols - -I've read that by 1980, Colt's had already sold more of the all steel guns than they had the LW versions in the previous 31 years of production of THAT model. :rolleyes:

My satin nickel piece went away in a trade, around 1980, and I've only occasionally been wistful about letting my early version go away. I still keep at least one proper Commander around, though . . . .

My comments above notwithstanding, though, I think you have a very nice pistol there. I'm glad you've decided to keep it as factory original.

Best,
Johnny

1911WB
July 19, 2005, 07:30 PM
Very interesting discussion on Cmdrs., guys. I have had several over the years (all blued). My only current one is a LW. It should be noted that there is really no such thing as a 70 series Cmdr.- the 70 series referred to the wierd collet bushing found on the GM but not on the Cmdr.

Krag
July 19, 2005, 08:33 PM
Nice caliber, lousy pistol. I had a Colt Combat Commander in .45 ACP. As with all other Colt products that I (unfortunately) owned, it proved unreliable. Despite being returned to Colt Mfg. three (yes, 3!) times for warranty work (that's an oxymoron if I ever heard one) it still would not function correctly. I ended up trading it off for a better pistol.

I can't understand how Colt achieved the reputation they did. I have never owned a Colt product that was worth a d*mn. I only regret that it took me over a decade to realize their reputation was all hot air and legend. :banghead:

I now have Para-Ordnance pistols in 9mm and .40 and they have performed 110% out of the box since day one.

isp2605
July 19, 2005, 08:38 PM
I had a satin nickle Cmdr in .45 during the mid-70s. Mine must have been the next one on the production line following Krag's. It would only reliably feed FMJ. Sent it back once (I have less patience than Krag) and it didn't do any better when it came back. I swapped it even for a new S&W 66 which at the time was worth about 3+ times what the Cmdr was bringing.

albanian
July 19, 2005, 09:00 PM
Nice find! I have always wanted a 9mm Commander in nickel. I would prefer the alloy framed version for the light weight however.

The only Colt Commander that I owned was a true shooter. It was a Colt factory Chip McCormick Racer. Tack driver and 100% reliable. I sold it because it was worth a whole lot more than I paid for it and I couldn't pass on making some easy cash. With the money I made, I could buy any new 1911 like a nice Kimber. I never did but maybe I will if I need another 1911.

I think Colt is a little overrated but from what I have seen, they make nice guns. They may not be worth the price when you compare them to other guns but people will pay it so you won't lose money if you buy a Colt. Para would love to have the resale value that Colt has.

Krag
July 19, 2005, 09:44 PM
Unlike Colts, you don't need to sell a Para once you have one. :neener:

macavada
July 19, 2005, 09:56 PM
I wouldn't WISH my para on anyone. :(

Delmar
July 19, 2005, 09:57 PM
I owned a satin nickel CC back in the late 70's. Good shooter, but the finish was not to my liking. Traded it for a brand new Series 70 Govenment in nickel. It had some issues....sold it pretty cheap. That is the only Colt I ever had serious issues with. Last problem was the elliason sight on my gold cup walking the windage pin out. Small hammer to peen the pin, and no more problems, even with hardball ammo.

I have a 1991A1 Commander (all steel) on my hip right now. Ugly finish, feeds everything from Colt 7 or 8 round magazines, shoots very well. The only stoppage I get on it is when I run the mag dry. FMJ, JHP, Semi wadcutters from 155 to 200 grain, doesn't matter. It's certainly no lightweight, but I like the balance. Still prefer the government model with heavy loads-less muzzle flip, but for a general carry pistol, its one of my favorites.

robertbank
July 19, 2005, 10:53 PM
HOouse gun is a Norinco Commander. Eats everything I throw at it and it cost $325Cdn new. Sights and ego work brought it up some but Para wasn't making a LTC when I got the NOrinco. My Para SSP is a real shooter as well. Like to try a Colt but to darn expensive. Lot to a name I guess.

BigG
July 19, 2005, 11:04 PM
I've had the Colt's Combat Commander in both 45 ACP satin nickel and 9mm blue steel. Both utterly reliable and both gone now. Most of my Colt's are now of the 5" persuasion, however I still have an XS Concealed Carry 45 ACP with the Officer's lightweight frame and the Commander Stainless slide.

The commander pistols were never "Series 70" even though they have the 70 in the serial no. The Series 70 referred to the spring finger bushing that was only on the 5" guns, also marked "Mark IV." Enjoy your Colt! :D

Wags
July 19, 2005, 11:53 PM
Seems to be a few Commander fans out here! Most of you have owned mainly 45's in Satin Nickel, and one 9mm in blue. This Thursday I'll take her to the range and see how she works. I'm just going to use FMJ ammo since thats all I mainly use. I doubt it will handle JHP or truncated bullets being stock, but you never know. I forgot to say the grips are a smooth wood, not checkered.

A friend sent me to some gun auction sites of this model, finish and caliber. Oh my god, people are selling this model for not less than $695 in 90% condition and blued, to $1100 99% with box? I did pretty well then........ I appreciate the input guys.

Wags

MICHAEL T
July 19, 2005, 11:55 PM
I have my Colts and they are fine pistols even my little Mustang. Now I also have a Para and well I let you know how I like it as soon as it will shoot a full mag with out jaming 2or 3 times. :what: :barf:

BigG
July 20, 2005, 10:46 AM
The original grips that came on those Commanders looked like driftwood, with the Colt logo. They were actually sandblasted wood I think, with the softer parts washed away. They are OK but not the most beautiful stocks I've ever seen. Enjoy your 9mm Colt!

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