Pre 70 Series Colts.


November 4, 2006, 10:39 PM

Some Commanders have a CLW prefix. Others have a LW suffix. What is the difference?..vendor for the aluminum frame? one preferable to the other?

National Match:

Pre Gold Cup but the illustrations that I have seen show the Gold Cup trigger, and the Elliason adjustable rear sight. Does this version with the steel Gold Cup trigger have the (for lack of a better term) clutch and spring on the sear?

Wasn't there an earlier version of the National Match where the only apparent external difference was the serial numbers and the higher fixed front and rear sights?



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Old Fuff
November 5, 2006, 09:11 AM
My reference books are where I'm not... :D

Anyway, from memory...:uhoh:

The first lightweight Commanders had the "LW" suffix, then they changed to "CLW" later. Colt always machined their aluminum frames from forgings made to Colt specifications, so I don't think the supplier would matter.

All of the Gold Cup pistols that had the wide, steel triger with the slot in the fingerpiece also had the little sear depressor and spring. If you buy a used pistol be sure they are still there, as many owners unwisely tossed these parts because they didn't like to go to the trouble of reinstalling them.

Before World War Two, Colt made their first National Match .45 pistol. some had higher fixed sights, but most had an adjustable rear sight. They were put together using selected standards parts, including the barrel that were pre-tested for accuracy. In my view these were the finest production 1911 pistols Colt ever made. The hand fitting is awesome. They are marked "National Match" on the slide.

Uncle Sam's Army also made their version of a National Match .45 pistol, which were generally unrelated to Colt, except Colt did make some of the components. Early guns had high, fixed sights. Later ones had adjustable ones. These were Parkerized, and marked U.S. Property

November 5, 2006, 09:40 AM
Got it. Thank you.

What there is left of my brain cells seem to remember reading somewhere that the early 'Leg Matches' was a competition twixt the varius branches of the Armed Forces.

It wasn't concidered 'cheating' to use hand selected parts off of 'rack' weapons to gain a little edge over the competition. The Army-Navy Game at Camp Perry.

When you get back to the land of warm weather and cold rattlesnakes I'd like to ask you more about the numbering change on the Commanders and dates for Colts National Match frames and slides.

I hope you are enjoying yourself.

Did you notice that Tuner has started playing around with BHPs now? See what happens when you leave town. His bride must have given him a well earned swat with an iron skillet.

Thanks again Old Fuff.


Old Fuff
November 5, 2006, 09:58 AM
Those "leg matches" at Camp Perry were also open to civilians, and if you lacked the correct .45 they would issue you one of Uncle Sam's match grade guns, along with spare magazines, and a lifetime supply of bore solvent, cleaning rod, and patches. All of this at no cost to the competitor

Registered civilian competitors were also allowed to buy (one) National Match pistol for a substantially discounted price. You could also buy extra National Match components (slides, barrels, etc.) for the government's cost.

Oh, and the ammunition - match grade hardball - was issued for free, and you could keep the fired brass for reloading.

You can find some information on serial numbers at

Tuner is a total loss, he is even lowered himself to touching S&W revolvers... :neener:

November 5, 2006, 11:04 AM
Thank you. I will put a 'bbokmark' on that site.

Now that he is in the early stages of selenity, do you think he'd be open to some creative negotiation for a couple of items that he has stashed in his Bat Cave Vault?


Old Fuff
November 5, 2006, 02:13 PM
If he is I want to pillage... I mean negotiate with him first... :evil:

November 5, 2006, 05:01 PM
Maybe his bride can have him declared incompentent and useless. I'd like to be on deck when the haggling begins on the Commanders.


Old Fuff
November 5, 2006, 06:43 PM
Commanders??? What Commanders...? I didn't see any Commanders... :evil:

Jim Watson
November 5, 2006, 09:05 PM
The Gold Cup National Match has always had the wide heavy steel trigger and the sear depressor that it makes necessary. There is some confusion here. The guns made from introduction in 1957 until the Mk IV Series 70 mutation in 1970 are not marked "Gold Cup" on the gun and a lot of people consider them not to be a Gold Cup variant. But all the literature and advertising of the day called it the Gold Cup National Match even though that is not in the roll marks.

November 5, 2006, 10:17 PM
Got it. Thank you Jim.

So, if I understand correctly, even the 57 through 69 National Match (pre Gold Cup roll mark) had the wide steel trigger as well as the 'clutch' and spring?


Jim Watson
November 5, 2006, 10:38 PM
There was a running change. The early guns had a teeny leaf spring on the sear depressor (your "clutch") and later used a teeny coil spring.
They are a bear to reassemble, even assuming you don't lose one of the small bits. A slave pin as long as the width of the sear will hold things together until you can get them positioned in the frame and push the slave pin out with the sear pin.

November 6, 2006, 12:22 AM
Sorry about the reference to a 'clutch'. I didn't know what else to call it.

Although I didn't stay in Holiday Inn last night, I did have a '55 Chevrolet with a manual transmission.


I'm curious, why did Colt do stuff like that when they had, not only game in town, but a history of being the best game in town?

Seems like Colt has been mashing the 'self-destruct' button for decades. Maybe they finally achieved their goal.


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