Tempted by Nickel Colt Combat Commander


April 8, 2007, 11:44 AM
Found this one at my favorite shop: an all-original (wood grips, tiny sights, dinky safety) pre-series 80 Colt in electroless nickel (serial number 70SC5xxxx). Finish looks very good, except for some minor rubbing where the gun was holstered. I love the balance of the commander-length slide, steel frame and curved backstrap.

The chance to own an all-steel Colt is very tempting, even if I am not a fan of the .45 ACP cartridge (albeit strictly from a cost standpoint). Anyone have direct experience with the Combat Commander? How much is too much for one of these suckers?


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April 8, 2007, 12:16 PM
There was one at my local gunstore about a year ago, every time I think about it I want to kick myself for not buying it when I had the chance.

April 8, 2007, 02:42 PM
Good point. For once, I had the good sense to put the gun on hold while I make up my mind.

April 8, 2007, 03:40 PM
I say this is general depends on where you live. 600 up to 1000 I sold stainless Commander no box or papers 675 last week. Saw a 2nd stainless same price. This adverage in my area for stainless or blue
I bought a officer model for 650 (600 on a trade 50 including tax cash) past thursday. never been fired got everthing with it..all the boxes and papers.
Nickle likely higher than the above. Look if its a Colt you won't lose money if you keep in good shape and decide to sell later. Just don't change anything you can't put back to stock and keep what ever you remove.

April 8, 2007, 05:40 PM
The pre 80 Combat Commander is about the best combat pistol ever invented ,in my opinion and many others. The Electroless Nickle ones are very nice in good shape. The Finish is harder to refinish however as it has to be stripped off first, a difficult process. Really the only modifacations the gun needs is a set of dark larger sights to be good to go. These guns go for $800-900 in Ca. currently.

April 8, 2007, 08:04 PM
I traded a e-nickel Kahr K40 and $100 (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/10/colt-commander-series-70-nickel.html) for one at a gunshow. Several weeks later, I found one in a pawn shop for $475 (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/11/pawn-shop-circuit-twin-commander.html). I purchased it immediately.

In my area, they should sell for around $650 or so. Sometimes you see them for $800-900 because the Blue Book calls them rare. They aren't.

Texas Colt
April 8, 2007, 09:31 PM
Sounds like a great gun.

I have never met a Colt Commander I didn't like. Out of the eight 1911s I own, five of them are Commanders, if that says anything.

April 8, 2007, 10:13 PM
I'd love to have a Combat Commander in stainless.

Go for it.

April 8, 2007, 11:16 PM
I have had one since 1974. The serial number is not far off from yours. I carried it as a LEO for about a total of 10 years (policy dictated a DA auto). After about 20,000 rds I had to have the sear and some other small parts replaced. Barrel is still good. Had the sights changed to Millet and the slide bead blast blue (the front sight was silver soldered so it messed up the satin nickel). Frame still looks okay and now I have a 2 tone Combat Commander probably good for a lot more rounds. I wouldn't sell mine so I can't give you an idea of price.

April 9, 2007, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the input, everybody. XavierBreath is right, the Blue Book calls the satin nickel finish "scarce." It isn't. In fact, the store had two satin nickel Combat Commanders in stock. The other one had aftermarket grips and adjustable sights--and was priced $150 north of the one I put on hold. Probably a consignment piece.

I've got to admit, I am a fan of neither the 1911 of the 45 ACP cartridge. However, something about that Combat Commander felt so right. Well, time to spend some money . . .

April 9, 2007, 12:53 PM
Colt Commanders of all types are great defense/carry guns... I've got several. Funny you should mention nickle... right now my lightweight XSE Commander is at EGW getting a bobtail modification, steel feedramp insert, and some other cool mods... then it will be off to APW for nickel plating... can't wait to see and shoot that baby when it comes back. I especially appreciate the bobtail mod for it's feel in the hand and enhanced concealability... here's one of my custom Colt Commanders...


April 9, 2007, 01:49 PM
My constant compannion since 1976, had the slide industrial teflon coated over the nickel in Houston in the late 80's, MMC sights went on in 78', flat MS housing fits me better, Pachy beavertail grip safety in mid 80's, not much else since then. ALWAYS goes bang, hits where I point, and feels good in the hand, what more can you ask?


April 9, 2007, 07:36 PM
Gave into temptation. Here it is:



Beautiful guns you guys got there, Dhart and Nortexed. Me like shiny things.

April 9, 2007, 07:48 PM
Shear... nice. great looking Commander... love the rowel hammer and the Colt medallion grips!

April 9, 2007, 07:50 PM
love the rowel hammer and the Colt medallion grips!

Thanks, DHart. I tore the gun down and the only non-stock part I can find is the blued barrel link. It's rare for me to stumble upon a bone-stock Colt. For once, I get to be the first to monkey with it (though I will probably leave it as is).

April 9, 2007, 08:01 PM
Shear... that's a great find indeed... doesn't look like that beautiful Commander needs a thing... but shooting! The features on it are exactly as I would want it myself... short solid trigger, mil-spec sights and mil-spec single-sided thumb safety, small Commander grip safety, arched MSH... looks like the perfect Commander set-up to me!

April 9, 2007, 08:11 PM
I have owned only one 1911 type, it was a Colt Commander, nickel finish. This thing shook, felt loose. It would cycle only ball ammo, no hollow points of any type. :barf: It would puke :barf: back any and all types self defense rounds. I think I got rid of it in some horse trading somewhere.

I am still a forty-five fan, but not a 1911 fan. I own a GLOCK 21 in 45 acp. It is one of my carries.

April 9, 2007, 08:22 PM
KINGMAX... earlier models of Colts had chambers which weren't yet designed to feed the "then-new" hollowpoints... especially the flying ashtray design (like Corbon 230 gr. JHP - with broad meplat and straight ogive). It takes just a simple gunsmithing job to open the throats of those older chambers just a bit to make the JHP's feed flawlessly.

In Colts of recent years, Colt uses a unique "dimpled throat" in their barrel chambers which makes for remarkably reliable feeding with pretty much whatever one wants to stuff into the gun.

April 9, 2007, 08:42 PM
earlier models of Colts had chambers which weren't yet designed to feed the "then-new" hollowpoints... especially the flying ashtray design (like Corbon 230 gr. JHP - with broad meplat and straight ogive).

It's funnny you mention that. My gun hails from 1973. I also happen to have the 1973 edition of Gun Digest (the one with the as-yet-unreleased Ruger Speed Six on the cover). The Digest lists exactly two factory .45 ACP hollow point loads, one from Norma and the other from some outfit called "Super Velocity".

P.S. my gun is tight, with only a slight side-to-side movement in the slide. Might have something to do with the steel frame.

April 11, 2007, 10:43 AM
It makes a great combat gun. I bought mine new in the 70's. Added some MMC Combat Sights, trigger and throat job, and some ebonywood grips. Around the DFW gun shows, they go anywhere from $750-$1100, depending on condition. The one I saw for $1100 was "new" in the box.


April 11, 2007, 11:06 AM
Beautiful grips, Texasgun. Where did you get them?

Also, how do you carry your Commander?

April 11, 2007, 11:07 AM
Grips were bought at Market Hall Gun Show in Dallas. I carry it in a Don Hume IWB holster. Thanks for the compliments.:)

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