Colt Commando Special (38 special)


January 7, 2008, 10:00 AM
I have a 38 Spec. Colt Commando Special but can find out anything about. I've found info concerning a Commando made around WWII time frame but this is a more modern has a 2" barrel. Any information would be appreciated.



If you enjoyed reading about "Colt Commando Special (38 special)" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Texas Colt
January 7, 2008, 10:28 AM

The Commando Special is a steel frame, matte blued, budget version of the Detective Special. It was only made for a couple years in the 1984-1985 time frame.

January 7, 2008, 07:07 PM
The original; Commando was a war-time version of the medium frame Colt Official Police.
It had a rough parkerized finish.

The Colt Commando Special was made on the Colt small frame.
The Commando Special was a model offered by Colt during the big Colt strike of the mid-1980's.

During the strike, Colt didn't have enough personnel who could do top quality polishing, so they put these people on the top of the line guns like the Python and brought out a series of guns with a flat black, unpolished finish.

The Commando Special was nothing more than the Detective Special in the flat black finish.
These guns were the same quality internally as the polished models, and were great deals price-wise.
However, they were not that popular and since most people preferred the bright polish models, these flat black models were dropped as soon as the strike ended.

March 29, 2008, 11:19 PM
Hmmm... I just cleaned a Colt Commando 2" barrel in stainless.
Serial# is 99xx.
Trigger, hammer, and cylinder latch are checkered.
Trigger and hammer appear plated rather than SS.
Sight has serrated ramp.
Connecticut is abbreviated as CT on the barrel.
Markings on barrel are nearly worn off.
It has plastic pearl grips that fit poorly.

I found this article,
but I'm left thinking that a 2" barrel in SS is uncommon b/c I can't find any references to it.

Any additional info is appreciated.

It's a solid gun. My inclination is to replace the grips and go shoot it.

March 29, 2008, 11:58 PM
btg3, if you're referring to a WWII Commando, they were never manufactured in Stainless Steel (no revolvers were yet being produced in SS). Odds are the revolver was refinished & nickel plated or hard-chromed. The faint markings are also a good indicator of a refinish.

All Commando's were made in '42-'43. If the weapon is solid, no reason not to enjoy shooting it. They're fine weapons & usually accurate.


March 30, 2008, 08:33 AM
The 99xx serial# does lead me to believe it's a WWII Commando.
Your suspicion of a refinish makes sense, however the trigger and hammer are obvioulsy inferior with the plating coming off in spots. They appear chrome, whereas the frames looks different like nickel (or SS).

Since only the barrel has the Commando imprint, could it have been fitted to a different SS Colt revolver -- but the 99xx serial would preclude the use of SS according to your post, so I guess not.

There are faint scratches on the frame as if steel wool were used for polishing, but there are no other blemishes on the frame or cylinder.

The ejector rod is gouged like someone grabbed it with pliers, but must have been buffed over prior to plating or else is SS.

Unfortunately, little is know about this revolver's history. It's been under the mattress of a WWII veteran for a long time and he bought it used.

April 2, 2008, 06:25 AM
The original; Commando was a war-time version of the medium frame Colt Official Police. It had a rough parkerized finish.

...still trying to figure out what I've got...

Okay, this pistol has a 2" barrel that says "Commando".
But, it has checkering (trigger and cylinder latch) and matting (top of frame) that was eliminated for Commandos. So right off, it seems the barrel is not original. And that the frame is Official Police rather than Commando. Thus I'm inclined to think it now exists as most like a Detective Special regardless of what it was originally.

Next, the finish is indeed nickel-plate and is well done even though evidence of pitting with the original finish is evident under the nickel-plate. The trigger and hammer however do not have the nickel finish. They look like older chrome with pits and areas worn to bare metal. I disassembled the gun and there was minimal internal wear, so I suspect it was stored improperly and the finish had to be restored--just a guess.

Cleaned, lubed, and reassembled, the gun seems excellent with respect to cylinder gap, solid lock-up, timing, and bore condition.

In short, I've got a hybridized/restored DS that should be a nice shooter, but hardly a collectible.

Any suggestions for grips?

April 2, 2008, 07:16 PM
Is it a medium frame or a small frame?

The Colt WWII Commando was built on the Colt medium frame and was just a lesser finish Official Police.

The 1980's Commando Special was a black finish Detective Special.

What grips you'd need depends on the frame size.
If it's a medium frame, any grips made for the Official Police, original Trooper, or Python will fit.

April 2, 2008, 08:21 PM
It's a medium frame.
Prefer grips that cushion a bit for arthritic hands.

If you enjoyed reading about "Colt Commando Special (38 special)" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!