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Found a colt 9mm commander today

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Jon Coppenbarger, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Well-Known Member

    Roads were icy here in colorado today but needed to run down to the store. also stopped into the local pawn shop just for kicks to see what they might have.
    They had a 98% condition manf. date 1970 Colt commander in 9mm. It is the one with the frame marked clw serial number prefix. nice early 4 digit number also. just a great looking 1911. Always wanted one of the 9mm ones with the steel frame.

    Walked out with it for $699 total. looks like it might of had a box of rounds threw it and with those brown colt plastic grips it kinda matches my 1970 govt model 45. in nickle.

    Funny thing is I sold my glock 23 two weeks ago with the ideal of buying a newer model glock to carry. have been carring my 1941 ppk the last couple of weeks but now I plan on using this as my normal carry pistol. Could not be more happy.
  2. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    That's one heck of a deal.

    If you're a reloader, think real hard about getting a 9x23 or 38 Super barrel chambered for it. You'll really love it with the more potent velocities and longer case lengths. I don't have to do a thing with mine but change barrels and recoil springs. No extractor adjustment needed, and 38 Super mags work for 9mm and 9x23 rounds.

    Again, great find. And at a super price!

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    I have a 9mm Commander Mine a little older 1951 . Its the only 9mm I don't sell I just like it that much. Other 9mm come and go in this house.
  4. esheato

    esheato Well-Known Member

    Ugh..I hate you.
  5. ACP230

    ACP230 Well-Known Member

    I've had one for several years. It's an interesting gun and cheap to shoot (used to be cheaper).
    I'd buy another one if I could get one at a reasonable price.
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    FWIW all Commanders have alloy frames, thats what the LW in the prefix means with the C meaning "nickel" finish. Only the series 70 and later (well I know there is no real Series 70 Commander but I mean post 1970) Combat Commander had steel frames.
  7. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Well-Known Member

    your right on one point I checked and it does have the colt alloy frame its just so nice it looked like steel. but confused on your other statement on this 1970 pistol it is not nickle its blue and starts with clw which I have been led to believe it stands for commander light weight.

    now my 1970 commercial govt model 45 is nickle and if the c at the end of the serial means nickle then that would mean my 1954, 1957 and 1963 one's with the c after the serial number must be mistakes as they are all blue? I have a friend with the exact same markings as my commander and its not nickle either.

    now I have seen plenty of later colts and they seem to put all the info in the serial number which actually really helps make sure they are not mixed up.
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Don't get too hung up on secret codes in the serial numbers.
    My Ace .22 is numbered in the 70B series of .45s and I have seen .45s with SM smallbore serial numbers. Know what you are really looking at. Be able to tell an aluminum frame from steel. And vice versa; a dealer once gave me a big sales pitch about his rare all steel gun marked Commander Model instead of Combat Commander. Big fat hairy deal, I didn't want a heavy steel gun, I wanted something to carry.
  9. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Well-Known Member

    so true with the ones from the last 30 years but the early 1911's it is pretty easy to know what you are buying before 1971 the large C ment commercial on 1911's. you did not have much to confuse folks back then as you either had just a serial number, serial number with things like SM for the service models, LW for the commanders, NM for national match, NMR for gold cup rimmed, then in 1969 to me it starts to get a little more confusing as thats when the clw comes out. I take it to mean commander light weight but why did they change it from just LW? after that year when the series 70 came out a few things make since but some of it just plan did not. I can see why someone with say a mid 70's 1911 in nickle who has say a serial number like SC which to me would mean nickle would think it always ment that but did not untill like 1971.
    as far as other colts I never really gave it much thought.
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member

    Jon Coppenbarger

    That's one really nice find to finish the year on. And at that price, I would have gone out in a blizzard to pick it up. If you do consider going the .38 Super route, you will need to change out the ejector with one made for the .38 Super, as the 9mm. ejector is too long. The .38 Super ejector will work fine with both cartridges.
  11. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    I think SC meant satin nickel finish on the post 70 guns. If it is blue then I don't know what the C meant in the prefix. But without a doubt LW allways meant lightweight (alloy frame). A pre 70 Commander in 9mm is a real score! They do make very nice EDC pieces for the old school. +1 on the .38 Super extractor and the after market .38 Super barrels head space on the case mouth and are much more accurate thanthe early Colt barrels. I think the 9mm allways headspaced on the case mouth so should be plenty accurate!
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member


    I've heard that to be an issue with the early Colt .38 Super barrels headspacing on the rim, not on the case mouth. With variations in case dimensions between ammo makers, your accuracy results could vary by a considerable amount sometimes. Of course this will not be a problem with the 9mm.

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