Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Gift for Dad: 1956 Colt Commercial 1911, questions (long)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Rob1035, Jul 12, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,095
    Location:
    MD, USA
    Please bear with me here, as "My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives. ":p

    My dad's 65th is about half a month away, and all of us kids are trying to do something special. A local shop has a 1956 Colt Commercial 1911, LNIB with original box, bill of sale, manual, etc. They want $1000, but the price isn't really an issue, especially compared to how much it takes to raise a hard headed son. Anyway, the gun is probably the most gorgeous firearm I've ever seen, it appears to be unfired, with no discernible wear anywhere. The bluing is like nothing I've seen, its amazing. I obviously don't have much experience with guns from this area, and I've been missing out. The box and stuff are in pretty good shape for being 50 years old.

    About the Man: My dad was an Army Reserve Sgt. just before Vietnam and taught pistol and rifle shooting evidently. His father spent 3 years as a Col. in the Philippines with his issued 1911 (and earned a Bronze Star while there), so the platform has great sentimental value to us. Dad has a nice collection of shooters of all types, but only a few really really nice guns, mostly shotguns. He has a Norinco 1911 that is his tinker toy, and a G21 to pound nails with.

    This gift would be a safe queen (if he wanted), a really really nice piece that would hopefully mean something coming from me. While I'm pretty much a typical 24 year old, $1000 is a lot of money. I can shuffle a few things around and have the money to buy it and still pay expenses, and like I said, the price isn't the issue, its worth it to me; I don't really care about a few dollars over or under the “true value” if the gun is what I want for him. My main concern is how does one tell this piece is pretty much original? The condition fools me for sure, but if I'm spending the equivalent of more than a months rent on a 1911 for my dad for this purpose, I don't really want some cobbled together mutt. What can I look for to insure its what I want? Are there any sort of markings on the slide and frame that match or something like that? While the shop is reputable and friendly, I don't want to rely on them to tell me what I want to hear to make the sale.

    Thanks for plodding through this, if you haven't figured it out by now this is a very emotional decision for me, so any thoughts, advice, or info you could share would be greatly appreciated. I have indeed searched here and on the 1911 forums, but I honestly feel more comfortable asking High Roaders.
     
  2. bluto

    bluto Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Rob1035 -

    First, let me say what a great and generous gift you've chosen for your father. Sounds teriffic.

    I think you're right to be cautious about authenticity. Here's the first contribution to your search:

    http://www.m1911.org/serno_co.htm

    This page lists serial numbers of all Colt Commercial models. Double check me, but for 1956 the serial numbers began with 272550C and ended with 276699C.

    A picture would be best so that others with knowledge of the Colt history could tell if the slide and frame match and if the blueing looks original. I've seen several old 1911's analyzed on 1911 forum and I'm sure the experts here are just as knowledgable.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. Black Knight

    Black Knight Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    I agree with Bluto. I lost my Dad 4 years ago and had planned on getting him an M-1 Garand but never could swing it. Treasure your Dad, we don't get too many opportunities to say how much we care. Give Colt a call and get some form of authenticity on it. They will charge you $25 for a certificate but just over the phone, nothing. Again treasure him and your mother. We never really appreciate what we have until we lose it. Don't lose the feeling.
     
  4. bluto

    bluto Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
  5. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,095
    Location:
    MD, USA
    bluto- great info, thanks, i've got homework to do

    Both of you: thanks for the kind thoughts, its funny how a few years can change a persons perspective. As we (my father and I) get older, I realize more and more that the typical paper chase stuff is much less important than the great times we have shooting, talking about guns, cars, our SOs, watching TV, etc.

    If this gun checks out, i'll buy it tomorrow after work. Whatever temporary financial strain this puts me in is totally, 115% worth it

    Hopefully have some pr0n tomorrow...
     
  6. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    "Land of (dis)Enchantment"
    As the father of a 24 year old son, let me say that a gift like that would be fondly remembered forever.

    If your Dad doesn't like it, send it to me, I was born in 1956.
     
  7. Danus ex

    Danus ex Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    DITTO!
     
  8. BigG

    BigG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,081
    Location:
    Dixieland
    Congratulations

    That Colt is a steal at $1,000 and will be something your dad and you when he passes it on will enjoy forever. I have a 1960 era one with the fire blue like yours, they are truly beautiful.
     
  9. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,095
    Location:
    MD, USA
    Heading to the shop, a few printed out info sheets in hand thanks to Bluto...:D
     
  10. Supertac45

    Supertac45 Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    U.P., Michigan
    1911

    I was born in 48. Buy your Dad the gun. He'll love it. Trust me on this one even though you don't know me. If the serial number checks out, it'd be a great gift for a gun owner and even greater coming from his son.
     
  11. paul45

    paul45 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Messages:
    371
    If in condtion you describe....that Colt is worth twice the asking price.
     
  12. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,095
    Location:
    MD, USA
    bad news: handled it again this afternoon, with a short stack in my back pocket. 1 of 2 things happened: Either yesterday when I first saw it, I was too excited to look closely, or sometime between then and now some ham-fisted monkey made a NICE idiot scratch on the pistol:banghead: Needless to say, I'm pretty disappointed. Otherwise, the pistol is nice, the serial # works out, the markings are correct, the barrel has the proper finish and markings, etc. But that blasted idiot mark....

    Now I'm debating what to do. I doubt my dad would care about the scratch, but I care about paying that price for something like that. Maybe I don't know any better regarding this market, but what do you guys think? Try to get the shop to knock some off the price or just walk away:cuss:
     
  13. teombe

    teombe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    AZ
    Dude - a new 1991 would cost you $700, just to put it in perspective.

    I've gotta think a pristine condition (other than the mark) 1956 commercial is worth at least $300 more.
     
  14. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,672
    Location:
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    If it was me I'd try to get a little knocked off or some extra swag because of the "new" mark.

    If the seller stands firm then I'd go agead and buy it. I think it's a reasonable price.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page