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Old November 29, 2012, 07:18 PM   #1
montanakeith
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What Colt Combat Commander is this???

Hi all
I am new to your forum and have a problem I could use your help with.
A very good friend died a while back and left me a beautiful Colt Combat Commander. I ran the serial numbers and the Colt web site told me it was a 1978 model.
I am trying to sell the gun because I need the money and have a few pistols besides this one so I won't be left unarmed.
The thing is the trigger guard. It does not look like any other I have seen and I have a prospective buyer that wants to know WHY it looks the way it does. I am attaching two pictures of it in hopes that someone out there can enlighten me.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg COMMANDER LFT SIDE COCKED very small2.jpg (202.1 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg COMMANDER RT SIDE CLOSEUPverysmall2.jpg (213.4 KB, 131 views)
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:25 PM   #2
nate45
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A highly customized one. To me it looks typical of a 1970s-1980s customization, with the S&W sights. The square trigger guard is like I believe Swenson use to do, although many copied him.
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:34 PM   #3
TheGoldenState
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Quote:
A very good friend died a while back and left me a beautiful Colt Combat Commander
Quote:
I am trying to sell the gun because I need the money
Quote:
have a few pistols besides this one so I won't be left unarmed.

.02


Sell another gun first.
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:43 PM   #4
Cowboy_mo
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+1 for Gldenstate's .02

I don't know what other guns you own, but I would definitely try to hold onto the Commander.
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:44 PM   #5
BigJimP
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There are quite a few companies that still offer that option today....

http://sviguns.com/

I don't know that there is a practical application to it ...unless you intend to wear heavy gloves in the winter or something.../ but I'm not sure how much more room it gives you, if any frankly. I was shooting one of my 1911's today, with a conventional trigger guard, with gloves -with no issues.

There were some instructors - years ago - that were teaching some optional grip techniques - where the off hand fingers wrapped around in front of the trigger guard...so maybe whoever had this done /liked that grip style. I never thought personally it was a good technique...but a lot of grip styles have come and gone over the years...

But I wonder if that trigger guard will fit into most 1911 holsters...?? I don't know ...

I don't know for sure - but my hunch is, that modification was not done by Colt / but you'll have to contact Colt and see if they ever offered it as an option on a special order.

Last edited by BigJimP; November 29, 2012 at 07:49 PM.
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Old November 29, 2012, 07:58 PM   #6
K1500
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Looks like a Swenson style gun to me. If it IS a Swenson, it is probably worth quite a bit more than if it is a non-Swenson copy. I am no expert, but it looks like a copy to me.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:28 PM   #7
Aguila Blanca
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It also doesn't look like that slide belongs on that frame. Either that, or the entire frame has been refinished.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:56 PM   #8
Jim Watson
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The trigger guard was squared by welding and grinding, gunsmith work that never came out of the Colt factory.
Neither did the S&W rear sight in the "protected position" (Which is missing its guts, by the way.)
Nor did the rib on the slide, the beavertail, or the extended controls.

It isn't a Swenson.
Nor any other well known gunsmith I can spot by style.
I think it done by a minor shop based on gunzine centerfolds of the day.

I won't guess a dollar value, but if the gunsmith cannot be identified as somebody at the top of the field, it is not high.
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Old November 30, 2012, 05:22 AM   #9
WC145
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I agree with Jim, it's got a lot of mods but probably not a known 'smiths work, too rough and unrefined. Also, the overall condition of the gun is not so good, it looks like it's had a tough life. Not much value there, not even what a used '78 Colt Commander in that shape would bring because of the mods. Might be worth a something to someone as a project gun and, of course, you never know what gunbroker might bring.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:59 AM   #10
dahermit
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Quote:
A highly customized one. To me it looks typical of a 1970s-1980s customization, with the S&W sights. The square trigger guard is like I believe Swenson use to do, although many copied him.
I agree. I remember when those modifications were considered the State of the Art for 1911's. The style of shooting them at that time, was to have the index finger of the left hand positioned on the front of the trigger guard, so flattening, and sometimes checkering it was common, as was adding those S&W revolver sights to add adjustably. It was the way to go...back then. If you showed up on the range with those modifications, you were considered a savy pistolero. Needless to say, they were not originally shipped by Colt that way.
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:13 AM   #11
Hunter Customs
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montanakeith,

I tried responding to your PM but it would not go through.
Could you e-mail me at bob@huntercustoms.com ?

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:19 AM   #12
Constantine
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^ Bob Hunter would give it a great home. If I'd sell it, I'd sell it to Bob.
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:41 AM   #13
sam colt
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I had a full size 1911 modified in 1980 in a similar fashion by Jim Clark sr.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:00 PM   #14
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I would take a close look at that gun. The sight rib on the top looks interesting. Do you have a pic of the top of the slide? When it's field stripped are there any stampings or initials inside? Any under the stocks?

The gun was subject to some abuse. A professional may have started the work and Bubba kept at it. Hard to say without a close look.

On the squared trigger guard...in the late 70s and 80s a European technique of competitive shooters of placing the index finger of the support hand at the front of the trigger guard "jumped the pond" as they say. Swenson did a lot of this work on 1911s as others have mentioned. Jim Clark did some too he also just knurled the front of the trigger guard on 1911s.

Gun manufacturers took to this gimmick like crazy. S&W began squaring off the front of the trigger guards on their 2nd and third Gen guns. The CZ 75 went from a lovely oval trigger guard to a squared off one. H&K went to the style. When Glocks appeared they began with it, etc.

Old guns like this are interesting. They tell a story and can sometimes be brought back.

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Old November 30, 2012, 12:04 PM   #15
montanakeith
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Well, I think that gives me a lot to work with. I did find some proof marks on the trigger guard, a "J", an "X" and a triangle with a "VP", which apparently is the Colt Verified Proof mark, with the others being inspection marks.
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:15 PM   #16
RickB
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Looks like the "style" of Austin Behlert, but the details don't seem quite right. Lot's of squared trigger guards and S&W sights on 1911s in the '70s-'80s.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:37 PM   #17
drail
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You could "fix" that trigger guard with about 10 minutes on a grinder.
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