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Old March 24, 2013, 04:42 PM   #1
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Combat Commander sights

I've got a Combat Commander with the stock sights. Love the gun, hate the sights. My old eyes just don't work with them. Would it be feasible/wise to replace them with more modern sights? The front sight isn't dovetailed like my other 1911's. Would it hurt the value of the gun?
Any advise would be appreciated.
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Old March 24, 2013, 04:44 PM   #2
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You will need to cut the slide. Most custom shops will do it for 100 to 200. Get a Novak cut.
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Old March 24, 2013, 06:43 PM   #3
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Here's my 30 year old LW Commander with a Smith Enterprise rear sight, It's nice because I use more than one load.

My eyesight sucks too but if I get some light between the front and rear sight I'm better.

If you are planning on selling it, value may be hurt, but if it's gonna be inherited by someone who will hock it, who cares.
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Old March 25, 2013, 05:10 AM   #4
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There are lots of replacement sights that don't require modifying the slide. My Commander came with small, G.I.-style sights, and they were replaced with a newer Colt rear and MGW ramp front.
A front dovetail does greatly expand your options.
Any changes hurt the collectibility, but if you shoot the gun much, general wear and tear will make it uncollectible, anyway.
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:33 AM   #5
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There are lots of replacement sights that don't require modifying the slide.
I suppose it is dependent upon the vintage of the pistol. The rear sights on my "pre-series 70" Combat Commander are integral to the gun and would require cutting.
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Old March 25, 2013, 08:16 AM   #6
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It depends on the intended use of your pistol and the condition your eyes are in.

If the primary use of the pistol is for defense purposes I recommend leaving the sights as is.
The reason being, most defense sisuations will be up close and personal and you most likely will not need the sights.

If it's just a range gun for shooting targets using a 6 oclock hold you may want to go with a low mount Bo-Mar adjustable type sight like salvadore has on the gun in the picture.

Many times those with aging eyes find that bigger sights do not help, as a matter of fact many realize the larger sights just obscure more of what they are trying to hit.

I know all to well about aging eyes and pistol sights.
I've actually found that I shoot smaller sights like the ones on the original 1911 better then I do larger sights.
Also 1911A1 sights with colored reference points on them seem to work well for me.

The old King-Tappan rear with the white vertical line under the rear sight notch and a white dot up front is as good as it gets in my opinion.
It gives a sight picture that looks like this [ i ].

Before you spend a lot of money on adding larger sights that may not work for you, you may want to try adding reference marks to the sights on your pistol if they do not have any.

Best Regards
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Old March 25, 2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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I don't know how old the OP's gun is, but current production Colts have pretty usable sights and they are available here and there.

Older stuff, I have a set of the (defunct) King's Hardball and a couple of the Novak Concealed Carry sights that fit the GI dovetail.
I don't see the sense of a hundred bucks worth of milling machine time for a fixed sight, but it is getting hard to avoid.

You still have to do something to get the right height front sight. A well done stake-on will work, but unlike the rear, I would pay to have a cross dovetail cut for a really stout installation.

Yes, it will "hurt the value of the gun." Assuming that it is in pristine condition and the older the better, any modification will reduce its resale value. But why care? Are you going shooting or trading Cabbage Patch Dolls?

There are the Novak Competition sight
Concealed Carry|Make_3=1911

Harrison Retro and 10-8 sights look like larger than life GI sights.

MGW is good, too.
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Old March 25, 2013, 11:14 AM   #8
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I wouldn't call it "pristine" but it is in very good condition. I do shoot it on occasion but not alot. I was just asking for options & opinions. I think the trigger is non-stock but man it is nice. I'm not even sure how old it is.
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Old March 25, 2013, 11:40 AM   #9
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Yes, you can replace the sights if you wish. There are many sight options available nowadays. Even the current Colt Novak-style sights could be fitted to it. Just keep in mind that in todays crazy world, upgrading your pistol by adding expensive parts may actually decrease the collector's value of the pistol. As pointed out above, the current sights are "stake-in" style sights, with the thin tenon staked in place from the inside of the slide, and the rear sight is in a dovetail and can be drifted out.
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Old March 25, 2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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I transitioned from my traditional 1911's to a XD-45...I shot consistantly to the left with the XD using a 6:00 hold. I changed my grip for the XD & guess what? Life is now good! The grip on the XD is a little wider that what i was used to. Just had to find out what the gun liked & it was not much of a change.
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Old March 25, 2013, 05:33 PM   #11
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If you're going to alter the slide, get tritium sights with a milled front sight slot. Anything short of that leaves you sightless at night...unless you come up with a bolt on flashlight. Having had to shoot at close quarters on a dark night some years ago, I'd never be without a set of tritium sights again. Rod
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