Need help with colt......

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Thread: Need help with colt......

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    Senior Member Array Mattmann's Avatar
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    Need help with colt......

    OK so here is the breakdown. I am in the market for a new gun. Thought about another shotgun or playing with the ar but decided to go handgun route. I went to the local shop today to look at 1911s since I don't have one yet and was looking at Kimberly ultra carrys when a friend of mine whispered to show me something. A previous owner was selling there old collection to pay medical bills and was selling a colt commanding officer stainless in real nice shape for $800. He told me it was real rare and probably worth more than that and it would make a amazing first 1911. Does anyone know anything about these?? Please help!?? Am.I getting ripped or stay with the Kimber??

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    Officer, or Commander?

    Either way, here are a couple of current listings on Gunbroker..............

    COLT MARK IV SERIES 80 OFFICERS ACP STAINLESS 45 : Semi-auto at GunBroker.com

    Colt Commander Stainless 45 Origional : Semi-auto at GunBroker.com
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

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    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    IIRC the Commanding Officers were Officer size slides/barrels on full size Commander frames, they made three different versions, a couple of hundred of each. Some in .45 and 9mm. Early 90's maybe. If you google it you'll find some info but no too much.

    Don't know if $800 is a good deal, it isn't to me, but to the right buyer I'm sure it is, but I'm thinking that's about what it's worth. I missed one in 9mm a couple of years ago for $500 and was disappointed, for $800 I'd really have to want that particular model/configuration.
    “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

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    The Colt Commanding Officer is a short Officer's Model slide (3" bbl) on a Commander frame - a bit of an oddball. What has historically been more popular is a Commander-length slide (4" bbl) on an Officer's Model frame, for greater concealability. The Commanding Officer was a limited-production model commissioned, I think, by Horton's. It's a fine piece and if it's really clean it's worth the $800 being asked simply for its collectability.

    Now the not-so-happy news: The Commanding Officer was made in the mid-80s while Colt was in the middle of a protracted strike with the UAW and the guns which left the factory for a few years were not put together by the skilled, veteran Colt workers. Further, at that time the Colt 1911s were still being built on the ancient tooling which had been around since before WWII and whose tolerances (like hole locations) left lots to be desired and which demanded much hand-fitting of pieces. Around the early 90's Colt invested in new tooling which was much more precise and overall quality was much improved (a designer friend worked for years at Colt, designing the new tooling for manufacturability and improved quality). None of this implies that any single Colt 1911 from that era is "bad", it just highlights that quality was hit-or-miss and the chances of getting a struggle-bunny are higher.

    Meanwhile, there are a lot of folks who bash Kimber while touting the gun with the pony as the high-point of 1911s. Kimber has indeed had its own quality problems (guns delivered with "pre-rusted" barrels) and of course their use of MIM parts always gets howls of disapproval from the traditionalists and the under-informed. If I was buying new today, the only thing that would move me away from a Kimber is their Swartz-type firing pin safety. I have that in my Commander-sized CDP Pro and it will disappear at the first major service interval.

    If the money isn't burning a hole in your pocket and you're willing to shop around, in the $800 to $1000 range I'd give a serious look at the Springfield Armory offerings. They make a great gun for the money and their customer service is top-notch.
    Smitty
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    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    I don't know about it's value or rarity, but I would prefer a CCO (Commander 4 1/4" Bbl on Officer frame), over a Commanding Officer (3 1/4" Officer's Bbl on Government/Commander full sized frame). Why? While 1911 pattern pistols are a dream to conceal due to their slim design, I find the Officer's Model the hardest to conceal. For me an Officer's short barrel allows the grip to lean out and away from my side hindering concealment, (a pistol's grip is the most difficult part of the pistol to conceal). Officer's Model 1911's are know to be more problematic than their siblings. A Commanding Officer has a larger grip than the Officer's Model making it that much more difficult to hide. A larger grip will give you more capacity, a shorter barrel may help with concealment (not for me), as does a shorter frame, but having a short barrel with shorter sighting plane, lessened inherent functional reliability, and adding a longer grip; that just doesn't give you anything positive. Best to stick with either the Government, Commander, or CCO.

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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattmann View Post
    He told me it was real rare and probably worth more than that and it would make a amazing first 1911. Does anyone know anything about these?? Please help!?? Am.I getting ripped or stay with the Kimber??
    First, find out for sure what model it actuatly is. Colt ran a limited production pistol called the "LT. Commander" which had an Officers Model slide on a Commander frame (there were 500 produced, IIRC), so that one would be kinda rare. There was also a regular "Commanding Officer" model with the OACP slide on a Commander frame. The CCO (Concealed Carry Officers) is the opposite in build, Commander slide on an Officers frame. If you can get a Commanding Officer model for $600/700, I'd do it, I do it faster if it is the "LT. Commander" version.
    QKShooter likes this.
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