Hello, I have recently bought an assortment of rifles and pistols from friend whose were his fathers, and one of which is a Colt Commander with the serial numbers being 361-LW stamped in the right side of the frame, on the left side of the trigger guard there is the delta mark and what looks like a Q , and on the right trigger guard has what appears to be 95. left side of slide has commander model Colt super .38 automatic and the right side has "colts mfg co hartford ct. USA" but the frame is steel and not aluminum alloy (I put a magnet to it and it sticks). I called Colt with the serial number and found out that it was a 1951 production year and checked there charts to find that the Combat commander was actually made starting in 1949 with 66 total being produced from 1949 through the end of 1950. I have field stripped and checked internal numbers which all match and the pistol itself seems to be in excellent condition. I am a professional gunsmith so I have a good idea of condition evaluation but I am by no means an expert of colt 1911's although I am starting to become a freak about finding them and collecting them. Can someone out there help me in determining if this is a combat commander of just a commander. I thought that the standard commander had an alloy frame only. any help on identification and value would be appreciated. thanks in advance.
please anyone out there? I would greatly appreciate some help with this issue. anyone with some knowledge on this subject
I'm not too familiar with these models, but according to a reference book I have the Commander model had the LW suffix until 1968, at which point they changed it to CLW. This reference goes on to say that in 1968 they began production of the Combat Commander, all-steel receiver, with prefixes 70BS or 70SC, so I guess that would make yours a Commander model.
It also indicates that the Commander model serial numbers 001LW-0065LW were made in 1949, sn 66LW was made in 1950, and sn's 6000LW - 20300LW were made in 1951. I see no references to any serial numbers between 66 and 6000, so I'm not sure what that means regarding your sn of 361. It also says the Commander model's receiver was made of lightweight aluminum alloy, so now I'm really <email> also has the same serial number info.
The Blue Book references 6 prototype pistols made for evaluation by the military with serial numbers "under 600LWT", so maybe you came across one of those? I couldn't come up with anything on Google for a steel receiver Commander, so I'm fresh out of ideas...you might want to send Scott Gahimer an email and pick his giant brain http://m1911info.com/Home/tabid/38/Default.aspx
The Blue Book prices a .38 Super pre-70 series Commander in 95% at $1125. The Gun Digest lists an excellent condition Commander for $625 (pretty big discrepancy, but since the Colt market never seems to get too cold, I'd go with the Blue Book for retail market price).
Good luck...too bad you caught the Colt 1911 bug...sorry to say, but it only gets worse!
thanks for your efforts, seems that you came up with what I found out which leaves us wondering but for $200.00 dollars it seemed to be a good investment for my collection. I also procured a Colt Woodsman with a serial number with the serial number being 869000-5 in the same excellent condition (not a scratch on it) with the Colt horse on the receiver just before the barrel and woodsman under it. any idea what series this is and what year it is. I truely love the ruger mk 1.2 .3 designs and have all of them but something tells me that the ruger design came from this pistol as they appear the same. anyone have an idea of the year and value of this postol and what the history about it. thanks in advance
Yeah, for $200 you did well. Any chance there's enough steel in that aluminum alloy for a magnet to stick ( I know nothing about metallurgy)?
Your Woodsman sounds like a 2nd Series. The "5" suffix is actually an "S", and the serial numbers never went that high, so I'm going to guess you have a typo and added an extra "0" and your serial number is 86900-S which would make it a 1951 production date. If it's a 2nd Series it will have the push button mag release behind the trigger. Value on that one is around $800 +/- depending on barrel size (6" Target model is worth a bit less than the 4 1/2" Sport model)
If I'm off, post a pic and I'll take a look.
If I didn't know any better, I'd think you caught the JM Browning bug! Next thing you know, you'll be asking us how much a Colt model 1903 hammer model is worth! By the way, if you come across any old Winchesters, we have two of the most knowledgable guys you'll ever come across that work that forum.
oh ya I am certainly a John Moses Browning fan and being a gunsmith I certainly appreciate the detail which he applied to his designs. it has a four and 1/2 inch barrel and has the colt horse emblem on the left side of the upper portion just behind the slide and woodman logo below it. your right I added an extra 0 at the end of the serial number. it has brown plastic grips with the colt horse emblem on the right grip as well. I also received a fn/browning auto 5 full 16 special steel semi auto shot gun with that marked on the left side of the barrel, Browning arms company ogden utah in the center of the barrel, and made in belgium on the right side of the barrel. the serial number under the receiver is 36453 and has the FN logo just above it. on the left side of the receiver it shows "Fabrique Nationale D'arms DE Guerre Herstal Belgique and under that says browning patent depose. I have many more neat rifles that I got along with the deal which I will be asking about one at a time if you can help with your knowledge that would be very appreciated. Do you have any knowledge about this particular rifle and value. again all of the pieces that I purchased for a total of $700.00 are all in immaculate condition and magazines.
I'm not at home so I don't have any references in front of me, but your shotgun sounds like an early (maybe 1926) auto 5. There is a date code on the barrel by the proofmarks. It will be a letter (either standard font or cursive). It will not have an * above - that one is an assembler mark. They started with the letter A in 1922, so count alphanumerically from there and it will tell you the date the barrel was proofed. It was originally chambered for 2 9/16" shells, so unless it has been modified, only shoot 2 1/2" shells through it. Value is around $400, a bit more with the solid raised rib.
alright since you seem to know alot about early history on 1911's I also recently purchased a browning .380 pistol which came with the lot of them from my friends dad and It is not very easy to find out any info about them. I do see a FN version of this pistol which is called a model 1905 but it has all the same features as this browning but on the black handgrips mine says browning instead of FN. the serial number is 623xxx. do you know what year this browning came out and where it fits between the baby browning and the high power.also value would be nice. it is in Like new out of the box with original browning case. beautiful specimen. thanks
Are you sure about the 380 caliber? The FN model 1905 was the same design by JMB that Colt turned into their model 1908 (model N). Both the Colt and the FN were 25acp (the FN was marked 6.35mmx15.5mm) small hammerless pocket pistols. The FN 1905 was only marked Browning in the patent/address marking - the grip was marked FN.
The Baby Browning was also a 25acp and production started in 1931. It wasn't designed by JMB, but by his "protoge" at FN, Dieudonne Saive.
In 1954 Browning Arms Company began importing pistols from FN under its own trademark. These had the Browning marked grips, not FN marked. They brought in both the Baby Browning and the model 1955 (which was basically an updated version of the FN model 1910). The model 1955 did come in 380acp. I believe the FN versions of this pistol were marked 9mm/m00" and the Browning versions were marked Cal 380.
Browning did import an updated model 1955 in 1971 (that met the new 1968 Gun Control Act specs) they called the 10/71 that was marked Cal 380 on the barrel, but the serial numbers don't work for what you've listed - they added a date code prefix and the numbers never got that high.
Based on the serial number you've given, I believe you likely have a late model 1955. The serial numbers continued on from the model 1910, so they reached over 700,000. The Blue Book has 1968 starting with sn 619,475 with the ending date N/A. Browning stopped importation of this model in 1970, so I would say yours was made in 1968/69. The Blue Book puts the value at around $450, but with the original factory display case, I think you could figure $500+
Oh yeah, I meant to get back to you on that shotgun. The serial number puts production in 1925, so the date code on the barrel should be a D.
Amazingly enough, I have an auto 5 16ga with serial number 36464.
Since I have your gun's big sister, I should probably buy yours from you
You mentioned all the firearms you picked up were in excellent condition. If your shotgun is in really nice, original shape and has the raised solid rib it is probably worth more like $500+.
I paid $400 for mine (and I think I did OK). It is all original and matching (the bolt and many of the small parts are serialized, as are the stock and forend). The bluing is probably at 80% with minor freckling and the wood is pretty good - it has the standard small crack on the left side of the forend and some dummy installed sling swivels on it and didn't really understand the concept of "centering" so the rear swivel off by about 1/4". It has the original horn butt plate and the bore is excellent with the solid raised rib. It still has the original 2 9/16" chamber (which the Blue Book says deducts 20%, but I like it just the way it rolled off the line).
Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool our 86 year old shotguns came off the assembly line on the same day.
ya mine seems to be a model 1910. it has the browning grips but also has the 9m/m00 or does that make it a 1955. the serial number being 623175 seems to put it where you are saying the only problem is that his father had already passed away before the sixeties and he is an old guy himself but did not purchase any of the firearms himself. His father was the priginal owner on all of them. I also got a neat little .22 gallery rifle model 12-cs and will have to find the barrel dates since there is no serial numbers. problem is that they are hidden under the front pump action forend, as well as a pump action remington .270 win model 760 with six magazines, and a 1900 krag jorgensen which was in perfect condition with the original redfield sights but I have a friend that collects them so I traded him for an HK 91 all original including german HK receiver which I had wanted for a while. that is pretty cool that our pop guns were born on the same day.
Google fn model 1910 and check out some pics to see if that is what you have. It could also have been a contract pistol and have a special serial number. Check out the model 1922 also. They are basically the same pistol only the 1922 has a barrel extender lug on it. The 1922 was produced for many different military and police contracts so it could also have a serial number that seems out of sequence. Look for contract stamps.
On a different note, I have a 1959 sako L57 action in 243 Win on a Western Field barrel and stock that I am considering turning into a custom rifle. The stock is really pretty nice but I'd like to replace the barrel and glass bed the stock. Who makes a good barrel for something like this that won't break the bank?
I may be able to get a Carson stock for a very good price. They owe me some favors. I will let u know what I find out. I also did my apprenticeship with Jim houge years back when we were doing the long slide conversions for the 1911's before the manufacturers started doing them and am sure that I can get a houge stock for a very good price. Again I will look into it for you
I was given a gift from one of my customers today and cant quite tell what it is. It is a Colt custom on the left side but that is it .38 super with nickel plating and nickel plated trigger as well.seems to have walnut grips. very nice gun but does not have much info to go off of even in the box. the gun is brand spanking new and I dont know if I even want to shoot it. It came in one of those big blue custom shop boxes with the gold writing and the serial number is ELCN6828 with small letters on the right side of the frame which was manufactured in hartford conn USA. any idea of what gift I have received. I do a lot for this customer and he is always very happy with the work I do for him. Before this one He gave me a Browning hi power black with walnut grips in .40 cal which seems to be very rare. I guess I cant complain but when I try to do some work for him for free he will not have any of it. any help would be appreciated as I have tried to find out what it is with no luck. thanks in advance.
I think you've basically described what it is you have; a Colt Custom Government model Super 38, although I think your serial number prefix may be ELCEN?
Value on this NIB is likely around $900. Here's one for comparison:
that is what I have do you have any info on thi gun or when it was produced. is it a custom shop piece of just has custom colt engraved on the side? by the was still working on that Carlson stock for you. I will be able to come up with something nice. thanks for all your help in these matters that I have. also do you know of a conversion kit to turn a series 70 gold cup national match .45 acp into a 38 super. I have a customer that wants me to do exactly that. thanks again.
I don't believe there is a conversion kit. Here is a link to a few folks discussing that very project: http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-