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My brother gave me a Colt Combat Commander .38 super for Christmas. I could tell it was not original. The serial # 70BS3¬¬****. It has aftermarket sights, chrome plating, c arved (ivory) grips, and stamped on the safety A.D. Swenson, Calif... I will try to post some pics tonight.
 

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The safety was available as a retail part, so that proves only that whoever worked on the gun had access to the Swenson safety. Still, eagerly awaiting the pics!
 

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It certainly has a Swenson look to it, especially those S&W revolver sights.
 

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Can we get some pics of the top of the slide? Are there any marks or stamps on the side of the slide or frame?
 

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Swenson, and others of that era would fill the rear sight dovetail with a slug of metal, blend it, and then fit the S&W rear sight as far back as possible. The rear sight was then removed, and the slide refinished. Below is a Swenson S&W rear sight installation.

 

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That sight config. might be Austin Behlert's work..he used Swenson safeties sometimes and did some S&W sight jobs like what is shown
 

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I have one that John Lawson put a S&W sight in the "protected position." Protected him from having to fill the dovetail, eh?
 

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Very nice Colt.
 

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Nice Commander, but there's nothing Swenson about it other than the safety. No squared trigger guard, no checkering, etc. Are there barrel tensioners in the slide? Is there a stamping on the disconnector track?
 

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A beautiful Commander in a great caliber. What a fantastic Christmas present! :)
 

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I don't see a barrel tensioner and the guide rod doesn't look like one Swenson would use. Don't know for sure, but I don't think it's a Swenson. Sorry
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the help with this. Being a nube I rely on your experience and knowledge with 1911's. I knew nothing about Swenson before I received the gun, so now I know a little. Thanks again.
 

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Whether it's an actual Swenson worked gun or not, it's still a very nice gift. Any brother who gives the 'gift of gun' is certainly a decent person. By the way, nice log home you've got there...
 

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authenticating Swenson builds

Short of a letter from Mr. Swenson or his estate, I was recently told (but have not confirmed) that if you remove the lugs (hex heads or whatever) that anchor the K-sight you will find a proof stamp that Mr. Swenson tapped into every piece. He didn't only do full house work -- dad had a 1927 Argentine that Swenson gave a reliability job, trigger job, the K-sight, and his trademark brushed chrome. I *wish* dad had gone for the squared trigger guard and hand-cut checkering, but funds were tight for a Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy reservist in 1962 . . . .

Mr. Swenson was also, from everyone I've heard, a very sweet, kind and hospitable gentemen. God rest him.
 

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The installation of the rear sights, as others have said, does not look like Swenson's work. Neither does the two piece guide rod.

Many smiths, back in the day, did the S&W K frame treatment for 1911s. Various methods were used. The Swenson safety was one of the first, if not the first, oversize thumb safety offered. Many smiths installed them.

Still a nice looking piece and something worth owning. How does it shoot?

tipoc
 
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