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Beautiful thread! Let me contaminate it with some information about my .45 GCNM Series 70. Its serial number starts with 70L12XXX.

According to Colts online Serial Number Database, my gun is a 1978 9mm Commercial. It has the wide steel trigger, but no groves on the front strap, so typical for the Post War NM's all the way up to modern days.

Is my gun a bastard? I think not! I think Colt was out of GCNM frames, and grabbed some 9mm Commercial frames from the shelf. They machined it for the wide trigger, but forgot the front groves.

Do you think this mishap itself makes the gun less valuable?

Below a picture of my GCNM, together with its older brother (or is it sister?), the NM Mid Range .38 Special Wadcutter:

 

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Conclusion

There you have it, 8 generations of National Match pistols spanning the years 1915 to present. In terms of the Colts, while there are more expensive models, the National Match pistols continue to be their marquee model. If I were to pick one current production model that might appreciate in value, it would have to be the National Match.

As I said in the introduction this is a bit of a milestone for me. The addition of the pre-war National match "completes" my collection of National Match pistols. I now have one representative example frome each of the major genres. I'm done for now..... or at least until I start collecting match pistols of different calibers. .38 special, .38 super, the Super Match...... ;)

Last but not least, a family pic.


Top Row (left to right): 1915 Springfield NRA, Pre-War National Match, WW2 Military National Match
Middle Row: 1960s National Match, Series 70 Mark IV Gold Cup National Match, Series 80 Mkv IV Gold Cup National Match
Bottom Row: Gold Cup Trophy, Series 80 Gold Cup National Match (2011)

I hope you enjoyed this little essay on National Match pistols. we have some true experts on the board -- if I have made a mistake please feel free to jump in and join the conversation. Have a great weekend folks!
wonderful article on prewar national match......I have a question that i have not been able to find the answer to and believe me i have looked!!! I just purchased a prewar government model national match with adjustable sights.The gun is a little worn but i cant seem to find any information on the serial number? it says government model and below is C199996.I went to the colt automatic pistol website and it said serial #C199300-C215018 were produced in 1941 and there were 9500 made.But your post says that the last government model national match was made in 1940 ending inC215083?? Could you please give me some insight on this gun as to year and history of serial #
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
wonderful article on prewar national match......I have a question that i have not been able to find the answer to and believe me i have looked!!! I just purchased a prewar government model national match with adjustable sights.The gun is a little worn but i cant seem to find any information on the serial number? it says government model and below is C199996.I went to the colt automatic pistol website and it said serial #C199300-C215018 were produced in 1941 and there were 9500 made.But your post says that the last government model national match was made in 1940 ending inC215083?? Could you please give me some insight on this gun as to year and history of serial #
For the original posting I was using several sources of information including

"American Beauty - The Prewar Colt National Match Government Model Pistol" by Timothy Mullin

and

"Colt .45 Government Models" by Charles Clawson

The date of 1940 comes from Mullin. However I have come to realize that much of the facts stated by Mullin are from his own personal observation. In one part of the book he writes something along the lines of "this 1940 model is the last national match I have observed" and then in another part of the book he writes "the last national match pistol was produced on the eve of the war in 1940"

However....

Charles Clawson writes that National Match pistols remained in production until 1942.

Based on your gun as well as a better understanding of Mullin's research I believe that 1942 is indeed the correct date.

Unfortunately I can not go back and edit the original posting as the "sticky" seems to have removed that option.
 

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this is the best article i have found a bout the National Match prewar gun.....I have just recently purchased a prewar national match government model, the gun is all original with stevens adjustable sights but has a fair amount of wear on it!! I have not been able to find anything about this gun nor one close to it with C199996 being the serial number!!!could someone tell me atleast what year the gun was manufactured and how can i look up the C# to find out some of the history of this gun without spending a fortune and where i could find a few pics to see the originality of the gun!!!Also i am new to the site and havent been able to figure out how to post a pic of my gun?? I would love for everyone to see it and give me some insight??
 

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Thank you Dakota1911. Didnt see your post before i started asking question!!!Wonder what military contract it was and where were they were sent??Do you reckon they were all sent to the same place??
 

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Ok one more question if they started making adjustable sights in 1935 for the national match but was pretty much for the non competitive gift crowd...why would the Stevens adjustable sights be on my government model National Match C#199996 and not on some of the other ones from that sequence of C# of 6500 that were unsold and shipped to a military contract IN 1942?Why would they ship National Match guns to a military contract if these guns were supposed to be the last 6500 Prewar National Match guns made,why werent they sold to the competitive gift crowd!!!! Does this mean that these last 6500 National Match guns saw combat????
 

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And also thank you Beetledude for the information......your post and this forum has been the best tool so far in trying to find out about my prewar National Match!!! Im hooked on the 1911 and its cool to be around other people with the same interest!!!
 

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Fantastic summary Mr.Beetledue , sir!

Late to the party but Colt NMs are my favorite. I've always said the pre-war and pre-Ser.70 guns were the high water mark for production 1911s and the ones all todays are chasing.

Here's mine. They're shooters!



This 1960 was in practically unfired condition in it's original box , which must have gotten damp because it had a corresponding rust mark in the lid and the left side of the slide. It also has what appears to be a Micro or an Accro rear site. It also had a rounded mainspring housing , which I've heard was indeed optional (special order or random?)






I do have the original grips for this 1965.


The rest of the kids.
 

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I see it is the one-year anniversary of this great post by Bettledude. Thank you!

I'd like to know more about the NM slide on my parts gun, if anyone knows anything. From the part number I've been told the slide is from the 1960's.

Is the barrel NM too? It has "MA" stamped on the right side loop bracket and "M P" on the other side. (Or MP Express of Pomona, CA?) The bushing has nothing stamped on it.

Anyone familiar with the Kensight rear sight? Seems pretty good. Pistol shoots accurate enough.

The slide is just a wee bit proud off the back of the Caspian Arms frame.

Thanks much.












 

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Actually a friend showed me a faint NM part no. on the barrel so I know it was NM, too. Still like to know what MA and M P stood for, if anyone knows.

He said whoever put this gun together was serious, as it has a titanium hammer and a stiff mainspring to decrease lock time, and the 3-3/4 lb trigger is so crisp you'd swear it was lighter.
 

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Conclusion

There you have it, 8 generations of National Match pistols spanning the years 1915 to present. In terms of the Colts, while there are more expensive models, the National Match pistols continue to be their marquee model. If I were to pick one current production model that might appreciate in value, it would have to be the National Match.

As I said in the introduction this is a bit of a milestone for me. The addition of the pre-war National match "completes" my collection of National Match pistols. I now have one representative example frome each of the major genres. I'm done for now..... or at least until I start collecting match pistols of different calibers. .38 special, .38 super, the Super Match...... ;)

Last but not least, a family pic.


Top Row (left to right): 1915 Springfield NRA, Pre-War National Match, WW2 Military National Match
Middle Row: 1960s National Match, Series 70 Mark IV Gold Cup National Match, Series 80 Mkv IV Gold Cup National Match
Bottom Row: Gold Cup Trophy, Series 80 Gold Cup National Match (2011)

I hope you enjoyed this little essay on National Match pistols. we have some true experts on the board -- if I have made a mistake please feel free to jump in and join the conversation. Have a great weekend folks!
Newbie here. Doing a search here and landed on your thread somehow. Don't remember (or care now) what I was searching for. Beautiful pieces each and everyone. Great tutorial and history lesson. Thanks for a wonderful read.
 

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SCG not GCNM. Round top with Novak Extreme Duty adjustable tritium night sights. Flawless fit & finish from the CCS.



Out of the box accuracy.



The only thing I miss are the front strap serrations.
 
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