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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,

I have a chance to buy a lightweight Commander Series 70. being that I know nothing about the lightweight series, I was curious if anyone out there could enlighten me?

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"Let me introduce you to my little friend" -Al Pacino in Scarface (1983)

[This message has been edited by GlimmerMan (edited 03-22-2001).]
 

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Actually it's "Say hello to my little friend". And I know nothing at all. I just assume that no matter what I want, need, interests me, Colt has the answer. And that is always the case.
 

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There really are no Series 70 Commanders. There are pre-Series 80, but "Series 70" referred to the collet barrel bushing of the Government Model. The Commander was introduced in ~1949. It, along with the S&W Model 39, were designed as lighter, more compact potential replacements for the M1911A1. When the gov't decided it couldn't justify trashing hundreds of thousands of perfectly good pistols, Colt went to market with the Commander. Early guns had not only the aluminum alloy frame, but an alloy mainspring housing as well. I've heard that they had a lightened slide, with material removed from the breechblock area, a la the National Match and Ace models. Some people liked the idea of a gun that was as compact as a Commander, but without the benefit of its light weight, so Colt introduced the Combat Commander in ~1972. Until a few years ago, both the Combat Commander and Lightweight Commander (as it became known) were both in production. The alloy frames have been rumored to be less durable than steel, but I suspect that most people shoot a gun a few thousand rounds, or less, in a lifetime, so it hasn't been a problem for most. I think it was the Commander that prompted Col. Cooper to refer to such guns as intended to be carried a lot and shot a little (he has one from circa 1950 that was still going strong last time I read a reference to it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Originally posted by Redzone:
Actually it's "Say hello to my little friend".
Thanks Redzone... It's been a few years since I've seen the movie :)


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GlimmerMan,,,

RickB got it right,,,I have a 1951 Lightweight Commander that gets a lot of miles and a few rounds a year, about 1K is all I shot with it. My 1991 Lightweight on the other hand is a work horse and gets alot of use. There is no appreciable wear on either gun, and I expect them both to out last me and my son.

If you are a serious shooter and will be using the Light Weight a lot you should get a lot of wear out of it. In the event the feed ramp gets a bit buggered and this can happen an insert made of steel can be installed and your up and running again.

If you like the Light, get it and enjoy it, I do every day.

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[This message has been edited by Ken Neal (edited 03-22-2001).]
 

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Originally posted by Ken Neal:
GlimmerMan,,,

RickB got it right,,,I have a 1951 Lightweight Commander that gets a lot of miles and a few rounds a year, about 1K is all I shot with it. My 1991 Lightweight on the other hand is a work horse and gets alot of use. There is no appreciable wear on either gun, and I expect them both to out last me and my son.

If you are a serious shooter and will be using the Light Weight a lot you should get a lot of wear out of it. In the event the feed ramp gets a bit buggered and this can happen an insert made of steel can be installed and your up and running again.

If you like the Light, get it and enjoy it, I do every day.

I have had 2 lwt. Commanders. I craked the frame on a used one about 15 yrs ago. I was young and stupid and shot hot loads with a tungsten guide rod and no shok buff in it. I have been carrying one for 5 years now and shooting it often with hardball or equivalent and it shows no signs of wearing out. A good frind of mine bought my currnet piece used 20 yrs ago and carried it on duty, qualifed with it, ect. I traded him out of it and he's been sick ever since. If you get the lwt. be sure and put in a fresh reciol spring(I change mine every 2000 rounds) and use shok buffs. Lwt. commnaders are my favorite carry guns.
 

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tmg953,,,

good point about the hot loads, I dont use hot handloads in any of my guns, I stick to more moderate loads. I do change the recoil spring but I dont do it like an oil change at real regular intervals, only when I think its time, usually its around the 2000 or plus mark but on occassion it has been sooner if I have seen a problem which so far has not happened with any regularity.

I dont use shok buffs at all, I have seen them come apart and I just dont trust them.

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I have several Commanders most dateing from the 1950's. Have never had a frame crack and two have been fired well over 5000 rounds each. I also never use the plastic buffs but do use the Kings Recoil Buffer part #307. It looks like a regular recoil spring guide that has a spring loaded tip that slows the slide down the last 1/2" of travel. Seems to work well. If you use a plastic buff make sure you use the ones for Commanders not for the GMs. The Commander ones are thinner so the slide will not stop so that the slide release and the slide release notch in the frame are at the same spot. I experienced slide lock back with rounds still in the magazine when I used the GM buffs. The recoil torque would cause the slide stop to rotate up into the notch.....Bob
 

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I have a lightweight Commander (i.e. a "Commander" and not a "Combat Commander"). the recoil is appreciably greater than the Government model or the Combat Commander but I figure I am not going to shoot it a lot. Also it is as shipped and does not have the beavertail safety and if you shoot it much, it bites the web of your hand.

Mine has been fitted with a Barstow barrel and a solid barrel bushing. Accurate as any pistol I own (I own 6 1911A1s) and it is certainly lighter. My gunsmith (a personal friend and the best smith I ever met) tells me that a tungsten insert is available if the ramp ever wears out but I couldn't shoot it that much.....My hand would wear out first. Still it's good to know it is available if somebody did ever need one.

Its a beautiful pistol with the same high polish blueing on the flats and matte on the rounds as the MKIV 70 Series. Mine also has a Videki trigger and of course a trigger job. The sights are original but I am considering night sights.

It beautiful, reliable, accurate, lighter than a government model, and my main carry pistol. I am quite taken with it. I have had it only a few months and we have become great companions already.

The slide reads "Commander Model Colt Automatic caliber .45" It does not say anything about 70 series but it has no hint of a firing pin block. Serial number is CLW030925.

PigPen
 

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I have a LWT Commander. Of course it has an alloy frame. The slide though say COMBAT COMMANDER. The blue is original and beautiful. It isn't marked Serries 7O or 80. What gives? the serial number is correct for a lightweight gun. could the slide be a replacement?

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Sounds like you have a gun that slipped past inspection. If the frame is aluminum, it's obviously a Lighweight, regardless of what the slide says.
 

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Originally posted by RickB:
Sounds like you have a gun that slipped past inspection. If the frame is aluminum, it's obviously a Lighweight, regardless of what the slide says.
Yes it could be that but I think it more likely that the slide has been replaced since it left the factory. ???

PigPen

[This message has been edited by PigPen (edited 04-22-2001).]
 
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