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IN A PREVIOUS POST, I STATED THAT I WAS DIHEARTENED TO FIND OUT THAT THE COLT COMMANDER THAT I WAS THINKING OF BUYING WAS ON HOLD BY SOME OTHER GUY. WELL, HE DIDN'T SHOW UP THE DAY HE SAID HE WOULD, SO I JUMPED AT THE CHANCE. I FOUND OUT THAT IT'S A 70 SERIES LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER. BARELY SHOT, BEAUTIFUL PEARL COLT MEDALLION GRIPS, AWESOME FINISH AND THE PRICE TAG OF $550 OTD. I AM SO HAPPY, AND I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR ANYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT THESE PISTOLS, AND WHETHER OR NOT THE PRICE I GOT IT FOR IS A DEAL. THANKS ALL.
 

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Unless it's broken, $550 for a 70's Colt Lightweight Commander is an excellent deal.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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I will more than likely have some info wrong on this but the Commander was introduced in the early 50's. I dont really know when the Light Weight Commander came out of the Colt factory but I have one that is dated in the early 50's. I like 'em, a lot. The $550 price is in my opinion very good, the last early one I priced was well over $550 so I think you have a real bargin.

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I have a LWT. that I am deeeelighted with. I bought it about a year ago on AA. That lying Bas$%^&* that sold it to me relayed in a telephone conversation that it was mint and all original......When it came it had a Barstow barrel with a "drop in" Barstow collet bushing, a replacement, stainless, arched mainspring Housing, no grips at all, and 1 POS Colt magazine (I know opinions vary on Colt Magazines on this forum)that FTF at least 50% of the time on the first round and a commander hammer. So much for "all original". Fortunately for me, my local smith (who is excellent and reasonable) fitted a solid barrel bushing, replaced the MH with the original and replaced the factory trigger with a lightweight trigger. The finish cleaned up easily. After this, I have been deeelighted with the pistol. I paid $650.00 for the pistol, $15.00 for the local FFL to handle the deal, $12.00 postage, and $135.00 to the smith including parts and labor. I figure I have $812.00 in the pistol. It is drop dead reliable and very accurate. It has a crisp 4lb trigger. It is a great carry piece if you like to carry a 1911. It truly is lighter than my 1911A1 which is more than I can say for my Combat commander.

I recently found a LWT. in a shop near me. It was 98%-99%. The finish was not perfect but new ones aren't 100% either......Did you ever look closely at NIB firearms? The ramp showed no signs of use AT ALL. It did not have any scratches anywhere including where the slide stop is put on and off. The dealer asked me $600.00 OTD. I put 6 crisp $100.00 bills on him so fast he had to look twice to see that I had moved.

I think you got a great deal.

The advantage of the LWT. is that it is LWT. The finish is beautiful! Something a holster will soon change......I carry mine but not in a holster! It can be very reliable and it is a .45ACP

The disadvantage is that it does not have the more recent advances in 45 ACP. IMO, the worst disadvantage is that the grip safety (which is not a beavertail) will eat into your hand if you shoot it many times in a row.

Others will say, that the aluminum frame willl not hold up well and particularly firing max loads (mil. surplus ball ammo) and that certainly the feed ramp will wear prematurely. I say, it is a carry piece! Buy you a current production government model to shoot 200 rounds a week with if that's what you want to do and then carry the LWT. (*after firing sufficent rounds to assure reliability with the chosen ammo).

Of course you can have a beavertail safety installed (as well as other modern advancements) without changing the pistol frame... usually such that you can return it to original configuration at will but I really don't think it is the weapon I would choose to shoot a lot with major loads.

In summary, I think you got a great piece at a bargin basement price. It will serve you well if you carry it a lot and fire it a little (which is what a carry piece is for). If you wish get a reputable smith to modify it to suit you in such a way that you can return it to it's original configuaration if you wish. My favorite mods are listed in order of preference:


  • 1. Lightweight aluminum trigger.
    2. 4lb crisp trigger job
    3. Flat MH
    4. Solid Barrel bushing fitted to the barrel (Not the otherway around)
    5. commander hammer
    6. Night Sights
    7. Match barrel

You'll probably have it thr rest of your life.




[This message has been edited by PigPen (edited 07-23-2001).]
 

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Originally posted by PigPen:
I have a LWT. that I am deeeelighted with. I bought it about a year ago on AA. That lying Bas$%^&* that sold it to me relayed in a telephone conversation that it was mint and all original......When it came it had a Barstow barrel with a "drop in" Barstow collet bushing, a replacement, stainless, arched mainspring Housing, no grips at all, and 1 POS Colt magazine.]
I assume you bid on an auction with no picture, right? Because if it had a picture of an original specimen, then that my friend was fraud and you should have expected a return and your money back!

Don't bid w/o seeing a picture of the exact item in question. If the picture isn't clear then request better ones be e-mailed to you. If they can't/won't provide pictures then pass on it.


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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks a lot. it is a beauty! can't wait to have her in my hands. kinda worried about the grip safety though. wilson or kings drop in's any good? no fitting required? how do i change it, anyway? thanks again for all of your help. keep it coming.
 

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Hi Bolantej,
I picked up a LWT( 1976 mnf.) a few months ago. If you run back through some of the archived Colt posts to my same question on frame life and value it will answer your questions. IMHO, you got a great pistol at a very good price! My LWT has quickly become my favorite off-duty weapon. I just slapped a pair of African ivories on the little beauty and, HOLY COW!!, it's one pretty gun! The 70's LWT has the same finish on the slide that Colt is famous for (pride in workmanship cannot be bought with wages alone!). Mine has been drop-dead reliable with no mods to it and I'll bet yours will be too (they will tend to chew on your hand a little). The same dealer now has a 70's Combat Commander for $650 and I'm trying to stay out of his shop ( a marital stop-gap measure). Enjoy!
Montana
 

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Hi Bolantej,
I picked up a LWT( 1976 mnf.) a few months ago. If you run back through some of the archived Colt posts to my same question on frame life and value it will answer your questions. IMHO, you got a great pistol at a very good price! My LWT has quickly become my favorite off-duty weapon. I just slapped a pair of African ivories on the little beauty and, HOLY COW!!, it's one pretty gun! The 70's LWT has the same finish on the slide that Colt is famous for (pride in workmanship cannot be bought with wages alone!). Mine has been drop-dead reliable with no mods to it and I'll bet yours will be too (they will tend to chew on your hand a little). The same dealer now has a 70's Combat Commander for $650 and I'm trying to stay out of his shop ( a marital stop-gap measure). Enjoy!
Montana
 

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LWT's... I love LWT's... It was my very first gun. The Commanders were first produced in the late 40's thankfully, as there are a few floating around that qualify as C&R's for sales in the PRK, although they are rare, and pricey.

Most likely, that one has the roll mark I like, small letters, little pony, yadda, yadda...

$550 is a great price, but don't be surpised if you are buying someone elses nightmare, and need to spend some more to get it running good. Of course, in CA, an S70 Colt is only legal for transfer through Private Sale (through the FFL). See if you can talk with the owner of the gun.

Also, the "Barely Shot" description is often one that comes out "Shot to Sh1t" Again, see if you can speak with the former owner.

It's hard to tell a gun that has 100 rounds from one that has 3000 rounds, if the person took great care of the weapon. My "caution Flag" always goes up on Used Guns when I hear "Less than 200 or 500 rounds" through it, kinda that "Little Ole Lady from Altadena" thing


Bottom line, enjoy the new baby when you finally pick it up next weekend. Give it a good once over before you shoot her. Since she is an Alloy, ensure that the rails are well lubed, and double check the ramp for gouges, if the former owner shot lots of JHP's through it, you may see some scar's.

I am guessing that since it's wearing Ivories, it's probably a Satin Nickle finish. Check the finish really closely, and chek the rails. Finally, check the staking on the front post. You may want to have a dovetailed one installed, but I have had a few staked on posts that popped off.

FWIW, enjoy your new baby... I am hoping to find an early 38 Super, preferably a LWT, but a Steel frame would be fine, to add to the Enhance S80's LWT I have now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thnaks for the input all. the former owner is actually my gun dealer. he's stopped shooting due to his health, and is trying to sell off his collection. i'm confident that it will run well. i will soon find out. thanks again.
 

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Don't worry about the grip safety spur until you shoot it. I bought mine and it wore out the web of my hand just from me fondling it (I'm SURE I don't have to expain THAT tendency right?). It DID have a sharp edge on the lower tip of the spur but a few careful swipes of a file have taken care of it. It now is just as comfortable to shoot as my M1927 with a full beavertail. I'm not going to put one one cause I like how small the current one is.

Mine is '79 production by S/N so it has no firing pin safety and had the small sights. Just today I've replaced the standard squinters with a set of high profile three dot sights. Looks great and I'm going to burn some 230gr LRN tomorrow checking out the sight regulation.

Tony G.
 
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