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Do I have a Colt, a Wilson, or a Colson?
Today I purchased a used Colt Combat Commander (XE) Series 80 that was completely rebuilt by Wilson, with Wilson parts. The only thing that's origionally Colt is the frame and slide, and they must have been tightened (very tight tolerances). Everything else is Wilson. Even the grips are Wilson and the frame is etched "Wilson Combat". I know that Wilson does not make their own frames. In fact, Wilson gets their frames and slides from a company owned by Kimber, and they also have tight tolerances. So my question remains....technically, what do I have?


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Hero45
NRA Member

[This message has been edited by Hero45 (edited 11-11-2001).]
 

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Why not call WILSON and ask,who else could tell you........for sure not a bunch of internet rascalsssssss.
 

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Hero45,

You have a desireable gun that is, for all intents and purposes, a true Wilson.

Long before Bill Wilson started building on his own frame sets he was in the 1911 customization business -- and that meant rebuilding a lot of Colts just like yours. The fact that your frame was marked suggests that it must have been a pretty complete overhaul. Generally speaking, the gun must be considered a "finished product" or have a very substantial amount of work (>$500 worth) done on it to rate the frame markings.

Wilson still regularly overhauls production Colts (and clones) of course, but most folks today tend to equate the WC name with the newer semi-custom models, like the CQB, Protector or Classic.

Market value on your gun is largely dependent upon condition and the extent to which it was reworked, but should generally conform to what you might expect to pay for a comparable service grade Wilson.

Don't let the frame issue throw you, either: Wilson and Kimber both contract for their frame sets from the Jericho company (as do McCormick and Nowlin), but there are a lot of subtle differences between them. What might be A-OK to build a Kimber on might be completely out of spec for setting up a Wilson gun. You really do get what you pay for.

Bottom line? I think you have a great gun. What could possibly be better than having a genuine Colt -- especially a steel Commander -- reworked to Wilson's exacting standards? To my mind, it's truly the best of both worlds!

Chuck

P.S. Can you possibly post a photo or two to show folks exactly what you've got?
 

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Market value ...
It occurs to me that I may be creating some confusion here. Used Wilson/Colt pistols can routinely be found in great shape for hundreds less than anything in Wilson's current catalog (barring the KZ-45); however, when estimating value, one must take replacement costs into consideration. Labor costs alone would drive this figure up considerably -- probably well over the cost of many of Wilson's newer models.

No matter how you slice it, that makes guns like yours a very smart buy indeed.

Chuck
 
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