SOLD FOR: $2025
Serial Number: 48231
Year of Manufacture: 1942 (COLT Serial Number Lookup)
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: 6-Shot, DA/SA Double and Single Action, Swing-Out Fluted Cylinder Revolver.
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT COMMANDO / .38 SPECIAL”. The right side of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CONN. U. S. A.”. The left side of the frame is marked with bomb proof mark. The left-front of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in an inverted triangle, the left-rear is marked with an inverted “A”. The crane and crane cut are each marked with the serial number, “48231”. The crane cut is also marked “X”.
Barrel Length: 2” (this barrel has been cut down from a 4″ version)
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a ramped serrated blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch integral to the topstrap.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered Coltwood with molded Colt medallions and smooth borders. Each panel has a few light nicks and scratches in the smooth borders, and the left panel has a few spots where the checkering has been worn down. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is well-defined. Overall, the grips rate in Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Original (apart from the barrel, the finish is original; the cut down barrel has been refinished to match the rest of the revolver)
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright and the rifling is well-defined. There is no erosion in the bore, but minor stubborn fouling persists throughout.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 92% of its original and current parkerized finish. The barrel has a few light scuffs on the right side. There is a bit of moderate handling wear on the left side of the frame at the grip panel. The cylinder has a faint turn line. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver rates in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with no play on any chamber when the trigger is depressed. The double-action trigger is smooth, and the single action is light. We did not fire this revolver. As with all used firearms, thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: As the United States entered World War II, demand for all things military strained even the massive industrial capacity of America. Frontline arms were prioritized for frontline units, but there was also a need to arm law enforcement, guards at factories, and other sites with strategic importance, such the Maritime Commission and various other non-combat roles which still required arms. To help fill this demand, Colt produced a variation of their Official Police revolver with specifications set by the US Government. The result was the Commando revolver, of which 50,617 were produced from 1942-1945. This example is in very good standing, retaining much of its original finish, its Coltwood grips, the bore is decent, and the mechanics are aces. This example startred its life as a 4″ version, but a previous owner shortened the barrel to make it easier to conceal. This revolver will make a fine addition to a Colt or WWII small arms collection. Good luck and happy bidding!