Colt Lightweight Commander .38 Super Compact 1911 Semi-Auto Pistol 1952 C&R
SOLD FOR: $3156.18
Model: Lightweight Commander Model
Serial Number: 25796-LW
Year of Manufacture: 1952 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .38 Super
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Automatic with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “COMMANDER / MODEL”, “COLT”, “SUPER .38 / AUTOMATIC” and with a Rampant Colt logo. The right side of the slide is marked “COLT’S MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.”. The right side of the frame is marked “25796-LW”. The barrel at the port is marked “COLT SUPER .38 AUTO”. The left of the trigger guard is marked with “G” and “VP” in a triangle. The right front of the trigger guard is marked “73”.
Barrel Length: 4 1/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is an after-market blade with a ramped face fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is an after-market square notch dovetailed and screw-set to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered brown “Coltwood” plastic panels with rampant colts in ovals. The grips have a few scattered light nicks and scratches with one more notable scratch across some checkers just below the rampant colt on the right panel. The checkering is generally well defined. There are no chips or cracks. The grip screw holes show just a hint of stretching from shrinkage. Overall, the grips are in Very Good-Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Black Alloy Frame
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 92% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at most edges. There is some light wear on the slide, most notable at the front of the left flat where there is also some light surface oxidation. The grip areas show minor handling wear. There are some scattered light nicks and scuffs with one scratch behind the left slide serrations and a very minor “idiot mark” under the slide stop on the left of the frame. The action shows light operational wear. The screw heads are lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide has light play to the frame. The trigger is crisp. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a single 9-round magazine marked “COLT”, “SUPER / 38 AUTO”, “M” and with a rampant colt on the floorplate. The magazine has light operational wear, scattered light surface oxidation, intact feed lips and a strong spring.
Our Assessment: Introduced by Colt as a lighter-weight version of the 1911, the smaller size of the Commander was popular and soon they were offered in a number of variations including different frame materials and calibers. The original development centered on an aluminum-frame 9mm as a candidate for US Military post-war officer’s pistols, but were also offered in the classic .45 ACP cartridge. This example was produced in 1952, chambered for .38 Super, and is in Very Good Plus condition. When it was made, this was just about as high-speed as concealed carry pistols could get. With 9 rounds of .38 Super on tap, there really weren’t a lot of comparable compact autos in 1952. This pistol has light wear consistent with responsible carry and use over the last 70 years and has had new sights installed that can be acquired a little more easily and quickly than the factory sights. While this will make for a nice carry pistol in a potent chambering it will certainly be a nice addition to a Colt or 1911 collection, too. Please see our photos and good luck!