SOLD FOR: $3275
Serial Number: 17312
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 a flaming bomb proof mark at the top-rear. The left-front of the trigger guard is marked “VP” in an inverted triangle, the left-rear is marked with a “T”. The crane and crane cut are each marked with the serial number, “17312”. The crane cut is also marked “R”.
Barrel Length: 2”
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a half-moon blade integral to a rectangular base 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. The grips have only a few scattered minor nicks and scuffs. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips rate in Fine-Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 96% of its metal finish. the finish is thinning at most edges. There is a spot of finish wear on the right of the frame at the bottom-front and minor handling wear in the grip straps. There is one notable nick in the backstrap toward the bottom and a few other scattered minor marks. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. 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 design of the revolver was the same as the Official Police, but production was made less expensive and faster by forgoing Colt’s typical high polish and bluing, in favor of parkerizing over a rough polish. The typical checkering of the trigger and cylinder latch was also deleted. The result was the Commando revolver, of which 50,617 were produced from 1942-1945. This example is in Fine condition and, unlike the majority which had 4″ barrels, has a scarce 2″ barrel. The 2″ barrel revolvers were typically issued to military intelligence and plainclothes military police personnel. This revolver will make a fine addition to a Colt or WWII small arms collection. Good luck and happy bidding!