SOLD FOR: $3925
Model: Lightweight Commander Model
Serial Number: 39000-LW
Year of Manufacture: 1957 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .38 Super
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Automatic with Removable Magazine
Barrel Length: 4 1/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated, ramped blade fixed to the front of the slide. The rear sight is a square notch dovetailed to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered brown “Coltwood” plastic with rampant colts in circles. The grips show the shrinkage common to this material with some warping at edges and stretched screw-holes. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue & Black Alloy Frame
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore, but there is some stubborn fouling. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 9 out of 10.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 95% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at some edges. Most of the balance is minor handling wear, light nicks and scratches in the grip areas. There is an “idiot mark” on the left of the frame below the slide stop. The action shows minor operational wear. Some screw and pin heads show minor tool marks. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in about Fine 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 total of two 9-round magazines.
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 1957, chambered for .38 Super, and is in Fine condition, retaining the great majority of its original metal finish. 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 1957. This pistol still has original Coltwood grips, though they show the shrinkage which was very common and typically led to replacement. While this would still make for a nice carry pistol in a potent chambering, it would certainly also make a nice addition to a Colt or 1911 collection. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud