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Old 02-18-2019, 12:20 PM   #1
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Attn: Colt revolver experts

Friends,

I was ripped-off, in the aftermath of the fire that totaled my 1986 MB 420SEL & ONE of the items missing from the car is my WWII surplus .38SPL Colt's Commando 4" revolver, its British canvas full-flap holster & the British web gunbelt.
(I bought it 30 plus years ago, for PEANUTS, when I was stationed in WI from a now deceased CPT, USNR, as I just needed an extra revolver.)

The insurance company wants me to give them the date of manufacture & I don't know the date.

Serial Number: 19653

The ONLY government markings on it were: the serial number in the usual 2 places, the letters "WD" & "the USA flaming bomb" stamped on the frame's left side near the hammer, what looks like an inverted triangle in front of the trigger guard & the (CRUDELY, hand-stamped) number "14" on the grip frame.
(The barrel top/side has the usual caliber & Colt's markings, that are like the civilian Official Police has.)

NO "US Property" stamp on the revolver.

The finish is what looks like a DARK GRAY parkerizing & it was at least 98% all there & unscratched/hardly worn.

I have NO idea which agency used it.

Can any of you tell me much more than that the Colt's Commandos were commonplace in WWII & used by lots of different civilian/military groups??
Also, when it was manufactured??
(My "little brother" thinks 1942.)

yours, sw

Last edited by Doughboy; 02-18-2019 at 12:21 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:17 PM   #2
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Internet says:

Year of Manufacture 1942 Model COMMANDO REVOLVER

BTW, Colt's number lookup lists 41 other models with that SN.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:12 PM   #3
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Snake45,

Between the 2 of us (SHHHHHH, as it's a secret that would make the young folks ILL, if they learned about how CHEAP that WWII relics once were.), I think that I paid about 35 bucks for it, as the old Navy Reserve CPT didn't want it at all.

I also, about 1970, bought a PAIR of NEW-looking British Army Enfield .38S&W "commando" revolvers at the Little Rock gun-show for 15 bucks OTD.
(I carried one of them in my tackle box for 20+ years & gave the other to my cousin for the same use. - Randy kept his under the dash on his fishing boat , hanging on a brass coffee-cup hook.)

yours, sw
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:46 PM   #4
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The inverted triangle is Colt's Verified Proof stamp.
It's a tiny "VP" in a triangle.
There should be the final inspectors stamp on the left-rear of the trigger guard, and the assemblers stamp under the serial number on the frame.

The Commando was used in smaller numbers by the military, but most use was by civilian defense plant guards, and for sales to police departments, who still had to arm new cops.
As I remember, civilian use Commandos were not US Property marked.

For more info and possible value, post this on the Colt Forum. Several members there are Commando experts.

https://www.coltforum.com/forums/forum.php
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:08 AM   #5
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I Once Got to Shoot One of These...

...(with a 4" barrel) that had been issued to an Office of Naval Intelligence guy when he arrived for WWII duty in Hawaii. He had given it to a friend of mine. It was in mint condition. I don't recall inspecting it for markings but I do recall that the checkering on those plastic grips was so sharp as to make the relatively mild recoil uncomfortable.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:41 PM   #6
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Tell 'em whatever you believe in good faith to be true. If you can't get a definitive answer, neither can they.

This demand for a date of manufacture is simply a blank on a form that some bleary-eyed bureaucrat, who spends his life sitting under fluorescent lights, needs to fill in before he goes to lunch. Make him happy with some date, pass Go, and collect your money.

I can't believe I know how to spell "bureaucrat" and "fluorescent".
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:58 AM   #7
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CaptainGyro,

I suspect that you're 100% CORRECT.

FYI, I cannot spell "fluorescent", without looking it up. - I once had a "triple-major" in undergrad school & one of the 3 was English.
(The older that I get, the less that I know.)

yours, sw

Last edited by Doughboy; 02-20-2019 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doughboy View Post
Snake45,

Between the 2 of us (SHHHHHH, as it's a secret that would make the young folks ILL, if they learned about how CHEAP that WWII relics once were.), I think that I paid about 35 bucks for it, as the old Navy Reserve CPT didn't want it at all.

I also, about 1970, bought a PAIR of NEW-looking British Army Enfield .38S&W "commando" revolvers at the Little Rock gun-show for 15 bucks OTD.
(I carried one of them in my tackle box for 20+ years & gave the other to my cousin for the same use. - Randy kept his under the dash on his fishing boat , hanging on a brass coffee-cup hook.)

yours, sw
I was much too young to get in on the great pre-1968 surplus bargains. Closest I ever got to that was a Quality M1 Carbine for $65 in 1972 and a P.38 for $165 in the mid-'70s.

I did make some good scores in the late '80s, which look even better today. Very nice No. 4 Enfield, ex-Israeli 7.62 NATO K98, and Russian Tula SKS, each just under $100. Brazilian M1937 S&W (M1917, basically), .45ACP, $165. Minty 03A4 Springfield, missing scope and rings but including original mount, $375. Inland M1 Carbine barreled receiver (correct original barrel) $100, which I completed with parts I already had on hand.

I can't remember the last time I got a REAL bargain on a milsurp gun of any kind.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:20 PM   #9
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Snake45,

SADLY, my BEST deal was a Model of 1917 S&W .45ACP revolver (in a NICE US Army Model of 1909 holster), in at least NRA Excellent condition that I bought from a GA farmer for FORTY BUCKS, when i was stationed at Ft Gillem & that was STOLEN in the burglary of my "sister of the heart's house" in 2011.
(The Prince William County Police, came to Sarah's house, look about the house/yard & said that they didn't see any good reason to even look for the burglars, as they didn't have anything but a broken window & open patio doors as evidence of the theft.)

yours, sw

Last edited by Doughboy; 03-08-2019 at 03:22 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:40 PM   #10
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To All,

In the "fwiw department", I was told this AM by a 91YO WWII civilian employee of the TX Highway Department that the THD bought a whole bunch of S&W VICTORY Models & Colt's Commando revolvers, with WWI-era gun-belt/holster & issued them for self-defense to THD workers, who were assigned to work road maintenance jobs near the Texas/Mexico border during WWII.
He also told me that at least (He said that he didn't know how many.) SOME of the THD employees were issued a Model of 1917 WWI-era rifle in .30-06.
(Mr. Floyd was a dump truck driver for THD for all of WWII, as he couldn't pass the Armed Forces physical for military service.)

Also, my Uncle Wayne was issued a Model of 1917 S&W .45ACP revolver by the USPO, when he was a rural mail carrier during the early period of WWII & before he reported to duty with the USNR.
(He was also issued a rebuilt military JEEP in 1945 when he returned to his USPO job after VJ Day, as there were then no suitable civilian type cars/trucks available for sale to deliver the mail in NETX.)

LOTS of civilian workers of all sorts (in addition to guards & LEOs) evidently were armed with firearms during the late war. = In the 1970s, I talked to several commercial fishermen in MD, NC & SC, who were armed with various firearms (Including HMGs) during WWII.
(For example, the MILDRED JAY, a 70-ft wooden commercial oyster dredger out of Newport News, VA, was armed with 2 Model of 1919 MG, several rifles & shotguns. - The individual crew-members were individually issued a revolver/holster/gun-belt.)

yours, sw

Last edited by Doughboy; 03-08-2019 at 07:48 PM. Reason: typo/addenda
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:55 PM   #11
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Large numbers of the S&W Victory were given to civilian organizations after WWII.

A local police department traded in a dozen to a law enforcement firearms dealer in the 1980's.
These had multiple Federal and State/Local unit ID stamps.
Apparently the Victory model was handed down multiple times to various organizations.

A large batch was sold off by a small city in my county in the late 80's.
They'd been given the guns by the government for use by the Civil Defense unit back in the 50's Cold War era.
They'd been stored virtually untouched in a locker ever since.
Some of them looked brand new and I doubt most of them had ever been fired.
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:42 PM   #12
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dfariswheel,

MARION INSTITUTE of AL was given a couple of hundred WWII revolvers after the war but never issued them to anybody. - When I was at Ft Benning & going to the USAIS in 1973-1974, the school sold the revolvers to an AL police supply house which then resold the handguns for CHEAP.

Wishing that I had been smart enough to buy a dozen or more, instead of 2. - If I remember correctly, they were 40-50 bucks each in great shape. - SOME of the revolvers looked new.
(My housemate, CPT Sam S______________ bought 6 of them for 250.oo OTD & gave them to his brothers/BiL at Christmas that year. - I, otoh, spent my $$$$$$$$ on a blond bombshell from Phenix City, a sports car & cold beer.)

yours, sw

Last edited by Doughboy; 03-08-2019 at 07:50 PM. Reason: add
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:08 PM   #13
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Many prisons also received pistols. I have a Navy marked SV Victory model that came my way via a prison upgrade. Guards at outfits like TVA also got many of them. Lots keep turning up every now and then.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:28 PM   #14
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smokpole,

IF another group shows up CHEAP, I won't be DUMB 2X.

yours, sw
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