A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, October 16, 2006

Colt Commander Series 70 Nickel

When I first saw my satin nickel Combat Commander at a gun show, I immediately noted that the sights were not original. The Pachmayr wrap around rubber grips are better than duct tape and cardboard, but just barely. Still, the pistol had many good things going for it. It was original other than the sights and grips. The barrel locked up tightly. There was barely any wear. It came with a Wilson magazine.

I had been hankering for another 1911 to work over, and this Series 70 Commander with a lightened slide seemed to be just the ticket. I examined the pistol closely, inside and out, and finally decided to make the deal. I traded a nickel Kahr K40 and a bit of cash for it.

Once I had taken the pistol to my car, I discovered someone had lowered and flared the ejection port. It was a good job, so I wasn't concerned. Next I noted the barrel was throated. I removed the barrel and placed a round in the chamber. I found that it was not unsupported anywhere. Thus, the pistol had another positive attribute. Because this pistol is already irreversibly unoriginal, I will continue to push it. I have a Nowlin Speed Demon hammer and sear waiting for it, along with a McCormick trigger. I am considering a healthy dehorning of the grip safety, perhaps a beavertail, a flat mainspring housing, an extended thumb safety and perhaps before I refinish it, I will let Jim Clark melt it down. I've been wanting a Clark Meltdown gun, and I may consider a bobtail conversion as well.

Tam is writing about her Sistema build, so I suppose I will blog about this one. Next stop? Check to make certain I'm not messing up by customizing it! Then a trigger and the hammer & sear will be installed.



Blogger Cowboy Blob said...

Dude, shouldn't you blur out the serial numbers before posting?

8:23 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

>Dude, shouldn't you blur out the serial numbers before posting?<

I wonder about that myself.

Speaking of serial numbers, I used one of Xavier's tricks recently and took photos of my pistols with my DL in the frame.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Chris Byrne said...

The satin nickle bead blasted finish is actually slightly rare; but as the gun was already customized, I say go for it. Eveyone knows I'm a "tweak it til its right" kind of guy anyway.

That is going to make a beautiful carry gun.

A suggestion; when you get your mainspring housing, try one with an integrated magwell (ala Smith and Alexander low profile mag well, not the horrid looking STI jobbies).

Then, when you have the meltdown work done, have Clark thin the mag well out a bit, contour it, and blend it in with the frame (oh and recut the checkering on the housing, even the good ones tend to be a little sloppy).

Stick a pair of smooth wood grips on there contour matched to the mag well; and if you like, add some checkering to the front strap.

The feel of a gun in this configuration is really something. Your grip indexes quick and smooth, but SOLID.

I thought I wouldnt like the magwells until I started shooting with them, and now I want them on any customized 1911 I build.

Oh, and on the beavertail issue; for those who dont like how long a beavertail can be, you can safely (and attractively) bob a fair portion of a beavertails end off it, and still get all the benefits. Yost does it on a lot of his custom guns.

I plan on building a bobtail at some point, and I'm going to do it on a commander sized gun; but something just seems wrong about doing it to a real commander.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Largeone2915 said...

I own a 70 series Combat Commander in satin nickel, and I had the barrel throated, put on the ss extended slide release, ss extended thumb safety, adjustable trigger, and (unfortunately)a blue beavertail grip safety. At the time, stainless could not be found anywhere. I think he also did some work on the spring, but my memory fails me here. This was all done in the late 70's or early 80's. This gun is my everyday carry gun, and except for the weight, is perfect for the job. It shoots very accurately, and very, very seldom do I have a hang-up in the feeding. When it does happen, it's usually because the mag is bad. I kept the original Pachmeyers and love the feel. I would never consider selling it, but am curious to know the approximate value. Can anyone help me?

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just picked up a satin nickel combat commander from a buddy of mine at work and I noticed the serial number begins with an "A". What does the "A" mean? Love this gun.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

just traded for a nickle steel frame 70s w/carved ivory grips inside grip panel are the intials KDH,pistol is like new,factory with box no paperwork

4:14 AM  

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