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  #1  
Old 02-20-2009, 11:23 AM
colt45sig9 colt45sig9 is offline
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Colt 38 super 70 series




I am thinking of buying a Colt 38 super LW 70 series. It's made in the late 60's, I am wondering if it's a good gun. Does it have the skinny barrel or does it have the good barrel? I don't know much of 38 supers, I currently owned a couple Colt 45's but no 38 supers. How long does the frame last since it's alloy, and is the slide alloy as well or is it steel? The price is $1500. It seem in good condition.
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2009, 02:28 PM
MSgt Dotson MSgt Dotson is offline
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The 1950s/60s era LW Cmdrs in .38 Super and 9x19 are indeed a bit more rare than the semi-commonplace .45 ACP models...

The collectors/afficianados horde them (rightly so!), and minty unmodified specimens are truly beautiful to most Colt lovers' eyes, and also few/far in between....(The value is *very* quickly lowered to $600-$700-ish *if* the slide or frame has been cut for Bomar or Novak sights, BTGS, checkering, etc..)

As the stock sights on old Cmdrs are a bit small, I'd honestly recommend an XSE Stainless LW Cmdr in .38 Super for barely above half the cost if you intend to carry and/or shoot it regularly. Spend teh difference on holster, mags, and...ammo! (OR a reloading press!)

Good luck!

(I think most from that era had skinny barrels, but, don't quote me!)
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2009, 07:41 PM
tipoc tipoc is offline
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On the barrels:
The earliest barrels had a diameter of .530.
In late 45 or 46 Colt standardized the size of it's barrels for both the .45 and the .38 Super and both had a diameter of .580. These are known as the "Fat Barrels".
In late 1955 or so Colt decided to make thier .38 Super barrels the same diameter on the new Commander Models as on the Government Model .38s and the diameter went down to .500". These are the "thin barrels".

Now the gun you are talking about should have a "Thin barrel" this doesn't make it a "bad" barrel though. It does mean that like all previous Colt barrels for the .38 Super that Colt seated the round on the semi rim rather than the case mouth (like the .45 acp does) so accuracy suffered some depending on the ammo used.

It was only in the late 80s that Colt finally changed the headspacing and their barrels these days are properly seated. So for best accuracy a new barrel would be in order if you plan on using the gun as a shooter. A change in sights may also be in order as the old sights ain't the best. Hope this helps.

tipoc
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2009, 05:14 PM
SuperMan SuperMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt45sig9 View Post
I am thinking of buying a Colt 38 super LW 70 series. It's made in the late 60's, I am wondering if it's a good gun. Does it have the skinny barrel or does it have the good barrel? I don't know much of 38 supers, I currently owned a couple Colt 45's but no 38 supers. How long does the frame last since it's alloy, and is the slide alloy as well or is it steel? The price is $1500. It seem in good condition.
If the gun is a "late 60s" it would not be a Series 70....for that matter there were no Series 70s Commanders (aluminum frame) or Combat Commanders ( steel frame) as Series 70 only has to do with the collet barrel and bushing Colt started putting on their GMs and NM guns in 1970. Commander length guns never had a collet bushing.

The allow frames last as long a the steel ones do... I have two Commanders, one a 1952 and the other a 1956 that have almost 10K a piece through them with no problems at all. And they are still both very accurate.

$1500 is top dollar for a Commander with a box...if it has no box $1100-1200 is a little more reasonable. As one of the other posters said, if this is going to be a shooter vs. a collectors piece look at the new XSE Commander. It has everything you need and nothing you don't....except maybe a nice trigger job. Just found one "used" (looks unfired but no box) in a shop in Ct. for a whole $650.00.

The big problem with all Colt manufactured .38 Supers made before 1990 (except the 1986 Super Elite) is that the chamber heardspaces the round on the case rim instead of the case mouth... Generally accuracy runs from only good to downright horrible. See the sticky at the top of the Colt page for a full explaination... With a properly fitted barrel accuracy can run in the 3" area at 50 yards.

With the Super one can also install a 9mm barrel for inexpensive shooting and a 9x23 Winchester barrel for full .357 Magnum performance...

Great round...my favorite when it comes to a semi-auto pistol cartridge.

Bob
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2009, 07:41 PM
cwo4uscgret cwo4uscgret is offline
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speaking of a Series 70 Mk IV .38 Super...

just bought this the other day; here it is field stripped before cleaning.



Not a Combat Commander Lightweight like one I bought last month in .38 Super but a very nice Government Model from 1981. Here's a photo of the two commanders *about 1 year apart in age:



I did the dummy scratch on the .45; the .38 Super came that way.

I just thought I would show an example of the barrel...
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2009, 12:49 PM
SuperMan SuperMan is offline
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The gun shop where I picked up the XSE Commander on Tuesday, Hoffman's Gun Center, Newington, Ct., took a .38 Super Series 70 GM in at the same. They priced that one at $695.00. It was in about 90% condition...

Bob
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2009, 01:43 AM
pburr pburr is offline
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A CS series 38 Super. I believe these were the last of the pre-70 38 Super guns. It has the thin barrel.



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  #8  
Old 02-27-2009, 04:05 AM
SuperMan SuperMan is offline
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Easy enough to tell... GM guns had all numbers in the serial number from 1929 to 1968. Because of the 1968 Gun Control Act all manufacturers had to start with new serial numbers. The GM Supers then had a prefix of CS and then numbers. .45 GMs had been a prefix C and went to a suffix C. In 1971 both went to 70G prefix.

Commanders from 1949 to 1968 have a LW suffix and in 1969 went to a CLW prefix no matter what caliber. The CLW prefiix was used till around 1980.

Combat Commanders were not marketed until 1970 or 71 and had a serial numbers prefix of 70BS for blue guns and 70SC for Satin Chrome (electroless nickel).

Bob
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2012, 07:31 PM
machosales machosales is offline
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Bob,You seem up on the Colts I have one that I would like to sell matbe you can help on what the value might serial #122646 and I have the 22 conversion with it.Hope you can help.you can call me 850-541-3820 or email me [email protected] tks Tom
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2012, 07:38 PM
machosales machosales is offline
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colt 38 super questions

I have a colt 38 super with the 22 conversion serial number #122646 could anyone tell me what i might ask for it.tks tom
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2012, 08:08 PM
Piexcel Piexcel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSgt Dotson View Post
The 1950s/60s era LW Cmdrs in .38 Super and 9x19 are indeed a bit more rare than the semi-commonplace .45 ACP models...

The collectors/afficianados horde them (rightly so!), and minty unmodified specimens are truly beautiful to most Colt lovers' eyes, and also few/far in between...
You sure are right about that! I've been searching for a Super 38 from the years of 1955 to 1969. When I find one I place a phone call. By the time I get a hold of the seller the pistol has sold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoc View Post
On the barrels:
The earliest barrels had a diameter of .530.
In late 45 or 46 Colt standardized the size of it's barrels for both the .45 and the .38 Super and both had a diameter of .580. These are known as the "Fat Barrels".
In late 1955 or so Colt decided to make thier .38 Super barrels the same diameter on the new Commander Models as on the Government Model .38s and the diameter went down to .500". These are the "thin barrels".
Hope you don't mind me chiming in. I have a pic of my Super 38s that illustrates your comment. From left to right:

1948 Colt Government Model "Fat Barrel" Super 38
1946 Colt Government Model "Prewar/Postwar" Super 38
1934 Colt Government Model 45ACP



You can see the difference in barrel diameters. I put in the 45ACP pistol for comparison purposes. I can't speak to what the diameter of the barrel of a 1955 and later looks like.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2012, 08:19 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is offline
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To the OP. Need to see a picture of the gun you are looking at if you can, unless I missed it in the blitz above.
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NRA Life Member
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  #13  
Old 07-31-2012, 07:37 AM
SuperMan SuperMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machosales View Post
I just saw this message...email sent.

Bob
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2012, 08:11 PM
chuntaro chuntaro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperMan View Post
The gun shop where I picked up the XSE Commander on Tuesday, Hoffman's Gun Center, Newington, Ct., took a .38 Super Series 70 GM in at the same. They priced that one at $695.00. It was in about 90% condition...

Bob

Earth to superman. Hello....
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2012, 10:54 AM
SuperMan SuperMan is offline
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..I think if you look at the date of that post it was well over a year ago...that gun disappeared in a few days....

Bob
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2012, 02:01 PM
chuntaro chuntaro is offline
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I did'not realize a thread of this age could have new life.
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