Rare Colt Combat Commander in the Wild

    A curious reader sent these photographs in, of what appears to be a very limited edition Colt Combat Commander. Limited edition due to the suppressor sights, threaded barrel, and front picatinny rail section. The current and original version of the Combat Commander does not come with these three features and more or less represents a standard compact 1911. Manufacturing ceased several decades ago after the handgun went a long period of acclaim, beginning in the Second World War with the introduction of the Officer’s Model. Colt re-introduced the Commander in 2017 for the 1911 enthusiast who would also want to conceal carry a compact 1911.

    Current offering from Colt with a $949 MSRP.

    Upon further inquiry, it appears that the plot thickens with this particular example. The lot this handgun comesĀ from was never supposed to leave the Colt factory. Apparently it was going to be offered as a variant with the additional features but was decided against. This must not have made its way through the Colt admin ranks and the guns slipped out, probably listed as any other Colt Combat Commander. We also have this quote from a thread on 1911Forum from a member that appears to be working at the Colt Custom Shop

    Just made a run of 100 custom railed commanders for a distributor. This is the same specs as the RGZ. Another 100 happening this month….. with a threaded barrel….

    From a source with information regarding this particular lot-

    That is a custom shop railed Commander. The decision to make them suppressed ready was changed and a few got out with the threaded barrel

    In addition we have some commentary on the handgun from renowned firearms historian Daniel Watters-

    “Note the Wilson Combat thumb safety and possibly an EGW/JEM grip safety instead of the Colt OEM parts. The front strap and mainspring housing are checkered. I don’t know if the custom shop farms all of their checkering out to gunsmith Pete Single, or if that is just for the Wiley Clapp special editions. The Novak rear sight appears to be the adjustable variant. Note the slight semi-circular cut on the front angle of the sight. The fixed Novak variants don’t show this.
    The fact that it had two different magazines is interesting as well. The mag inserted in the pistol appears to be a Wilson Combat with a low-profile base plate, while the Colt-marked model appears to be one of the Metalform-produced tubes from their Pro or Elite series. Metalform is the OEM manufacturer for most of Colt’s pistol magazines.
    The frame probably started life as one of the full-size Rail Gun frames, which then had the dust cover and internal recoil shoulder machined back to match the Commander slide’s dimensions. Note that they scalloped the dust cover to maintain the original length of accessory rail. length.”

    Apart from the photos emailed, a similarly featured Combat Commander appeared on Gunbroker, listed for an astoundingĀ $2,795.95 as the Buy Now price. Tombstone Tactical in Arizona is offering one without the threaded barrel for $2483.95.

    Much thanks to Tombstone Tactical, Daniel Watters, and Shawn from Looserounds.com for contributing to the making of this post!


    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

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