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Thread: Colt Model 04014E? Commander 38 Super

  1. #1
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    Colt Model 04014E? Commander 38 Super

    Hello all - fishing for info on this Colt. I can't seem to find anything on it.

    Model 04014E

    All stainless 38 Super Commander (not a LW)

    See attached picts.

    If anyone knows when made, how many, etc - I'd be appreciative.

    Thanks

    paul

    whitmerps@yahoo.com
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Likes (1) :
    Poohgyrr (30th April 2018)


  2. #2
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    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    Note that the first zero in your model number is actually the letter 'O'. I know it looks identical to the zero after the 4, but Colt themselves call these 'O' models... maybe they didn't originally start out like this. Anyway...

    Going to our sticky post about Colt 'O' model numbers, here...

    ...we find that model O4014E (about half-way down the list) is indeed an all-stainless Enhanced Combat Commander, in .38 Super, made between 1992 and 1996. No information on how many were made, unfortunately.

    Since your gun's serial number is visible on the box, I tried it on Colt's S/N lookup page (here) and found that your gun was made in 1994.

    Note that the E suffix in the model number stands for 'Enhanced', which was Colt's precursor to the XSE series, which has most of the same features: front/rear slide serrations, undercut grip frame, beavertail/duckbill grip safety, Novak sights. I think all XSEs also had three-hole triggers, other than that they were the same as yours.

    So we know that Enhanced pistols weren't made in huge numbers, because the company eventually 'migrated' to XSE models. These XSEs look an awful lot like yours, except I don't see another SS Combat Commander in .38 Super on the Model numbers page above -- so do look after your pistol, it seems there aren't too many like it out there!
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter
    Likes (3) :
    John (2nd June 2018), Poohgyrr (30th April 2018), Ric4509 (16th April 2018)


  3. #3
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    Thanks! Great info and much appreciated.

    I've been told the slide is incorrect for the frame - weird. The black aluminum trigger. I'm told, is correct for the Enhanced (but not XSE) frame. I've also been told the "proper" slide should have a Series 80 rollmark?

  4. #4
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    You didn't post pictures of both sides of the slide. I don't really know what should be on them, but someone might.

    But this gun is from a time when a lot was changing at Colt. And they weren't shy about using older parts on newer guns, so if a part looks like it was always on the gun, it likely was, even if the catalog picture says different.

    Now, if I can just find that picture...
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter
    Likes (2) :
    Poohgyrr (26th May 2018), Ric4509 (16th April 2018)


  5. #5
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    P1040020.jpgP1040019.jpg

    Here's both sides of the slide. As you can see - the slide is marked 'Lightweight" - but there's nothing lightweight about it. When my friendly gunsmith David Sams (I suppose many of you know him) had the gun in his hand he remarked that there were no "lightening cuts" inside the slide - which was odd. (Probably why he said to leave it alone).
    Last edited by whiskey6eod; 16th April 2018 at 12:04. Reason: spelling


  6. #6
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    Phew!

    Well I just spent about an hour browsing through Gun Digest files, looking for your gun. And I'm not entirely sure I know any more now than when I started...

    Here's what those who tell you that your gun has the wrong slide, mean. At first glance, it looks like they have a point:

    1993.jpg

    However there are a few problems... first off, the description on the left says that the .38 Super model was only available in blue. But this could easily be a mistake, along with the mainspring housing that isn't arched, and the trigger that isn't long, both in your gun and in the one in the picture!

    The above picture is is a screen-grab from the 1993 GD .pdf catalog, and is the only one showing a picture of the gun. But this too is unreliable, because Gun Digest wasn't exactly religious when it came to changing the pictures from one year to the next.

    The 1994 catalog has no picture, just the listing:

    1994.jpg

    So now GD knows the gun is available in stainless too, but we know little else. Also note the jump in prices!

    The following year (1995) the prices went up another $10, otherwise the information stays the same. Still no pictures. Ditto for 1996.

    I was going to give up right then, since we know your model wasn't made after 1996, but then I thought, maybe your frame was somehow forgotten in the factory for a couple of years, with no slide, then rediscovered, given a new slide and sent on its way... I wondered when the XSE models showed up? Maybe they just had a serialized frame and gave it a slide, to get rid of it..?

    But I soon decided that this theory doesn't hold up that well. First, the first XSE pistols (actually 'XS' pistols) don't show up until the year 2000. GD could have been a bit slow getting up to date, but not THAT slow... and secondly, the slides in these guns were not quite the same as yours:

    2003XSE.jpg

    (funny how GD were saving space by omitting every other gun's picture, but here they show two pretty-much-identical Commanders on the same page, eh?)

    This one is from the 2003 catalog. One gun's XS, the other XSE (no, I don't see any differences, either). Note the rear sights on these guns. They are NOT Novaks or Novak-cut sights, like yours, they appear to be Heinie or a similar cut. I have Gun Digest files all the way to 2009, and there were no XSE models with Novak sights in there, right to the end. However remember that GD really didn't bother changing pictures for models that had the same name year-on-year.

    Also, there were no XSE 4-1/4" models in .38 Super at all, all the way to 2009, again per Gun Digest. I'm not sure I believe that, either, although Colt did indeed have a loooong spell in the '00s, where their 1911s were either .45 Auto or nothing.

    But I can believe that Colt's early XSE models had Heinie or similar-cut rear sights, so this tells us that your frame and your slide did NOT get a belated introduction to each other at the factory.

    However, I am not entirely convinced that the pistol shown at the first picture in this post was the only flavor of Colt Combat Commander in .38 Super, even though the catalog in my earlier post says so. In addition to the 'regular' Colt line, the company made limited runs for specific sellers. But maybe that's me listening to hoof beats and thinking zebras... because your slide really looks a lot like it belongs to an XSE pistol -- a very recent one, too, probably with an aluminum-alloy frame.

    Check the fit between your slide and frame, and when you shoot the gun, let us know if it runs OK or if it needs help, if it looks like the slide was squeezed to fit and/or if the frame rails look like they've been spread... in general if there's anything on it to suggest that your slide is 10-15 years newer than the frame!

    Basically if it shoots OK and you like it... it's a Colt, enjoy it!
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter
    Likes (1) :
    Poohgyrr (26th May 2018)


  7. #7
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    Not sure why my pictures in the post above were reduced in size... anyway, I just saw your last post and, well, it confirms that you have a changed slide on the gun. Colt has been known to put the wrong rollmark on a gun every now and then, but the lightweight rollmark AND the rear sight, AND the catalogs... I can now hear horses, not zebras!

    Let us know how it shoots.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

  8. #8
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    I think this solves the mystery. It was under the foam.P1040023.jpg

    It's a 1994 gun with a factory-replaced XSE slide.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Poohgyrr (26th May 2018)


  9. #9
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    I suppose the value is nothing spectacular, likely a lot less - so I'll shoot it - but not modify it. Sounds like a plan. At least I know who did the work - Colt.

  10. #10
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    - now I gotta find a correct slide - guess it's easier than finding a correct frame..........LOL

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