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  1. #1
    Frank45's Avatar
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    Question Model 70 Combat Commander?

    Yesterday I picked up a new re-coil spring and fireing pin spring. So I took her down to change them and figured, while I'm at it I'll go through the whole piece and give it a good cleaning and lube. So I get to the safety and it would not budge. I had to put it into some soft jaws in my vice and had to smack it quite hard to remove it. Now I have never taken it down before. I bought it used some 15 years ago and just started shooting her this winter. It has an extended beaver tail and it never worked. I can pull the trigger and the hammer would drop without the beavertail pushed in. So I cleaned it and lubed it. Assembly was ok every part went back together with ease. Without the slide assembled, to my surprise the beavertail safety worked. After re-assembleing the entire gun, it is the same as before. Can someone give me an idea as to what the past owner did not do? Your help as always would be greatly appreciated.

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    VAMarine's Avatar
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    First off, there is no "Model 70 Commander" or Series 70 Commander. Series 70 was actually a specific model name of a 5" gun. These guns actually said "SERIES 70" on the slide or something to that effect. What you have is a Commander in either the light weight or Combat variety.

    As for the grip safety, that is obviously not original to the gun and has not been fitted properly. Is it possible for you to post pictures? There are different makers of grip safety and some fit differently.

    I can't think of what the slide being off/on would make a difference unless something is totally jacked up.

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    Frank45's Avatar
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    I'll try to post some pic's. Photobucket has not been kind to me of late. The pictures should be with safety on the frame or off? I'll get back later this evening or tomorrow,as I have some work I got to get done. The slide is marked Combat Commander Ser.#70BS30XXX. Thanks for the quick response.

  5. #4
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    Could it be that the previous owner had had the grip safety "pinned" to disable it?
    Perhaps, when you took the gun apart, the loosely-fitted pin fell out (because some gunsmiths make the pin removable), and you thereby restored the grip safety's normal function.

    Wait a minute...
    You "get to the safety and it would not budge"? Which "safety"? The thumb safety, the shaft of which also holds the grip safety in place? Or the grip safety itself?
    You "had to smack it quite hard to remove it"? Where were you "smacking" it? Were you using a drive punch on the thumb-safety shaft? Had you wiggled the thumb-safety lever while trying to pull it out, or were you just pulling on it without first "centering" it? Or were you "smacking" the grip safety somewhere?
    Please give us more information.

  6. #5
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    You'll probably want pictures of it with the safety on and off. Different angles of the safety and frame area etc.

    The Serial number just indicates that it was made in the 70's and is blue steel:


    As an FYI
    A little info on the so called Series 70 & Series 80s Commanders. In the years since the Series 80s were introduced, it has come to many that the term "Series 70" refers to the lack of a firing pin safety system, unfortunately that is not correct. Series 70 describes certain modifications made to the standard Government Model and Gold Cup pistols only (never to the Commanders), in 1969. Hence, there are no Series 70 Commanders nor Combat Commanders (and you won't find any rollmarked that way), regardless of the fact that 70BS, 70NS etc., is included in the serial number. The 70 serial number prefix originally meant that the pistol had been built in the decade of the 70s, and the 70BS signifies "blued steel", 70SN "satin nickel", etc. Serial numbers containing 70 were used in to the 1980s (the first three years), and you will also find "Series 70" pistols with the serial number 80 prefix, the actual Series 80 pistols weren't introduced until 1983.

    The Series 70 was actually a two part system, it was the collet barrel bushing and the "Accurizor" barrel. Colt first used the collet bushing and the accurizor barrels on "commercial" Government Models built in 1969, they are known to Colt collectors as the BB Transitionals. BB was struck under the serial number, representing the use of the new Barrel and Bushing. The Commanders never had the "new" collet bushing or the Accurizor barrel. FWIW

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    Frank45's Avatar
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    Ok the thumb safety would not budge, wiggleing would not free it. Now it is free. The grip safety has never worked, only for the instant I had the slide of, when I re-assembled it, it went back to not working. Now I wiggled the thumb safety off tonight but I had to work on it for about 6 or 7 minutes. Now as far as the pictures when I try to uploads them it tells me I have exceeded my quota. I cant even upload into my profile. My photos I chose have been cropped and re-sized. Any way I hope this helps you some what. VAMarine thanks for that information on my Colt.
    Last edited by Frank45; 08-20-2010 at 06:18 PM.

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    VAMarine's Avatar
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    One Possibility:
    Some portion of the tail end of the slide is pressing down on the grip safety, which then puts pressure onto the thumb-safety shaft, making the thumb safety stiff or immovable.

    Another Possibility:
    Could you have a gun made from mixed parts, in that the grip safety is so shaped as to work with a Kimber's lifting firing-pin safety, which doesn't exist in your pistol, so the slide is pressing down on the upward extension of the grip safety? This would then bring us back to Possibility One, above.

    (I don't have any real knowledge about Kimber or Series 80 pistols, so I would have to look at, and play with, the actual pistol to be able to understand the problem better.)

  10. #9
    Frank45's Avatar
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    Ok guys Photobucket is the same way i go to insert image icon I paste and clip bottom command button and a window pops up with an invalid file notice. Anyway,this piece came out of an estate sale some 20 years ago. The guy I bought it from is a backyard gunsmith,with a correspondence course deploma, so anything is possible. I will contact administration to see if some os corrupted in my forum file.

  11. #10
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    One Possibility:
    Some portion of the tail end of the slide is pressing down on the grip safety, which then puts pressure onto the thumb-safety shaft, making the thumb safety stiff or immovable.

    Another Possibility:
    Could you have a gun made from mixed parts, in that the grip safety is so shaped as to work with a Kimber's lifting firing-pin safety, which doesn't exist in your pistol, so the slide is pressing down on the upward extension of the grip safety? This would then bring us back to Possibility One, above.

    (I don't have any real knowledge about Kimber or Series 80 pistols, so I would have to look at, and play with, the actual pistol to be able to understand the problem better.)
    The series 80 is actuated by the trigger. While the Kimber Series II is actuated by the grip safety, I don't believe the tab is any longer than a pre series II or pre series 80 grip safety.

    I think Frank just has a moshposh of a pistol and would probably be better off taking it to a smith, sorry Frank but I don't think that the previous owner knew what the hell he was doing.

  12. #11
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    ...I think Frank just has a moshposh of a pistol and would probably be better off taking it to a smith...
    That conjecture makes a whole lot of sense, now that we have more information from the OP.
    I will now bet that the thumb-safety problem exists because the kitchen-table gunsmith who previously owned it installed the safety without fitting its lump to the sear. The lump is oversize to permit it to be carefully fitted, but a safety lump left oversize will jam-up the safety's operation, and push the safety's shaft (and maybe also the grip safety) out of line.

  13. #12
    Frank45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    That conjecture makes a whole lot of sense, now that we have more information from the OP.
    I will now bet that the thumb-safety problem exists because the kitchen-table gunsmith who previously owned it installed the safety without fitting its lump to the sear. The lump is oversize to permit it to be carefully fitted, but a safety lump left oversize will jam-up the safety's operation, and push the safety's shaft (and maybe also the grip safety) out of line.
    Yes, the two of you are correct in saying to take it to a reputable gunsmith, who knows what else is wrong. Thank you for your considerations and for the little bit of history on the Commander.

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