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Old 05-26-2004, 09:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 4
Source for vintage parts?

Hello all:
I've tried posting this on some other forums with no success and thought I might try my luck here. I'm looking for a correct mainspring housing for a Colt Commercial model manufactured in 1915. I believe it should be flat, smooth (no checkering, serrations, etc.) and blued with a lanyard loop. Does that sound right to you guys? I've been continually watching all the usual sources like E-Bay, GunsAmerica, Auction Arms, etc. for quite a while with no luck. Also, any thoughts on value? The gun is all original except the mainspring housing and grips, about 85%-90% on the original finish and still nice and tight. Thanks and kindest regards, Tommy S.
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:40 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 57
You've described the MSH you need correctly. Keep watching the auction sites, especially eBay, and you'll eventually find one. With regard to value I will make a couple of observations. First, there are a lot fewer commercial than military collectors, and they tend to value high (original) condition, since these pistols didn't get issued/carried in combat. They prefer like new in box condition and pre WWI pistols are generally not as desireable as pre WWII pistols. Does your pistol have any other incorrect parts, especially the magazine and barrel? How is the bore? Are the grips correct and checkering sharp? Value could range from $500 to $1,500 but an 85% gun with several incorrect parts, especially major ones, will be closer to the low end of the scale. HTH
Old 05-28-2004, 09:50 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 4
Thanks kwill . . .

for the thoughtful reply. It's a pretty nice old gun, but not nearly NIB condition. The bore is in excellent shape and internals show ony minimal signs of wear. The slide is tighter than my new Springfield WWII repro. I suspect that it has been handled a lot more than it has ever been shot. Except for the mainspring housing, the only other part not original is the grips, which have been replaced with some WWII looking brown plastic ones. I picked it up on a whim after considering a WWI repro. Decided I could spend less $$ and own a really old one. I am considering having someone like Turnbull do a nice re-blue and add some repro grips since these guns are not quite on par value wise with those of military provenance. What do you think, do I have a lot to loose, value wise, by doing this? Are nicely restored ones worth significantly less than original ones? My other option is to replace the mainspring housing with a correct one, fake some old looking grips and just enjoy it. Regards, Tom
Old 05-28-2004, 10:47 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 57
If it is anywhere near the 85%-90% you describe then I think you will hurt the value by having it "restored." I admit to being something of a purist, however, and would never refinish a collectible gun unless it had already been refinished, e.g. nickel plated. An original MSH and grips can be had for $100-$150 if you're patient and you will have a nice pistol that will appreciate in value. To have a Turnbull quality restoration will cost more than the pistol is worth and will stop any appreciation, in my opinion.

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