Colt Commemoratives

Commemorative guns are not high on my list. In fact, they aren't on my list at all. Colt produced Commemorative Guns throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Colt stopped designating guns as a Colt Commemorative in the mid-1980s.

My Deceased Brother Gifted This Gun To Me Before He Died

Do any of you readers own a gun that you will never part with? This is mine. It will be passed on if I die or go to assisted living in my old age, but I will never sell or trade it away. It's likely not a gun I would have ever bought, but because my brother gave it to me, it's special.

a 1961 Colt Commemorative
Colt Single Action Frontier Scout .22 LR

Colt 1961 Kansas Centennial Single Action .22

Colt manufactured this gold-plated (washed) single-action-.22-caliber revolver in 1961. The commemorative was only offered through Kansas dealers. The first revolver in this series was presented to the Governor of Kansas in the year of the Centennial.

My late brother gifted this gun to me. I've wanted to shoot it many times, but I always change my mind after getting it out of the cabinet. It's unfired since leaving the factory and I've read that the value is $300 to $600, the $300 being fired and the $600 being unfired.

This gun will never be sold by me because of the sentimental value, so I don't mind that it would cost me $300 to fire it just once. I do believe that one day before I die I will take it out and shoot it.

Our family has no ties to Kansas and my guess is that my brother likely horse-traded for the gun rather than buying it. I've put a note to my heirs in the case that I like to think that they will keep it and shoot it.

If you have an interest in old Colt Commemoratives, there are some books available on the subject. Some are out of print, but often you can find a used one on Amazon for a fair price. Search for old books on Colt Commemoratives now.

And Then There's This One


1986 Double Diamond Colt Officer's Model .45
1986 Colt Double Diamond Officer's Model .45

In 1986, to celebrate 150 years in business, Colt issued 1,000 Double Diamond sets. The sets included a 6 inch bright stainless steel Python, a bright stainless steel Officer's Model, display case, key, medallion and perhaps a belt buckle.

In 2020 I saw one of these sets sell for $9,000 at auction. Over the years, I passed not once, but twice on buying a set because I knew they would be "safe queens" (which is against my self-imposed rule of don't buy it if you won't shoot it).

So in August of 2020 I see this gun up for auction by a high volume dealer with an A+ rating. I inquired if he knew the history or how it came to be separated from the set. He did not know the history. I kept going to the auction and looking at this beauty, thinking it looked like a lost puppy looking for a home.

In the end, going against my better judgement and all rationale, I bought the gun for $2,100. My one and only commemorative purchase to date. Throughout the years, Colt has issued guns commemorating people, places, wars and battles. If there is one thing I can get on-board with, it's commemorating Colt itself or the guns they have produced.

Colt Officer's Model one-half of the 1986 Double Diamond set
A Commemorative I can carry and shoot!

One particular Commemorative Colt that I regularly see up for auction and it always catches my eye, is the "Battle of the Marne." It commemorates the French and British Armies forcing the Imperial German Army to retreat 40 miles from the Marne River in World War I. As attractive as I find this gun, I would feel a bit silly carrying it and firing it. Just me.

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