Original U.S. Colt M-1877 .38cal Lightning Revolver with 3 1/2 Inch Barrel made in 1890 - Serial 74582
Original Item: Only One Available The romance around Colt "Cowboy" Revolvers never ceases to amaze us. This is a fine example of the Model 1877 "Lightning" Double Action .38 Caliber Revolver. It is marked on the bottom of the grip, frame, and trigger guard (faded) with serial number 74582, indicating it was made in 1890. The M1877 was offered from the factory in two basic finishes: nickel-plated or a case-hardened frame with a blue barrel and cylinder. The revolver was available in barrel lengths from 2.5" to 7.5" and was available with or without the ejector rod and housing. The shorter barreled versions without the ejector rod were marketed as "shopkeeper's specials". This version is marked on the barrel with:
COLT D. A. 38
COLT'S PT. F. A. MFG. Co.
HARTFORD. CT. U.S.A.
The M1877 revolvers were marketed under different names such as "LIGHTNING" to appeal to different groups of customers. Although all were of the same basic design, they were also referred to as "THUNDERERS", "RAINMAKERS", and SHERIFF'S MODELS" as well, depending on the caliber and configuration. None of these names were Colt designations, nor used by the factory in any reference materials of the time. All of these terms were coined by Benjamin Kittredge, one of Colt's major distributors. Kittredge was responsible for the terms "Peacemaker" for the Single Action Army, "Omnipotent" for the Colt M1878 double-action (often known as the "Frontier" model), and nicknames for the various chamberings of the New Line models.
We purchased this revolver as a "LIGHTNING" and it is in fine working order and condition. This has its original case hardened and blued colors now turned to grey, though the barrel and trigger guard show traces of the original finish. It's bird's head gutta-percha grips bear the Colt prancing horse logo on each side. Grips show wear, but are solid, with no cracks or chips.
The "Lightning" was the favored personal weapon of famous Manchester (UK) Victorian detective and then head of CID, Jerome Caminada. Old West outlaw John Wesley Hardin frequently used both "Lightning" and "Thunderer" versions of the Colt 1877 revolver. Likewise the 1877 "Thunderer" in .41 caliber was the preferred weapon of Billy the Kid and was his weapon of choice when he was killed by Pat Garrett in 1881.
A fine example of an early Cartridge Colt Revolver in .38 caliber in very nice condition and ready to display, An ANTIQUE made in 1890.
Year of Manufacture: 1890
Caliber: .38 "Long" Colt
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 3 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 8 1/2 inches
Action: Single / Double Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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