1880s Antique “SHERIFF’S” Model 1877 COLT “Lightning” ETCHED PANEL Revolver
Iconic DOUBLE ACTION COLT Made in 1881
Here we present an antique Etched Panel “Sheriff’s Model” Colt 1877 Lightning Double Action Revolver, made in 1881 in Hartford, Connecticut. The Model 1877 was Colt’s first venture into double action revolvers. It was quite successful, selling 166,849 from 1877 through 1909. Nonetheless, there was some hesitation to move away from the single action mechanism, which had so proven itself. Famous adopters of the Lightning were William “Billy the Kid” Bonney and John Wesley Hardin, along with “Doc” Holliday. Doc’s weapon of choice early in his western career was an 1851 Colt Navy revolver. Later, Doc carried a nickel-plated .41 caliber Colt Thunderer or the .38 caliber Colt Lightning.
The Model 1877 was offered in three calibers, which lent them three unofficial names: the “Lightning”, the “Thunderer”, and the “Rainmaker”. Neither “Lightning” nor “Thunderer” were Colt designations, nor used by the factory in any reference materials. Both terms were coined by Benjamin Kittredge, one of Colt’s major distributors. The principal difference between the models was the cartridge in which they were chambered. The “Lightning” being chambered in .38 Long Colt and the “Thunderer” in .41 Long Colt. Both models had a six-round ammunition capacity. An earlier model in .32 Colt known as the “Rainmaker” was offered in 1877.
The overall condition is very fine. Reflective original nickel finish with nitre blue remaining on the back of the hammer and trigger. Excellent, strong and tight action in both double and single. Bright bore, sharp rifling. Both grips are firm and contain an expected amount of wear—the right has a small crack near the bottom. A superior example of the Lightning!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 2-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .38 Long Colt
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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