PEARL GRIPPED Antique Colt LIGHTNING .38 Revolver
1881 ETCHED PANEL “SHERIFF’S MODEL”!
Here we present an antique etched panel Colt 1877 Lightning Double Action Revolver “Sheriff’s Model” with Mother of Pearl Grips, 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. 96% of the original nickel finish remains with excellent fire blue accents on the backs of the hammer and trigger. The etched panel on the left side of the barrel remains strong. The markings are clear. The numbers match. The antique mother of pearl grips are in fine shape. The bore is clean, bright and sharp. The action is excellent. Here is one that would be the gem of many a collection!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 3-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .38 Colt
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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