This is a very presentable-looking Colt Model 1877 Lightning Revolver in .41 caliber with blued/case hardened finish, and a desirable 6" barrel. As most Lightning revolvers are in .38 Colt, collectors often refer to these scarcer .41's as the "Thunderer". This is a pre-1898 antique in the 106,000 serial range which dates its production to the year 1897. All matching numbers on the frame, trigger guard, backstrap, and cylinder. Two-line barrel marking with Colt Hartford address (See photo). Barrel has the post-circa-1889 caliber marking which is stamped instead of etched onto the left side of the barrel. It reads "COLT D.A. 41". Left side of frame has nice 1871, '74, and '75 patent dates with a rampant Colt inside the circle just above the trigger. 100% original down to the screws.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Very Good+ with a good bit of original blue remaining on the trigger guard and backstrap, sides of trigger, and protected areas of the barrel and ejector housing. There is also some fire blue remaining on the rear hammer face as the profiles were usually left bright. Nice nitre blue on remains on many of the screws. The frame still has some silvery remains of case colors on the sides which are really bright along the inner faces surrounding the cylinder. The action is in nice working order...both Double and Action Models and indexes properly too. It is not easy to find 1877's with a good mechanism. Bore grades to Good Overall. Original grips are Excelllent with sharp checkering. No chips or repairs. That said, while this Colt does have a lot of original finish, my feeling is that sometime in the past, a gunsmith cleaned and touched it up a bit. It should be in NRA FINE+ to EXC condition. A previous owner probably stored it down in a basement where some rust formed on the high spots. People will leave these wrapped in fabric or in a case that will get wet. Fortunately, on a revolver the protruding roundness of the cylinder and recoil shield, tip of the hammer, front sight, bottom edge of grips, will keep the moisture away from most of the surfaces. When the same thing occurs to a slab-sided rifle or an automatic pistol, the results can be disastrous. The next step for the owner was to take it down to the local gunshop and get it cleaned up. Unfortunately, modern gunsmiths don't look always look at things the way a collector or history buff does. Whoever cleaned it did a decent job removing the rust but went a little too far in making it look nice for the customer. Most of the touch up blue was on the barrel and cylinder. We removed most of this added finish to give it a more natural smooth gray appearance. See photos. That is why the price is about 600-700 dollars below how it appears in the photos. It's a great looking gun and with a little more natural handling, it will look even better over time. For a .41 with a 6" blued, which in my opinion is THE BEST and most desirable configuration for an 1877, this is a great deal. Best of all, it's an antique!