This is the 2nd almost identical Colt Lightning w/the scarce 2 1/2" Sheriff's Model barrel we've had in the past month. Like the previous one, it was made in 1880 with early style checkered rosewood grips and German silver front sight. Just like the other, it even comes with its original holster with the year "1889" scratched lightly into back on the belt loop. Only difference is this one is a little sharper with a bit more finish.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Very Good+ with approximately 10% original case colors on the frame mostly in the protected areas such as the sight groove, pinch at front of frame, and along the back &down below the recoil shield. Strong blue on the triggerguard and top of backstrap....with the grip worn to a grey patina. The barrel is mostly a gray patina with blue in protected areas. Left side of barrel has an excellent original etched panel that reads "COLT D.A. 38". Back of hammer shows strong fire blue. Good screws overall with some portions of original fire blue remaining on the ones in protected areas (guard and strap screws). Checkered rosewood grips are in Good+ condition with good checkering. Very solid with no chips or cracks. Great wood to metal fit. Only notable flaws are a couple of spots in the checkering that are a little mashed and some dings or tap marks on the butt. These 1877 Lightnings are infamous for mechanical flaws but to our surprise, this one works flawlessly in both single and double action modes. It even has an excellent bore. Original holster is in very good condition with most of its original black finish intact with just a little crazing but no flaking or loss. This holster appears to have been made specifically for the this gun (not cut down from a larger one) as it has a lightly tooled border-line that follows the contours of the design. There is a small leather tab at the top that fits over the hammer to hold the gun in place. At some point, there was probably another tab that reached around from the back to connect the one on top. The year "1889" is lightly scratched onto the back of the leather. This is a great looking Colt Lightning with all the early features collectors love, a scarce short barrel length, etched panel, a holster, and best of all, it still works after 128 years!