This is an excellent example of a Colt 1877 Lightning Revolver in .41 Colt, a.k.a. the Colt "Thunderer". SN# 59,000 range. Made in 1887. It sports a scarce 5" barrel with early style etched panel, checkered hard rubber grips, and blued & case color case-hardened finish on the frame. The Model 1877 was Colt's first Double Action revolver and they're well known for having rather finicky mechanics. When the previous owner purchased this Colt, it had a minor mechanical problem, most likely a broken trigger return spring that had failed-- probably early in this gun's life. As a result, this gun was seldom, if ever used and most likely sat tucked inside a drawer which kept it away from hands, light, and oxygen. For collectors, this was a blessing in disguise as it often takes a small mishap for a gun to survive in this level of condition. Since coming to light, the gun has been fine-tuned and now operates perfectly.
Overall, the Condition of this Colt grades NRA Antique Excellent. It's nice to see a Colt from the 1880's with colors this strong. The frame retains 95% strong original case colors with vivid tones. The screws show 90%+ of their original tempered blue which range from vivid fired royal blues to deep purple hues. The straps retain 85% original blue with some light smooth beginning to mix in. Cylinder shows 60% original blue with full coverage...showing very little loss due to wear...with balance aged to a patina that's scattered throughout the blue. Barrel and ejector tube have 93% vivid original blue. Etched panel is excellent with the original blue still remaining across the raised portions of the oval which read "COLT D.A. 41". They don't get much better than this. The hammer profiles still retain most of their original polish which are starting to speckle with age. The rear and upper portions of the hammer have 97% nitre blue...with blue even present on the checkered knurling. The trigger is also about 95% vivid blue including the front face where the owner's fingers would almost always wear away the finish. Checkered hard rubber grips with rampant Colt are in excellent condition showing very little usage...perfect fit to the straps, and no chips, cracks, or repairs. Excellent mechanics and bore.
This is the best example we've had since 2005. We're pricing this one to within 10% of the one we sold five years ago: http://www.antiquearmsinc.com/1877-colt-lightning-revolver.htm. Interestingly enough, they were both in the 59,000 serial range. The difference between the two? 1. This is a .41 cal. Thunderer instead of .38 Lightning. 2. It has a scarcer 5" barrel AND 3. It's a nicer gun. I travel to shows all over the country and it took me five years to find a better example that we could fit into the same price range. We try our best to get our latest finds directly onto this website. We don't go down a list of collectors first to sell off the gems and then post the culls later. What we find does NOT get picked over. Truthfully, it's not a very efficient way to sell antique guns but I appreciate you guys dutifully checking the site every day/week/etc. and besides, we enjoy putting up nice items for you guys. It's even interesting to see our photos pop on discussion boards, blogs, and even a few gun magazines. Here is a chance to pick up a nice Colt that usually stays within inside that tight "inner circle" of Colt collectors. We've done all the work for you. All you have to do is be the first one to pick up the phone.