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Old November 11, 2016, 09:16 PM   #1
timgd
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S/N Help

I just bought a model 1877 Colt lightning and I am trying to locate a readable S/N. The 1 on the frame in front of the trigger guard is buggered up and the 1 on the trigger guard is only 3 digits although it could be the same as the # on the frame. Is there another # located some where else? I removed the grips and the cylinder and saw nothing.
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Old November 11, 2016, 10:39 PM   #2
James K
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There should be one on the backstrap, right in front of the screw that attaches it to the front strap. Frankly it sounds like the gun was put together from junk parts; I hope you didn't pay a high price for it.

Jim
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Old November 12, 2016, 01:17 AM   #3
timgd
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No s/n on back strap ,looking at the numbers on frame and trigger guard through a loupe I can see a line where original trigger guard was at. It looks like the barrel, frame and cylinder are a match and the trigger guard and back strap match. Parts from 2 guns put together. I did not sink a lot of money in this and I was not looking for a collectable pistol I was going to use it for a shooter.
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Old November 13, 2016, 10:44 PM   #4
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I can only strongly suggest not even trying to shoot that old Lightning. They were fragile guns to begin with and most have become even more brittle with age. Parts break in unpredictable ways, with no reliable source of parts and no one who will work on the guns. The few parts that are available are either old and worn or reproduction parts that require a lot of (very expensive) hand work to fit, if they can be fitted at all.

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Old November 14, 2016, 12:13 AM   #5
Hawg
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What Jim said but if you do shoot it it's black powder only.
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Old November 14, 2016, 01:14 PM   #6
timgd
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All things considered the gun seems to be in pretty good condition. No finish but no rust or pitting either. Some one had already installed at least one new spring that was not working wright. A couple of hours of hours of looking and stoning of the new spring and its working as intended. I found another number under the trigger guard but I don't know if its an assy. number or partial S/N. As for shooting, buffalo arms black powder ammo already on order.This is not my first B/P firearm But it is my first B/P Colt.The build quality is really quite good.
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Old November 14, 2016, 11:22 PM   #7
James K
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Hi, Hawg and folks,

When it comes to shooting those Model 1877's, the load and/or powder is not really the problem. Obviously, the guns are old and light loads are recommended, but the big problem is simple parts wear and/or breakage. The design is very complex (unlike the SAA) with odd shaped and fragile parts that are impossible to make at any reasonable price. A trigger for an SAA is essentially a piece of steel with a hole and a slight bend. The trigger for a Model 1877 is a very complex piece of machined steel; I can't imagine anyone making them today the way they were made then for less than $500 each. Even trying to make them by investment casting would, I think, be extremely difficult and costly, with a lot of hand fitting still needed.

The number under the trigger guard is probably an assembly number used to make sure the loading gate gets back with the right frame after finishing; if so it will match only the gate number, not any other number.

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Old November 15, 2016, 01:23 AM   #8
timgd
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Jim,you are right about the # on the loading gate it is a match. As for shooting I shoot all of my guns unless they are completely unsafe or broken beyond repair. That said, my son will get the gun and most of the box of ammo when I am gone. If repairs are needed I can make all most anything in my shop.
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