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Old February 12, 2021, 12:48 PM   #8
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Join Date: January 23, 2009
Posts: 14
Thanks to all for their kind replies!

When my friend 1st handed this 38 Colt Model of 1877 (aka "Lightning") to me it was in three ziplock bags. Quite a bit of cleanup with Ballistol using Q-Tips, a fine emery paper & a little Mothers polish worked wonders! There were 3 screws missing, #'s 1-42, 1-43 & 1-46: thankfully Jack Firsts came to the rescue! This was my 1st experience with an antique Colt and found the internet to be a wonderful resource in my attempt to reassemble this, basically from scratch. Can certainly understand the moniker of "the gunsmith's favorite": what DID the average Joe do before the advent of YouTube videos? (Actually, I am more than old enough to remember: it usually involved multiple trips to the libraries and the used book shops, as I recall?)

Although the action is anything but smooth, I believe this could be fired, but seriously doubt it ever will be. Serial number dates this to 1883. The acid etching on the left side of the barrel is missing: either by being worn away or, possibly by a refinishing somewhere along the way...? I have heard both of these alternative opinions, but not yet from a Colt "expert" who has actually seen this gun in person.

Your opinions would be much appreciated. Any recommendations as to an insurace valuation?

I believe there is also the possibility of a rebarreling: after all, this gun is over 130 years old! The bore really does seem to be in truly excellent condition. This gun hails from New Mexico, at least for the past half-century, or so?

Thanks, again, to all for the replies.


P.S. My friend, who originally was thinking that this might have some small value for parts, is now fully determined to keep this, now that is will soon be back in one piece. Does the use of the reproduction fasteners (vs. "used originals") materially change its description? I would think "complete" is appropriate, not too sure about using the term original, however?
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