Colt Model 1878 Frontier, Nickel 4 3/4” 6-Shot, Double Action Revolver, MFD 1887 Antique .45 (Long) Colt
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Make: Colt Model: 1878 Frontier Serial Number: 20315 Year of Manufacture: 1887 (http://proofhouse.com/colt/index.html) Caliber: .45 (Long) Colt Action Type: 6-Shot, Double / Single Action, Side-Gate Loaded Cylinder Revolver Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.”, the underside is marked “45”, the left side of the trigger guard is marked “45 CAL”, the butt of the grip frame is marked “20315”, the left side of the grip frame is marked “123 / G”, the rear of the loading gate is marked “123”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “315 / 1 / L”. the inside of the left panel is marked “315”, the front of both panels have Colt’s rampant logo in oval. Barrel Length: 4 ¾” Sights / Optics: The front sight is a quarter-round blade, fixed to the barrel, the rear sight is a thin “V” notch in the top of the frame. Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered black hard rubber panels with the rampant Colt logo in oval in the upper portions and swooping “V” bordered smooth areas at the lower areas. The inside of the left panel is hand penciled “315”, the inside of the right panel is not marked but has a crescent etched shape, please see our pictures. The panels have shifted to a brown color at the butt, with marks from the lanyard ring. There are areas of light compression and faded detail from handling. The grips rate in about Very Good overall condition. Type of Finish: Nickel, with Blued Hammer & Trigger Finish Originality: Factory Original Bore Condition: The bore is mid gray and the rifling is worn but still defined. There is pin prick erosion and spots of patina the length of the bore. Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 50% of its metal finish. The surfaces display wear consistent with holster use, along with thin scuffs in the barrel and frame. The frame has handling wear to bare metal which has turned to a brown patina, with instances of surface oxidation, found throughout the grip frame portions as well; some areas of exposed metal have light pin prick erosion and light chip losses of the nickel plating. The front and immediate flanks of the cylinder have oxidation. The butt of the grip frame has a circular mark from the lanyard loop, which also extends into the butt of the grip panels. Please see our pictures. The screw heads show finish loss but only have a very small amount of screwdriver tooling. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good condition. Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder produces solid full lockup in all 6 chambers. The double action trigger pull is smooth, the single action is crisp. The ejector rod’s spring is a little weak but functions properly. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards. Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None. Our Assessment: From Wikipedia: “Samuel Colt experimented with double-action revolver systems, but he considered them to be unreliable. After Colt's patent expired in 1857, other manufacturers began producing double-action revolvers, but Colt's Manufacturing did not manufacture its own double-action revolver until 1877, twenty years after the patent had expired. The M1878 was designed by William Mason, Colt's factory manager and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards, Superintendent of Engineering. It was similar in design to the Colt Model 1877. The Model 1878 had a larger frame, and is therefore sometimes referred to as the "large frame" double-action revolver, while the Model 1877 is likewise referred to as the "small frame" double-action revolver. The Model 1878 was considered a more robust and reliable design than the Model 1877.” This 1878 was made in 1887, when America’s westward expansion was just catching up to itself, Pearl Harbor was leased as a Naval base in Hawai’I and individuals still relied on their trusty sidearms for protection against the unknown; the revolver has about 50% of its nickel finish remaining, the majority of the balance is attributed to handling, holster and operational wear. The bore is mid gray with worn rifling, which is still defined. There are spots of darkened patina and pin prick erosion the length of the bore. The action still produces a solid full lockup in all 6 chambers, the double action trigger pull is smooth, the single action is crisp. Though showing its age and thorough use, this would make an excellent addition to any early double action or late 19th century firearm collection. Please see our pictures and good luck. CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This antique handgun can be sold in California. This handgun CAN be transferred as a dealer sale in California. This handgun CAN be sold as a Private Party Transfer (PPT) at our Simi Valley shop. All cartridge firing handguns (even C&R's and antiques) sold to a California resident must be DROS'd. This does not apply to out of state residents.