I got a Lightning!
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Thread: I got a Lightning!

  1. #51
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    If it were mine it would take all my determination and discipline NOT to fire it. I simply don't know enough to give an opinion on the finish except to say it is exquisite. Mistakes with markings on guns are not unheard of even today. I once had a S&W .41 mag marked as a .44 mag. I think you stole a jewel.
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monsai52 View Post
    To me, even though the lack of barrel marking might be an issue, from the images provided, the finish looks absolutely original. Colt started the Circled Rampant Colt stamp on the SAA in 1890, so I "assume" that they began that practice on the 1877s at the same time, so it's quite possible that an early 1890 Lightning didn't have the rampant colt stamp on the frame, and the loading gate just looks like it's not closed tightly, not a refinished polishing issue.

    If it's a "refinish" or "restoration" it's been done at the absolute highest level, and if so, obviously a number of years ago. But it just doesn't make any kind of sense to have spent big bucks doing a high level restoration on a lightning. So I vote for original finish with an open question on the missing barrel markings.

    BTW, did Colt discontinue the etched panel on the Lightning in 1890, like the SAA? If so, the lack of etched panel or caliber roll mark becomes a little more explainable as something missed in the transition from one to the other.

    Best regards,
    It is possible the Rampant Colt may not be on the frame but unlikely. Especially when a 1877 I have in for service was made around 1100 guns before the one in question and has both the roll die on the barrel and the Rampant Colt on the frame. If someone takes their time a good restoration can be done. Sometimes cost is not an issue if it was a family heirloom. Look at the guns below. Do you think they are original or ones I restored? One thing to keep in mind, any restorations done by myself on the DA's or by my brother Dave on the Single Actions all have a letter stamped on the frame flat behind the load gate. Open the gate and look at the flat area above the stud on the frame. My restorations have the Letter "R" and my brother's will have a "D" or an "L" stamped there. This is so no one can claim it is something that it is not.

    1878 restoration 1.jpg1878 restoration 2.jpg87-4.JPG
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by RevoReno; 08-18-2019 at 04:36 PM.

  3. #53
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    [QUOTE=RevoReno;3041435]

    1878 restoration 1.jpg1878 restoration 2.jpg

    Sal.
    Were the lanyard rings "fire Blue" or did you just think it looked cool?

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  5. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley492 View Post
    ... and from my understanding the model without the ejector rod is far more rare.
    And WAY cooler too!!!!

  6. #55
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    In order for a Colt to bring top dollar and be worthy of the best collections, it must be a "no excuses" gun. This one, for better or worse, requires explanations or hypotheses to explain it as it currently exists.

    There is that shadow of doubt, no matter how big or small...

    Because of this, a refinish cannot be definitively ruled out.

    Does this one have eye appeal? Sure. Was it a bargain, even if refinished? Yes.

    There are some very skilled craftsmen out there who can do quality work, such as Sal Lanara. They can perform very convincing work.

  7. #56
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    There is currently on GB a 1979 3rd gen that is missing the patent dates and rampant colt stampings on the frame. Seller claims to have a letter from Colt acknowledging the mistake. So evidently such things do happen occasionally.
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  8. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by SR James View Post
    There is currently on GB a 1979 3rd gen that is missing the patent dates and rampant colt stampings on the frame. Seller claims to have a letter from Colt acknowledging the mistake. So evidently such things do happen occasionally.
    The "problem" with this hypothesis is that comparing a 1979 production 3rd Generation SAA revolver, produced nearly 9 decades later than the subject matter posted by the OP, this later revolver having been produced under completely different management during a period of notoriously poor quality control in American industry. This was a time of labor strife, and strikes.

    This is like comparing apples to oranges.

    I think that, at the very latest, when claims as to labor practices can be substantiated as being applicable to this revolver would be 1940, when the First Generation Single Action Army revolver was discontinued. Certainly Cochran's book did not extend beyond 1940.

  9. #58
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    For comparison with the OP gun and a couple others offered; here is mine. Also 1890 gun, S/N 756XX, about 4200 guns earlier than the OPs. Mine has the ROLL DIE caliber marking on the barrel, but does NOT have the RAMPANT COLT trademark on the frame. So, sometime between 756XX (mine) and 788XX (RevoReno's gun) the trademark began. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by hwjhfs; 08-16-2019 at 05:39 PM.
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  10. #59
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    [QUOTE=cloverleaf;3041445]
    Quote Originally Posted by RevoReno View Post

    1878 restoration 1.jpg1878 restoration 2.jpg

    Sal.
    Were the lanyard rings "fire Blue" or did you just think it looked cool?
    Lanyards were fire blued by the factory. I have never seen an original finish gun with a nickle plated lanyard. If you look thru Wilkerson's book you will not find any either. I believe tolerances of the hole in the lanyard stud that accepts the ring are tight. Nickel plate builds a thin coat of metal on the surface of both parts which would probably bind the ring and eventually peel off from movement. It is a problem that can occur on the side plate of the 1878 as well. Too much nickel plate and you cannot get the plate to seat flush with the frame.
    hwjhfs likes this.

  11. #60
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    [QUOTE=RevoReno;3041831]
    Quote Originally Posted by cloverleaf View Post

    Lanyards were fire blued by the factory. I have never seen an original finish gun with a nickle plated lanyard. If you look thru Wilkerson's book you will not find any either. I believe tolerances of the hole in the lanyard stud that accepts the ring are tight. Nickel plate builds a thin coat of metal on the surface of both parts which would probably bind the ring and eventually peel off from movement. It is a problem that can occur on the side plate of the 1878 as well. Too much nickel plate and you cannot get the plate to seat flush with the frame.
    Sal.
    I can't recall ever seeing one nickeled but also never seen one that was still "fire Blue"
    I have looked at a lot of images over the years.
    Yours looks cool.


 
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