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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I picked this up from a local shop for just under $900 (not sure if it's worth that much or not?). Action seems excellent on DA and 4 clicks on single. I really know nothing about these, but really liked the fire blue parts. Was this done by Colt at the Factory? Will this letter as having fire blue parts? Serial # is 34351. Does Colt have the records for this serial number range? I heard these were pretty fragile. I assume I should never shoot this? Is there anything I need to know about this so I don't ruin it?
Thanks.








 

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Those fire blue parts are correct and the gun is in wonderful condition. You did very well. My guess is the gun has been refinished at some time because the patent dates and barrel address letters look "soft." Colt could letter this gun. The letter would confirm the barrel length, the original finish and maybe the stock types. It will also tell you when and where the gun shipped. Although fragile, it is possible to put some ammo through this gun. It was designed for Black powder ammunition. Make sure it seems to lock up well. If you are not sure, have a gunsmith look at it. Neat Lightning!
 

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I'm not sure they could have renickled it with the etched barrel marking staying intact. I think it's therefore original finish.
Not sure. It appears "soft" to me too and the screw holes are dished. These are usually signs of a re-finish. I could be wrong though.
 

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You did very well, That is a supper Colt. It is not refinished, Yes colt can give you a letter on this gun.
 

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Wow, this is a tough question to answer on the Colt 1877 revolver, but I feel "Withem" is correct about it being original. Looking a photos can be deceiving somtime, but it sure appears to be orginal. You did REALLY well buing this revolver!!!!

Since the action is working well in both DA & SA, I would recommend that if you shoot it much, shoot it in DA as much as possible. The reason for this is the Sear is made from Malleable Iron and does wear fast. The Maleable Iron is hard and it will "chip" the surface and wear quickly. Shooting in DA does not require the Sear to lock in place; sort of "by-passed" in DA.

Also, shooting shoul be with Black Powder only!!!!!

Due to to the fine condition of this revolver, I would get a Letter from COlt on it. It will increase the value of the revolver too as long as it matches. I have never been as lucky as you getting one of these revolver at such a great price and you could easliy double or triple your money if it is 100% correct with the Letter. Congratulations on the great find!!
 

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Nothing about this looks like a refinish to me. Markings can look a little weak even on an original finish sometimes. I see no evidence of soft edges or dished out screw holes. The reflection may give this illusion on the back screw hole but everything looks nice and sharp. Looks like a really nice original condition gun. $900 was an EXCELLENT deal. This gun is worth over a grand easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Is the fire blue parts standard for this year or early versions? All I ever see is nickeled screws and dark (not sure the finish) triggers. In fact, the shop I got this one from had a later year in worse condition for the same price. I think it was missing the 4th click. The fire blue parts really stood out on mine sparking my spontaneous uneducated purchase.

I don't plan on shooting it (or even working the action anymore). The bore and cylinder holes look great. My pics are a bit deceiving. There is nickel wear on the cylinder (and face) that the pics don't really show. I'm guessing a lack of proper cleaning after shooting BP? But the action feels like new.

I took the grips off and they have a serial number about 30,000 (68,???) higher than mine? They are also solid? Not sure when they were made or how they ended up on this gun? Maybe it started with something fancier that didn't make it?

Did Colt mark there re-work guns? Maybe it went back to Colt for a tune-up?
 

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Definitely original and fire blue was standard on small parts on the 1877.

Jim
 
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I have reviewed these photographs both yesterday and today before attempting to formulate a response. I had initially believed this gun was not refinished, especially due to the difficulty in reproducing a refinished revolver with a decent etched panel. What was particularly confounding was the weak patent dates which suggests a refinish of the frame and this would be further supported by seemingly dished areas surrounding the screws. But then the finish between the frame and barrel is fairly consistent. So, refinish of the barrel is supported by a weak barrel address. Then, one view shows a shiny (refinished) frame with what appears to be a period finish on the backstrap. The view showing the nice fireblue hammer suggests the reverse is true with regards to nickel finishes. The grips show some wear (and recent posts suggest they are not original). Despite a nice fireblued hammer and some decent fireblued screws, other screws and the basepin appear dull.What do these inconsistencies tell us? There is no substitution for an analysis of a firearm, not even with quality photographs. This is why John Kopec requires that one send him their prized Cavalry or Artillery model for his evaluation.But, due to the several photographs provided, and also due to my attempting to photograph a 100% original, 99% condition nickel finish NM #3 revolver, and achieving equally dreadful results, I now know that nickel guns are a bear to photograph; therefore, putting this all together, this is an original, unrefinished firearm in near excellent condition. The inconsistencies I see are due to imprecise photographic images. Wear is rarely evident; the OP states there is wear not evident in photographs which is more consistent with its overall condition. So, I am of the opinion that this one is not refinished and poor photographs lead to inconsistencies. Just replaced grips.Further supporting the claim as to lack of refinish, in addition to the above, is the crisp fit between the frame and the "ears" of the backstrap. Often, this alone is the telltale sign of refinish.Later I will post photographs of a nice Model 1877 with acid etched panel and nickel finish for comparison.
 

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It's not uncommon for hard rubber grips to have been replaced. They are relatively fragile and break and chip sometimes. Your grips look like period replacements in really good shape. The fact they aren't original to the gun doesn't detract much from the desirability.
 

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And here is mine for comparison. 1880 ship date, original, acid etched panel and nickel. Purchased a few years ago for well under $900, even though $900 for yours is a real BARGAIN!!!

By the way, your additional photographs further strengthen the argument that your revolver is not a refinish.
 

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Well, I have an ecclectic collection so if there is another model colt
you would rather have more and I may have it I would
be interested in trading. If you ever think to go that route pm me,
had to throw that out I like it so much. I have wanted a nice lightning for a while but haven't found one nice enough. I really really have been looking for a 2.5” but I can try for more than one ;)
It’s great so if I was your position I wouldn’t trade it but it’s all about which models you like. Maybe I have a colt you like
more, equal value to what it’s really worth not what you stole
it for “excellent score btw”. Not making a good case for myself lol but just being honest. It’s a beauty.
 

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Back in the day when we could shoot cartridge loading pistols here in the UK I used to shoot all 3 of mine on a regular basis without a problem. I did usually shoot them D/A as that seemed better than single action on the 1977's.
 

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You've got a beauty. I was at a huge gun show this weekend, and saw several that I handled and assessed, probably because of your post! One was in not quite your condition, but close, same config. It was pretty cheap, about $500. I saw a few more a hundred or two higher or even lower. Then you'd see one on a table with indian rugs, buffalo skulls, lariats, and tired old gray Winchesters. Those would be like $2300. Guess which are more likely to sell? These guns scare most people, or most people aren't interested. It's a niche within a niche, within a niche. So they won't sell as fast as a more usable DA type. Still, I love them, and their feel in the hand.
 
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