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I've recently purchased a 22 lightning with a 26 inch barrel .. all markings the same as 24 inch ... everything I read about them states they came with a standard 24 inch barrel.... any info would be appreciated ...
 

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In this case, a side view of the last 8" of barrel (ending at muzzle) would help. We need to see the spacing between the muzzle and front sight, among other things. It would also be helpful if you measure the distance from the muzzle to the front of the dovetailed front sight.

Unfortunately, sometimes early day shooters became concerned about cleaning rod wear near the muzzle, and cut off an inch or two. Rarely did they put the front sight back in the correct place.
 

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Not sure about Colts, but Marlin rifles of that era could be ordered with extra length barrels for an additional $2 per inch of barrel. The barrel on my 22 Lightning rifle is indeed a 24" barrel.
 

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Just pulled my Lightning Rifle out of the safe and measured the barrel. It is 24" and the front sight is 3/8" back from the muzzle.
 

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I've recently purchased a 22 lightning with a 26 inch barrel .. all markings the same as 24 inch ... everything I read about them states they came with a standard 24 inch barrel.... any info would be appreciated ...
Looked at all of your pictures, plus those contributed by other forum members, and one measurement of 3/8" inches. I think that your rifle has an original 26" barrel. You maybe should consider getting a Colt factory letter on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not sure about Colts, but Marlin rifles of that era could be ordered with extra length barrels for an additional $2 per inch of
Just pulled my Lightning Rifle out of the safe and measured the barrel. It is 24" and the front sight is 3/8" back from the muzzle.
barrel. The barrel on my 22 Lightning rifle is indeed a 24" barrel.
Looked at all of your pictures, plus those contributed by other forum members, and one measurement of 3/8" inches. I think that your rifle has an original 26" barrel. You maybe should consider getting a Colt factory letter on this one.
Not sure about Colts, but Marlin rifles of that era could be ordered with extra length barrels for an additional $2 per inch of barrel. The barrel on my 22 Lightning rifle is indeed a 24" barrel.
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From Colt's 1888 catalog. The first three sentences.

 
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