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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I have a very strange rifle whose story I think I have finally pieced together. NOW I need help to determine whether there are hundreds of these around or not.

This is a Colt ligtning chamber in Colt 40-60-260. It has the military ladder sights, bayonet lug and nickeled. All of this is original and documented with a letter from Colt. It was sold to an English Gun shop in a group of 10 but received no english proofs - My conclusion shipped out to a colony. After much fiddling trying to get it to chamber something like a 40-60 and failing miserably. After much discussion with people around me we hypothesized that India was the colony and these were made for a Pasha's personal army/guard force. From there we tried to see if it had been rechambered to the Indian 410 musket round. Well it was indeed and works well. As these rounds werent implemented until I think around the 1920-30. It was made at Colt in the 1880's. The chambering aint great obviously done in India by an inexperienced gunsmith. Because there is a tiny gap between to old (or reamed out) chamber the shell gets stuck every time it is fired. I can get it out with some persuasion with a cleaning rod. Lastly this gun is in appalling condition (ugly) but as my interest increases that matters less and less.
Now I didnt expect all these issue when I got it at a gun show. I bought it with the idea of restoring it and shooting it. But now I have a dilema.
The Express model of the lightning is not common (or inexpensive) to begin with and in this factory configuration much more so> I know that a bunch of medium frame colts were made with bayonet mount but I cant find any reference to the large from other than catalog reference that it was an option.This rifle has a really cool story! My problem is that I would still like to restore it and back to 40 -60 -260 but this may be the only one like it remaining. Given that it may have a real story/historical/collector value. I took it ot a local antique gun show and I got a tremendous response. " Oh a Colt lightning rare variety too bad in that condition it is barely worth scrap metal" then "What do you want for it"
I need to know is this something that is worth maintaining for its history or are there a bunch out there and I can just return it to factory condition or as close as I can get. Dollar value I dont think there is a way to assess unless there are others out there. I dont care about that but destroying something that is historically relavent doe give me pause.
I did try calling colt but all they were wiling/able to do was the letter which I already have. Tried the NRA they told me to call Colt.
I need input to make descisions. ANY input would be apreciated
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