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I just came into an old Colt,its a birds head grip in what looks to be 38 cal. It is double action however it loads from a side loading gate .It has hard rubber Colt grips and was at one time nickled. The trigger return spring is broken but otherwise a working gun.What do I have here? Is there any value in a gun like this ? Thanks, Joe
 

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sounds like a Lightning.Made from 1877 & cataloged until early 1900s. They were very fragile & most are found with the double action not working. The Thunderer was the same gun in .41 Colt. Without seeing the piece,its hard to set a value,but dont expect it to be as high as a Single Action Army in same condition. Many variations in grips,finish,barrel lengths,and with or without ejectors. Hope this helps a little. Bud
 

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Thanks Bud, thats a lot of help. This one has no ejector rod and the it is pretty rough.I will have the spring replaced and auction it . Thanks again, Joe
 

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Coronjs; Unless youve worked on this type of gun before, DONT try & replace the spring yourself! The Lightning is very difficult.compared to say the Colt SAA & the later "V Mainspring" double actions. Hopefully,you have a good gunsmith,no make that "old" gunsmith in your locale. The parts are numerous & small,and this is why the Lightning broke frequently;it was just too complex & fragile to take any use. I can recall going "out back" of the retail shop to talk to the owner,who was a master elderly gunsmith & saw that he was working on a Lightning.A constant cigar smaoker, I asked him how many hed smoked working on the Lightning. "Too many" was his answer! The whole operation was more akin to a watchmaker! Good Luck! Bud
 
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