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Thread: Colt 1877s

  1. #1
    Grandmaster Leadeye's Avatar

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    Colt 1877s

    Picked up an 1877 today with MOP grips and added it to the group. Colt's first shot at a double action revolver these were light weight handy little guns chambered in either 38 or 41 long Colt. Their weight, size and cartridge kept the design going well past what should have been obsolescence. For all it's good points it would be charitable to say that these guns were maintenance intensive. Early on Colt decided to make a larger, more robust double action which was the 1878. Favored by such western characters as Doc Holiday, John Hardin, and Billy the Kid the 1877 was a fast and easy handling gun in it's time which made up for it's maintenance vices to a degree. Ambitious sales people came up with names for the guns, the 38 was called Lightning, the 41 was called Thunderer, and the 1878 was called the Omnipotent. A much more rare version in 32 was called the Rainmaker.

    At the bottom are two repro Lightnings, one in 38sp and another in 32-20. Good guns but SA only, the 32-20 also comes with a 32 magnum cylinder.

    Digging in the holster bag I found this Heiser with VL&A stamps on it that fit quite well and isn't far from the 1891 date the gun was manufactured.
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    Last edited by Leadeye; 2 Weeks Ago at 14:16.
    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

    Marvin the Martian

  2. #2
    Expert AGarbers's Avatar

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    I love the Colt 1877. At the end of the manufacturing era tobacco company Ligget and Myer offered them in their prize catalog. 1800 tobacco tags/coupons got you a genuine Colt Lighting. I know two people that have a Lightning lettered to L&M. The shorter version was a favorite of Chicago police in the late 1800s because they were easy to carry hidden in a pocket but still packed a wallop. At that time people had an issue with the local police force being armed. My M1877 letters as being shipped to Chicago in that time period so it may have been owned by a 19th Century LEO.

  3. #3
    Grandmaster indiucky's Avatar

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    Heiser and Colt...What a combo....Very nice Leadeye....
    Quote Originally Posted by patience0830 View Post
    Thread killing historian.

  4. #4
    Master Brad69's Avatar

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    So if it was 1889 what would be the best for EDC?

    I say S&W .44 ?
    U.S. Army retired

  5. #5
    PATRIOT indyjohn's Avatar

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    Nice stuff Leadeye.
    "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

  6. #6
    Grandmaster red_zr24x4's Avatar

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    Pretty cool Leadeye
    "Courage is Being Scared to Death, but Saddling up Anyway" - John Wayne

  7. #7
    Grandmaster Leadeye's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad69 View Post
    So if it was 1889 what would be the best for EDC?

    I say S&W .44 ?
    For sure the best holster gun with the top break design and 44 caliber. It's a good bit larger and heavier than the 1877. The 41 lc doesn't give up much power wise with BP propellant to the 44s though. Here they are for comparison.
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    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

    Marvin the Martian

  8. #8
    Master Brad69's Avatar

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    How did I know you would have one!

    Was the S&W more reliable than the Colt?

    What were the issues with the Colt?
    U.S. Army retired

  9. #9
    Grandmaster Leadeye's Avatar

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    Operating reliability on both guns was good, with BP ammo you only go so far before cylinder bind. Long term durability, it's the S&W all the way, the Colt has a much more complex mechanism filled with curved, tempered flat springs. Really the S&W should be compared to the 1878 which was the quick follow on to the 1877 and a completely different gun, much more robust. Colt put William Mason on it to quickly come up with something so the 1878 shares some parts with the old 1873 SAA which the company was running. Mason was a brilliant factory man for Colt so sharing parts with an existing production gun to expedite a design into production was something you could expect from a man like him. He was also instrumental in the many cartridge conversion revolvers that Colt made during the switch from percussion to cartridge black powder.
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    Last edited by Leadeye; 2 Weeks Ago at 13:04.
    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

    Marvin the Martian

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