Antique Colt Lightning Medium Frame .32-20 .32 WCF W.C.F. Pump Action Rifle
SOLD FOR: $2,666.67
Model: Medium Frame Lightning
Serial Number: 80849
Year of Manufacture: Serial Numbers Below 84,000 Manufactured Prior to 1898 (Per Flayderman’s Guide)
Caliber: .32 Caliber (.32-20 / .32 W.C.F.)
Action Type: Pump Action with Tubular Magazine
Markings: The top barrel flat is marked “COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A. / PATENTED MAY 29. SEPT 18. 83 MAY 26 85. JUNE 18 86. FEB 22.87” AND “32 Cal.” The left side of the receiver has the Rampant Colt and the lower tang is marked with the serial number “80849”.
Barrel Length: There is a 26” long Octagon Barrel.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a dovetail set beaded blade. The rear sight is a “U” notch semi-buckhorn elevator also set in a dovetail.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are smooth walnut. The forearm has some hand cut border outlines. It shows handling and compression marks, but no chips, cracks or scratches. The butt stock also has some handling and compression marks, along with some white paint marks on the right side and heel that have rubbed off something and onto the stock. The butt stock shows no notable chips, cracks or scratches. The LOP measures 13 ½” from the front of the trigger to the back of the crescent steel butt plate. The stocks rate in about Fine overall condition for an antique rifle.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is slightly worn, but deep. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 30% of its metal finish. The sides and top of the receiver still have some of the Colt blue, as does the top of the rear sight. There are also traces of blue on the barrel flats. The sharp edges all show thinning to loss. The balance of the finish shows a brown patina. There is some scattered pinprick surface erosion. The left side of the receiver has several scratches that can be felt with a fingernail, the right side has one. The hammer still retains some of its case coloring. The screw heads are good, but show signs of a screwdriver. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The safety is a half cock notch on the hammer. We have not fired this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Colt Lightning pump/slide action rifle was an alternative to Winchester’s lever action rifles. The Colt medium frame Lightning’s were chambered for pistol caliber ammunition and made great companion rifles to Colt’s revolvers. They were popular and reliable when used with reasonable restraint. This example, chambered in .32-20 (Colt couldn’t bring itself to actually stamping .32 Winchester Center Fire on a Colt) was a rifle to bring in meat for the pot or to dispatch varmints and small to medium predators. Just under 90,000 medium frame Lightning’s were made between 1884 and 1902 and they remain very collectable as well as very shootable.