SOLD FOR: $1415
Model: 1877 Thunderer
Serial Number: 26627
Year of Manufacture: 1880 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .41 Colt
Action Type: Single Action/Double Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG. Co. / HARTFORD. CT. U.S.A.”. The left side of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19, 1871 / “ “ 15, “ 74. / JAN. 19, “ 75.”. The underside of the frame at the grip frame, the front of the trigger guard just behind it and the front underside edge of the backstrap are marked “26627”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “41 CAL”. The rear face of the frame under the hammer is marked “P”, the rear of the loading gate has assembly number “8”. The rear of the cylinder is marked “6 2 7”.
Barrel Length: 3 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is german silver blade fixed to the barrel (not original to the gun). The rear sight is a “V” groove in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered black hard rubber on a bird’s head grip frame, with a Rampant Colt in an oval at the top of each panel. The left panel has a repaired chip-loss at the bottom, with some sort of compound added to the panel and then re-profiled to match with the checkering fairly well replicated on the repair. Otherwise, the grips show fairly light handling wear with some scattered minor nicks and scuffs. The checkering is well defined. Overall, the grips are in about Good-Very Good condition as repaired Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with sharp rifling where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 35% of its current metal finish. Strongest finish is in the grip frame with the barrel, cylinder and frame showing scattered finish wear and areas worn to white. There is scattered minor surface erosion. There are tool marks around some screw heads. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete, the barrel’s caliber marking is not present, nor is a rampant colt logo. Overall, this revolver is in Good-Very Good condition as refinished Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with no play when the trigger is depressed. The double action trigger is fairly smooth, a little heavy. The single action trigger has a some creep. We did not fire this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Colt M1877 was a double action revolver manufactured by Colt’s Patent Fire Arms from January 1877 to 1909 for a total of 166,849 revolvers. The Model 1877 was offered in three calibers, which lent them three unofficial names: the “Lightning”, the “Thunderer”, and the “Rainmaker”. The principal difference between the models was the cartridge in which they were chambered: the “Lightning” being chambered in .38 Long Colt; the “Thunderer” in .41 Long Colt. An earlier model in .32 Colt known as the “Rainmaker” was offered in 1877. The M1877 was designed by one of the inventors of the M1873 Colt Single Action Army, William Mason, as Colt’s first attempt at manufacturing a double-action revolver and was also the first successful US-made double-action cartridge revolver. Neither “Lightning” nor “Thunderer” were Colt designations, nor used by the factory in any reference materials. Both terms were coined by Benjamin Kittredge, one of Colt’s major distributors, who was also responsible for the term “Peacemaker” for the Single Action Army. Old West Outlaw John Wesley Hardin frequently used both “Lightning” and “Thunderer” versions of the Colt 1877 revolver. This Thunderer looks like it has seen some use in the last 140 years, but retains serial-matching parts, a decent bore for its age and strong mechanics. This would be a great addition to a Colt collection. Please see our photos and good luck!