SOLD FOR: $1305
Model: 1878 Double Action Frontier Six-Shooter
Serial Number: 43053
Year of Manufacture: 1900 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester (WCF)
Action Type: Single or Double Action Revolver with Side Loading Gate Cylinder
Markings: The left of the barrel is marked “COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER”, the top is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. Co. / HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.”. The butt is marked “43 / 053” in front of the lanyard loop. The rear face of the loading gate is marked “25” and the rear face of the cylinder is marked “53”. The left of the frame has a circled rampant colt in front of the grip and below the cylinder is marked “382”.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The rear sight is a “V” notch in the top strap. The front sight is a tapered blade fixed to the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered hard rubber with smooth borders, wedge-shaped smooth base and rampant colt in oval at the top of each panel. The grips have discolored with age, going to a brownish color, more notable at their bottoms. The grips have light-moderate handling wear with a few nicks, scuffs and scratches. The checkering has a few spots worn smooth, but most areas have visible checkering and some is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Good-plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is scattered light erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 15% of its metal finish. Finish remains in protected areas such as along the edges of the ejector housing, the rear of the barrel and front face of the frame, and around other raised features on the frame. Other surfaces have mostly worn to white or gone to a light patina with some scattered light surface oxidation and infrequent minor erosion. There are several scattered light nicks and scratches with tool marks around some screw heads. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this revolver is in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with no play when the trigger is depressed. The double action trigger is heavy, but fairly smooth. The single action trigger is crisp. We have not fired 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 DA Frontier Revolver, Model of 1878 was made until 1905, when swing-out cylinder double-action revolvers started to push loading gate revolvers out of the market. About 51,210 of these revolvers were made, with about 41,000 produced prior to 1900. This model had the same sharp knuckle at the top of the backstrap used on the Model 1877 “Lightning” but has a flat loading gate instead of the SAA style rounded loading gate. Otherwise, it still loosely resembled the SAA revolver with a side loading gate cylinder, and remained in production after the Model 1889 was produced with its swing-out cylinder. This example is chambered for the .44-40 Winchester cartridge with a 4 3/4″ barrel. Made in 1900, it shows honest wear for its age, but would still be a nice addition to a Colt collection missing the 1878 Double Action Frontier. It would also be a fun little research project with the “382” marking on the left of the frame. This is consistent with a rack or inventory number for a police department or something similar. Maybe this one actually went out to the Frontier to help keep the peace. Please see our photos and good luck!