Early Colt Model 1878 12 GA SXS Hammer Double Barrel Shotgun, 1879 Antique

SOLD FOR: $1105

LSB#: 220415GG003

Make: Colt

Model: 1878

Serial Number: 1467

Year of Manufacture: 1879 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)

Gauge: 12 GA, 2 5/8″ Black Powder Shells

Action Type: Top Lever Opening Sidelock External Hammer Double Barreled Shotgun

Markings: The serial number is marked on the barrel flat, forend iron, the front face of the extractor, water table, the inside of the floorplate at the toe, and guard. The serial number is hand-written under the buttplate in pencil at the heel. Each lockplate is marked “Colt’s Pt. F.A. Mfg. Co.”. There are inspector’s marks on the bottoms of the barrels and forend lug assembly.

Barrel Length: 30″

Choke: Left: Modified, Right: Modified, Both Fixed

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a brass bead fixed to the rib near the muzzle.

Weight: 7 lb., 9.2 oz.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with splinter forend, semi-pistol grip, straight comb and smooth steel buttplate. The forend has an inlet ebony tip. The stocks have light nicks, scuffs and scratches scattered throughout, most darkened with age and handling. There is a crack on the bottom-front of the wrist to the right of the triggers. The buttstock appears to have shrunk slightly, with gaps at the rear of each lockplate and at the top tang. The checkering is well defined. The LOP measures 14” and 13 1/8″ from the fronts of the triggers to the back of the buttplate. The drop at comb is 2 1/4″ and the drop at heel is 4″. The cast is about neutral. The buttplate has gone to a light-moderate patina with scattered wear and some minor erosion at the heel. The stocks are in about Very Good condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Damascus & Case-Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bores are mostly bright with infrequent faint erosion. There are a few very minor dents which are barely visible in the bores.

Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 70% of its metal finish. The barrels retain generally strong damascus patterning with some patches gone to a uniform patina or showing light wear. The exposed portions of the receiver have mostly tone to a light patina with color in areas around the hammers and lever as well as on the water table. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches as well as some spots of light surface oxidation. The left firing pin is broken. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to disfigured with usable slots. The markings range from clear to worn, but legible. Overall, this shotgun rates in Good-Very Good condition as Antique and will rate Very Good-Fine with a new left firing pin installed.

Mechanics: The left firing pin is broken. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The barrels lock up to the receiver with light play. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: Colt hardly needs an introduction as one of America’s oldest and most successful firearms manufacturers. In 1878, they introduced a shotgun to compete with the likes of Parker Brothers, with similar workmanship and grades offered. It came into Colt’s catalog as their highest price item in their line. While they were only produced until 1889, the Model 1878 is still prized by Colt collector’s, today. This example is in great shape for its age, with the broken left firing pin being the most notable defect. Otherwise, this gun has honest wear with better bores and mechanics than one typically finds on damascus barrel double guns from the 1870s. As an early example with much of its original finish remaining, this would be a nice addition to a Colt collection missing this model.  Please see our photos and good luck!

Early Colt Model 1878 12 GA SXS Hammer Double Barrel Shotgun, 1879 Antique
Early Colt Model 1878 12 GA SXS Hammer Double Barrel Shotgun, 1879 Antique