Sold For: $1,100.00
Model: 1877 Thunderer
Serial Number: 79435
Year of Manufacture: 1890 (https://www.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 of the barrel is marked “COLT. D.A. 41”. The left side of the frame is marked “PAT. SEPT. 19, 1871 / “ “ 15, “ 74. / JAN. 19, “ 75.” and with a circled rampant colt. 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 “79435”. The rear of the loading gate has assembly number “472”. The rear of the cylinder is marked “4 3 5”.
Barrel Length: 4 1/2”
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch in the top strap.
Stock Configuration and 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 grips have fairly even light handling wear, mostly toward the bottom along the edges of the “beak”. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is generally well defined. There is decent detail in the rampant colts. Overall, the grips rate in Very Good-Fine condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Nickel, Fire-Blued Screws, Trigger & Hammer
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered light-moderate erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 85% of its metal finish. There is some finish loss at edges and scattered spots of surface oxidation through the finish. Some areas have a cloudy appearance, but most remain fairly shiny. There are some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The markings are generally clear, some are worn, but legible. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. Overall, this revolver is in Fair-Good condition, as refinished Antique (see Mechanics).
Mechanics: The hand spring appears to be missing or broken. The cylinder advances properly when the revolver is pointed down and does not advance when pointed up. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with little play. The double action trigger is fairly smooth. The single action is crisp. We did not fire this revolver. As with all used firearms, thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork, and 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 good for its age, retaining much of its nickel finish at more than 130 years old and apart from an issue with the hand spring, the mechanics are strong. This would be a neat addition to a Colt collection, especially one missing the “Thunderer”. Please see our photos and good luck!