SOLD FOR; $2850
Model: 1878 Double Action Frontier Six Shooter
Serial Number: 15695
Year of Manufacture: 1885, Antique (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .476 Enfield (.476 Eley)
Action Type: Single or 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. DEPOT 14. PALL MALL LONDON”. The left of the frame under the panel is marked “530”, the rear of the loading gate is marked “530”. The butt is marked “15 / 695” in front of the lanyard loop. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “695”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “.476 CAL”. There are British proof marks on the cylinder, one for each chamber and there is a British proof mark on the bottom of the barrel. The inside of the left grip panel has “EH” scratched in.
Barrel Length: 5 ½”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch integral to the top strap.
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 show light handling and storage marks. The left grip panel has a brown hue, some of the checkering is worn. The rubber shows a few scratches and scuffs. The inside of the left grip panel has several small circular pits. The grips rate in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright, the rifling is well defined. There is scattered light erosion and some pitting in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 8 out of 10.
Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases, the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collectors’ firearms.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 85% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows moderate wear. There is finish loss in many places, notably the Nickel Finish is chipping away on the cylinder, side plate and near the muzzle. The metal shows nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches throughout. There is some scattered surface erosion, notably on the cylinder. The screw heads are sharp, showing light use. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Good condition, for Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions Correctly. The cylinder locks with some play on each chamber. The cylinder locks up with no play when the trigger is depressed. The double action trigger is heavy, but smooth. The single action trigger is crisp. We did not fire this Revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This 1878 includes a factory letter glued to the inside of the wood box, a copy of the letter is framed behind plexiglass in the center of the lid. The box has a soft purple cloth and foam interior, the revolver fits snugly inside. The box shows moderate to heavy wear, the bottom is cracked and has been repaired, it remains in serviceable condition.
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 1899. Fewer still were shipped to Colt’s London Depot in England, and this is one example. The revolver is chambered for the .476 Enfield cartridge, which would have been more popular in England during the 1890s than most of Colt’s other offerings. This example retains the majority of its finish, has a good bore and strong mechanics. The Pall Mall barrel address and Enfield chambering is more scarce than many other variations and this revolver would make a great addition to a Colt or even a British revolver collection. This one, with the factory letter, will make for a grand entry to your collection. Please see our photos, good luck and happy bidding.