LSB #: 150922HI24
Make: Colt’s PT. F.A. MFG. Co.
Model: Medium Frame Lightning
Serial Number: 86065
Year of Manufacture: 1900 (www.proofhouse.com)
Caliber: .32 W.C.F., .32-20 Winchester
Action Type: Pump Action with Tubular Magazine
Markings: The top barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A. / PATENTED MAY 29. SEPT 18. 83 MAY 26 85. JUNE 18 86. FEB 22.87” and “32 CAL.” The left side of the receiver has the Rampant Colt and the lower tang is marked “86065”.
Barrel Length: 26” Round with Full Length Magazine Tube
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a globe assembly dovetailed into the barrel. A 2.5mm post insert is currently installed. . The rear sight is a “U” notch semi-buckhorn elevator leaf is dovetailed into the barrel, adjustable for elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece smooth walnut straight grip stocks are refinished. The edges are rounded over, there is evidence of sanding and patches of crazing are visible in the lacquer finish. The border on the forend is visible but flat. Multiple handling marks are visible along with a repaired ship at the butt. The stocks appear structurally sound. The LOP measures 13 1/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the crescent steel butt plate which displays a dark patina, traces of finish and shallow abrasions from use. The butt plate rates in Very Good condition and the stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition as refinished.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: *REVISED* The blue is great and appears original. The refinish to the stock had us discussing the finish at lengths. The markings are sharp and the finish appears correct and original.
Bore Condition: *REVISED* The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There are shallow spots of erosion scattered throughout the bore. Nothing that would concern us with barrel wall thickness or safety. The previous description had the bore grey with shallow rifling. After some light swabbing the bore condition improved dramatically. Old Lead fouling was in the lands and grooves.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 65% of its metal finish. Finish thinning and handling marks are visible along the barrel and magazine tube with freckling forming toward the rear third of the barrel. Finish thinning and handling marks are evident on the receiver. Traces of finish are present on the top tang and about 50% of the finish remains on the lower tang. The bare metal has developed a natural patina. The screw heads are sharp with the top tang screw showing mild disfigurement. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The safety is a half cock notch on the hammer. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Colt Lightning pump/slide action rifle was an alternative to Winchester’s lever action rifles. The Colt medium frame Lightning’s were chambered for pistol caliber ammunition and made great companion rifles to Colt’s revolvers. They were popular and reliable when used with reasonable restraint. This example, chambered in .32-20 (Colt couldn’t bring itself to actually stamping .32 Winchester Center Fire on a Colt) was a rifle to bring in meat for the pot or to dispatch varmints and small to medium predators. Just under 90,000 medium frame Lightning’s were made between 1884 and 1902 and they remain very collectable as well as very shootable.