CHICAGO, AMERICAN EXPRESS Marked COLT “Lightning”
Lettered & AMERICAN EXPRESS SHIPPED to Chicago, IL
Here we present an antique Colt 1877 Lightning Double Action .38 Revolver, made in 1898 in Hartford, Connecticut. The factory letter lists that this revolver was sold to William Read & Sons of Boston, Massachusetts and shipped to C.E. Seton, Supt. (Superintendent), of the American Express Company of Chicago, Illinois on Jan. 31, 1898 with the back strap factory engraved “AM EXP CO. No. 345”, which is still visible, though only now only partly legible. American Express Company was founded in 1850 in a merger between three companies that all dealt in the transport of valuables and goods. This revolver was part of a shipment of 12 that would have been issued to agents to protect the valuable cargo of the coaches, wagons, trains, and later automobiles.
The Model 1877 was Colt’s first venture into double action revolvers. It was quite successful, selling 166,849 from 1877 through 1909. Nonetheless, there was some hesitation to move away from the single action mechanism, which had so proven itself. Famous adopters of the Lightning were William “Billy the Kid” Bonney and John Wesley Hardin, along with “Doc” Holliday. Doc’s weapon of choice early in his western career was an 1851 Colt Navy revolver. Later, Doc carried a nickel-plated .41 caliber Colt Thunderer or the .38 caliber Colt Lightning.
The overall condition is very good. Nice rifling remains in the bore. The action is very strong all around, even the ejection rod spring functions well. This is a solid example of an early double action revolver as Colt began to try a few new tricks; and this one went to American Express Co!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 4-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .38 Colt
Overall condition as seen in photos.
Very Fast. Very Safe. FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE. Delivered directly to your door by express mail!
Guaranteed AUTHENTIC & Includes CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY.