Rare Etched Panel Colt Model 1878 Double Action Sheriff's Model

.44-40. 4" barrel length. SN: 1865 (mfg, ca1879). Nickel finish, fire blued small parts, checkered Rampant Colt logo hard rubber grips. Short barreled "Sheriff's Model" or "Storekeeper" variant produced without an ejector rod. Two-line barrel address as is appropriate for these shorter barrel lengths. Left side of barrel with acid etched panel that reads "COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER". Left front web of triggerguard appropriately marked "44CF" for an early production .44-40 gun. Bottom of barrel without caliber marking under cylinder pin head. Matching assembly number 4 on left of frame under grip and on rear of loading gate. Although the .44-40 caliber variant of the Model 1878 was the most popular civilian chambering for these revolvers, with some 18,819 produced, some combinations of barrel lengths and finishes are quite rare. Only 539 of the .44-40 Model 1878s were produced with the 4" barrel, of which 3 were "soft" and sent out to another retailer for embellishments like engraving, 247 were blued and 289 were nickel. All of the 4" guns were produced without ejector rods. This is a very scarce and desirable example of a "Sheriff's Model" Colt Model 1878 Revolver that would be a wonderful addition to any advanced collection of Old West firearms.


Fine. Retains most of the nickel finish with some flaked loss, primarily on the leading edge of the cylinder and the high edges and contact points. Others areas of loss are on the frame forward of the cylinder and along the edges of the backstrap and grip strap. Areas where the nickel has flaked have developed a moderately oxidized brown patina. Acid etched panel is crisp and nearly entirely intact with only some minor loss. Blued parts with some blue remaining. Mechanically functional, fine bore with scattered oxidation and some frosting. Grips with some wear and smoothing to the checkering, showing more wear on the right side than the left side. Grips solid and free of breaks or cracks, toning toward a milk chocolate color.

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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