Colt 1878 Double Action Frontier centrefire revolver, cal. .455 in. Eley, rifled silver plated round barrel 139 mm (5 1/2 inch) long with right hand side rod ejector.

Made by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co, Hartford, Connecticut. Serial number 10566, 1884.

Physical Description

Plating worn at barrel muzzle and scattered along barrel and ejector housing. Six chambered long fluted silver plated cylinder with plating worn and steel corroded at muzzle end, solid silver plated steel frame with plating worn at muzzle end of cylinder, silver plated steel rounded trigger guard and back strap, two-piece chequered wooden grips, cracking and bowing on right hand grip, lanyard ring in butt. Bladed front sight, loading gate on right hand side. One-line Colt address stamped on barrel. British proofmarks stamped on cylinder and presumably under barrel at cylinder end as well, though no longer visible under plating. Action is defective.


The Colt 1878 Double Action (DA) Frontier and Army models followed the first DA models, the Lightning (cal. .38in.) and Thunderer (cal. .41in.). The model was produced in a range of calibres, including .45 Colt, .44-40 W.C.F., .38-40 W.C.F., .32-20 W.C.F., in addition to three popular English sizes, .450, .455 and .476. Compared to the smaller Lightning and Thunderer, the Frontier was a substantial larger revolver. Production of the model ran from 1878 to 1905 with a total of 51,210 revolvers being made. It was in some respects the larger brother of the Single Action Army (1873), hence it sometimes being referred to as the Double Action Army, or Frontier and Army model. A variation was produced in 1902 often known as the Philippine or Alaskan model with an enlarger trigger guard to allow the use of either two fingers or one finger in a thick glove, thus the allusions to its use in Alaska.

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