Colt 1878 Double Action Frontier centrefire revolver, cal. .476 in. Eley, rifled round barrel 127 mm (5 inch) long with right hand side rod ejector.

Made by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co, Hartford, Connecticut. Serial number 25001, 1890.

Frame right hand side is stamped 'D [broad arrow] D' for the Department of Defence.

Shipped by Colt's to Colt's London Agency, February-March 1890; see Colt Archive Properties authentication letter, dated 22 March 2007.

Physical Description

Barrel and ejector rod housing painter with black paint which is now flaking in areas. Six chambered long fluted cylinder, solid steel frame with good original blueing still visible, steel rounded trigger guard with good original blueing, steel back strap, black two-piece finely chequered hard-rubber grips with rampant Colt logo in oval embossed on both sides, lanyard ring in butt. No front sight, loading gate on right hand side. Triggerguard left hand triangle stamped with an inspector's mark 'G'. One-line Colt address stamped on barrel. British proofmarks stamped on cylinder and under barrel at cylinder end. Action is defective and hammer is jammed at half-cock position. Barrel has been cut down to 5 in. Would have originally been either 5 1/2 or 7 1/2 inches long.


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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