Colt 1877 Lightning With No Patent Dates


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GlockFu
October 18, 2011, 02:46 AM
I just acquired a Colt 1877 Lightning 38 and it appears to be in overall good shape. Something I noticed was that it does not seem to have the 3 line patent dates on the left side of the frame. It really doesn't look like there were any there. It does however have the rampant colt on the left side.

Does anyone know a reason why there aren't any patent dates on this one? Is this a common thing?

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gvf
October 18, 2011, 03:15 AM
I just acquired a Colt 1877 Lightning 38 and it appears to be in overall good shape. Something I noticed was that it does not seem to have the 3 line patent dates on the left side of the frame. It really doesn't look like there were any there. It does however have the rampant colt on the left side.

Does anyone know a reason why there aren't any patent dates on this one? Is this a common thing?
Good place to get highly specific and very good answers to something like this - as well as here - is Colt Forum. Post photos of the gun with the question.

GlockFu
October 18, 2011, 03:59 AM
Here's a couple of pictures, the first one is of the gun itself and the second one is of the spot where they usually have the patent dates.

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a390/GlockFu/IMG_0103.jpg

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a390/GlockFu/IMG_0105-1.jpg

Trebor
October 18, 2011, 08:58 AM
My only guess is:

Polish and refinish removed the dates?

Just a guess. I admit I know nothing about Colt SAA's.

BCCL
October 18, 2011, 09:12 AM
I'd say Trebor is right, the Pony looks polished/buffed down a lot also.

Old Fuff
October 18, 2011, 11:00 AM
I would expect the frame to be color/case hardened, or have no finish at all. In your excelent close-up photographs I can see pitting and file marks, and so believe that it was polished (I use the word lightly) and reblued.

One test that is sometimes applied is to measure the width of the frame from side-to-side where the patent dates should be, and then see if the frame of another gun that does have the markings is wider.

It is possible (but unlikely) that the frame somehow missed getting stamped.

Deaf Smith
October 18, 2011, 11:42 PM
There are ways to raise letters of steel that have been polished out.

Just google with 'forensic obliterated serial numbers' and such as this will show up.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470061589.fsa347/abstract

Deaf

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