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Auction Date: December 8, 2013

Lot 1177: Colt - 1878 Double Rifle

Sold for Colt - 1878 Double Rifle
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Unique Colt Double Barrel Hammer Rifle Period Converted to Smoothbore
Estimated Price: $6,500 - $11,000
Item Views 209 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt - 1878 Double Rifle ManufacturerColt Model1878 Double Rifle
TypeRifle Gauge28/410 Catalog Page86
Barrel28 Inch Solid Rib FinishBlue/casehardened Grip
Stockwalnut ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionManufactured from 1879 to 1885 with the total quantity estimated at only 35 with this example having been converted to a combination shotgun during the period of use. The left barrel gauges at approximately .410 smoothbore and the right barrel gauges at approximately 28 gauge smoothbore. This firearm was in the legendary Gaines DeGraffenreid collection of Texas and is illustrated in his book GAINES DEGRAFFENREID, TEXAS GUN COLLECTOR. The long gun retains its original 28 inch solid rib Damascus barrels. The solid rib has a bead front sight and an added Winchester carbine type ladder rear sight and is marked "COLT'S PT. F. A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A." (weak but legible). The casehardened action has lock plates that are marked "COLT'S PT.F.A. MFG. CO." ahead of the hammer. The serial number is marked on the barrels, forearm, water table and trigger guard. The forearm and round knob pistol grip stock are checkered with an ebony forend insert, a blank initial stock oval and checkered hard rubber buttplate featuring a Rampant Colt. The double barrel hammer rifle is one of the rarest Colt firearms to obtain today. The rifle was the brainchild of Caldwell Hart Colt, the playboy son of Samuel Colt and avid gun enthusiast. It is believed that the majority of double rifles manufactured by Colt went to Caldwell and his friends.

ConditionFair. Traces of original blue finish (strongest under the forearm) and casehardened finish remains, with a smooth gray patina on the balance. Some scattered minor pitting is present. The wood is good with traces of the forearm checkering remaining, some chipping, a repair near the tang and lock (left side) and a number of minor handling marks. Overall the grip checkering is crisp. The buttplate shows wear. Mechanically fine. With an estimated total production of 35 units, Colt double rifles are nearly impossible to come by in any condition and are a prize for the advanced Colt collector.
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