Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 118: Colt Burgess Lever Action Rifle

Auction Date: September 11, 2020

Fine Colt Burgess Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,000 - $8,000

Fine Colt Burgess Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Burgess-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44-40
Barrel: 25 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1223
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 130
Class: Antique

The Colt Burgess rifles and carbines were only available from 1883 to 1885, and reportedly 6,403 were manufactured. They were designed by Andrew Burgess who held 894 patents by the end of his life. It has long been rumored that Colt and Winchester came to an agreement that Colt exit the lever action market and Winchester would not release a revolver. There seems to be little other reason for Colt to have discontinued these fine repeating arms so quickly after they introduced them. The Burgess is arguably more advanced and refined than the Winchester Model 1873. The included factory letter list this rifle with .44-40 chambering, round barrel, and blue finish when shipped to Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. of Chicago on February 22, 1884. This was a 10 gun shipment. The rifle has a German silver blade front sight, an elevation adjustable rear sight, the two-line address/patent dates marking stamped on top of the barrel ahead of the rear sight, a Rampant Colt stamped on the left side of the frame, "BURGESS'S PATENT" marked lever, and the serial number on the lower tang. The straight grip buttstock is fitted with a trapdoor crescent buttplate (cleaning rod not included).

Rating Definition:

Fine. The barrel and magazine retain 30% plus original blue finish and the frame retains 40% original blue finish with the balance a smooth brown-gray patina. Traces of original case colors remain on the hammer and lever. 25% original niter blue remains on the bolt and loading gate. The wood is also fine with a short hairline stress crack at the lower tang and some minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent.

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