Despite an exceptional design, faster rater of fire than lever actions, and the Colt reputation for quality firearms, the Colt Lightning rifles were nowhere as successful as the already well-established Winchester lever actions, and Colt only manufactured approximately 6,500 of these large frame "express" rifles from 1887 to 1894. This example was manufactured in 1893 and has a German silver blade front sight, the two-line address and patent marking ahead of the elevation adjustable sporting rear sight, "45-85-285" on the upper left flat at the breech, the serial number on the lower tang, the Rampant Colt trademark on the left side of the receiver, multi-point checkered forearm and smooth straight grip stock with a crescent buttplate.
Very good, retains 30% of the original blue finish with the balance having thinned to mostly a smooth grey patina with some scattered patches of rough darker oxidation. The wood is also very good with some minor dings and scratches, a short hairline crack near the upper tang, and otherwise mostly crisp checkering on the slide handle. Mechanically excellent.