Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1279: Colt Lightning Large Frame Slide Action Rifle in .45-85-285

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

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Estimated Price: $2,500 - $3,750

Colt Lightning Large Frame Slide Action Rifle in .45-85-285

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Lightning-Express
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-85-285
Barrel: 28 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 295
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 136
Class: Antique

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.

Rating Definition:

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.

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