This early production three digit serial numbered Colt Lightning Medium Frame Rifle was manufactured in 1884, the first year of production, and remains in very high condition. These rifles saw hard use and are rarely found in this high condition, especially for a very early production rifle. The rifle is fitted with a German silver blade front sight and an elevation adjustable rear sight. The top barrel flat is stamped with the two-line Hartford address/patent dates legend ahead of the rear sight and "44 Cal." at the breech. A Rampant Colt is correctly stamped on the left side of the frame. The lower tang has the early three digit serial number "421." The forearm is checkered, and the plain straight grip stock is fitted with a crescent buttplate. Despite Colt's excellent design, which was faster than and equally reliable as Winchester's lever actions and certainly competitive with the other slide action rifles of the day, the design failed to make Colt a serious competitor in the sporting rifle field and production of the Lightning rifle series only ran from 1884-1904. The medium frame variation was dropped in 1902.
Excellent, retaining 97% plus bright original high polish blue finish. Nearly all original case colors remain on the hammer. 90% original nitre blue remains on the loading gate. The wood is also excellent with a few blemishes in overall crisp forearm checkering and some minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent. A highly attractive, early production Colt Lightning Medium Frame Rifle that will look great an any Colt or antique firearms collection. This example would be difficult, if not impossible, to improve upon!
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