Gun Specifics:

  • Range of serial numbers: 1 – 89,777
  • Date of manufacture: 1884 to 1902
  • Total production: 89,777 rifles and carbines.
  • Length of barrel: Rifles 26 inches. Carbines 20 inch. Other barrel lengths available on special order.
  • Caliber: .32 CLMR, .38 CLMR, 44 CLMR
  • Address: ‘COLT’S PT., F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A.’ plus Patent dates
    or ‘COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG CO. HARTFORD. CONN. USA’ plus Patent dates.
  • Weight: Rifles with octagonal barrels 8 pounds 12 ounces. Standard carbines 7 pounds 8 ounces.

Colt Lightning Magazine Medium Frame Rifles & Carbines

Early Production Medium Frame

The first model of the Colt Lightning Magazine Rifles and Carbines with a slide action was a medium frame and was produced in 1883. This model is easy to identify, as it has no dust cover and is fitted with a safety bolt locking device that is operated with a lever in a slot in the forward part of the trigger guard. When locked in the closed position, the rifle cannot be cycled for firing. The barrel markings on these rifles are: COLT’S PT., F.A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A. ELLIOTS PATENTS MAY 29, 1883, SEPT 18, 1883

Medium Frame

The medium frame Colt Lightning Magazine Rifles and Carbines with a slide action were chambered for 32-20, 38-40, and 44-40 Caliber. The most popular caliber was 44-40 followed by 32-20 then 38-40. In 1887 the improved model of the medium frame was put into production. Improvements from the early model were made in the loading, feeding, and the injection system. The bolt locking device proved impracticable and was discontinued although the slot in the trigger guard will be found until approximately Serial No. 23000. Dust covers were also added that year. Many special order options were available. Total production was approximately 89,000 with serial numbers for all medium caliber rifles and carbines mixed together in one range. From 1887 to 1904, the barrel markings are: COLT’S PT. F.A.MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A. Patented May 29, Sept. 18, 83, May 26, 85, June 15, 86, Feb. 22, 1887

More Colt Lightning Magazine Small Frame Rifle

The re-classified Colt Pocket Model 1865 of Navy Caliber percussion revolver or Pocket Navy was previously known to collectors as the "Model of 1853" or the "Model 1862 Pocket Navy". It is now more correctly termed as the heading or as the "Pocket Model of Navy Caliber" or merely "Pocket Navy."

The small frame Colt Lightning Magazine Rifles were produced from 1887 to 1904. They were chambered for 22 Caliber and accepted long, short, or a combination of long and short cartridges. The small frame had basically the same slide action as the medium frame but with internal differences in construction and loading.

The first model of the Colt Lightning Magazine Rifles and Carbines with a slide action was a medium frame and was produced in 1883. This model is easy to identify, as it has no dust cover and is fitted with a safety bolt locking device that is operated with a lever in a slot in the forward part of the trigger guard.