Question Re: 1877 Colt Lightning - Pistolsmith

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Old 09-03-2013, 12:07 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Chatham, Canada
Posts: 5
Question Re: 1877 Colt Lightning

Hello guys. I am attempting to get an old .38 long 1877 Lightning pistol working.

1) The "trigger spring is missing but it appears to be a simple flat leaf spring with a securing hole.

I cannot figure out how long it is and if it fits into the groove of the trigger (it seems to be a return spring only????)

2) the pistol was nickel plated but 90% of the nickel is gone. Is it better (value wise) to blue such a pistol or leave it in original 10% nickel finish ?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: near Huntsville, Ala.
Posts: 707
You've got one of the worst designs from a major pistol maker ever. I heartily defer to dfw or another more knowledgeable than I.

I do recommend you obtain Troubleshooting Your Handgun and Gunsmithing: the Tricks of the Trade, both by J.B. Wood. You will have to get them used; probably from Ebay; maybe a used bookseller.
Old 09-04-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,801
Coltparts sell trigger springs for the 1877.

Colt Parts & Gun Parts for Colt Guns

I have no idea how it fits. Possibly you might ask on the Colt forum where some experts are:

Colt Forum

Whether to refinish or not is something only you can answer. Most people will say that an antique should not be changed since that just blows out any collector value at all.
Due to poor original finish it may not have much value, after a refinish it'll have zero.

The only way a refinish even might help would be a total 100% actual restoration by a master like the Doug Turnbull company. This would cost many times the value of the gun.

Last edited by dfariswheel; 09-04-2013 at 07:35 PM.

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