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A steal at $40k: a historic Colt 1878 goes up for auction.

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THIS APRIL, AT AUCTION, a Colt Flat-top Double Action Model 1878 Frontier Revolver, Serial No. 1, sold for $40,250--and may have been a steal.

The revolver, offered by Rock Island Auctions of Moline, Illinois, served as the prototype for 13 Model 1878 revolvers listed in Colt shipping records as "Special Target" revolvers.

Chambered in .45 Colt, this particular revolver is fitted with the early style, "fat" two-piece checkered rosewood stocks; the flattop frame has a drift-adjustable target rear sight.

The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the legend, "COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.," The left side of the barrel is marked, "45 COLT." Serial number "1" is stamped on the butt, in front of the lanyard loop, on the back of the loading gate, along the side of trigger guard, and on the rear face of the cylinder. Also, "1" is written in pencil on the inside of both stocks.

It's a fairly famous six-shooter, too, pictured in both R.L. Wilson's Book of Colt Firearms and Colt And Its Collectors.

Says Pat Hogan, Rock Island Auctions president: "This specimen is an extremely rare flattop variation, and they are highly prized within the collecting field. I've witnessed other serial number 1 Colt firearms sell into the six-figure ranges, and I believe the purchaser of this revolver was fortunate. He got out the door for a third of that."

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Title Annotation:SPEEDLOADS
Author:McCombie, Brian
Publication:Handguns
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2009
Words:240
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