Colt 1878 Double Action Frontier centrefire revolver, cal. .455 in. Eley, rifled round barrel 139 mm (5 1/2 inch) long with right hand side rod ejector.

Made by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co, Hartford, Connecticut. Serial number 11041, 1884.

Physical Description

Six chambered long fluted cylinder, solid steel frame with some original blueing still visible but with some areas of rust and scouring, steel rounded trigger guard with some original blueing, steel back strap, two-piece chequered wooden grips, lanyard ring in butt. Bladed front sight, loading gate on right hand side. One-line Colt address stamped on barrel. British proofmarks stamped on cylinder and under barrel at cylinder end.


The Colt 1878 Double Action (DA) Frontier and Army models followed the first DA models, the Lightning (cal. .38in.) and Thunderer (cal. .41in.). The model was produced in a range of calibres, including .45 Colt, .44-40 W.C.F., .38-40 W.C.F., .32-20 W.C.F., in addition to three popular English sizes, .450, .455 and .476. Compared to the smaller Lightning and Thunderer, the Frontier was a substantial larger revolver. Production of the model ran from 1878 to 1905 with a total of 51,210 revolvers being made. It was in some respects the larger brother of the Single Action Army (1873), hence it sometimes being referred to as the Double Action Army, or Frontier and Army model. A variation was produced in 1902 often known as the Philippine or Alaskan model with an enlarger trigger guard to allow the use of either two fingers or one finger in a thick glove, thus the allusions to its use in Alaska.

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