Colt 1878 Double Action Frontier centrefire revolver, cal. .45 in., 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 21064, 1889. British proofmarks.

Physical Description

Six chambered long fluted cylinder, solid steel frame, steel rounded trigger guard and back strap, overall plum patina to all steel parts, black two-piece finely chequered hard-rubber grips with rampant Colt logo in oval embossed on both sides, lanyard ring missing from butt. 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 substantially 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 enlarged 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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