Friend of mine showed me a colt sixgun in 41 LC that is the cowboy side loader(for lack of a better term) but is double/single action. The gun was plowed up in the 40's, refinished, passed down a generation, and the owner was wanting to know if I could dig up any history. If you guys can give me some info or tell me where to look I would apprecaite it. Is there ammo available for it? Thanks serial # is 1415xx.
Colt. D. A. 41
Colt's PT F. A. Mfg. Co.
Hartford Ct USA
Sounds like a Colt 1877 "Thunderer" New Double Action Self-Cocking revolver or a 1878 Frontier Double Action.
The Thunderer was made from 1877 to 1912, the Frontier DA from 1878 to 1905.
The Thunderer has a single action type loading gate, the Frontier has a much smaller gate, and a long, deep groove in the side just behind the loading gate.
Both were available in .41 Colt, with the Frontier also in .22LR, 32-20, and 38-40.
The 1877 Thunderer was available in barrels of 2.5" and 3.5" without an ejector, and in 4.5" and 6" with an ejector rod.
The Frontier model had barrels of 4 3/4", 5.5", and 7.5". There were 51,210 made.
The .41 caliber 1877 Frontier Model is rare.
Prices for the Thunder are "about" $400 in poor condition with short barrels and no ejector, about 500 with longer barrel and ejector.
Prices for the Frontier Model are about $400 in poor condition.
Here's a online serial number guide that may help you ID the year it was made:
I'm not sure if .41 Colt ammo is still available, and I'd strongly recommend having a gunsmith check it out before firing it.
Treat it gently, these first Colt double action revolvers have delicate actions that are easily damaged or broken.
The name "thunderer" opened up some info on the search engines and from the pics I found, it appears you are dead on. This gun is in very good condition although the gentleman said he thought his dad had it chromed. Somebody did a pretty good job on the refinish and the only problem I see is that some of the fine stamping on the left side of the frame in front of the trigger guard is shallow or removed.
The owner has decided not to shoot it and simply pass it down.
Sorry it took so long for a re-post but I sincerely appreciate your help. I will dance at your wedding.
I would give the owner very specific cautions about even operating the gun, double action, or single action, or dry firing it.
These early double action Colt's have FRAGILE actions, that break or go out of time VERY easily.
Usable parts are almost impossible to find, and gunsmiths qualified to work on them are even more impossible to find.
My strong advice is, put it in a glass case so that anyone being shown the gun can't just suddenly decide to cock it or pull the trigger.
Once one of these Colt's break, THAT's IT, and they WILL break.