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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Early Double Action Colts Used S.A Front-end

The Colt 1878 Double -Action 'Frontier' Model was the first double-action Colt & was based on the Single Action Army Model. It used the same barrel and ejector system as the S.A. Army model and used very similar cylinders.

Two Colt D.A. Model 1878 Revolvers .44LC and 44-40 Calibres.
The double- action function was a simple modification** that added a strut that connects the trigger action to the hammer. The trigger top slips past the strut so that the hammer will stay on full cock when manually cocked by pulling the hammer back.
The first double-action Revolver from Colt with a 'Swing-out' Cylinder released by a sliding latch was the Colt New Navy Model of 1889 and these were mostly made in.38 short & long Colt calibre although .41 short & long Colt were also available. This models cylinder rotated anti-clockwise rather than previous guns clock-wise rotation - possibly a requirement of the US Navy.
Colt Model 1889-1895 - First Swing-out Cylinder Model.
- Don't ask me any detailed questions about these early Colts - as I don't know anything! - The most that I can say is that I was once driving my car - registration number 'GLOCK 1' on the motorway into Dunedin for an antique Arms Auction and was overtaken by a car with the private registration plate 'COLT'. - That's all I know about Colts !
- Try Wikipedia.
- But those 1878 D.A. guns are a bit of a strange 'hybrid' eh - being S.A. types that could dance D.A..
Marty K.

P.S. : ** It seems that my source, 'Guns of The Old West' by C E Chapel, may be faulty in describing the first Colt D.A. six-guns action - hence Rods e-mail below:

"Hi Marty,  Far from a 'simple strut that connected the trigger to the hammer' the early double action Colts were a complex and fragile mechanism. The only parts which were the same as the Single Action were the barrel and ejector assembly. Every other part was purpose built for the new models.
They were notorious for the fragility of their mechanisms (I have repaired several of them over the years) and in fact, right through to the Python, the Colt mechanisms were never as good as the Smith & Wesson. The Colt system used a vee spring which activated both the trigger and the hammer and they 'stacked' or became heavier in the pull as the trigger was pulled. Despite the high quality of their manufacture, the Colts never threatened the S&W's for popularity.
Cheers, Rod"

Marty K.