• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

1877 Colt Lightning


1877 Colt Lightning

Caliber: .38

Barrel Length: 4 ½"

The 1877 was Colt's first double action revolver. To fire the weapon a person could cock the hammer or just pull the trigger. This made the pistol much faster to fire. This was offered in three different calibers. Each one had its own unofficial name: .32 Rainmaker, .38 Lighting, and .41 Thunderer. These pistol's double action mechanisms were weak and prone to failure and ended production in 1909. Bell Starr can be seen holding a lighting in one of her photographs.

Back to Weapons of Fort Smith

Did You Know?

Portrait of Anna Dawes

A woman was responsible for the building of a modern federal jail at Fort Smith, AR, in 1888. Anna Dawes, daughter of Sen. Dawes of MA, visited the "Hell on the Border" jail in 1885 and wrote an article describing its conditions. When read in Congress, money was quickly approved for a new jail.