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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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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.

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Did You Know?

deputy marshals pose with their rifles for a formal portrait

Fort Smith National Historic Site has records of over 1,770 people employed by the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas from 1872-1896. The majority of these employees were U.S. Deputy Marshals.