Lot 39

Colt Model 1878 10 Ga High Grade SxS Shotgun

Estimate: $2,500 - $3,200

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $5
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$25,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000
Colt Model 1878 High Grade double barrel, exposed hammer, 10 gauge shotgun, serial number 9589, made in 1881. Quoting the classic work Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms: “Colt’s first double barrel shotgun proved to be a success until competition from less expensive foreign products became excessive. Enthusiasts regard the Colt Model 1878 as one of the finest quality shotguns made in American History.” This fine and expensive shotgun was made from 1878-1889 in a quantity of 22,690. It was offered in 12 gauge and the larger and more powerful 10 gauge with standard barrel lengths being 28”, 30” and 32”. Grades ranged from plain field guns to exquisitely engraved show pieces. This example would rate as significantly above the normal field grade. The stock on #9589 is nicely grained walnut and of higher quality than standard. The pistol grip and forend were also checkered which was not standard on the lower grades. The 30” barrels show the beautiful high grade swirling Damascus pattern from breech to muzzle with no apparent dings or dents (lesser grades had simple “twist steel” barrels). This shotgun has seen honest use, but is in overall fine condition. This is a very unusual shotgun in that it is truly massive in size and weight compared to most Colt shotguns, and tips the scale at a full 10 ½ pounds. Since many of these higher grade Colt doubles were custom ordered, this unusual example was obviously special ordered as being extra heavy for wild fowling. Both lock plates show good light case color along with the correct Colt company stampings. There is extraordinary scroll engraving on the underside of the receiver, trigger guard, lower tang, lock plates, forward portions of the receiver, top of the receiver behind the barrels and on the barrel lever. Typically, Colt Shotguns show none to basic border engraving with this example displaying exceptional fancy scroll hand engraving. Further, as was customary on high grade shotguns, Colt fitted an oval silver initial plate behind the pistol grip. The barrel rib is clearly marked “COLT’S PT. F. A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, U.S. AMERICA” Both bores are surprisingly smooth and mirror bright indicating that while this Colt Model 1878 was certainly used, it was well maintained. The forend also retains the decorative ebony wedge at the front and there is additional engraving on the forend release lever. The forend and barrels are serial numbered and match the receiver. The action is exceptionally tight with barrels locking to the receiver with no play or movement. The checkered hard rubber butt plate displays the iconic “Rampant Colt” embossing. Both hammers cock and release perfectly by the double triggers. This is a very heavy, solidly built shotgun intended for water fowling and perhaps market hunting, which became outlawed by the end of the 1800s. The Colt shotgun is highly sought after by both shotgun collectors as well as Colt collectors. They were the finest shotguns available at the time and rarely are offered for sale today especially in the higher grades. Serial Number: 9589. This firearm qualifies as an Antique, and does not require FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check.