These Colts were produced from 1877 to 1909. Lightnings were chambered for the .38 Colt cartridge (barrel markings COLT D.A. 38), Thunderers were chambered for the .41 Colt cartridge (barrel markings COLT D.A. 41). Six-shot revolver cylinder, with barrel lengths ranging from 1-1/2" to 10"; with and without ejectors; most common barrel lengths found are 4-1/2" to 6". In 1878 the Colt Model 1878 Frontier Double-Action Revolver became available; this is a larger frame variant of the Lightning and Thunderer double-action models and was able to handle larger, more powerful cartridges.
NOTE: Rare models of the Lightning can be found chambered for the .32 Colt cartridge; extreme caution is advised when acquiring such specimens and should be authenticated by factory letter.