Famed Outlaw and Gunfighter John Wesley Hardin claimed to have killed 42 men from 1868 to 1877. He even was reported to have been firing bullets through a bedroom wall and ceiling of a Hotel, simply to stop the snoring of a stranger in the next room. He killed that stranger as Abilene Marshal "Wild Bill" Hickok rushed to the scene, as Hardin successfully escaped.
In August of 1895, El Paso lawman, John Selman Jr., arrested John Wesley Hardin's friend, the widow M'Rose (or Mroz), for "brandishing a gun in public." Hardin confronted Selman, and the two men had a verbal dispute. On being told of the argument, John's 56-year-old father, John Selman Sr., a constable, approached Hardin on the afternoon of August 19, 1895, and the two men exchanged words. Later that night, Hardin went to the Acme Saloon, where he began playing dice. Shortly before midnight Selman Sr. walked in, saw Hardin with his back to him, and shot him in the back of the head, killing him instantly. As Hardin's body lay on the floor, Selman reportedly fired three more shots into Hardin.
From the book "Famous Firearms of the Old West: From Wild Bill Hickok's Colt Revolvers to Geronimos Winchester, Twelve Guns that Shaped our History" The Outlaw John Wesley Hardin frequently carried both the "Lightning" and the "Thunderer" versions of the Colt 1877 revolver.
Court records show that John Wesly Hardin was carrying a Colt Lightning Model 1877, serial number 84304 and an Elgin watch, serial number 4069110, when he was shot and killed on August 19th, 1895. Per the article "Hardin’s Hardware: The Texas shootist loved his Colts and Smith & Wessons." True West Magazine: 07/01/2006, The Colt Lightning Model 1877, and another Colt 1877 revolver, known as a "Thunderer," in .41 caliber, owned and used by Hardin to rob the Gem Saloon, was sold at auction. Selling price for the two handguns were $168,000 for the Colt Lightning, and $100,000 for the Colt Thunderer. The Colt "Thunderer" can be seen at this link: Old West Gun Collectors.
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Just for fun, here's a Lightening and it's scabbord. This one locks up like new, but I've never shot it. When held up next to a .41 it's hard to tell the difference. Garrett, Hardin and the Kid carried pistols like this one.
Charlie talks about the trigger pull on Colt DA's. The pull on this Lightening is very long and quite smooth. You have to pull the trigger all the way back before she let's go. The single action is very nice, however; and that's how I would shoot one, unless I wanted to pop off a bunch of shots right away. I think that if I was going to "draw" this pistol that I'd shoot it DA.
It points pretty well and feels more like a Navy than a Peacemaker, least to me.
The Lightening and '73 represent the Kid's favorite guns to me. The 73 is an 1883 rifle, the lightening 1905, so it's a late one. The rifle is a 32/20 and absolutely mint inside. Nice outside too. Someone ground the front sight down on the Lightening. If you shoot one of these pistols to the sights they shoot low, the front sight being high. I think so it was easier to see. That pistol has worn grips so I think it was heavily used. It came from Montana.