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Best, "The Rifleman Episode" I have seen - M92 SRC vs. Colt Lightning SRC
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February 5, 2021 - 6:31 pm
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I saw this episode recently:

https://www.riflemanconnors.com/sporting_chance.htm

It is episode 18 from season 4.  A fancy man comes England to Northfork.  He has heard of Lucas’s reputation and wants to kill him – in a shootout.  He pulls his fancy rifle out of a fancy case.  I think he tells Micah he made both the case and the rifle (I received a phone call at the most critical time).  Anyway, the piece is clearly a Colt Lightning SRC – medium frame – surely a .44-40 and it looks nickel plated.  Lucas won’t agree to a gun fight but they do meet at Lucas’s ranch where they both rapid fire at paper targets, bottles and thrown empty cans.  Lucas beats him – but just barely.  It’s always fun to see Lucas due his rapid fire shooting but seeing the Englishman rapid fire the Colt pump was enjoyable too.  I don’t think it is ever clarified that it is a Colt pump rifle.  As I said, I missed a minute of important dialog but the write-ups of the episode say the Englishman claims he is a gunsmith and he made the rifle (carbine) himself.  

Mark Douglas – given your wife is a Colt Lightning and Express rifle collector, I think the two of you would enjoy this episode.  Maybe you’ve seen it.

Anyone else seen it?

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February 5, 2021 - 7:03 pm
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steve004 said

 It’s always fun to see Lucas due his rapid fire shooting but seeing the Englishman rapid fire the Colt pump was enjoyable too. 

 

Interesting that someone involved in the production knew about the Lightning.  In aimed fire, not merely pouring out the lead, a low-powered pump can be fired more rapidly without loosing the sight picture than any lever gun, except possibly by an exhibition shooter.  If Lucas was firing from the hip as he usually did, even he couldn’t outshoot a Lightning.

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February 6, 2021 - 12:42 am
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steve004 said

Mark Douglas – given your wife is a Colt Lightning and Express rifle collector, I think the two of you would enjoy this episode.  Maybe you’ve seen it.
 

Well that was jolly fun to watch!  I loved watching The Rifleman growing up. 

I’m now thinking I might have to challenge my wife to recreate the shooting competition for an episode of “The Cinnabar”.  I’m going to have to start practicing my hip shooting if I’m to have any chance. Laugh

Thanks for sharing, Steve.  Erin and I both thoroughly enjoyed watching it!

Mark

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February 6, 2021 - 5:56 pm
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Mark Douglas said

steve004 said
Mark Douglas – given your wife is a Colt Lightning and Express rifle collector, I think the two of you would enjoy this episode.  Maybe you’ve seen it.
 

Well that was jolly fun to watch!  I loved watching The Rifleman growing up. 

I’m now thinking I might have to challenge my wife to recreate the shooting competition for an episode of “The Cinnabar”.  I’m going to have to start practicing my hip shooting if I’m to have any chance. Laugh

Thanks for sharing, Steve.  Erin and I both thoroughly enjoyed watching it!

Mark  

Mark – glad you and Erin enjoyed the episode.  I pulled a ’92 .44-40 SRC and a Colt Lightning .44-40 SRC (with nickel trim) out of the safe this morning.  It’s way too cold to try a competition match with them but it is fun to hold the same models Lucas and the fancy Englishman were using:

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

By the way, keep those episodes of the The Cinnabar coming.  I sure enjoy them!

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February 6, 2021 - 6:06 pm
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Wow, now there’s a pair to draw to!  No wonder you found that episode of The Rifleman so interesting.  Thanks for posting the pics.  Mark

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February 6, 2021 - 11:29 pm
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Mark Douglas said
Wow, now there’s a pair to draw to!  No wonder you found that episode of The Rifleman so interesting.  Thanks for posting the pics.  Mark  

Mark – here’s another pair to draw to.  Top one is .44-40 SRC with special order 2/3 mag.  The bottom is a Colt Lightning SRC – full nickel plate (much has worn off – particularly on the front end).  Sadly, this is out of sync with the group as it is a 38-40.  However, it is also a, “baby carbine” (i.e. lighter barrel).

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

A pair of pairs:

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

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February 7, 2021 - 2:13 pm
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Another great pair of carbines, and both with unusual and interesting features.  I really like that 1892 carbine with the 2/3 mag tube.  Erin’s quite impressed by the 1/2 nickel baby carbine.  Says she’s rarely sees 38-40 baby carbines and the first she’s seen 1/2 nickel.  You have some very interesting carbines.  

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February 7, 2021 - 4:31 pm
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Mark Douglas said
Another great pair of carbines, and both with unusual and interesting features.  I really like that 1892 carbine with the 2/3 mag tube.  Erin’s quite impressed by the 1/2 nickel baby carbine.  Says she’s rarely sees 38-40 baby carbines and the first she’s seen 1/2 nickel.  You have some very interesting carbines.    

Thanks Mark!  I think what is even more rare is a wife who recognizes the rarity of a baby nickel .38-40 Colt Lightning.  And of course, the rarity of a wife who is a Colt lightning collector (and owns a Colt .50-95 Express rifle) Cool

Not to disparage a Winchester – particularly a model as smooth and fast as the Model 1892 – but the Colt pumps are fast!  I can see why Lucas had his hands full with the fancy Englishman.  Even with its longer action, my Colt .40-60 Express rifle is very fast.  Clarence’s earlier comment in this thread was right on:

  In aimed fire, not merely pouring out the lead, a low-powered pump can be fired more rapidly without loosing the sight picture than any lever gun, except possibly by an exhibition shooter.  If Lucas was firing from the hip as he usually did, even he couldn’t outshoot a Lightning.

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February 7, 2021 - 6:48 pm
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steve004 said

Mark Douglas said
Another great pair of carbines, and both with unusual and interesting features.  I really like that 1892 carbine with the 2/3 mag tube.  Erin’s quite impressed by the 1/2 nickel baby carbine.  Says she’s rarely sees 38-40 baby carbines and the first she’s seen 1/2 nickel.  You have some very interesting carbines.    

Thanks Mark!  I think what is even more rare is a wife who recognizes the rarity of a baby nickel .38-40 Colt Lightning.  And of course, the rarity of a wife who is a Colt lightning collector (and owns a Colt .50-95 Express rifle) Cool

Ha! I openly admit that I married way out of my league and was just fortunate to catch her at a weak moment all those years ago when she accepted my proposal.  Laugh

I agree, those Lightnings are fast – and almost too much fun to shoot.  Of course their Achille’s heel is reliability.  When they’re running right, they’re a blast to shoot.  When they aren’t running right, they can be a royal pain and not a lot of fun to work on.  I’ve been extremely lucky to have become friends with Eldon Penner who is maybe the leading authority and gunsmith on Lightnings.  He’s mostly retired now, but I’ve had the great fortune to spend quite a bit of time with him at his shop in Nevada learning about Lightnings.  Been a wonderful experience.  I may someday even hang out a shingle as a Lightning smith.  Mark

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February 7, 2021 - 8:56 pm
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steve004 said

Mark Douglas said
Another great pair of carbines, and both with unusual and interesting features.  I really like that 1892 carbine with the 2/3 mag tube.  Erin’s quite impressed by the 1/2 nickel baby carbine.  Says she’s rarely sees 38-40 baby carbines and the first she’s seen 1/2 nickel.  You have some very interesting carbines.    

Thanks Mark!  I think what is even more rare is a wife who recognizes the rarity of a baby nickel .38-40 Colt Lightning.  And of course, the rarity of a wife who is a Colt lightning collector (and owns a Colt .50-95 Express rifle) Cool

Not to disparage a Winchester – particularly a model as smooth and fast as the Model 1892 – but the Colt pumps are fast!  I can see why Lucas had his hands full with the fancy Englishman.  Even with its longer action, my Colt .40-60 Express rifle is very fast.  Clarence’s earlier comment in this thread was right on:

  In aimed fire, not merely pouring out the lead, a low-powered pump can be fired more rapidly without loosing the sight picture than any lever gun, except possibly by an exhibition shooter.  If Lucas was firing from the hip as he usually did, even he couldn’t outshoot a Lightning.  

Hear’s my Lightning Mark for your wife to check out.

fancy delux with all feature’s noted in letterIMG_20171101_153705.jpgImage Enlargerdelux-lightning..jpgImage Enlarger

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February 7, 2021 - 9:13 pm
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Tony. R said

Hear’s my Lightning Mark for your wife to check out.

fancy delux with all feature’s noted in letterIMG_20171101_153705.jpgImage Enlargerdelux-lightning..jpgImage Enlarger  

Thanks Tony, that’s a beauty!  Erin was quite impressed when I showed her the picture.  She actually has one with those exact features in 38-40.  She noted that they would look awfully good together if you ever grow tired of it. Laugh

If you haven’t seen it, here is a link to an episode of our YouTube channel where we both shoot a rough 1/2 octagon deluxe Lightning in 44-40.  Hope you like it.

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February 7, 2021 - 9:40 pm
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Tony. R said

Hear’s my Lightning Mark for your wife to check out.

fancy delux with all feature’s noted in letterIMG_20171101_153705.jpgImage Enlargerdelux-lightning..jpgImage Enlarger  

Beautiful rifle!  I like the half magazine 😉   Along with all the other special order features 🙂 Oh, and the condition!  Lots of great features on that one.

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February 7, 2021 - 10:35 pm
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Mark Douglas said

steve004 said

Mark Douglas said
Another great pair of carbines, and both with unusual and interesting features.  I really like that 1892 carbine with the 2/3 mag tube.  Erin’s quite impressed by the 1/2 nickel baby carbine.  Says she’s rarely sees 38-40 baby carbines and the first she’s seen 1/2 nickel.  You have some very interesting carbines.    

Thanks Mark!  I think what is even more rare is a wife who recognizes the rarity of a baby nickel .38-40 Colt Lightning.  And of course, the rarity of a wife who is a Colt lightning collector (and owns a Colt .50-95 Express rifle) Cool

Ha! I openly admit that I married way out of my league and was just fortunate to catch her at a weak moment all those years ago when she accepted my proposal.  Laugh

I agree, those Lightnings are fast – and almost too much fun to shoot.  Of course their Achille’s heel is reliability.  When they’re running right, they’re a blast to shoot.  When they aren’t running right, they can be a royal pain and not a lot of fun to work on.  I’ve been extremely lucky to have become friends with Eldon Penner who is maybe the leading authority and gunsmith on Lightnings.  He’s mostly retired now, but I’ve had the great fortune to spend quite a bit of time with him at his shop in Nevada learning about Lightnings.  Been a wonderful experience.  I may someday even hang out a shingle as a Lightning smith.  Mark  

Mark –

I have heard that some Lightnings can be very finicky and are quite the challenge for a gunsmith who is not experienced with them.  It’s good to hear that Eldon has been passing his knowledge and experience on to you.  But when a Lightning is in optimal mechanical condition, it shoots like greased LIGHTNING!  My .40-60 shoots that way.  I have friends and family (including my daughter) shoot it and all had smiles on their faces.  I have 92’s that are at least as slick, but as Clarence pointed out, the ergonomics of the slide action allow it to be held on target when used in rapid fire.  

I just watched your video where you and Erin shoot the Deluxe half-round Lightning.  Very fun video.  I never get tired of seeing footage of the Cinnabar ranch.  Beautiful country.

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February 7, 2021 - 11:43 pm
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steve004 said

Beautiful rifle!  I like the half magazine 😉   Along with all the other special order features 🙂 Oh, and the condition!  Lots of great features on that one.  

Great video Mark i do follow your video’s somehow missed that one. Have thought of passing it on, your $ has a big advantage at present, but getting it there may be difficult. A 44 and a 38 delux together with same features now that would be something. and yours has the sling swivels located in stock and mag also ?IMG_20171101_151721.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20171101_153723.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20171101_153736.jpgImage Enlarger

some better pictures

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February 8, 2021 - 5:03 am
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Great video, Mark. Somehow missed that one. I generally avoid Colts and 44’s but I enjoyed it anyway. No shame in having a pretty lady shoot well, I’ve been there. Erin shoots well and knows her Colts….and probably Winchesters. Thank you for getting her in front of the camera and thank Erin for sharing her Colts with us. It’s hard to truly understand Winchesters without seeing Colts, Marlins and Whitney-Kennedy’s of the same era.

 

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February 9, 2021 - 3:44 pm
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I’ve only been posting Winchester related episodes on the forum, plus a couple from gunsmith school.  Maybe why the Lightning episodes got missed.  There’s also an episode on large frame Lightnings that I really enjoyed making.

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February 9, 2021 - 4:06 pm
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Tony. R said

Great video Mark i do follow your video’s somehow missed that one. Have thought of passing it on, your $ has a big advantage at present, but getting it there may be difficult. A 44 and a 38 delux together with same features now that would be something. and yours has the sling swivels located in stock and mag also ?IMG_20171101_151721.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20171101_153723.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20171101_153736.jpgImage Enlarger

some better pictures  

Wow, that’s a beautiful rifle!  I should have looked a little closer.  I think that’s the first medium frame I’ve seen with factory sling swivels, except for the musket version.  Erin’s doesn’t have them, but has the other features: Half octagon, half magazine, case colored receiver; fancy, checkered, pistol grip stock.  Hers also has a tang sight.  I’m having trouble getting a picture of hers to load right now.  Our internet connection here on the ranch is on par with the old telegraphs of days gone by.  Will try again later.  Mark

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February 9, 2021 - 4:22 pm
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Hi Mark,  thanks for this video.  I always enjoy these.  I’m going to stir the pot and offer up an opinion that these large frame Lightnings were at a disadvantage to the Winchester, Marlin, Whitney-Kennedy and Bullard large frame lever rifles.  I think that the lever offers more mechanical advantage (leverage) to eject and chamber the next round.  Just watching you have some issues with chambering rounds got me to thinking this might have been an issue to 19th century shooters as well.

I think it’s also possible that factory cartridges may have had less loading problems.  Our handloads of these obsolete black powder cartridges are never go to have the level of standardization of the factory cartridges.

Thoughts?

I call myself a collector as it sounds better than hoarder

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February 9, 2021 - 9:05 pm
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Great videos of the Lightnings. I’ve go 2 medium frames that I enjoy shooting. I bet the large frames are a hoot to play with! And a great episode of the Rifleman that I’ve never seen.

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February 9, 2021 - 10:03 pm
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Bill Hockett said
Hi Mark,  thanks for this video.  I always enjoy these.  I’m going to stir the pot and offer up an opinion that these large frame Lightnings were at a disadvantage to the Winchester, Marlin, Whitney-Kennedy and Bullard large frame lever rifles.  I think that the lever offers more mechanical advantage (leverage) to eject and chamber the next round.  Just watching you have some issues with chambering rounds got me to thinking this might have been an issue to 19th century shooters as well.

I think it’s also possible that factory cartridges may have had less loading problems.  Our handloads of these obsolete black powder cartridges are never go to have the level of standardization of the factory cartridges.

Thoughts?  

I’ll be interested to hear Mark’s thoughts on this.  I think it could be the case that slightly oversized cartridges might be more difficult to muscle in and out of chambers as compared to the increased mechanical advantage offered by a lever action rifle.  However, my impressions of the hiccups that occur with some Lightning rifles is it is with the feeding through the action vs. chambering and extraction.  That was my impression of the hiccups Mark was experiencing in one of his videos where he was shooting an Express rifle.  

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