Dating a catalogue

Very often the old French catalogues of the XiX th century have no date, just a number.

I would like to know the minimum date of this one.

From some medals, info and so on, it is from 1897. or after,and before 1900

Perhaps because of the rifles shown, you can give me a more precise date.

Here they are :

Automatic (gas operated) Colt in 44
Repeating (lever operating) Marlin in 44
Repeating (lever operating) Winchester in 44
Reepating (lever operating) Winchester in 40
Repeating (lever operating) Winchester in 32
Repeataing (lever operating)Winchester in 25

Thank you

Jean-Pierre: I believe everything on your list existed before 1897 and well as after 1900, so hard to pin down. Incidentally there is no gas operated Colt 44, though the firm did made a slide-action rifle that was likely in production as late as 1897. JG

You are right.
Indeed after reading carefully the ad, it is a repeating rifle working like a pump gun (you put your hand on a grip under the barrel).
And the ctge looks like a 44-40.


Jean-Pierre: Yes, that’s the Colt Lightning Magazine Rifle, for which some ammunition in the U.S. was headstamped CLMR for it. These were identical with the .32, .38, and .44 Winchester rounds. JG

JP–That sounds like the .44-40 C.L.M.R. (Colt Lightning Magazine Rifle).

and which year is this model ?

JP–I’m not sure when the Colt Lightning Magazine Rifle was introduced, but the cartridges for it are listed in the 1887 U.M.C. catalog as follows:


The next oldest U.M.C. catalog I have is 1882 and they are not listed in it. So, the C.L.M.R. would have been introduced sometime between 1883 and 1887.

The Colt Lightning Magazine Rifle, Medium Frame (.44-40, .38-40, .32-20, etc.) was manufactured from 1884 until 1902. The cartridge, while perhaps listed in the UMC Catalog earlier as Ron Points out, was not headstamped “CLMR” by UMC until June 1889, according to their factory production records. Of course they were making the .44-40, the same cartridge, much earlier. Records I have reviewed don’t show UMC’s date of introduction, but the first change was made in 1878. They changed to CE powder in April 1890 and to a 200 grain bullet in April 1904, according to UMC records. This probably doesn’t help date this catalog at all, since firstly, it is European and not American, so changes to powder, bullet weight and the such don’t necessarily apply, and J-P already has it dated within a very, very short span, from 1897 to 1900, by other clues in the catalog.

Thanks to everybody


John–Thanks for the detailed information on the introduction of the rifle. My use of the term “C.L.M.R.” in 1887 was in reference to the gun not the headstamp on the cartridges. I would agree with you on the 1889 headstamp date. Also, my discussion is only for the catalog listing specifically for the Colt M.R., not the Winchester or Marlin designated loadings. In 1890 the catalog entry is as follows:

“.44 COLT’S M.R., FOR COLT’S LIGHTN’G RIFLE” (Note that “Rifle” is now spelled out, not just “R”)

It is a 217 gr. lead bullet.

This listing continues to 1904. In 1905 it is listed as:

“.44–COLT’S NEW LIGHTNING MAGAZINE RIFLE” (Note the addition of “New”)

In 1905 the bullet is also changed from 217 gr. to 200 gr. lead.

In 1913-1917 a separate listing for the C.L.M.R. was still listed as follows: “.44 COLT L.M.R.” with a 200 gr. lead bullet.

The load is no longer listed in the 1923 catalog.