Letters from Malifaux
Collier began production of their popular Lightning carbine in 1884 to compete with similar offerings from Chesterfield and Brenington. Lightweight and easy to use, the 1884 Lightning Carbine is a medium frame, external hammer, pump-action carbine with a twenty inch barrel chambered in .45 caliber. Fed from an under barrel twelve round tube magazine and capable of accurate and rapid fire at close ranges, these carbines, and their larger Lightning Rifle siblings, were initially marketed to both sportsmen and law enforcement agencies. It found a loyal following among hunters and sport shooters, but failed to catch on with law enforcement agencies who preferred shotguns and sidearms for their issued carry weapons. Among its many shining attributes as a firearm are its ease of use, its carry ability, its accuracy and reliability one of the major selling points of the Lightning is that it chambers the same caliber ammunition as the famous Collier Single Action Army “Lawmaker” revolver. A deliberate design decision by Collier, this allows an individual to carry both a sidearm and a shoulder fired longarm while only needing one kind of ammunition, which has endeared both Collier and the Lightning carbine to those men and women who must travel light.
The very first repeating rifle ever adopted by a major military force, Collier’s line of revolving rifles were, in their time, one of the finest firearms available. Collier’s revolving rifles and carbines evolved slowly over the decades from their first appearance in the early part of the 19th century, from the first Patterson-based capand- ball model to the pinnacle of their development, the Model 1855. The 1855 benefited from decades of advancement not only in revolving longarms, but in firearms technology in general. The most widely produced of Collier’s revolving carbines, the Model 1855 is a single-action revolving carbine with a twenty-one inch rifled barrel chambered in .44 caliber. Ammunition is fed from a six round revolving cylinder that is loaded and unloaded very much like contemporary revolving pistols. This weapon is well suited for use on horseback or while driving a coach or wagon, and remains popular among civilian scouts, guides, and messengers as a light and inexpensive repeating shoulder arm.