The revolver was designed by Willian Mason who also designed the famous 1873 Colt Peacemaker. The 1877 was almost identical to the Colt Peacemaker but it was in double action and had bird's head grips like the Webley Bulldog revolver. The 1877 also came in a variety of callibers, some were in 38 long colt and 41 long colt. Sadly the revolver was built with too many small pieces and was prone to breakage as its double action system was too delicate and this would result the 1877 to single action only. Despite this many famous outlaws and lawmen of the old west carried a 1877. Bat Masterson, Doc Holiday and perhaps the most famous to carry the 1877 was Billy the Kid. Most of the 1877's were either blued or Nickle plated and the grips were often rubber, pearl or ivory.
Today the double action Colt 1877 is not produced by any gun company, but single action versions almost identical to the 1877 are produced by Cimarron. The ammuniton for the revolver are still being produced.