Samuel Coltperfected the mass production of firearms. An honour he have to share with Eli Whitney. The French never really succeded in their efforts to produce standarised ( military) weapons in large numbers. But both Colt and Whitney realised themselves that parts which would interchange from gun to gun with minimal or none handwork will make it possible to produce these guns in large numbers.
Samuel Colt was born in 1814 and start making fire arms in Hartford and Baltimore from 1832 til 1835. Most of them were long arms. This encouraged hem to seek the English patent 6909 granted in 1835 ( Collier) and the US patent 136 of 1836 Each claiming the connection of the hammer to the cylinder rotating pawl. These patents made it possible for Colt to start the making of his own revolving handgun.
was founded in Paterson, New Jersey .
But it had to be closed in 1842 .
.The Paterson Colt revolvers saw service in the Mexican war that started in 1846.
The result was a 1000 gun contract for the government in january 1847. For Colt a small problem because he had no longer facilities to produce those guns. So he subcontracted this order to the factory of Eli Whitney in Whitneyville, Connecticut. The 1847 Walker Colt were more then 15 inch long ( 37,5 cm) and weighed more than 2,2 Kg. A cumbersome piece of arm. But six shots of .44 calibre in stock. They showed to be so effective that Colt was to receive a new order.
into business and started a new factory
in Hartford Connecticut in 1848.At this
factory he started the production model
1848 Colt Dragoon. This was a success. More than
20 000 were made between 1849 and 1855.
9380 of those where purchased by the US Army. The success of the Colt Dragoon inspired him to the introduction
More than 20 000 were made between 1849 and 1855. 9380 of those where purchased by the US Army. The success of the Colt Dragoon inspired him to the introduction of theBaby Dragoon a five shot .31 15 000 of these were made from 1848 till 1850.
The Baby Dragoon was replaced by the Colt Pocket, (A) the model 1849. It came in different models. Barrels from 3 till 6 inch for Welch Fargo a model without a rammer, and many other configurations . Those guns were made until 1873 and it was a great commercial success for Colt. 314 000 of these guns were made in Hartford and about another 11 000 in London.
Samuel Colt died in 1862 unexpected at the age of 48 years
But as with all things that are a commercial success other producers of fire arms started to make their own copy of the Colt 1849.
A few of
those copyists are:
(B) Manhattan Firearms Company from Newark, New Jersey. They added there own patent to their Colt copy. That one include the safety notches on the cylinder ( between the cylinder stop notches there are notches to set the cylinder on, so the hammer is not resting on a cap). Manhattan made about a 5000 .31 and 80 000 .36 firearms until 1864 when they lost all lawsuits. Then they started to copy Smith & Wesson fire arms. When Smith & Wesson won their lawsuits the Manhattan Fire Arms Company was succeeded in 1870 by the American Standard Tool Company.
Manufacturing Company from Norwich,
Manufacturing Company from Norwich,
revolvers were almost similar to the .36 Colts. But James Cooper had 2 patents
for the double action lock he used on his guns.
Cooper revolvers were almost similar to the .36 Colts. But James Cooper had 2 patents for the double action lock he used on his guns.These patens are US no 29.684 ( 4 September 1860) and patent US no 40.021 ( 22 September 1863) James Cooper started his business in Pittsburgh but after the first production he moved to Philadelphia. Cooper revolvers can be recognized by the larger trigger guard and the trigger that is placed in the front part of the guard
Fire Arms Company of Yonkers, New York.
are among other Colt Copyist.
About 1900 in Belgium some manufacturers started to make Colt Copy's. On the barrel there was most of the cases a misleading text that suggested it was made by the system of Colt. (E) Names on the guns say's Brevette or Clements. These guns can be recognized by a longer cylinder, and the poor quality.
more about these arms and their history can be found in
This and more about these arms and their history can be found in
that won the west by John Walter Greenhill Books London Dictonary
of Guns and Gunmakers by John Walter Greenhill Books London
The Peacemakers by R.L. Wilson Chartwell books inc.