Colt at 205: The Best Pistols and Revolvers of Colt Firearms Over the Years
By Chris Eger
In honor of Samuel Colt’s 205th birthday this week, Guns.com looks at some of the most enduring and iconic handgun designs to come from Colt’s Firearms over the years.
Samuel Colt was born July 19, 1814, in Hartford, Connecticut. By the time he died just 47 years later, his was a household name that endures today. At age 16, after being sent to sea by his father to learn to be a mariner, Colt crafted his first revolver and later credited seeing the sailing ship’s capstan in action as the inspiration for his landmark work on wheel guns. After many trials and tribulations, the 21-year-old Colt filed for his first revolver patent in 1835, and the rest is history.
Samuel Colt’s “Improvement in fire arms” patent drawing (Photo: National Archives)
From the early Colt Paterson, a distinctive folding-trigger design with a five-round cylinder that today is one of the most collectible of all rare black-powder revolvers, Colt continued down the path to producing the giant Colt Walkers which were utilized by the Texas Rangers, followed by the Model 1848 Dragoon, and Model 1855 Sidehammer models as well as the lesser-encountered Model 1855 Carbine. His two most prolific six-shooters– the Model 1851 Navy .36-caliber