Classic Colt Revolvers

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1847 Walker     1849 Pocket Dragoon     1851 Navy     1860 Army     1862 Pocket Navy     1862 Pocket Police

1873 Single Action Army


Samuel Colt invented the modern revolver when he designed the Model 1836 Paterson Revolver.  Though technically advanced for its time it was not a commercial success.  It was however, sold in significant quantities to the Texas Rangers and well liked, though several faults were noted.  

Colt corrected these faults and saw his first commercial success with the 1847 Walker.  This large revolver was the most powerful revolver until the Smith & Wesson Model 27 .357 Magnum of 1934.  The Walker was soon followed by the Dragoon which was significantly smaller but almost as much stopping power.

The 1849 Pocket Dragoon was introduced during the California Gold Rush and was soon followed by the 1851 Navy, the choice gun of gunfighters in the black powder era.  The 1860 Army offered more firepower for a similar size as the 1851 Navy.  The 1851 Navy and 1860 Army were the standard isssue revolvers for both the Union and Confederate armies in the American Civil War.

Advances in metellurgy allowed 1851 Navy power to be offerred in a gun some 2/3rd as large.  This led to the introduction of the 1862 Pocket Police and Pocket Navy which were the gentleman's revolvers of the 1860s.

In 1873 Colt introduced the most famous and recognizable handgun of all time, the Model 1873 Single Action Army (SAA). This was the first Colt revolver designed from the beginning to handle a cartridge.  His previous designs were percussion cap and ball revolvers or cartridge conversion of percussion guns.  The 1873 chambered the powerful .45  Long Colt round, as well as many others and was a huge commercial success.  The 1873 SAA is still in production to this day (there was a brief break around WWII).   The Peacemaker was the gun that won the west, both in reality and in the countless cowboy movies it has been featured in.

Colts revolvers are, today, among the most collectible firearms and pristine original examples of any of these classic Colts would sell for tens of thousands of dollar.  Due to this an entire industry has arisen dedicated to making replicas of these classic Colts.  The high quality replicas from Cimmarron, EMF, Uberti and Pietta have finishes that precisly match the originals and parts that would even interchange with the originals.  Fortunately, the cost of these replicas rarely approaches $1,000.  So, one can experience what it was like to handle a classic Colt for a fraction of the cost of the original and also, not risk ruining a valuable antique.

Shadow Box

Classic Colt Replicas.  Clockwise from Upper Right:  1873 Single Action Army, 1860 Army, 1851 Navy, 1847 Walker, 1849 Pocket Dragoon, 1862 Pocket Navy, 1862 Pocket Police.


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