Colt 1855 Military Revolving Rifle

 Colt Model 1855 Military Revolving Rifle manufactured from 1856 to 1864. Colt root-type side hammer, 5-shot "Army Pattern" chambered in 56 caliber, ratchet-type loading lever, barrel length 31 5/16, with military three leaf rear sights in graduations of 100, 300 and 600 yards. Front sight machined to accept socket bayonet. The top of the frame in the sighting grove is stamped “COLT HARTFORD CT. U.S.A." The left side of the frame is marked "COLT'S PATENT" in a curve over "NOV. 24th, 1857." The cylinder has the 1850 patent stamped on one of the flutes, matching serial numbers 35XX on bottom of barrel, bottom of frame, triggerguard strap, back of cylinder, cylinder pin, and buttplate. Left side of the trigger guard, sub-inspector stamped with the letter "K". Full length forearm with brass tip and straight grip stock with the buttplate having a sliding trap. Military sling swivel on rear barrel band and a sling swivel base on lower tang. The U.S. government had purchased 765 Colt revolving carbines and rifles prior to the Civil War. Many of these were shipped to Southern locations and ended up being used by the Confederacy. During the end of the 1850's, many Colt Revolving rifles were turned over by the Federal Government to be used by the various state militias. In the following fiscal year ending June 30th 1859, one hundred twenty Colt Revolving rifles were sent to North Carolina, fifty to Alabama, ten to Louisiana, and one hundred to Virginia. When the Confederates seized the U.S. arsenal at Baton Rogue, Louisiana in 1861, seventy-three Colt rifles were in storage at the arsenal along with a large quantity of flintlock and percussion muskets. During the war, many Confederate Cavalry Regiments, such as the 1st Virginia, 7th Virginia Cavalry (Ashbys Cavalry, preceeding the Virginia Laural Brigade), 3rd Texas, and the 13th Tennessee Confederate Cavalry were partially armed with the Colt revolving rifles, as were the 8th Virginia and the 11th Mississippi Infantry. The best known of all U.S. regiments to use the M1855 Colt rifles were Colonel Berdan's 1st and 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters. In the early campaigns around Richmond, Virginia, in May of 1862, they were used with great effectiveness. After the war began, the Union purchased many more rifles and carbines. Sources disagree over the exact number purchased, but approximately 4,400 to 4,800 were purchased in total, over the duration of the war, with overall total production about 9310 from 1857 to 1864.  Very Rare  CS Acquisitions Museum

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