1855 Colt Root Revolving Rifle

January 30, 2013

1855 Colt Root Revolving Rifle

Patent Firearms Mfg. Company

Year: 1856-1864
Weight: 9.8 lbs
Country: U.S.
Caliber: .44
Length: 49.25”
Range: ~350 yds

This six-shot revolving rifle is a direct descendent of the 1838 Paterson rifle. It was made under the supervision of Samuel Colt’s eventual successor, Elisha Root.
The Model 1855 was a favorite among marksman for its accuracy and multi-shot capability, a trait few other arms of the period possessed. However, the firepower came with a cost. In a malfunction known as “chain firing”, the combustible gasses sometimes escaped the firing chamber igniting some or all of the other chambers. This unforgiving flaw would send lead and shrapnel into the forward arm of the shooter. Legends suggest that a person missing fingers on their left hand or with powder burns on their face must be an avid marksman, having spent sufficient time behind a rifle to acquire these tell-tale marks.
The 1855 revolving rifle is also known to have been carried by Berdan Sharpshooters before they acquired their legendary Sharps rifles.

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