Why Classic Revolvers are a Must for any Gun Collector
By Greg Brown
“God created man; Colonel Colt made them Equal,” is a saying that has endured since Samuel Colt invented his revolver mechanism in 1836. Sam Colt received a US patent that enabled a gun to be fired multiple times without reloading. Colt’s patent on the six-shot revolver revolutionized the gun industry.
The advantage of revolvers comes in their robust simplicity and the advantage of shooting larger calibers. Revolvers are heavier in most respects and can withstand the greater forces of magnum rounds with ease.
Colt introduced the most famous revolver of them all, the Colt .45 Single Action Army, shown above.
In 1856, Daniel Wesson and Horace Smith got in on the action and produced a magazine pistol based on Lewis Jennings’s rifle configuration. The handgun fired a self-contained cartridge that bundled a bullet, gunpowder, and primer. The name of their company, The Volcanic Repeating Arms Co, promptly went bankrupt and was sold to one Oliver F. Winchester.
In 1857, the inventors signed an agreement for a patented cylinder with chambers that were pierced all the way through. This design permitted the revolver to be loaded from the rear. The following year Smith and Wesson began production on the 22 caliber Model 1.
After Samuel Colt’s patent expired, the two inventors rekindled their partnership and produced a revolver that could handle the new self-contained cartridge. With their invention began one of the most extraordinary firearms manufacturers in the world. Through the decades’ Smith and Wesson perfected large magnum cartridges in revolvers.
Twice the Action
In 1851 Englishman Robert Adams invented the first double-action revolver, which allows for a greater rate of fire. It took decades for the handgun to catch on and start spreading to the masses. This delay was largely in part due to civil war manufacturing, which was primarily accomplished by hand, so most components were uneven and of low quality.
By the early 20th century, Colt and others were turning out double-action revolvers, and they replaced most single-action weapons. Single action revolvers are a much-loved design and are still produced today.
Collecting firearms is an exciting endeavor involving knowing the impact of certain revolvers on history. Thousands of revolvers manufactured today began their existence at a time when the world was either in turmoil or enlightenment. Inventors such as Samuel Colt or Daniel Wesson and Horace Smith designed a revolver’s inner workings, making them much more efficient. Concepts for revolvers that began over 150 years ago are still being used and perfected in the modern era.
Copyright 2022 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.