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This six-shooter, in the repertoire of the nationwide Museum the American History, is no the very an initial Colt six-shooter, however an updated, contempt lighter variation Colt produced in between 1848 and 1861. NMAH

The old saying goes favor this: God developed men equal. Colonel Colt do them equal.

Samuel Colt welcomed an order for 1,000 revolvers native Captain Samuel walker of the Texas rangers on now in 1847. At the time, although he had actually some success selling his firearms abroad, his five-shot revolver was a means from being the storied weapon the the Colt would certainly become.

“Firing five shots in much less time than one man might reload a flintlock weapon should have actually guaranteed huge orders from the government,” write James Donovan for Texas Monthly. “But the Paterson, together Colt’s first revolver became known, to be fragile and also fired a small-caliber ball, and it had to it is in half-disassembled come reload, so armed forces tests to be unimpressive, together were sales.”

Walker’s stipulations, follow to mark Crawford because that the American society of mechanically Engineers: he want an enhanced version the the revolver that Colt had patented in 1836. It essential to hold six bullets, be simple to reload and “be powerful enough to kill a man with a single shot.”

“Before Colt began mass-producing his popular revolvers in 1847, handguns had not play a significant role in the background of either the American West or the country as a whole,’ write History.com. Short-barreled handguns were costly and also inaccurate, according to the website—though part elites quiet insisted top top dueling through pistols.

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The weapon of choice, write the website, was the knife, through western pioneers to like the Bowie knife. In fact, writes chronicler Pamela Haas in she 2016 publication on American gun history, the idea of a “multi-firing” total was viewed as superfluous for the daily person. Samuel Colt’s an initial gun firm went bankrupt for this reason.

With the mexico American War,and the Civil war in the mid-19th century, Colt to be positioned to get rich turn off revolver sales—and the did. As soon as he died in 1862, a year after ~ the polite War damaged out, his fortune was an approximated $15 million. His wife and also heir Elizabeth Colt maintained the empire running, Crawford writes.

Colt “saw the value of myth-making,” to write PBS. “He marketed his gun as critical part of the American frontier, working to encourage his brand and build his market.” Colt sold to the military, yet he also sold to Gold rush miners, settlers, cowboys in Texas, and also “lawmen top top the nation’s west frontier.”

But despite Colt’s patented revolver was a historically necessary invention, writes chronicler Eric Hintz,”his important groundbreaking development was the perfection of a manufacturing procedure that permitted production the 10,000 identical duplicates of the revolver.”

Rather than relying on skilled gunsmiths to create individual weapons that had to it is in repaired on their own, Colt and also his workers came up v “precise molds for forging the basic metal pieces” and specialized finishing devices that would certainly make the pieces specific replicates that one another, he writes.

These innovations meant that the Colt Armory in Hartford, Connecticut can turn out around 150 tools per work in 1856, to write History.com, and also that the guns might be make cheaply sufficient to be afforded by median people—like settlers and also miners.

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Colt’s machining techniques also put Hartford ~ above the map together he trained ambitious mechanics who went out and started their own enterprises, structure such implements of peacetime together sewing machines and bicycles.