A Little History
The handheld revolver has a history dating back to the 1600’s. Around the mid 1830’s, Samuel Colt was granted patents for a mechanically operated revolver. This allowed him to create a revolver which spun the cylinder mechanically, utilizing the hammer and a pawl. This was a major milestone for what will eventually be the modern revolver. Other notable milestones include these revolvers:
- Colt Dragoon (1850): “Single Action” revolver utilizing the hammer to mechanically advance the cylinder with a pawl.
- Smith & Wesson No. 1 (1860): Had a manually operated cylinder (due to Colt’s patents), but it used a .22 rimfire cartridge, instead of a cap and ball.
- Colt Single Action Army (1873): One of the most recognized, single-action revolvers and still cloned by many manufacturers today. The SAA was a gate loaded, cartridge revolver chambered for .45 Colt.
- Colt New Army & Navy (1892): First commercially successful swing-out cylinder revolver.