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Accession number 1997.51
Catalog Number 1997.51.2
Object Name Rifle
Description Colt Model 1855 Revolving Rifle; full stocked, 31" barrel, .56 caliber, 5 shot military style rifle or rifled-musket with all matching serial numbers "4900." The serial number is listed on the brass trigger guard, the bottom of the frame, the bottom of the barrel, on the cylinder pin, on the cylinder between the nipple shields, on the butt plate and on the wood. Model was made ca. 1856-1864. This particular model was likely made during the Civil War. On the proper right side of the brass trigger guard is stamped ".56 cal". "Col. Colt Hartford, CT. U.S.A" is stamped on the top strap above the rotating chamber. The steel cleaning rod has a swelled, button head and is stored below the barrel. "Patented September 10, 1850" is stamped between the flutes on the side of the rotating chamber. The stock is made from two pieces black walnut, one for the butt stock and one for below the barrel. The wood and the barrel are secured by two oval, iron clamp bands. The rifle has the typical Colt, ratchet-type loading lever.

The exhibit label from Tools of War (2011) reads: The Model 1855 Colt Military Rifle or Rifled Musket seemed to combine the best of both, being light weight but accurate. With interchangeable cylinders, they gave their users a tremendous edge in frequency of fire. The fact that this arm loaded from the front of its cylinder technically made it a muzzle loader. Still, it could be loaded much faster than a musket, and since this could be accomplished from a prone position, its user would be less likely to be hit by opposing fire. This particular model was likely made between 1855 and 1864 with an estimated total production of 9,310. There might have been some examples used during the Third Seminole War but it was more common during the Civil War.
Dimensions H-1.5 W-5.25 L-49.25 inches
Collection Militaria
Imagefile 004\1997512.JPG