Original 1872 Colt .22 Open Top Pocket Model Revolver - Serial No 5646

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver was a single action pocket revolver introduced by the Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in 1871. Introduced a year before the Colt Open Top (a model from 1872) and two years before the Colt Peacemaker and the Colt New Line (both introduced in 1873), the Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver was, alongside the Colt House Revolver, one of the two first metallic cartridge rear-loading revolvers manufactured by Colt's. It also was one of the first pocket metallic cartridge revolvers made by the company.

This fine example still has 90% of the original nickel plate finish which is very rare as most you see on the market have been worn down to the brass. Fine solid walnut grips and matching serial number found on the underside of the barrel and bottom of the grip frame that reads 5646 denoting the year of manufacture as 1872 (2nd year of production!). The barrel measures 2 3/8 and is caliber .22 short. Overall condition is very good with a tight action, very nice bore, and the following found on the top of the barrel:



History of the Colt .22 Open top Revolver:

Designer : William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards

Designed : 1871

Manufacturer: Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company

Produced: 1871–1877

Number built: 114,200

Barrel length: 2-3/8

Cartridge: .22 Short, .22 Long

Action: Single-action revolver

Feed system: 7-shot Cylinder

History and design

When the Rollin White patent for metallic cartridges firearms manufacture expired (c. 1870) the Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company started working on its own metallic cartridge revolvers (Colt had previously been manufacturing the so-called Richards-Mason conversions). Thus, Colt introduced its first rear-loaders in 1871: the Colt House/Cloverleaf and the Colt Open Top Pocket Model Revolver.

In the 1870s the firearms market was awash with cheaply made knockoffs of the .22 caliber Smith & Wesson Model One which sold for about $2. Colt's president Richard Jarvis decided it would not compete directly with the knockoffs; that its .22 would be of Colt quality. The Open Top Pocket was priced at $8.

The frame was brass and sometimes silver or nickel plated. The barrel and cylinder were either blue or nickel plated. Rosewood or walnut grips on a bird's head style frame made for a comfortable pistol to shoot.

Loading was accomplished via a groove in the frame rearward of the cylinder and early models incorporated an ejector rod until 1874. After that, a shooter would need to remove the cylinder to empty the brass casings.

Cheap copies imported from Spain and Belgium drove down the demand for these revolvers and Colt stopped manufacturing them by 1877.

Note: This gun is NOT considered obsolete calibre in the UK. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services.

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


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