Original U.S. Colt "Root" Model 1855 Sidehammer Pocket Percussion Revolver made in 1856 - serial 12317

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Here is an unusual Colt Pocket Percussion Revolver, commonly referred to as the M-1855 Root. It features an external side hammer on the right side of the frame, with a 5 shot .28 caliber cylinder. The top of the barrel is marked with the patent information: COLT'S PT. / 1855, and to the side of that is the standard colt address in two lines:


The design is small and always suffered from being so very delicate, with the action easily damaged due to the minimized size. It was a great favorite with women and for those interested in carrying a concealed piece of artillery. The serial number of our example is # 12317, which is present on the grip frame and under the barrel. This which dates its manufacture to 1856, the second year of production. Lots of blue finish with a good condition walnut grip, though there is a chunk missing from the front toe.

The action on this revolver works quite nicely, though it can be finicky at times. It properly advances the cylinder and cocks, which is rare to see on these, though it occasionally sticks.

Fully cleaned, ready to cherish and display!

History of the Colt "Root" Model 1855 Percussion Pistols:

The Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer, also known as the Colt Root Revolver after engineer Elisha K. Root (1808–1865), was a cap & ball single-action pocket revolver used during the American Civil War and made by the Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in two calibers: .28 and .31.

In the revolver configuration of the patented revolving mechanism, only one model of revolver was produced. The only two available calibers for the revolver were .28 and .31. The production of the revolver started in 1855 and lasted until 1870. In spite of the complexity and ambition of its patented design, the Sidehammer revolver never reached the status of a popular gun. It was however very influential on later colt designs, and the revolving mechanism was used in all of colt's revolving rifles.

In 1855 the Sidehammer was the first Colt's revolver to use the "creeping" loading lever. This loading mechanism was used again in 1860 in the design of the Colt Army Model 1860, the Colt Navy Model 1861 and the Colt Police Model 1862.

In 1855 the Sidehammer was the first Colt's solid-frame spur-trigger gun. This anatomical characteristic was taken again when the three models of the Colt Derringer started production in 1870. For the two first models production lasted in 1890, and the third model ended in 1912 (until it was re-released in the 1950s for western movies, under the name of fourth model Colt Deringer). But in the Colt Deringers the solid-frame spur-triger design was still present in the patent when Colt's purchased the National Arms Company in 1870. Actual original Colt models subsequent to the Sidehammer and inheriting a solid frame and a spur trigger were the Colt House (1871) and the Colt New Line (1873)


Year of Manufacture: 1855
Caliber: .28cal
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 3 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 8 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 5 Shot Revolver

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  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s): New Jersey

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