Anonymous asked: Thoughts on the Colt model 1851 navy revolver?


I would say its probably the most important revolver design in history.  Before the Model 1851 there was the Colt Paterson, Colt Walker and Colt Dragoon.  The Colt Paterson was a short lived design without many produced, but would provide the standard pattern of what a revolver would be.  The Colt Walker was better design but still had many flaws.  The Colt Dragoon fixed those flaws, but it was still a massive honkin’ pistol that handled like a lead brick.

The Colt Model 1851 was lightweight and compact, well balanced, accurate, reliable, rugged, and most importantly was mass produced with hundreds of thousands made.  Before the Model 1851 Samuel Colt was a wealthy businessman.  After the Model 1851, Samuel Colt became a captain of industry and billionaire.  More importantly the Model 1851 would serve as a model for what revolvers should be; simple, reliable, utilitarian, reasonably easy to wield, and affordable.