Colt Firearms History
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Originally called Colt’s Seven Shot Pistol, Colt’s Open Top .22 Pocket Revolver was produced from 1871 to 1875.  It was not meant to have such a long run, but as described in the history of this gun  fate intervened.  First year production of 3,000 included Types 1, 2,  and 3 (Early).  Second year production of 3,000 was all Type 3 (Early).  That was the Initial Production and it was to end there.  Crisis Production of an additional 106,000 began late 1873.  Initially this was of the Type 3 (Late), but in the second half of 1874 production was of the Type 4.

The Open Top .22 Pocket Revolver Identicard lays it all out.  You are free to download and print it for ready  reference.  If  you wish to have a higher resolution image just write and I’ll send you one in 300 dpi .  No strings, it’s free.  


COMMON FEATURES


SINGLE action .22 caliber 7-shot rim fire, bronze frame, steel cylinder and barrel.


DETACHABLE barrel secured to arbor by laterally rotating key.


SNs stamped on underside of barrel and butt.  Mismatches occur.  Inspector stamps are on right side of frame beneath stock, Type 2s often have a

second inspector stamp, “P,” behind the SN.   


STANDARD FINISH electro-silver plate, full or half, which rarely survives.  Premium plating, nickel, silver, and gold was available.  Finish on

Type 2s is generally full-nickel, but other finishes have been observed.


BIRD’S head stocks.  Walnut was standard.  Premium stocks of rosewood and ebony were available.  Ivory stocks were available in early 1874. Pearl stocks were available beginning April 1874.  Ivory and pearl often have nickel escutcheons, especially on those which are nickel plated.

TYPE 1

TYPE 2

TYPE 3


TYPE 4

Types 1 and 2 were used to experiment with features that would be needed for later revolvers. The most sought is Type 1 Variant A, that with a center-fire type conical hammer. Of perhaps 50 - 100 made, 15 are known. Of them, two (sns 45 and 247) are known to have been engraved, they by L. D. Nimschke..  

VARIANTS

TYPE 1 VARIANT A - SN 247

TYPE 1 VARIANT B - SN 445

For Type 2 Variants, please visit Ejector Development

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Colt Open Top .22: Types and Features