Rollin White’s patent for breech-
Initial Production (SN 1-
Following Initial Production, manufacture of the Open Top .22 ceased and Colt’s introduced New Line Revolvers in a variety of calibers and the iconic .45 caliber center fire 1873 Single Action Army.
Panic of 1873 and the Rollin White patent. The financial panic of 1873 sent the economy into a deep depression. To make matters worse for gun makers, it appeared that Congress would extend Rollin White’s patent. This double threat left Colt’s New Lines and 1873s sitting on warehouse shelves.
Crisis Production (SN 6001-
Losing money on each gun, Colt’s turned to add-
Colt’s manufactured 85,000 Open Top .22s in 1874 and 14,000 in 1875. From 1874 to 1876 production and sales of the Open Top .22 eclipsed those of all other Colt firearms combined. It held the line.