The Colt Revolving Rifle: Semi-automatic firepower, 1855

Samuel Colt is well known today as the father of the cartridge revolver but over the past 200
years, the company he founded has also made serious inroads into military rifle production, currently contracted to produce the M4 carbine for the Department of Defense. What you may not know is that Mr. Colt sought to sell the Army a carbine version of his famous revolvers long before the M4 was a glimmer in Eugene Stoner’s eye.

In the 1850s, the standard long arm of the time was the muzzle-loading musket. These guns took a well-trained expert shooter twenty breathless seconds to load and fire. Samuel Colt in 1836 patented his revolving-breech loading, folding trigger handgun named the Colt Paterson.

This revolver could deliver five shots in about as many seconds. After a series of sales to both the military and the discerning public, Colt began to explore the option of a rapid-fire rifle. Such a firearm could fire out to rifle range by using a longer barrel, but deliver the firepower of his proven revolver design.

Read the rest in my column at

colt 1855

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few hundred articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as History Times, Firearms Talk.com, GUNS.com, Suite 101 (where I am the contracted Feature Writer for Military History) and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects, including a section in the upcoming Mississippi Encyclopedia (to be published by Ole Miss this summer), an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released this Spring by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com. In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am a certified Firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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